Longarm Quilting: Why Send Your Quilts to a Longarm Quilter?

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Quilting | Comments


After spending so much precious time creating a beautiful quilt top, the actual process of quilting can be daunting! Many quilters find this to be the most difficult part of quilting, particularly if they are creating a large quilt top. When it comes to quilting, which is the actual process of sewing the three layers of a quilt together (top, batting, backing), there are a few options. You can quilt by hand or on your home machine, which many people love to do. Another option is to send it your quilt to a longarm quilter.

longarm quilting

Photo via Eileen Quilts

Longarm quilting is when a professional longarm quilting machine is used to sew together the three layers of a quilt together. This machine is very different from your regular home sewing machine. It is a large piece of equipment that consists of several parts. First is the head, which is a metal piece that is attached to rollers, allowing it to move over the entire quilt. There is also a frame that is used to hold all of the quilt layers together. With this longarm machine, the quilt is stationary while the sewing machine head moves. It is like a pencil drawing on a piece of paper. This is opposite of how we quilt on our home machines! Our machines stay in one spot while we move the quilt underneath the needle.

Longarm quilting machines can be run by hand or computer. When the quilter is working by hand, they trace a pantograph (a long design) or they work free hand. If the machine is run by computer, the quilter chooses the design right there on the computer. The sewing machine head is hooked up to the system, and the computer starts and controls all of the quilting on its own.

Why pay to have a project quilted on a longarm machine by a professional rather than just sewing it on a home machine? One of the most common reasons is size. Many quilters are not comfortable wrestling their larger quilts on their own machine. Another reason is basting. When you take your quilt to a longarm quilter, you do not have to baste! The quilter loads the three layers into the frame, so traditional floor basting is not necessary here. This is really helpful for quilters who do not have a large open space in their house or for those who have trouble crawling around on the floor.

Yet another reason to hire a longarm quilter? Lack of time. Some people struggle with having enough time for their hobbies, and they can save a lot of time by cutting out the basting step and the quilting process.

If you are ready to find a longarm quilter, but don’t know where to start, ask people you know for advice and recommendations. Family members, friends, and fellow bloggers will be more than happy to help you find the right quilter. For more tips on finding a longarm quilter read more here. If longarm quilting isn’t for you, check out these Craftsy classes! They will help you take your machine quilting to the next level: Beyond Basic Machine Quilting and Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine, both with Ann Peterson.

Comments

  1. DIANA COLE says:

    looking for someone that will do long arm quilting for me

    1. Carol says:

      If you are in the US and cannot find anyone local, contact me at gonestitchin@cfl.rr.com . I am able to handle about 2 customer quilts a month and my rates are very reasonable.

  2. Dawn Mason says:

    I’d love to own my own longarm machine but at £15000 it’s way out of my price range.

  3. Carol says:

    If you cannot find a longarm quilter in your area, please contact me. Currently, I still work a full time job; however, I can handle a couple customer quilts a month. You can email me at gonestitchin@clf.rr.com

    1. Carol says:

      Sorry for the typo, my email is gonestitchin@cfl.rr.com

  4. Carol Yourist says:

    Hi Hannah. I apparently am not doing something correctly to find patterns on the site. I discovered when I did a search for FLUER by Bobbi Ashley, that she has her pattern here on your site yet, when I get into patterns, it only shows me 20. What am I doing wrong….how are you by the way? I am thrilled for you that your site is exploding…if I ever get to the point I understand my new camera I might just post my quilts…happy weekend. Carol

  5. Christine Frost says:

    Hi Angela!
    This is an awesome give away. Thanks for offering it!
    I’m a fan and just love your style. Also love your Craftsy classes and refer to them often.
    I just completed quilting my “Yummy” quilt. I did it just like you did for the pattern cover.

  6. Ruth Cook says:

    You can contact me at ruthiesdesigns@yahoo.com for long-arm quilting. My turn around time is 2 to 3 weeks. I have many pantographs on hand and can get almost anything that you might want. My frame is only 10 ft long so I can only accommodate up to a queen size quilt. My prices are very reasonable. If you want custom quilting I can do that too. I don’t do quilting for competition though.

  7. Jutta says:

    Anyone in the UK who would offer longarm quilting? What about the design – presumably this is programmed and could as such be anything?

  8. I am a longarm quilter who does custom as well as edge-to-edge quilting. I do freehand as well as computerized quilting, on each of my two machines. BTW – I have literally thousands of computerized designs – and only a very few of my first designs are shown on the Quilting Traditions website. I spend a lot of time finding just the right design for each quilt. I’ve won 30+ ribbons in local and national quilt shows, and many of my customers have won ribbons as well.

  9. Look for a class in do its yourself longarm quilting.

  10. Look for a class in do its yourself longarm quilting.