Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wonderful Wednesday - Slick (Longarm) Quilting Tricks

Welcome to another edition of Wonderful Wednesday!!  In this week's post, I hope to clarify what you might have seen in the following photos from THIS POST.

The soup can treatment:

You should notice a can on either side of the needle.  In the direction you are sewing, the can ahead of the needle rolls along (mostly) on its own.  The one behind the needle needs a bit of a push as you move along the quilt.

The weight of the cans pull on the quilt sandwich just a bit.  They draw the quilted and unquilted portions, on either side of the needle, down just enough so that fullness is eased in beneath the hopping foot.

How shopping benefits the quilting process:

In the photo above, I would like to draw your attention to the plastic shopping bags shoved into the rolled up quilt.  That's the part that's already been quilted!

As a quilt is advanced on the frame, there are times when the row just quilted was straight, but the row to be quilted next doesn't QUITE match up to the pattern of your pantograph or template board.

In the photo above, the beginning of the new row was about one-half inch off (when compared to the rest of the row - which matched up perfectly.)  The bags take up just enough space to line up the section of the row that was a bit skewed.

Spray starch may be your next best friend:

Not addressed in that post, but still a valuable trick which Ellen Little Jewel Quilts at assures me works WITHOUT starch or magic sizing.  She warns to just be sure not to press in a crease!!!  

In the photo above, you might notice that the edge of the quilt is waving at you.  While waving at people is considered friendly, it's not terribly nice when your quilt does this!  Ruffled borders make for difficult quilting.  At times, I have resorted to taking tucks.  While not ideal, that eases the fullness and appears as any other seam along the border might.

Nancy from Grace and Peace Quilting relies on wool or puff batting and meandering to tackle the problem when her cordless steam iron doesn't do the trick!  Well, it was WAY too late to switch batting and a meander was out of the question, as well.  I didn't have a cordless iron at my disposal (or so I thought!), but I heated up my iron as hot as I could get it and spritzed the edge of the quilt with some water.  Pressing carefully seemed to shrink the fullness in that final border.

There you have it!  Quilting with items from your kitchen (and laundry room.) Who knew?

Until next time...
Share those Slick Tricks!!!


  1. I don't have a longarm (sadly) but I love your tricks! ~Jeanne

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing those tricks! I will have to try them when I am home for summer... question - looks like you don't have a computerized machine - what are the boards you are using for the pattern? xx

  3. Great explanations, Joy! The real deal is to hold the panic feeling off and calmly remember options. And sometimes a longarmer just has to send the quilt back for surgery back home. A famous longarmer recently spoke to our LA group and said when she did just that, the client said--you're the 4th longarmer that's sent that quilt back to me!

  4. All I know about longer quilting is how to send my quilt to the quilter, so this was fun to read!

  5. You are right when you say, "Slick Tricks"!


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