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I am using the information that Sandra Darlington put together with the help of several of you on the forum for her presentation to her quilt guild on preparing your quilt for a long arm quilter.

Today three of us met to start organizing for the program (our speaker cancelled and we are the replacement program). I am the newest LA (2 yrs); another has been quilting 10 yrs, and another 6-1/2. We discussed that there are always several ways to do things.

When I mentioned that it is suggested to have horizontal seams pressed open in the backing I was shot down by the experienced LAer. She said that she wants a vertical seam pressed to one side so that when she puts on her side clamps it will not stretch open the seam and let the batting come through. So I am asking for some input as to why horizontal might be better than vertical. I explained that if horizontal it would not create a hump when it is loaded on the long arm and I wanted to say that maybe her clamps were pretty tight if they stretch the seam open.

Next difference is that both of the other LAers said they only measure through the middle of the quilt vertical and horizontal when measuring for borders. I asked if they would at least mention the other option of measuring top, middle, and bottom and average to get the size of the border and they said that they would.

I realize that there are many ways to do things so I guess I am just looking for some encouragement that I am on the right track as to what I am asking my customers to do to help make their quilts better. So if these alternatives are at least mentioned it will give quilters an option.

thanks

Thanks

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Yes, there are many ways to do things. I'm with you though about the horizontal versus vertical seams. If your other presenter loaded the seams across she wouldn't have a problem with the seam separating.

I really have never heard of this problem--ever! Any class I've taken and any book I've read has said to load horizontally to side-step the dreaded hammock effect caused by a seam loading on top of itself.

I imagine either way will work and perhaps at the presentation you all can share your preferences without conflicting.

As for the measuring for the borders--reference and good piecing book so you have back-up for border application.

*****I'll say it again, after beating this dead horse for several years here on the forum and also at my guild---measuring and then averaging the length of the border fabric will have you STRETCHING one side to fit and EASING the opposite as you sew them on. Of course, that EASED side will wave and the STRETCHED side will cup--and the larger the discrepancy in measurements the wonkier it will be.:) This method of border application will result in a SQUARE quilt but not a FLAT quilt. We've all seen the results of this when you get a top with only one side border wavy.*****


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Originally posted by ffq-lar

Any class I've taken and any book I've read has said to load horizontally to side-step the dreaded hammock effect caused by a seam loading on top of itself.

Most of the quilts I have done I have loaded with the seam vertical, top to bottom. The hammock effect you mention does happen, but what do you do when you are faced with a quilt that is to be quilted with a directional pantograph and needs to be loaded this way? It seems this happens to me the majority of the time that I can't load it horizontally. :(

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Originally posted by ffq-lar

*****I'll say it again, after beating this dead horse for several years here on the forum and also at my guild---measuring and then averaging the length of the border fabric will have you STRETCHING one side to fit and EASING the opposite as you sew them on. Of course, that EASED side will wave and the STRETCHED side will cup--and the larger the discrepancy in measurements the wonkier it will be.:) This method of border application will result in a SQUARE quilt but not a FLAT quilt. We've all seen the results of this when you get a top with only one side border wavy.*****

Do you measure through the middle only, both directions? That is the way I do it when I apply my own borders and I have flat, square quilts, zero problems quilting, so I'm guessing that is the correct way? I have noticed the few quilts that I have received to quilt one side is always a little longer than the other and it is always fussy to get them to quilt nicely. Which way do you think they are applying the borders? I would love to educate my few clients. I've been wondering why mine turn out near perfect and my clients quilts I have to fuss with one side or the other. Maybe this is why?

Thanks so much!!!!!

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Hi Bonnie--yours are perfect because you piece precisely and end up with correct measurements of the top before you apply the borders! Yay!

I tell customers that the key to a nice flat, square top is to measure every unit as you piece and make them correct before you go to the next step. (What a rabble-rouser I am!)

Again, if the top isn't square before the borders are added, there's no way that will you have a flat quilt if you average the measurements and "make it fit".


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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It's a funny world. Often we obtain information early on and that becomes our 'bible' so I'm not surprised that the horizontal seam information came up as it did. And heaven forbid we 'change' things. Makes me laugh. While horizontal seams will roll better there are cases where I like the hammock affect the vertical seam will give. I look to load it vertical, if possible, when I have very wavy borders. Believe it or not that hammock affect helps manage those borders. Strange but true.

My 2 cents - at the very beginning make sure people understand there are many "options" and here are a few that longarmers may look for..... I begin any explaination with that statement, there really are very few rights or wrongs, mostly opinions....

Being only 2 years in business you may have 'fresh' ideas. Don't shortchange yourself. Good Luck on your presentation.


Kathy A

Liberty & Millenium

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Whether or not you like your seam horizontal or vertical, the theory behind a wide seam pressed open is, the quilting will secure the seam...so you don't have to worry about it opening. If your seam is separating, you have another problem. Either it isn't well sewn in the first place (with stitches locked at the ends) or you're rolling too tight.

And, secondly, you won't have to quilt through 6 layers of fabric if your top seams cross over the backing seam. It diminishes bulk just a bit, and makes the seam nearly disappear on the back once it is quilted.

I personally don't like the hammock affect, so I load horizontally. Some fabrics are worse than others for this problem. Battling the fullness on the front is enough. I don't want to have to worry about the back, too.

I give customers a handout when I return their first quilt. I highlight the headings t ha apply, and on my "Special Instructions" sheet that goes back with the quilt...I note what they need to do for next time. I might put "backing seams need to run across the width of the quilt, not down the length." Most repeat customers will do what you want if you tell them.

Most guild participants aren't going to remember what you tell them in a program, or read the handout you give them. It doesn't become "personal" to them until they bring a quilt.


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Guest Linda S

Personally, I prefer wide backings - NO seams! ;):P If the backing is seamed, I want it horizontal. I'm not going to stress as to whether or not it's pressed open. I'd prefer it that way, but if it isn't, I'm not fussing with it. Vertical seams are going to end up building on one another and compounding the magazine roll effect. I really hate seamed backings. :cool:

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Sandra, yes I just found your email from last night--thanks. We will have 3 of us speaking on different topics with some samples of different quilting techniques.

Linda, I am not sure about your response to 3-way measure and average. Sorry but I was not a skilled piecer before I started long arm quilting--scary huh. If I understand your explanation, averaging will make the quilt square but it may make it wavy inside of the borders? I just looked up in the Quilter's Complete Guide and it says measure through the middle in both directions. So we need to stress accuracy in piecing and measuring individual blocks and that should help with borders?

So why did I find so many instructions on long arm quilter sites telling customers to take the 3 measurements and average? I thought I was learning some new updated technique that long arm quilters had perfected.

thanks so much for help. We three long arm quilters spent 3 hours this afternoon getting acquainted with each other and telling experiences while outlining the program. Will meet again to go over the program. I think we will get more out of the program than maybe our audience will.

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I also measure the three spots horizontally and vertically when I intake a top to quilt. I use the average of these measurements to find the square inches of the top, as I charge by the square inch and find this seems to work the best for me.


Sandra Darlington

Darlington Quilts

2005 APQS Liberty, Circle Lord Enhanced

sandradarlington@aol.com or

DarlingtonQuilts@Gmail.com

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You will find that there are many, many, many opinions on what is the right way to do things. I am a meticulous piecer who like Linda says checks things as I go and my quilts come out the right size and adding borders is not an issue. I wish more of my customers did that, unfortunately they don't. I tell them to measure the 3 spots and average because at least that way they aren't just adding a border on and sewing in all kinds of excess, you know the ones that have so much friendliness you think it is going to reach up and wrap its borders around you neck? I try to load my seams horizontal but that doesn't always work. I warn my customers that I may end up with a pleat on the back that way and just do the best I can. I've never had a seam open up that has been pressed open. If you do have it open you really have issues with that seam.

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I generally load with the backing seam horizontal. No one's mentioned that that puts the selvage parallel to the rollers. I don't square the backs for my customers, and often times neither do they. This way the uneven edge is to the clamps rather than to the leader. Jim

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Originally posted by ffq-lar

Hi Bonnie--yours are perfect because you piece precisely and end up with correct measurements of the top before you apply the borders! Yay!

I tell customers that the key to a nice flat, square top is to measure every unit as you piece and make them correct before you go to the next step. (What a rabble-rouser I am!)

Again, if the top isn't square before the borders are added, there's no way that will you have a flat quilt if you average the measurements and "make it fit".

Linda, thank you so much for your reply. It makes sense that a more precisely pieced quilt is easier to load, advance, and quilt.

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