Author Topic: Quilters and those that would like to learn  (Read 14846 times)

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2010, 03:19:20 PM »
I'm familiar with needle felting and had thought about doing that with this batt (I'd rather not)..  I suppose I could also get a lot of fusing 'stuff' and iron it on to fuse it together (I'd rather not).  I think hand fulling this (lay the batting on a large plastic tarp, adding hot water and soap and stepping on it to full or felt it).  The batt will get even more dense and shrink up.  I still would have to hand wash it (I.e. soaking it in a tub)

Offline soccer grannie

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2010, 04:26:38 PM »
I'll see if I can post some pictures of my longarm - it's what I do for a living (longarm quilting ...
LJH: Do you have a website or price chart for your longarm quilting? I may be interested in having some of my quilt tops finished.

Offline LJH

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2010, 09:49:17 PM »
All righty then, running way behind, as per usual.  ::) I dug out a few pics, could only find one that shows my longarm machine to show Cyndi, the rest are some recent customer quilts.

Soccer Grannie, I don't have a website. Too much of a digital idiot to build or maintain one myself and too much of a cheapskate to pay someone else to do it. I am majorly blessed to be super busy via word-of-mouth - right now I'm booked up into early December. My pricing starts at .015 per sq. in. for an over-all pattern (freehand or simple pantograph) and up to .07 or higher for heirloom or show quilting. Those are rare, most jobs end up in the .015 to .0275 range. For instance, I just finished a 62" x 62" lap quilt, light custom, and the quilting charge was $92.10. This particular customer had me supply the backing and batting too so that bumped her bill up to around $120.

I'd love to quilt for you but I really don't want this to come across as advertising or soliciting, just informational. I may even know a longarmer in your area, we're a pretty tight group and have friends & connections all over the country. We can take this to a PM if you'd like more specifics, 'K?

For some reason, I can't add any more to this message without the text jumping up & down like some crazed cricket. Prolly operator error - see prior mention of digital idiocy. Will add the pictues in additional posts -

Offline LJH

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2010, 10:05:31 PM »
Oh crap, this forum doesn't take files from our own computers. I've tried a couple of photo hosting sites in the past and couldn't figure them out. Have they gotten any less confusing? Any suggestions?

Note: the entire left side of my brain was left out at the factory. We're talking digital ZERO here, no pun intended.

Offline LJH

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2010, 12:30:05 AM »
(Joe Pesci voice) Okay, okay, okay! (/Joe Pesci voice)

I grabbed a beer & signed up at Photobucket. Much confusion insued but I think I've got it. Here goes:

Example of an over-all pattern. This one's a pantograph, done by using an onboard laser light to follow a roll pattern. Pantos are generally the most economical treatment with a longarm quilting machine. They result in a nice, consistent texture and are perfect for utility quilts.



Example of high-end custom. A small hanging for one of my favorite customers who lives in FL.



This is my longarm machine, Elsie May. Draped over the rollers is a quilt that was a gift for the customer's son's graduation from Air Force boot camp. The second is a close-up of a corner on that quilt, also high-end custom.




Offline soccer grannie

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2010, 04:59:49 AM »
Your work is absolutely beautiful. The close up of the corner block looks like trapunto. Give yourself a big pat on the back!  :)

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2010, 07:32:28 AM »
Those are absoultely beautiful!!!

Your prices are very, very, very reasonable. No wonder you are booked until December.  I'd expect to pay a few hundred dollars for any of those quilts.

Thanks so much for showing me what a longarm is. 

Offline Zookeeper

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2010, 12:55:40 PM »
Wow! Beautiful. How long does it take to do one from start to finish?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2010, 01:22:28 PM »
absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Offline LJH

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2010, 05:20:34 PM »
Wow! Beautiful. How long does it take to do one from start to finish?

So, I read this question back in September when the thread was active and made a mental note to answer. 'Mental note' - there's our problem, folks.  ::)

Sorry, Zookeeper. Start to finish can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.

It takes me around an hour to load something like a queen on the machine, fussing and futzing to make sure it's all perfectly square & plumb. Then, if it's a simple pantograph maybe another 6 to 8 hours to finish. If it's custom, maybe a couple of days, if heirloom, a week or more.

My machine is completely hand-guided. Those with computerized machines are faster but even then it takes a lot of skill and attention to get an excellent result.

Offline mamabear

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #40 on: November 12, 2010, 04:51:05 PM »
Ok. So I obviously don't live near enough for my mom to come and teach me to quilt now. So if I want to get started, what will I need? Material? I would like to start with scrap material from old clothes so if I screw it up royally, I'm not out the cost of material. I do not have a sewing machine or access to one, so I would need to do it all by hand. What would my first step be?

Offline LJH

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2010, 09:30:12 PM »
Really, you don't need much more than a pile of old clothes (preferably 100% cotton), a good sharp pair of sissors, a ruler and needle & thread for the top. Batting can be anything from store-bought to an old wool blanket and backing can be a past-it's-prime sheet. With that you could make a nice, cozy quilt that would be charming and every bit as warm as a high-end custom job. Take it a step up by adding a rotary cutter & mat with specialty rulers & templates to make the cutting more accurate.

Making a quilt top is all about accuracy in both cutting and piecing (stitching the little pieces together to make big pieces). If you're off a tiny fraction of an inch on one block it's no biggie, but small discrepancies will mushroom over the length & width of the top and can result in the dreaded 'wonk factor'. Wonk doesn't hurt the function any, but it's good to aim for straight & plumb just because. 

Hand quilting done to show standards is an art form. Hand quilting done for utility is a simple skill that anyone can learn, YouTube is your friend for the technique. You can baste the layers together with thread or pins and then you'll need some kind of frame or hoop, quilting needles (John James is a good brand & widely available), quilting thread and a good-fitting thimble. Or simply tie the three layers together with yarn or embroidery floss. Then bind the edges & it's a quilt! Lots of great binding tutorials online too. 

Don't be intimidated by the fancy stuff we're posting here, that'll come in time. Go for it & put together a small lap quilt or even a doll's quilt to get started - simple 4" squares is a great starting place. Mark your seam allowances (wash-out pen or quilter's pencil) to keep them accurate and use a small, consistent running stitch. Before long you'll be hopelessly addicted and surrounded by beautiful, warm quilts. 

Hope some of our other quilters will weigh in here too and fill in any gaps.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2010, 01:24:28 PM »
Mamabear, you might check at the local fabric stores to see if they have any quilting classes scheduled... that would be a great way to get some hands-on learning to speed up the process. I am not patient enough to hand-piece my quilts, so I would probably find it daunting without a sewing machine. I'd keep an eye out for an inexpensive sewing machine, too. All you really need for quilting is a straight stitch... not even zigzag is a must, so you could use anything from an old treadle machine on up.

My other suggestion would be to start on some small projects to begin with... that way you get the feeling of accomplishment and success sooner. Maybe a simple lap quilt? Or a cozy kids' quilt for your boy to cuddle in on cold evenings?

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #43 on: December 03, 2010, 10:23:03 AM »
I'm in the process of hand quilting a pieced top that I was given in a barter.  I went with a 80/20 (cotton/polyester) batting and found some coordinating fabric in my husband's fabric stash.

As a beginner, the best piece of advice I was given (and I didn't see it posted here) was to pin/baste your quilt together from the center out towards the edges.  Same with hand quilting it, From the center to the edges.

It might not be the standard way to do it, or maybe it is one of those things that experienced quilter just 'know' and forget to tell beginners.  It sure helped me a lot!

Her is the back of the quilt I'm doing (I'm just 'stitchin in the ditch')


Offline LvsChant

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2010, 10:40:43 AM »
Great work, MLF! It looks like it is really coming along well. I have not usually quilted starting in the middle. I can see the logic in it, but tend to start at a corner and work out from there. Perhaps I'll give the middle thing a try next time out to see if I like it better.

Offline TxMom

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #45 on: December 03, 2010, 11:39:00 AM »
Growing up my mom had us help quilt a lot of quilts by hand. 

She'd set up the quilt on a frame, usually in the same room as the TV.  Took up much space.  So when ever we watched TV, we helped quilt.  She straightened, tightened, pinned, marked for stitching, on the frame.  We started from the ends, not the middle.  And as we finished what we could reach, it'd be unclamped, rolled up (like a scroll), reclamped, so we could reach the next area.   Frames were like 2 x 4's cut for up to queen size quilts, maybe king.  Covered with cloth to which we pinned the quilts, set up on chairs, clamps on the 4 corners.

We'd groan whenever she got the quilting frame out.  Later she gave the frames to me, as I'd borrow them from her.  She got a smaller hoop shaped frame for baby quilts and such which she loved.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2010, 01:03:44 AM »
I still hand quilt on 2x4's clamped together. All I did was add some ceiling hooks in my workroom so I can pull it up out of the way when I don't want it in the middle of the room. For any beginner if you are going with pieced blocks, strive for accuaracy and learn 1/4" seams. If a block isn't to your own personal specifications re-do it. If you're going to use new 100% cotton fabric; wash, dry, and iron it first so you don't get unequal shrinkage the first time the quilt is washed. Mostly I love quilting and find it very relaxing but I'm fighting a mariners compass at the moment or it's fighting me, one or the other. I may be hauled away to a padded room soon if I don't figure out where I'm off.

Offline LJH

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2010, 09:15:03 PM »
For any beginner if you are going with pieced blocks, strive for accuaracy and learn 1/4" seams. If a block isn't to your own personal specifications re-do it. If you're going to use new 100% cotton fabric; wash, dry, and iron it first so you don't get unequal shrinkage the first time the quilt is washed. Mostly I love quilting and find it very relaxing but I'm fighting a mariners compass at the moment or it's fighting me, one or the other. I may be hauled away to a padded room soon if I don't figure out where I'm off.

Mariner's Compass = only one of the most complicated patterns there is! Remember to take it along to the padded room, you'll want handiwork to pass the time.  :rofl:

Everything else above is dead on too. Fabric NEVER comes into my studio except by way of the laundry room with the excepton of batiks - those have been washed and abused multiple times in the process of becoming batik, no further punishment needed.

Cyndi, your quilting looks great! And you're right about the basting and centering tip, I didn't even think to mention it. Basting with safety pins, starting in the center, is the way I've always done for hand quilting. If the piece is to be quilted on a large frame and is either attached to the frame edges or to rollers you can start your quilting anywhere. But if using a small lap frame or hoop it's best to start in the center for the same reason you baste it that-a-way, less chance of shifting or distortion. That said, whatever works for YOU is the right way.

Offline Mullers Lane Farm

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Re: Quilters and those that would like to learn
« Reply #48 on: December 06, 2010, 08:35:17 AM »
I just looked up mariners compass quilts .... OMG Wow!  Best of luck with that.  They are beautiful!

I don't know if I mentioned it on this thread, but the reason I am learning to quilt is I was given a wonderful basted wool batting that is HUGE!  I'm talking larger than a king sized.  It was given to me by a woman in her 90's ... and it was her grandmother's batt. I'm figuring it had to be from the late 1800's.  It is a very thick batting and is in wonderful condition. A bit thin on the edges, but nary a hole in it.  It had been stored in a cedar chest all these years.  I have it stored in a huge rubbermaid tote with various herbs soaked in essential oils to keep the bugs at bay.

I want to do a quilt pattern from the underground railroad.  I'll piece it by machine but will hand quilt it.