Saturday, January 3, 2009

Quilt Preparation

Quilting is a joy to me. Seeing the next level of design, the quilting, coming out on your quilt is wonderful. It turns out beautifully when your work and my work come together. If your quilt is properly prepared for quilting it turns out much better. So I have compiled this list to help you prepare your top for the final step:

  • Press your top. The seams should be pressed to one side (some people are pressing their seams open and that is fine also); starching is great!
  • Clip any loose threads on the back and front. A dark thread will show through a light fabric after it is quilted.
  • Do not baste or pin your quilt in any way. It will have to be unpinned/unbasted to go on the long-arm.
  • Stay-stitch around the edge; a scant 1/4 inch from the edge. Do this especially if the piecing goes to the edge, the edge is not on the straight of grain or you notice any fraying of fabric. I stay-stitch all my quilts since it helps them to stay square and nice.
  • Do not have any buttons, sequins, crystals on the surface of your quilt. Embellishments are best done after the quilt is quilted. It is difficult to quilt around these items.
  • Identify the top of the quilt and the top of the back if you care about the orientation. Pin a small piece of paper to the top edge that says; 'top of quilt'. Use a small safety pin or a couple of large stitches so it doesn't fall off easily.
The back of the quilt;
  • Press the back well and the seams open. Starch is your friend when pressing the back. Make sure the selvages have been trimmed off. The needle can have a hard time penetrating some selvages; which may cause skipped stitches. I found a great method for piecing a back at John Flynn's website;it uses less fabric and the seams are on the diagonal (which makes quilting it on the long-arm a tiny bit easier)...and is easy. Click on his name to go to the link.
  • The back must be square. (meaning the edges are at right angles, not that the length is the same as the width.)
  • The back must be 4-6 inches bigger all the way around. If I have to square it up it will still need to the 4-6 inches bigger all the way around.
  • Do not use a sheet; particularly a percale sheet since the weave is so dense the needle can have a difficult time penetrating and that can cause skipped stitches.
The batting;
  • Must be 4-6 inches bigger than the quilt all the way around.
  • You may purchase batting from me by the inch. This can be economical since you do not purchase more batting than you need. I have 3 different kinds; Hobbs 80/20, Hobbs Poly-Down, and Hobbs wool. If your quilt is white I have the 80/20 in white as well as ecru.
Any questions leave a comment, e-mail me or call me at (281) 992-2042 or (832) 217-4038.

Friday, January 2, 2009

About me

I pieced and quilted my first pillow for my sister while I was in High School. It was made from an old red heavy velveteen coat my Mother had. That was 1971. In college I started paper-piecing a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt.

While my children were small I joined the Baytown Area Quilt Guild and was their president in 1989. I started a Scrap Exchange Bee there and we met every other month for 10 years, until I moved away. I LOVE making quilt tops and since hand quilting is so slow I started finishing them on my home sewing machine. I have many quilts quilted that way but now I'm excited to use the long-arm. 
I am predominately self taught; I have read a lot about quilting, done a lot of quilting, talked to a lot of quilters, done a lot of quilting, but have taken few classes and did I mention done a lot of quilting? I always fit my quilting between mothering resposibilities and wouldn't take time away from that. 
Four of my six children no longer live at home or even near home thus I have time to devote to quilting and building a business of quilting for others.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Blog... New Business...Introduction

I am going to use this blog to record my adventures in my new Long Arm Quilting business I have named 'The Quilter Upstairs'. More personal blogging will continue over at stone-belle.blogspot.com

This is the place that my customers can come and see my work and learn how to prepare their quilt for my quilting service.  Using the side bar will make it easy to locate different subjects that you may want to look at. 

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