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Shar Schmutz

What would you do?

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At the recent Long Arm Retreat I was asked during one of the Problem Quilts Classes how to measure a quilt to make sure it was square at intake when one has no floor space or table space to lay it out on. I was talking about checking the tops at intake for potential problems with the top and especially borders.

I suggested hanging it on the rollers to check the drape and if it was parallel to floor or measuring the body of the quilt from true center out on each side. I am not sure that will help if the borders are wavy or if that will show up as readily if the quilt is not laying flat out.

Suggestions anyone? It is an interesting problem.


Shar Schmutz

www.CottonCandyQuilting.com

Blissed Millennium Owner

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Shar, this is a problem I have, not enough space to put in a really big table to put the quilts on. When I have draped the quilts on the rollers, it doesn't always give me the details I need to really tell if a quilt is wonky and not square. I'm looking forward to reading what others do.

Luckily, my living room is big enough that I can spread a sheet out and lay the quilt on top of the sheet to see if the quilt lays flat. (I have a cat and thus the sheet to protect the quilt top from any cat fur.) I don't feel comfortable doing this in front of the customer so I wait. I always vacuum first.

I'm still new at this customer thing but haven't had to call anyone and let them know if a quilt is not square or is so bad I can't work with it. Though I have had a couple of instances where I had to frog for hours because of sashings and cornerstones and borders that weren't applied well, so I have started finding a place to lay the quilt and check it before it goes on the frame.

Another thing I do is measure the quilt in at least three places across each side or, depending on how large the quilt is, more places on each side. I measure midway through the width of the borders and at 1/2, 1/3, or 1/4 sections through the quilt. At least this will give me a pretty good idea if the borders are larger than the rest of the quilt. I do this while the quilt is laying over the bars of the long arm, just before I load it. And I take notes just in case I need to refer to them if I have problems later.

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Hi Shar! If it's a square, fold along the diagonal and see what happens. If all sides match, it's square. If there is extra hanging out or if the diagonal isn't flat, investigate further. If it's a rectangle, fold down one short side on the diagonal and eyeball if the single layer left over is a perfect rectangle. Measure if you need to. Do this on more than one side. If there's time, measure in three places through the width and the length.

Being the lazy quilter that I am, I will mention fullness in blocks or borders if I see them on intake, but an un-square quilt is the norm in my world. I load, measure on the frame and deal with it when I come to it. If they send an un-square top they will probably get it back in the same condition....... It's a lomgarm, not a magic wand!!:P:P:P


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Originally posted by ffq-lar

Hi Shar! If it's a square, fold along the diagonal and see what happens. If all sides match, it's square. If there is extra hanging out or if the diagonal isn't flat, investigate further. If it's a rectangle, fold down one short side on the diagonal and eyeball if the single layer left over is a perfect rectangle. Measure if you need to. Do this on more than one side. If there's time, measure in three places through the width and the length.

Being the lazy quilter that I am, I will mention fullness in blocks or borders if I see them on intake, but an un-square quilt is the norm in my world. I load, measure on the frame and deal with it when I come to it. If they send it to me an un-square top they will probably get it back in the same condition....... It's a lomgarm, not a magic wand!!:P:P:P

I love the way you think, Linda!!!

Dell 2016 Millie Frannie Ann Jr. with Bliss & she is Quiltaziod and Circle Lord Equipped with lots of Quilting Toys and now has Quilt Path!

 

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I have not been making quilts very long...made my first one about 2 years ago. But one thing I do is make sure it all stays even as I add borders and stuff....so, I figured that everyone did that. Boy was I wrong! When I got my machine last year and began taking quilts, I assumed that they were done correctly and when I discovered they were not, I was shocked...lol I did not take the time in the beginning to lay them out with the customer still here for the reason said above....but now, I lay them out and we talk about it and if there are waves or anything that might cause me a problem I let them know. I try to be as nice as I can be but they need to know so if there are tucks or anything, they won't be totally surprised. I am lucky enough to have floor space to lay them out flat.

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Guest Linda S

To tell you the truth, I don't measure the quilt at intake and point out the problems to the customer. I take the quilt, discuss what they want done with it, and tell them I'll send them an estimate for their approval. I point out any problems at that time. I don't like pointing things out to them right in front of them. I think I like to get the awkward facial expressions out of the way in the privacy of my studio before I try to explain to the customer. ;)

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I have the same problem. In my county you can't have customers come to your house, so I've been going to the customer. I'm super new and only have had 4 customers so far, but I've pretty much had to wait till its on the frame. I don't have a large table and most of the time I don't have floor space in the studio(my animal free zone) so I've been just measuring on the frame so far and hoping for the best. I wish I could figure out another solution.


Jen Cox

The Potomac Quilter, LLC

2011 26 Innova with Lightning Stitch and Autopilot

Springfield, Va

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I agree with Linda R - I can't turn a pigs ear into a silk purse. I don't measure for square until it is on the machine. Mark the edges with some snap on clamps over the top bar and then try and keep it as close to those clamps as possible as I quilt down the quilt. This works 90% of the time. And there have been a few un-square quilts from time to time, but from a gal who doesn't seem to care when I point it out to her.;)


C9C76B5257D2C02397F9A72A2E02FC3D.png

APQS Millennium with Smooth M&M Wheels

Pat Noonan Design Studio, Custom Quilting

503-559-9686

pjnoonan@ymail.com

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

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I have learned alot from this posting. Thank you girls. In the beginning I too thought everyone quilted square, because I square my blocks as I go and always check my quilts for square before adding the borders and make my allowances from there. I don't have a table to lay a quilt out on, I use the family room floor with a sheet. I do this with the customer.

I really like the idea of examining the quilt in private and then calling to discuss it with the customer and giving an estimate.

I love Linda's response on how to deal with this.


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Thank you everyone for your input, I will pass it along to the gal who asked about this

problem of not enough space to lay a quilt out. I always, either at intake or before quilting, let a customer know about problems with their top, gently and as nicely as I can as well. I give them the options of having me fix it to the best of my ability at a cost or have them come and take it back for more work. I would say 80% of the time they tell me to just go ahead with quilting it. They don't seem to care if it is not square or has border problems!!! I do this because I don't want any disagreements when they pick up. I document with a digital camera and keep the pictures in that customer's file on my computer. The funny thing is more of my customers are now very proud of the straight borders or intersections etc. they are bringing me. Of course there are those who truly don't care but I am thrilled when any quilter comes to me and tells me they just didn't know and show true improvement with their piecing.

Where I live you can't turn around without tripping over a sister or brother long arm quilter, so for me it is important to maintain my own integrity with quilting. Some day I want to be able to quilt like the queen bees on this forum and produce show quality quilting, but that won't happen if I end up with a poor reputation. I need customers to get good!


Shar Schmutz

www.CottonCandyQuilting.com

Blissed Millennium Owner

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I always hold the top & bottom together to see what the difference is and do the same for the sides. When I roll I find a seam that runs across and level that using channel locks. I do the same going down the quilt. Usually it gets smaller in the center and there isn't anything I can do about that. I just keep smoothing as best I can. I also use the top border seam as my level to get started then baste the top of the quilt down. The worst quilts I ever got are from a lady that owes me $250. They were between 4=8" smaller in the middle. Tucks and puckers everywhere. Yes, she has the quilts. Yes, I am stupid. I could go to small claims court and she wouldn't show up and I would win and still never have any money. She doesn't answer her phone now. I even call from different numbers. She told me 3 times she would send a check. When pigs fly, lady. I had been paid $1200 from her so I trusted her. Never again!!!


Marie Brewer

Pine Needle Quilting

Hermosa, SD

Mille Owner

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The last quilt I quilted was about 3" smaller in the middle and had very friendly borders. I called her and explained and just did the best I could. It turned out very nicely and when she got it bound it looked so good! I don't have a magic wand!

Now, after reading this post I am disappointed! I thought for sure Linda R had a magic wand and would tell us where to get one in her upcoming book!;):D:cool::cool:


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Originally posted by JustSewSimple

Now, after reading this post I am disappointed! I thought for sure Linda R had a magic wand and would tell us where to get one in her upcoming book!;):D:cool::cool:

hahahaha I think we all feel that way about our Linda Rech! As usual I think Linda hit the nail right on the head. I can usually tell if I'm going to have issues while I'm rolling it onto the bars. In general I try to lay it out flat on the floor while the customer is here but that isn't always possible.

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