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  • Sherri Ramsey

How to Find a Longarm Quilter

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

In this blog:

  • Finding a Longarm Quilter

  • Complex Curves

  • Pantograph of the Month - Tread Lightly

  • These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

  • Question of the Month

Finding a Longarm Quilter

If you love to make quilts, inevitably, you’ll need to find a longarm quilter. Unless you hand-quilt or quilt on your own domestic, mid, or longarm machine. I know… I used to be one of those people! I hand quilted my quilt-tops for the first 10 or 15 years, and absolutely loved it and still enjoy hand quilting--especially with my BFF! However, sometimes I need to finish a quilt – ya know what I’m sayin'? Here are a few suggestions for finding a longarm quilter to help finish your quilts.

  • Make one (or a few!) quick 30"x40" baby quilt to use as a “test” for a new longarmer. Save for future gifts or donate to your local NICU.

  • If you are a member of a quilt guild, ask the members for recommendations for a longarm quilter. The guild may also have a listing of members who have quilting-related businesses.

  • If you are not a guild member, Google is your friend! Google, “longarm quilters near me” and see who pops up.

  • While shopping in your local quilt store, ask the staff if they can recommend a longarm quilter. They should have a variety of options to offer you, and may even have business cards

  • Once you have some names of a longarm quilter, check out their website, including their services, photos of finished quilts, and if they belong to any longarm quilting clubs.

  • If you like what you see and your gut says, contact them!

  • Maybe try two or three out so you can get a feel for what you like and don’t like.

  • There are no long-term agreements with longarm quilters. You are free to test someone out and never see them again.

It’s a good way to get your quilt tops done. Let’s get real – there are lots of people that have fancy machines and DO know how to use them and are good at it, but if you don’t like them – you will not want that energy being infused into your quilts, or the stress of dealing with them going forward.

 

Complex Curves

Earlier this month, I attended an awesome online workshop with Patricia Belyea on the Essentials of Complex Curves. The class really got me out of my comfort zone, and threw some challenges at me that I embraced and was determined to learn how to create a complex quilt block with curves. I selected vintage Japanese yukata cotton fabric from Okan Arts, and it was lovely to work with. I plan to finish this piece and frame it for a wonderful art piece in my home. Patricia is a wonderful artist and teacher, and I enjoy her humor and style. She has other online classes that she is offering on her website including the Designer Facings Workshop that I’m taking in June. Maybe I’ll see you there!


 

Pantograph of the Month - Tread Lightly

I selected the pantograph “Tread Lightly” as my featured pantograph this month. Designer Jess Zeigler says, “This design is sort of like a simplified serpentine meander with a well-placed circle within each shape. The alternating blob directions—pointing up and then down—make for an interesting way to fill space and result in easy-to-nest rows.” She explains her inspiration for this pantograph on her blog, “Tread Lightly is named as such because of an embossed design I came across on Pinterest that looked like shoe tread... I don't think it was, but it very much could be, don't you think? 'Tread lightly' is also a key phrase used in a pivotal moment in the series Breaking Bad.” OMG – what?! Yes, I need this on one of my quilts!



 

These are a few of my favorite things!


LDH 14" Midnight Edition Batting Shears

These shears are sharp and really cut a nice clean line. They are spring-loaded which my hands really appreciate – so much easier to cut through batting. I love these scissors. You can find them here, along with LDH’s other to-die-for scissors and really awesome snips (I have one of these at each of my sewing machines!)





Grabbit® Swirl Magnetic Pincushion in Agate

Keep all of your pins in one place with no worries of them falling all over the floor! I love this Agate design – nothing like a little bit of fashion to adorn your sewing area! Find it here.




Project Storage Box by ArtBin

Do you have any BOM (Block of the Months) that you are sewing? I have a few and I find this nifty translucent storage box the perfect size for storing my BOMs every month, and they are stackable for tidy organization. Find it here.




 

Question of the Month

What is Semi-Custom Quilting? My Opinion:

  • Semi-custom quilting is using more than one digital quilt design (pantograph) on the same quilt.

  • An example may be a quilt top that has a panel in the center, with sashing and/or borders around the panel. A nice look is to select a pattern for the center panel, then a second, complimentary pattern for the sashing, and possibly a third pattern for the border.

  • Semi-custom requires that each pantograph be set up according to the size of the specific area that it will cover, which takes more time than just one E2E digital quilt design.

  • The cost for semi-custom work starts at $0.04/linear square inch. An example is if your quilt is 62.5 x 90 the cost for semi-quilting would be $225.00.

  • Custom quilting can add more pop and personality to the quilt at a reasonable price. I highly recommend it, especially on panels, or quilts with block sizes 10” or 12”. Motifs are wonderful, as you can see in this quilt I semi-quilted with a starfish and a seashell in alternating blocks, and a sea-themed border. Beautiful!

Do you have a question that I can feature in a future newsletter? Please email me at spiritquilter@gmail.com.




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