One of my goals at the beginning of the year was to make a blog post once a week. Well since it has been about two months that has obviously been an epic fail. The thing is, I need to blog to get followers but I don't feel like doing it if I don't have them. I guess I need to just have the "build it and they will come" mentality. Okay, enough of my whining...
We had our monthly meeting of the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville last week. The program was presented by four longarm quilters, including me. The first quilter to speak had her note cards all prepared and did an awesome job. I was not so prepared and had to follow her, ugh. I talked about my journey to quilting and how to select the quilting for a quilt, using about 6 or 7 quilts that were basically the same but all quilted differently. The third longarmer addressed custom quilting and how using a computer does not necessarily make it easier, just different (Amen sister). And the last one talked about her business and designs.
Deanna Plotts (Designs by Deanna) discussed the importance of pressing your quilt. She hit the nail on the head with that one. She didn't just mean pressing it to get the wrinkles out before you bring it to your longarmer, but pressing the seams all the way through construction. I have recently had a couple of quilts from beginning quilters that had serious "flippy seams." This happens when joining two sections of a quilt and the seam running along the bottom should be going away but as it goes through the machine it "flips" and starts facing to you. This is what it looks like.
Since I have never taken a beginning quilting class one way I learned along the way is from doing Block of the Month programs at local quilt shops, particularly The Old Craft Store in Carrolltom, TX. Every month I would make my block and take it in and the nice ladies would actually look at it, not only to be sure I had made it but also they would take the time to look at my technique. They would give tips to me on how to do things better. That is where I learned a little trick to get the seam to lie flat if I made a flippy seam.
You simply clip the seam where it flips, up to the stitching being very careful to not clip the seam for obvious reasons. Then you can press it nice and flat.
I get asked a lot about prepping a quilt and how particular I am. Each quilter is different in their "pet peeves." Some despise clipping threads that come through the top, some demand a perfectly square top, I have even heard that some will refuse to do the job if it isn't up to their standards. For me, I am not so particular. The short and long of it is that it is your quilt and the more effort you put into making a nice flat, square quilt top with trimmed threads the better the end product will be. So it all depends on what type of quilt you are making and how much time and effort you put into it. Is it going to be for a child to roll around on the ground with, is it an heirloom wedding gift, is it a show quilt? Each quilt will serve a specific purpose and should be treated accordingly. Your longarmer will do her best work hopefully no matter the type of quilt, but she probably doesn't want to spend hours of her time prepping your quilt when she could be working magic and quilting it, especially if it not an "heirloom"-y, work of art one. Also, be sure to communicate all of this. Your quilter may forget to ask.
Do you have any "pet peeves?" Let me know :0)