I’ll be talking about the Para Para quilt today. This one has sat unfinished since February/March. We had the Para Para quilt along at the beginning of the year and seems like it finished up right around the time Covid began or became widespread. I became involved with other things and the quilt top hung over a clothes hanger and dangled from a shelf staring at me all year long. I did feel guilty. I stared back at it often enough, and had it in plans to finish many times.
When we started the Anthologie quilt along a month or so ago it still sat unfinished, but I usually have a longarm sponsor for my quilt alongs and when I do it usually means I get a quilt quilted for free, so when Beth of Modernly Stitched asked if she could sponsor, I knew exactly which quilt top I was sending her.
I won’t go into details about making Para Para since I covered all that during the quilt along earlier this year, but I will go into the finishing. It’s so nice getting to send a quilt to a longarmer. It’s rarely in the budget for me, so I’m so grateful for the opportunities when they come around.
Beth did such a nice job too! I had chosen her Fancy Feathers design. I knew it’s what I wanted as soon as saw it. If I wasn’t going to custom quilt it, Fancy Feathers would still give me that dense quilting look that I love so much. My only request was that she use a very light colored thread and I believe she used a peach color thread.
It took around a month to get the quilt back in my hands.
If you have never sent a quilt off to a longarmer, there are things to know. If you live in a decent size city (unlike me), you might have local quilters in your area that can do the service for you, this way you can avoid the back and forth shipping. But there’s many, MANY longarmers that will take your order by mail. You’ll mail them your quilt, pick a design, and then they’ll ship it back to you.
If you focus is on flimsies and not quilting, this could be right up your alley. Many quilters don’t like to finish their own quilts. I know of several longarmers who also will bind your quilt.
There are quilters who will custom quilt your quilt, meaning basing the designs of the quilting on the designs of your top OR quilters who only focus on edge to edge all over designs, like this one. That means you get the same design repeated over and over on your quilt. My Morning Sun quilt is an example of custom quilting (although it wasn’t longarmed).
Edge to edge is much less expensive than custom quilting.
There’s also a few other things to know: Some longarmers want you to use their batting, some want you to send your own. Some want your backing and batting cut 4″ bigger, some want 8″. I usually write my quilt patterns to make backing and batting 6″ bigger, so it’s a good idea to know how you’ll be finishing your quilt or what your longarmer’s preference it before actually cutting backing and batting for your quilt top.
Beth asked for 8″ bigger and she wanted me to mark my quilt’s top edge with a safety pin. This mattered on mine because there were a few fussy cuts on the quilt top and my backing for the quilt was a directional print.
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