Friday, May 27, 2011

FAQ's - Friday's Frequently Asked Questions - Why and How?

After a couple weeks of FAQ's I have found that sometimes I don't give enough information, when I answer the questions. 
Example:  Why I do something? or How I do something?

This was a previous question and answer.

What size should my quilt backing fabric measure? It should be 6 inches bigger on all 4 sides.  That's 12 inches longer and 12 inches wider.


Why does the backing fabric need to be so much larger than the quilt top? 
 I have to pin the top edge and bottom edge of your backing fabric to long rollers, so I need extra at the top and the bottom. And your fabric needs to be wider on both sides, so I can clamp three clamps on each side to hold it taunt.  I ask for more on the sides than most long arm quilters, because I do not want to bump into the clamps on the side when I am quilting, thus resulting in a zig or zag in my stitching lines.  See the next few photos.

There is more than 6 inches of backing fabric on the sides of this quilt.  If your backing fabric is larger, don't cut it off. Leave it on.  It gives me more room when I am quilting the borders without bumping into the clamps.  I give you all of your backing fabric back after I trim your quilt.   Most customers prefer to have me trim their quilt, so it is ready to bind, but I have a few who like it left long.

Previously asked question and answer.

What is free style quilting?  I manually move the quilting machine to stitch on your quilt - no computers, no patterns or stencils.  I just move and stitch wonderful designs all over your quilt.

How do you move the quilting machine?  The quilting machine has wheels and it rolls or glides in a smooth track in all directions.  I hold onto 2 handles one for each hand on the front of the quilting machine, but I only hold onto one handle with my right hand. I move the machine like it is giant pencil.  I use my left hand to smooth the fabric. There is not at gas pedal like a sewing machine. I push a run button with my thumb and then when I move the machine it starts stitching.  When I stop moving the machine, the stitching stops. Then I have to turn off the run button.  It is very different that a regular sewing machine.  I have made some videos and put them on You Tube that demonstrates how I run the machine.  Ribbon Quilting with a Twist video shows you best how the machine runs, but it doesn't show the stitching as the colors are too dark.  It was the first one I made. You can see how I hold the handles with one hand and I smooth the fabric with my left hand.  I think the video of outlining the veins of the Poppy shows you how moving the machine makes the machine stitch.  It goes a little slower and faster, as I outline the flower.
This next quilt is a great example of finding designs in the fabric and creating designs to fill the block.  My customer asked me to outline some of the designs and to fill the squares with repetitious patterns - Zentangle patterns.  Some patterns will be repeated, but they will all look different.  That's the cool part about free style quilting, it is "one of a kind" every time you quilt. 
There are more photos of Zentangle patterns or "Wachuta Doodles" in the photo gallery.

Enjoying May everyday!


P.S. Don't forget to enter this week's  Giveaway ! 2 prizes again!


Miss Hillbilly said...

I think I'd like to try to get one of those smaller frames someday for a home machine. Like a grace frame or Tin Lizzie 18 or something. I think I would enjoy it so much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting those FAQs and pictures. Now I understand more about what you do!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Jacque in SC

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have one quilter who likes 4" and the other 6" - and they both have the same machine. It's just how they like to work - I just have to remember the extra when it's going to the 6" longarmer!!

Sherry said...

I enjoyed reading about your quilting and looking at the pictures of your work.

Chris Daly said...

Great post Marcia. I have always wondered why.