A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
There are some preparations I need from you before bringing or shipping your quilt to me. These are fairly standard requirements for all professional machine quilters. I prefer that quilts are not in my possession for long periods of time so please don’t bring or ship your quilts to me until I’m nearly ready to quilt it. I work a normal forty hour week. To see where your name is on the waiting list please use the link on the side.
Top edge – Attach a note to mark the head (top edge) of the quilt and the top of the backing so I know how you want them oriented.
Pre-basting – Don’t baste the layers together.
Backing – The backing fabric should be a minimum of 4 inches larger than your top all the way around. (That means 8 inches longer and 8 inches wider than your top) Larger than this is ok but shorter, no. If your top has a scalloped edge (ie wedding ring) the added inches of backing should be beyond the widest part of the scallop. The same for other shaped edges.
Wide backing is a nice option for a quilt but its often not folded on the bolt evenly. Please allow extra for squaring up. Sheets are acceptable as backing but the hems should be opened and pressed flat. Pre-washed backing fabric should be ironed. If you want me to iron it for you there is a fee.
Pieced backing – Using scrap fabric is a great way to use up your stash. BUT, if not done correctly it can cause huge problems for your quilt. When piecing your fabric together please be sure to cut straight and sew with all grain lines going in the same direction. If this is not done pieces of your backing can have “saggy” spots that keep it from laying flat. This could cause fabric tucks to be quilted in the back which cannot be prevented. For best results the stretchy grain should go from top to bottom with the non-stretchy grain going side to side.
Center panel on backing – Centering a panel on the backing is pretty but difficult to get perfectly centered.
Two sided quilts – This is different from a pieced backing using scraps. Using a quilt top as a backing may be pretty design wise but is dangerous for the quilter and your quilt. I don’t do two sided quilts.
Maximum size – The maximum size that can be done on my machine is 110 inch top with a backing of 118 inches.
Embellishments – The quilt top should be free from all hard embellishments such as buttons, beads, crystals, and other three dimensional objects. There is too much danger of accidentally hitting something and damaging the machine, or worse, your quilt.
Prairie points and folded fabric piecing – Please let me know if you want those left loose or quilted down.
Fabric softener – Don’t use fabric softener or fabric freshener type sprays.
Thread tails – Thread tails on the front of the top should be clipped. Otherwise they could get quilted down. Thread tails on the back of the top are not a problem for me but be aware they may shadow through light color fabric.
Shipping – I’ll be using the same box that you send to me to return your quilt. Batting comes compressed when packaged. Quilts often double in size once quilted taking up more space. Please provide a good sturdy box large enough to return your quilt. Packing balloons or bubble wrap make good light weight packing material for shipping to me. If I must purchase a box to return your quilt the charge is five to twelve dollars depending on size. Include your name, address, and phone number inside the box in case the outside should become damaged. If we’ve talked about specific requests it would be helpful for me if you include a note inside the box too.
Online photos – I do post photos online for a variety of reasons. It shows examples of my work for people considering hiring a longarm quilter. It’s a way for current customers to view the progress on their quilt. It’s a way for a customer to get ideas for their own quilt. It’s a way for beginning longarm quilters to learn from my experiences. If your quilt should remain secret for a contest or other reason please let me know.
Quilt issue photos – I sometimes post photos of problems or concerns that I encounter with any quilt and the solutions I use to work around it. My purpose is not to be the quilt police or a quilt judge. My posting of these photos and the solution is to mentor any beginning longarm quilter too shy to ask me questions. Posting about the issues can also be helpful for a customer who may not be aware how certain issues affect the longarm quilter and the outcome of their quilt.
Questions? Please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org