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  1. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Can you float a quilt back? or How do you deal with non-straight edges   
    Wow. I'm with Lynn on this one.  
    Here's a thought, though. You can place the quilt top anywhere on the backer that works. If someone gives me a backer that is way larger than the top, I load the top as far to one side as I can an still have enough at that edge for my clamps. That may mean that the excess backer on one side is 3" and the opposite 12". This option saves fabric and might leave her enough fabric for binding something. 
    As for your diagram--I agree that you might want to load it the recommended way with the seam parallel to the rollers. Snug the top to one side as close to the backer edge as you're comfortable. That way she'll have as much usable fabric as possible left when you finish. Charge her $10 for this awkward load because if you load it with the backer seam horizontal, you'll need to take some care to make sure the excess backer is out of the way (if it hangs down it can be run over by your wheels and leave nasty marks) or it can unroll wonky and you will have issues controlling the side tension. If you load the backer with the seam vertical, you'll want to mark straight across both widths of fabric to have a line to pin to the rollers. You'll still be dealing with that extra flap of fabric and need to keep it from getting in the way.
    As for adding a strip of muslin to even up the backer--let her do this. Industry standard is $10 per seam for piecing backers. I can't imagine she wants to pay an extra $20 to save some precious inches of fabric. Sheeeesh! 
  2. Upvote
    Debi reacted to Zora in Can you float a quilt back? or How do you deal with non-straight edges   
    Just because somebody somewhere did something ridiculous successfully once does not mean I have to try it. I would give it back and tell her to either choose another backing or even up that one in whatever way SHE chose..and let
    HER figure it out. My prices are not calculated for the aggravating and unrealistic requests of my customers. She could save every inch of her precious fabric by choosing something else.
  3. Upvote
    Debi reacted to Laura Farnham in Straight Line and Rolling Feathers,......   
    I did point out mistake to customer and we both decided it needed to be fixed. 
    so,... spent an afternoon picking out stitches,  and 10 minutes to restitch the Feather,...
    I was happy to do it as it was my mistake,.... 
    I always point out mistakes if any,.. big or small
    and let the customer decide,.... 
    this one I knew she would want fixed,.... 
    She is very pleased with the end result!!! 
    and so am I!!! 
    Thanks for looking ,.... 
    Happy Quilting,...
    Love the combination of the two,...  Simple,.. with a pop!!! 
    I used a double Cotton Batting on this one,..  wanted the feathers to stand up
    and take center stage,... Matching Glide Threads in the Grey, Burgundy and White Areas,...
    Thanks for looking,...
    ** can you see the mistake?  Found it after I pulled it off the frame,....  :0)

  4. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in How to hide fabric thread under sandwich ????   
    A number 10 or 12 steel crochet hook will do the trick after quilting, as others have advised. Fish it through the closest seam or stitch hole and pull the thread through.
    I just finished a lattice quilt in navy and white where the raveling navy thread was everywhere. They're hard to control because even when you groom the threads, more appear just by tugging the top. I have a new tool for repositioning the threads. I use a long, double-sided emery board. After the quilt is loaded and straightened, and before it's quilted, I groom the threads out by reaching under the top from the side or through the rollers from the front and "sweeping" the emery board against the thread. I either remove it completely or push it under adjacent darker fabric. The thread sticks to the sandpapery emery board-- works like a charm! 
  5. Upvote
    Debi reacted to T Row Studio in Won a ribbon for this quilt.Cattails in the meadow finished Help...I want to stitch from the middle first updated with picture   
    My customer sent me a message last night she won second place at here local quilt show with this quilt I did for her. I was so excited this is the first quilt I custom quilted that has won a ribbon. 
     Happy dance
    I have had several people ask to see this quilt here it is the customer was very happy with what I did with it thanks for all the advise.
    Thank-you everybody for your Ideas I ended up pin basting and I am very happy with how it turned out. Here is a picture.
    I could use some guidance I am working on a Judy Niemeyer quilt, Cattails in the meadow. I want to start in the middle and quilt out from there.
    Anybody have suggestions or step by step instruction so I do not get wrinkles in the backing. Thank-you in advance if you can help me.

  6. Upvote
    Debi reacted to T Row Studio in Fall table Runner quilted   
    Here is a linen my daughter gave me to practice my quilting on It was a cross stitch fall themed
    runner I will put on my table on the 10th of October for our thanksgiving celebration. I have included a before and after picture.
    Thanks for looking   

  7. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Longarm etiquette   
    A new member (hi Becky!) asked a question about attaching a label to a customer quilt. I replied that there is a certain specific etiquette that new longarmers might need to be aware of. It isn't even industry specific--just some common sense and things we've learned from hard experience.
    I'll start and please add more "rules".  
    The customer gets to see the finished quilt first. If it's in view when another customer is coming, put it away.
    A signed in-take form will save you lots of problems and show you to be a professional.
    No quilt is perfectly pieced. If you have a problem with fullness or bad borders and can't seem to overcome the issues, a call to your customer is needed. Have them come over to make some decisions on how to proceed. While you don't want to make them feel bad, being aware of the problems and how you plan to fix them will make friends.
    Okay quilters---add your ideas!
    Here's the "other side"--etiquette for customers (I know, I'm dreaming!)
    If you make an appointment, keep it.
    Make sure your items are longarm-ready.
    If you don't like something after quilting, let the quilter know. That's why she took notes on the intake sheet to refer to. If the thread/batting/quilting design are wrong, you have recourse and allow her/him to make the necessary corrections or an adjustment in the bill. Don't accept it and then tell your friends how disappointed you are. Tell her.
    Please add to this list as well!
  8. Upvote
    Debi reacted to BethDurand in Plans for new house   
    But where will the longarm fit?
  9. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Latest quilts   
    I've been so busy for a couple of months. My guild show is in October, I'm the co-chairperson and quilting like crazy to get everyone's quilts finished for the show.
    I just finished one for me! I found a vintage DWR at an antique mall for $15. I only glanced at it to see what shape it was in, snatched it up, and ran home.
    The arcs are machine pieced but the pinched squares and melons are hand-pieced. I repaired some open seams and found a couple of small stains. I think it's vintage but probably not feed sacks. The color way is very deliberate. Each arc has the same progression of color with pink/coral at each end. And each set of facing arcs has the same fabrics in mirror image. The piecer wanted it all neat and orderly.
    After looking at it it was obvious that it had been sandwiched and hand-quilting started. One edge had echo-quilting along the arcs and centers, and inside each arc piece. One center had a circle and a double-line cross hand quilted in. I assume the seller had found this and realized that no one would buy it when it was partially quilted so they took the layers apart to sell only the top. Lucky me!
    Link to photos
    Look for the shadow of the 80 year-old quilting. Water, steam, pressing---nothing removed the shadow of that long-ago quilter and her stitches. I love it. Arrow right at Flickr for detail shots. More quilts beyond that.
  10. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Great quote about sharing   
    "There is always more to be gained from sharing knowledge than from hoarding it. Don't worry about people stealing your work. Worry about the moment they stop. Whenever people want what you have, regardless of the circumstances, you're doing it right."
    Marc Chernoff
    I love this!
  11. Upvote
    Debi reacted to Enchanted Quilting in Pineapple Quilt   
    This is a pineapple quilt (Eleanor Burns pattern) made by my customer Mary. It will be wall hanging in her log cabin. Linda Rech suggested football shaped elements in the white...this is my version. I used So Fine top and bottom, customer provided a very flat cotton blend. She was thrilled.
  12. Upvote
    Debi reacted to chickenscratch in NQR- prayers and good wishes needed   
    Hi everybody. I just got home from work. The doctor did call today and let me know that the biopsy shows no cancer. The lump is still there, but doctor thinks it is just a fibroid mass. I have an appointment with him next Monday so he can remove my two stitches and discuss what to do about the mass.
    thanks to everybody for praying I appreciate it more than you will ever know
  13. Upvote
    Debi reacted to JaniceC in Wedding quilt   
    I don't often post pictures, as I am much too intimidated by all the beautiful work I see here.
    But, here goes:
    This is a quilt I just finished as a wedding gift for a young couple in England. The bride-to-be likes motivational verses etc., and I found the focus fabric with romantic words and verses (I think the fabric is called romantic paisley).
    I quilted it with a panto called Sweet Hearts, on my new Lucey.
    Thanks for looking,

  14. Upvote
    Debi reacted to dbams in A laugh for a rainy Monday   
    Loved it!
  15. Upvote
    Debi reacted to BethDurand in Need help with the math   
    I'm sorry.  I was told there would be no math.
  16. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Selecting Quilting Designs   
    You'll get lots of advice for books, You tube tutorials, DVDs and instructors. Before you invest money in these products, look at quilter's blogs, Flickr accounts, and galleries on websites to find a style that appeals to you.
    If you're looking for basics, my favorite instructors are--
    Deloa Jones (her Sampler book is invaluable)
    Darlene Epp (her trilogy of design books is a longarmer's "bible")
    Myrna Ficken
    Kim Brunner
    Pam Clarke (beginners will be inspired by her easy first steps)
    Diana Phillips
    Angela Walters for modern
    As for what and where to place designs, it depends on the density of stitching and the intended use and recipient. You'd stitch a different design on the same quilt if it was for a teenage boy or a new bride.
    Rules--there are none, but curves on straight and/or geometric designs are appealing.
    Straight lines are nice on Modern quilts. Circles inside squares are nice. Echoes give added weight and emphasize stitching or fabric designs.
    An overall design can include motifs used in the fabric--floral fabric is nice with leaves in the stitching, paisley fabric can have a some more ornate curls and scrolls, panels with wildlife are nice with water designs, samplers can be as detailed as you or your customer want. Samplers are fun, with the same type of stitching in each block, but each block is a little different. That gives you a lot of practice.
    The same principles that apply to other art are used in deciding quilting designs--symmetry, balance, texture, light and shadow, intensity of color/tone, etc. 
    Have a great time on your journey---it's a great ride!
  17. Upvote
    Debi reacted to carolinequilts in Pattern Grid   
    I have a Millenium and use the Pattern Grid for lining up pantos and templates like Sue.  I also draw start and finish lines on it and alter a pattern if I'm doing a panto with a different border.  I'd say worth the money.
  18. Upvote
    Debi reacted to barbm in Eye Spy fabric exchange??   
    With the advent of our first grandchild (would Feb. 21st please come - soon??!!?!), I have been thinking about putting together an Eye Spy quilt. Well, eventually...
    Anyway, I was thinking that an Eye Spy quilt takes lots and LOTS of specialty fabrics, which could cost a lot and leave lots of leftovers, which isn't inherently a bad thing, but I've only got so much room for a stash.
    What do you think about having an exchange of Eye Spy-type fabrics, maybe 6.5" squares? I've never done (much less managed) something like this, so I'm open to suggestions.
  19. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Spare time?   
    My Millie is slowing wending her way home from a visit to Iowa. I haven't quilted since Jan 3rd. Did I have withdrawals? Yes. What have I been doing?---remember I retired recently so my time is now my own...
    I cleaned the studio. That took a week and I brought so much cr*p into the sewing room in my house that now I need to clean that!
    Made jewelry. I'm making vintage button earrings and rings to sell at my guild quilt show in October.
    Felted a bunch of thrift store wool sweaters. Made two purses out of some of those felted sweaters. That was a blast!
    Spent too much time on-line looking at quilts, art, fabric sites, FB and joined a couple of on-line quilty groups. Started actually posting on Facebook.
    Put together a seven-part series of tutorials on fabric surface designs (think dyeing) for my guild and made the first samples.
    I was glad to have some time to dabble in new crafts and revisit some old ones.
    Thank goodness I filled my hours or else I might have had to do some house cleaning! Whew! Dodged that bullet!
  20. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in NQR--Love across borders   
    I'll try to make this short.
    Over ten years ago Dennis (who makes and sells plans for a machine that grinds mirrors for telescopes) was contacted by a young man from Trujillo, Peru who ordered plans so he could make a mirror and then his own telescope.
    Jorge was poor, a student, and eager to learn. Over time they became email buddies and friends.
    When Jorge couldn't find a mirror blank (a thick piece of glass which can be ground and polished to use in a telescope) Den found one and sent it to Peru. The corrupt officials need bribes to deliver any items, especially from outside the country and it cost Jorge quite a bit to get the blank. It had been opened and a huge gouge was found on the back. Luckily it didn't affect the other side so Jorge ground his mirror.
    While Jorge would be considered middle-class in Peru (his extended family of five shared a three-room mud-brick house with electricity and water) he had trouble saving enough and continuing classes. Dennis would send him money a couple of times a year. I know---red flags! But Jorge sent pictures, small gifts, and it made us feel good that $100 would let the family have some luxuries they couldn't afford. That amount is almost a month's wages in Trujillo.
    His girlfriend became pregnant, delivered a little girl, and they named her Linda Nicole. Wow.
    Two years later they added a little boy to their family. Named Dennis.
    We were honored and laughed that we now had grandchildren!
    Jorge sent us a link to a youtube today showing little Dennis graduating from Kindergarten and being elected "el Presidente" of his class. So cute! The school system is very structured and the kids wear caps and gowns. We get lots of photos of cultural celebrations with the kids and family.
    Jorge asked today if we would consent to being the kids godparents. They're Catholic and it's a serious and sobering commitment in the Church. I guess we really are grandparents!
    Just thought I'd share our favorite Christmas story for this year. What a great feeling to connect with people from far away.
  21. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Fabric Swap after the first of the year (update guidelines)   
    Hi. I was just going to post with the same question!
    Traditionally a swap is done to allow the swappers to expand their fabric stash/assortment. So usually you'll buy yardage of all one fabric, cut it into a specific size and number of pieces, and when swapped, end up with the same number of all different fabric pieces back. Buying different fabrics to swap defeats the purpose of gaining an assortment of prints if you already have them to start with!
    It's just like the block swaps where you make X number of the same block using the same fabrics in each, and get back X number of different blocks from your swap-buddies.
    I'll join as long as I only need to buy yardage of one fabric.  My LQS has their Asian lines at $12 per yard so it'll be $60 for enough yardage for 20 FQs.
    You might need to decide on the number of fat quarters to send after you close the swap. If you get 16 people you'll only want to have them send 16 FQs, not 20. Otherwise you'll be sending back duplicates---which isn't a bad thing I guess!
    When you get your final count of swappers you can determine the yardage needed. If you have a huge number of swappers you can put them into two groups so no one has to buy lots of yardage. And anyone who wants lots can join two groups and swap the same fabric.
    Hoping this goes through---I love Asian fabrics!
  22. Upvote
    Debi reacted to T Row Studio in Snowman quilt   
    This Snowman quilt was Hand Appliqued beautifully.
    Light custom  -SID - various background fills - CC - e&l's - snowflake piano keys
    Thanks for looking and Happy Holidays to all
    sorry it is sideways that is how my day goes sometimes LOL

  23. Upvote
    Debi reacted to sdaurio in Freedom Quilt   
    My niece asked me to make a quilt for a fund raiser for her unit which recently returned from Afghanistan.  She wanted to have a fund raiser before they were re-deployed.  She also requested a combat theme.  Oh boy, I was stumped.  But I finally came up with something that I think is going to work.  It's a simple carpenters star.  I used part of a 19 in round stencil for the white parts on the outside of the star. I added some feathers and cross hatching.  I essentially took a very simple pattern and made it as complex as I could.  You know it's a very fine line between "it needs to be special" and "was that really necessary".  This has two layers of batting, hobbs 80/20 on the bottom and hobbs wool on top.  It was the first time I tried those two together and I will definitely do that again.  Premosoft thread on the top and magna glide bobbins.  I just finished this today.  My nieces' unit lost 3 people in Afghanistan so I hope this will help raise funds for those families.  There is just something about quilting for those that serve our country that is so fulfilling to me.  Here's a couple of pictures there's more detailed pics on my blog.

  24. Upvote
    Debi reacted to ffq-lar in Cute bed quilt--new circle motif   
    Here's a bed quilt for a teenager.
    Conversation with the piecer, her aunt--
      Me--the big light areas are perfect for some quilting that shows a bit. Do you have an idea of what you'd like stitched there? Umm--not really.
      Is your niece feminine? Umm-- not really.
      Would you like a feathered wreath there? Umm--not really.
      How about something geometric like a spiral or concentric circles? Umm--no.
      I can stitch crosshatched lines through there or put a modern flower shape and fill in the background? Umm--
      How about I think about it a bit and stitch something not-to-feminine but graceful that fills the space? Umm--OK I guess.
    (Hey lady, I'm floundering here! Just give me a clue or I'm gonna stitch whatever I want.) Thought it but didn't say it!  
    Long story not so short---here's the finished product. I call it "transitional" since the pattern is old, the fabrics are a mix of calicos and modern geometrics, and the stitching is mostly traditional. The white (really, white with silver dots) was stitched with a made-up sorta flower/not really a flower/ almost a Dresden plate looking kinda thingie. That's what I'll call it! Feathers in the red border, baptist fans in the blue border, CCs and thingie on the rest. Large LLBean flannel sheet for the backer (it was yummy to quilt on) and Mountain Mist batting--also a good choice for weight and definition.
    Flickr pics--arrow right for details.

    And if you got this far--look for the piecing error. Unfixable when I got to it. I had to decide whether to follow the quilting blueprint or the fabric plan. I stuck with the same quilting as the rest. Squinting will help you find it faster.
    As always, thanks for listening and looking!
  25. Upvote
    Debi reacted to srichardson in No dealers in my area   
    Welcome to the forum.  I think that most of us have been where you are right now wondering which machine to buy.  When I was looking I was given a piece of advice by a longarm vendor at a show.  She wasn't an APQS dealer but told me that whatever brand of machine I was considering to make sure that it was a purpose built industrial machine and not just a stretched version of a DSM.  Beyond having heard the names of the two machines you mention I know nothing about them.  One of the things that I have noticed with some of the machines that have popped up in the last few years is that they have terrible tension, particularly horrible bobbin tension.  Be sure to check the underneath of the quilt on the machine not just the top.
    When you do decide and are waiting for your machine to arrive don't worry about buyers remorse, most of us have been there too!  It goes away quickly once you machine arrives and is set up and you begin to play.
    Good luck with your shopping.