I love to quilt and I have made countless small quilts using just my at home machine. However sometimes you make that extra special quilt or a big quilt that just won’t fit on your tiny at home machine. Then you might need to send your quilt out for longarm quilting. I asked my local longarmer to help us out with some tips and tricks for sending your quilt out to be longarmed. Make sure and read this before you send your quilt out to assure success!
Longarm Quilting – Tips and Tricks
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A little bit about The Gentleman Quilter . . .
We use a 30” Statler long arm by Gammill®. This machine combines our creativity along with cutting-edge computer software and robust hardware to provide countless options to quilt your project.
The beauty of the 30” machine head is it can finish an intricately patterned king-size quilt in a matter of hours instead of days! It can quickly finish small jobs, like a table runner, as well.
The options for quilting are endless. Choose from edge to edge quilting where the same pattern is used or request custom quilting where we design a pattern specific for your project. You provide input as to the inspiration of your work and interesting quilting will follow whether it is edge to edge or custom!
Fun Fact: We offer to make binding, 2½ inches wide unless otherwise specified, and attach to the quilt for 12¢ per linear inch. To machine finish, 15¢ per linear inch.
What is a longarm quilting and how does it differ from machine quilting?
A long arm is one type of machine that can machine quilt a quilt for you. Gammill is the brand we own and Statler the model. A quilt can be quilted at home on your sewing machine and this is referred to as “domestic machine quilting”. Usually the pattern is “free motion” where it has a random pattern to it or “stitch in the ditch” where the person stitches along the seams of the quilt top.
The longarm machine moves much differently than your domestic machine. It is able to create intricate designs. There are thousands of designs to choose from to make your quilt unique.
How long does it take to long arm a quilt?
Our machine quilts 1,300 stitches per minute, however the type of design, quality of piecing, type of batting, etc can slow this stitch time down. The real driver in turn around time to finish a quilt is how long the queue is when a quilt is dropped off / mailed in.
We have been able to maintain an approximate two-week turn on our longarm quilting. Custom jobs may be a little longer. We always ask need date and advise the customer of the anticipated expected completion date at drop off.
What is the cost to have a quilt long armed?
The cost for loose edge to edge (E2E) quilting is 2¢ per square inch and 2½¢ for dense E2E. Once you decide the pattern you like, we will tell you if it’s loose or dense pattern. Basically, open quilting patterns are considered loose while tight quilting patterns are considered dense.
The cost for loose custom quilting is 3¢ per square inch and dense is 3½¢ per square inch. The cost for thread is $2 per bobbin. There is a $5 charge for each color change.
The cost for batting is 27¢ linear inch. Please note there is a $5 charge for customer provided batting. Please ensure the type of batting you want to use is compatible with our long arm before you purchase it.
A rough estimate for an 84 x 92″ quilt is ~$223.
How do I get my quilt long armed by The Gentelman Quilter?
To drop off your work, just make an appointment to come discuss it with us. We have an order form you can fill out online prior to meeting with us. Pre-COVID days, we suggested dropping it off and wandering the many shops and restaurants in our neighborhood.
That’s still an option, however the pandemic has changed hours of operation for many of the establishments. We have a strict COVID protocol in place which is compliant with local mandates.
If shipping your project is easier, please send to The Gentleman Quilter, 4814 Washington Blvd, Suite 120, St. Louis, MO 63108 and be sure to insure it. Better safe than sorry!
We will call you when we have received your order and ask any additional questions. Please keep in mind that The Gentleman Quilter is not responsible for any items lost in the mail.
What are the advantages of long arm quilting?
It provides endless possibilities for pattern design and the machine ensures consistent stitching of that pattern.
There are many wonderful designers out there and we do custom design as well. For example, we designed a family crest that a customer requested for her quilt as well as a variety of patterns that perfectly complimented the fabric or quilt theme.
One example is a baby quilt we made for a grandson of a Boeing Seattle retiree. The person who ordered it was the baby’s aunt and a Boeing Seattle employee, so the theme fabric was paper airplanes and we designed a paper airplane pattern to compliment it for the quilt. It really personalized the gift!
Probably the best feature of long arming your quilt is the way it will wear through the years.
What preparation needs to be done prior to having The Gentleman Quilter longarm quilt my quilt?
- Trim off selvages from the fabric before piecing the top.
- If the quilt top is directional, please pin a note to identify the top of the quilt.
- Press seams and trim stray threads so that they do not show through the fabric.
- Repair work to the top is $5 per seam / repair.
- Ensure the top is square!
- No pins, buttons, or other accoutrements. You can embellish after it’s quilted!
- Don’t do any basting. We will baste it in place once it’s loaded on the long arm.
- Provide a minimum of 3 extra inches of backing on each side of the quilt. For example, if your quilt measures 54″ x 60″, your backing should measure at least 60″ x 66″.
- It’s best to avoid seams in the center of backing. This will help your quilt hold up better over the years as there isn’t stress on that pieced seam as it’s used, folded, laundered etc. Pieced backings must have seams that run parallel to the top and bottom edges in order to help keep the tautness on the frame consistent. Reminder: trim selvages before piecing the back.
- Properly attach borders and/or sashings by pressing and squaring up your quilt top (fold in half, measure along the center fold to get the length of your quilt, then cut border/sashing to this measurement and pin to make your quilt edges fit your border. Do the same for the width of the quilt.) Do not sew a strip on, and then trim the fabric away. This technique can cause extra fabric on one side or both, resulting in tucks and puckers. Also known as “a wonky border”.
What type of batting does The Gentleman Quilter use?
Batting is a hot topic in the longarm quilting world! Each longarmer has batting that they prefer. You will want to check with your longarmer if you are going to send batting with your quilt.
We highly recommend you use the suggested batting because we know exactly how our machine handles this batting. We know the quality is good and that we can achieve a high quality finished quilt.
The gentleman quilter stocks Hobbs 80/20 quilt batting. There is an extra charge for batting, but we get the batting wholesale so it is a competitive price.
There is an additional fee if you choose to provide your own batting.
What type of thread does The Gentleman Quilter use for longarm quilting?
We have a good variety of Glide and Omni thread as well as a color chart if we don’t have on hand what you would like us to use. Please note, our machine does not like metallic thread.
The thread color on your quilting makes a huge difference in the finished quilt. We are happy to provide color recommendations and consultations to help you achieve an amazing look!
Thanks to the Gentleman Quilter for sharing all this great info about longarm quilting with us!! If you want to have your quilt quilted reach them here: www.thegentlemanquilter.com phone: 314.478/9777 [email protected]
Pin Longarm Quilting – Tips to Send Your Quilt Out
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