Last week, I didn't have a lot of errands to do. This week? I've got a ton of errands and I still have paperwork so I must budget my time carefully. There are two things that must be done today - return two books to the library as this is the absolute last day that I can have the books (Yes - I'm finished with both of them) and I have two orders that are somewhat in the same area and I'm picking them both up today - they're big and I would have paid a lot for shipping.
I had edited a bunch of photos the other day and I'm going through them one folder at a time so I don't miss anything. They are somewhat random in nature - but all quilt related.
But first - I have to tell you about my discovery last night. I'm working on a quilt design and there was a lot of coloring to do. Click, click, click with the mouse. It was annoying. Then the lightbulb went off in my head. This new computer has a TOUCH SCREEN. I bet I can just use my finger to "paint" the quilt. Yep - before I knew it - I was FINGER PAINTING my quilt. What a slick discovery! I love it.
OK - so here's the topic of the day - prepping your quilts for the long arm. Recently I worked on a quilt that was a wee bit of a problem. Actually three problems. Since not everyone knows this or knows the reason why, I'm going to share with you that experience.
Here's the thing - whether you are taking your quilt to the long arm quilter or basting it yourself, the backing NEEDS to be larger than the quilt. That's just a given. This person didn't know that and I got the backing that was a bit wider than the quilt, but the length was pretty much the same length as the quilt. That's next to impossible to load on the long arm and I'm sure that other quilters would have refused the job.
Not me - I forged ahead! I know - I'm crazy, but the customer has already been called and advised of the situation. Fortunately, there was a very large border so if need be, the quilt top could be trimmed away.
In the photo below, you can see how skimpy that backing was.
|The foot can't reach the edge of the quilt with the clamp in the way|
|Just enough on the width to successfully load the quilt|
|Lots of extra backing|
Here's another thing that I don't like. Quilters like to buy batting in a bag. They can use a coupon to get a discount. Great, but not so great. I really don't like batting in a bag. Why? Have a look. Keep in mind that you should open up that bag of batting and even fluff the batting in the dryer. This batting had been sitting out of the bag and unfolded for at least 24 hours before I loaded it. Do you see the problem?
The way that the batting gets folded and rolled and compressed into a bag, one section is compressed and the next section is stretched and the long arm quilter has to deal with this variation in the batting. You can't pull the stretched part out so you have to manipulate it to fit under the bar without having lumps and bumps.
|Stretched sections of batting from a bag|
I don't normally charge for "fluffing" the batting as I don't fluff it. I just take it out of the bag 24 hours in advance and hope for the best. But I'm going to be much more adamant about this in the coming year. And so all the savings you got with your coupon will be eaten up by ME because I'll charge you for fluffing if you don't do it yourself.
I don't always get a chance to chat with the quilter before I get the quilt. Sometimes the quilts get dropped off with no discussion and if they do get dropped off, I tend not to go over the details too carefully as I trust the customer (I've no idea why!) to have done all the bits properly. You'd think I would know better by now. This quilt was dropped off without us ever seeing each other.
|Batting from a bag is very wrinkled|
And this poor quilt had one more issue. The owner had faced a huge section of the main part. And it was SEWN down. So guess what - if that facing isn't EXACTLY the same size as the quilt top - you're going to have puckers.
|Part of the quilt was faced!!!|
|A few puckers because the quilt was faced|
Oh - here's a random photo from that other quilt. The thread color I choose for the backing was a perfect match!
|Thread color was a perfect match|
|Batting hangs much smoother when it comes off the roll|
|Backing was a wee bit short|
All in all - it worked out OK, but not my favorite item to quilt.
If in doubt about getting your quilt ready for the long arm quilter, call your long arm quilter and ask them. How much extra fabric do they want for the backing? Will they charge you for extras - like fluffing the batting? Ironing the top or backing? I often get wide backings that have NOT been ironed. I don't iron them. If the quilter can't iron the backing, I'm certainly not going to unless asked. If I do - I charge for that!
Anyway - I had to get that off my chest and I feel a whole lot better.
I had a super day at Monday sewing yesterday. Lots of show n tell and I made great progress on one of my UFO projects. I'll be sharing that later this week as I have other photos that I edited the other day and I want to get those out of the way first.
If you're into making a teepee for your kids or grandkids for Christmas or whenever - check out this video by Laura of Sew Very Easy. She used my pattern that I wrote for Northcott. It's super cute and pretty easy to do. And here is a link to the pattern on the Northcott website.
On that note, I'm out of here. Got more writing to do and more sewing and those two errands to do.
Have a super day!!!