Saturday, October 18, 2008

Your First Visit to a Longarm Quilter

You have finally finished that quilt you started twenty years ago. You decide that it is too big to quilt on your domestic sewing machine (DSM). You found my information at the local quilt shop (LQS) and are wondering what to do next? Before you make that first call, let me suggest the following procedure:

Look at your quilt top. How big is it? Lay it flat on the floor, or hang it on a wall. Measure it in the middle, width and length. Look at the colors and ask what is the predominate color? What color thread would you choose for the quilting? What are you going to use for a backing? Is your backing 8 inches bigger than the top, length and width? Is it a busy fabric, muslin, or contrasting color? Do you want the top color thread to show on the back? Do you prefer cotton or polyester thread, variegated or decorative thread? What kind of batting will you want? Cotton, wool, polyester, a blend, bamboo, silk? [Make sure your batting is 8 inches bigger length and width than the top.] Think of how you want it quilted in relation to how the quilt will be used. Is it a utility quilt where it will be used daily and washed often? Is it a show quilt? Is it a special gift? Is it for an adult, old, young, child, infant? Do you want a simple meander just to get it done and use it. Or do you want heirloom quilting like our grandmothers did a century ago? Do you have a theme you want to emphasize with custom computer patterns? Do you want that little bit wonky look of hand guided free motion quilting, or that perfect straight lines cookie cutter designs made in the factory quilting? Is the backing for your quilt square? or do you want to pay to have it pieced and squared? Are the seams in the top pressed, and is it picked, clipped, and free of stray threads and lint? Will you bring your own batting, or purchase from NABQC? Do you want the binding applied at the time of quilting? Do you want your quilt trimmed after quilting, after applying the binding? If open seams, tears, flaws, missed intersections, or other problems are encountered, do you want to pay me to fix them, or do you prefer to fix it yourself? Just how much money do you want to spend?

As you can see, there is a lot of information that is needed in the process of completing your labor of love. Taking the time to prepare your project before contacting the quilter will save us both time and money in the long run. Don't hesitate to call if you need help with anything.

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I am Bonnie Russell, owner and quilter, and my business is making beautiful quilts and making quilts beautiful. NABQC came about as a partnership between the love of sewing and hazelnut farming. That's how the name was chosen. My husband, Fred, is the nut farmer, and I do the sewing using many bolts of fabulous fabric. My studio is located in Dundee, Oregon, the beautiful Willamette Valley, in the center of a hazelnut orchard. Experience came with 42 years of dress making, 40 years of marriage to my wonderful, loving, supportive husband (34 years of nut farming), 25 years of raising three daughters, and now we have seven grandchildren to mentor in Future Quilters of America!

With a Statler Stitcher and Gammill Optimum Plus longarm quilting machine, a 14 foot table, and the drawing program AutoSketch, no project is too big or too small. Anything from hand guided meandering to custom digitized designs can be applied to a project to complete that labor of love.

This blog is to temporarily serve as a source of information until a website is produced. It contains pricing, products, helpful hints, pictures, inspirations, and who knows what else will show up. Thank you for reading and I hope you will find it helpful.

Tale of a Dog