Working with Kits and Finding a Longarm Quilter

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully, you are settling back to a normal life now that the holidays are over and can find some time  for sewing!

I‘m looking forward to sitting down at my machine this afternoon for the first time in close to a month.   I have so many things I should finish but so many things I need to do! I have new twin grandchildren coming any day and haven’t started quilts for them. My niece is getting married in January and they are expecting their first daughter in March. My granddaughter would love a cape. I need to make 2 nursery rhyme quilts and the list goes on and on. Do you ever get blocked where you don’t know which project to work on so you make a table runner instead?  It’s much easier than deciding and you end up with a finished project, but your list just keeps growing!

Finished Kit Quilt

In November I finally completed this quilt for my daughter that I started 2 years ago, it is all paper pieced and  batiks. It was a kit I purchased at the Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival in Phoenix from SewBatik.  They had the quilt made up and it was exactly what she had been trying to design for over 4 years! I thought this was perfect! I didn’t look at the pattern, just grabbed the kit and made the purchase. I have learned many lessons since. Kits aren’t cheap and you put a lot of time into your quilt, so here are some questions to consider before purchasing.

Questions to Consider when purchasing a kit:

  1.  Have you read through the whole pattern? Does it make sense?  If you’ve made quilts before, you know if it flows like a pattern should.
  2.  Who wrote the pattern? Has this person ever written a pattern before?
  3.  Is there contact information?  Can you email and ask a question or call?
  4.  Can you purchases any additional fabric? What if you make a mistake?

These steps would have made my life much easier. Fortunately for me, Sewbatiks is a wonderful shop! They not only answer questions on the assembly of the quilt but they know their stock inventory well.  They can refer you to fabric online, so when you are talking to them you can bring up selections and pick fabric to work with your quilt. My daughter went from a queen size to a king size in the time it took me to get the quilt made so I needed to expand the quilt. With batiks and this store, it was painless.

NOW FOR THE QUILTING

Now that the quilt is finished it’s time to get it quilted. I normally quilt my own quilts since I have a Gammill longarm, but this quilt and I are no longer talking nice to each other. I need someone who has fresh eyes and ideas. With all those scalloped edges and all those negative spaces, I wanted someone who is going to do their magic without my need to just get it done!

I have heard some horror stories of people sending their quilts off to quilters and not getting them back for over a year, or not at all, so I started searching in my area. I looked in AZ and CO as I am in both areas. Some of the people I talked to are busy through 2017! I also reached out to some of my favorites on Instagram. Well, although I love my daughter, the cost is really for show quilts! I guess I’ll keep admiring their quilting on Instagram! I reached out to many people on my FaceBook groups and received many recommendations and looked at many websites. Talked to many through messages. Some are willing, some are not. It’s a quilt that will take some time and many would like to do computerized quilting because they can do more quilts and make more money. I understand, more quilts means more money.

Researching your quilter is very important. You need to see their work and make sure it’s what you are looking for and it’s in the price range you can afford. There are a lot of people out there with machines who quilt who shouldn’t be doing this for a living.

I have found my quilter and I am meeting her on Monday. For me I need to meet her, discuss my ideas and get her ideas. A phone call wouldn’t be enough.  I’m excited to see the finished quilt and move on to the binding process. I’ve always loved Sharon Shamblers video Curved Bindings, so I will be refreshing my memory on how well she shows us how. 

Another helpful guide I’ve used in the past is an old blog post. It’s from way back in 2011 but people still find it and comment on it frequently. It is well written and has wonderful pictures to guide you through the processes of  binding Odd Angles. It’s from Trends and Traditions and it’s one you will want to bookmark for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time,

Enjoy every day, as we love to create no matter who likes it or doesn’t, we loved making it for them!

Cathy  😀

 

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