Creative Bee Studios

Sweet Ideas for Creative Minds

Three Quick Tips for Using a Long-arm Quilter

Check out these three tips for using a long- arm quilter.

TIP 1 : Choose your quilting based on the needs of your specific quilt top and how the quilt will be used. For example, is it going to be entered into a show, hung on a wall or used on a bed? Will the quilt be cherished as an heirloom or used as a beloved blankie? Determining how your quilt will be used will help you decide how much and what kind of quilting you want. (Generally, most people want soft quilts for a bed which means less quilting per square inch. In contrast, quilts entered in today’s competitions require more dense and varied quilting.)

Winter Blessings Quilt
Pattern by Shabby Fabrics

TIP 2: Choose your style. Remember that quilting styles vary based on each quilter’s experience and equipment. Piecers who crave perfection may prefer a quilter with computerized designs. Piecers making art quilts or those who want a hand-crafted look may prefer a quilter who does free-hand and tool-guided designs. It really depends on what you like and what your quilt top needs.

Monogrammed Baby Quilt

See more about this baby quilt at One Sophisticated Lady.

TIP 3: Choose your backing carefully. First, realize that most long-arm quilters today use the same color of thread in the bobbin as is used on the top. Keep this in mind when choosing your backing and you can determine if you want a big contrast, so the quilting shows or little contrast, so that it blends. ALSO, use quality backing. I encourage quilters to choose the same quality of backing as is used on the top. Be wary of “bargain” backings which may have low thread counts. Do the feel test!

Dream Pillow Trapunto

If you aren’t sure what and how much quilting you want, talk to your quilter. She or he has hopefully made these same decisions over and over for people who tell them to do whatever they think the quilt needs.  What is the quilt’s purpose? What do you like? Remember, that there are no wrong answers and, as the creator of your quilt, YOU RULE!

Happy Quilting!

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