Monday, 8 March 2021

Basically Ballroom BOM Quilt made by Sara, quilted by Fabadashery Longarm Quilting

Basically Ballroom BOM Quilt made by Sara
Basically Ballroom BOM Quilt made by Sara

I have noticed a few of these quilts popping up on social media and the internet, so I thought I should show you Sara's lovely Basically Ballroom quilt, which I longarm quilted for her recently.  The pattern was a BOM (Block of the Month) pattern starting in February 2020 by The Quilt Room and no doubt its timely release kept everyone occupied last year. It uses Sarah Ashford fabric.

Basically Ballroom BOM Quilt made by Sara
Basically Ballroom BOM Quilt made by Sara
Sara specifically wanted a geometric pattern on the quilt and with all the blocks containing 45 degree angles, this pattern, String Theory fitted the bill. It is quite a neat little pattern isn't it?

'String Theory' by Lisa Calle
'String Theory' by Lisa Calle

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Sheila's Ricky Tims hand-dyed Snowball quilt, longarm quilted by Frances Meredith of Fabadashery Longarm Quilting

Sheila's hand-dyed quilt
Sheila's hand-dyed quilt
This is Sheila's Ricky Tims hand-dyed Snowball quilt.  The other day I shared Karen's Pink Kisses quilt and raved about how many pinks there are in the world.  On this quilt Sheila has used a saturated bright pink with great effect as one of the borders, pulling out the various deep shades and tones of pink that flow throughout her quilt.  Any more bright pink and I think it would have over-shadowed the lovely hand-dyed fabrics which have a soft, natural vibe to them, but without it the quilt would not be quite the same. I think she got it just right.

Sheila's hand-dyed quilt
Sheila's hand-dyed quilt
For the allover digital pattern, Sheila chose 'Popcorn' by Willow Leaf Studio. It never disappoints.
'Popcorn' designed by Willow Leaf Studio
'Popcorn' designed by Willow Leaf Studio

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Laurraine's recycled Shirt Quilt -- Fabadashery Longarm Quilting

Laurraine's Shirt Quilt' 
quilted at  Fabadashery Longarm Quilting

Has the Make Do and Mend bug got you yet?  Laurraine has made this stunning quilt using men's shirts. The quality of shirt fabric is usually very good, so once the shirt is washed and stripped down for sewing, you often have a lovely soft fabrics, which in turn make a lovely soft quilt. In shirt quilts often simple designs are work best to maximise the odd shapes of the bits of fabric. There are also lots of stripes and checks to consider.  To keep the simplicity we used the ever popular 'Popcorn' quilting pattern.

'Popcorn' quilting Pattern by Willow Leaf Studio
'Popcorn' quilting Pattern by Willow Leaf Studio
Also, these quilts are also a testament to a working life.  However, the lockdown has seen a significant drop in the sales of men's shirts as there are very few occasions to wear one these days.  Will the smart shirt and tie ever return? Will these quilts be the last remaining evidence of men's workwear? Who knows?  Sometimes our quilts may be more important than we will ever know.

'Popcorn' quilting Pattern by Willow Leaf Studio
'Popcorn' quilting Pattern by Willow Leaf Studio


Sunday, 14 February 2021

Backing Fabric and Wadding - preparing to bring your quilt to your Long Arm Quilter



How big does my backing fabric need to be for long arm quilting?
When preparing your backing fabric for long arm quilting you will need to ensure that you provide a piece which is at least 8" (20cm) longer and 8" (20cm) wider than your quilt top.  You will see from the picture that this will allow at least 4" (10cm) on each side.  This can be extra wide backing fabric or a backing you have joined together. 

If you do not have any backing fabric I often have a limited selection available to purchase.  I am also happy to work with fleece, minky and other textured fabrics.

Why does my backing fabric need to be so much wider? 
The machine has wide clamps which grab the edge of the backing fabric to keep the fabric backing taught and flat during the process of quilting.  The extra width also accommodates the moving machine so that it doesn't hit the clamps and cause uneven stitching on your quilt.  Some digital patterns may also go slightly beyond your quilt top border.

The good news is that when the quilt is returned to you and it is trimmed, you may find that the waste fabric is wide enough for the binding, a hanging strip or other scrap project.


What if my backing fabric is not big enough?
You may have cut the backing before you decided to get your quilt long arm quilted and it may be slightly larger than the top, but not the full 8" recommended above.  As long as your quilt backing is larger, you can stitch on extra fabric to the edges to bring it up to the recommended size.  In most cases this extra strip will be trimmed at the end of the quilting process and will not be part of the final backing.  If you are not sure, get in contact and I am sure we can come up with a solution.

What is the maximum width for backing?
The maximum quilt width my machine will take is 122" (310cm), which allows for a maximum backing width of 130" (330cm).  Even if you quilt is much smaller, you can still have a wider backing, which will mean the pieces that you trim at the end may be more useable for a hanging strip, binding or another quilting project.
What is the maximum length?
The backing is rolled evenly onto a roller, so whilst there is a limit on the width, the length can (in theory) be any length, and again will mean the pieces that you trim at the end may be more useable for a hanging strip, binding or another quilting project.

How big does my wadding need to be for long arm quilting?
When preparing your wadding for long arm quilting you will need to ensure that you provide a piece which is at least 4" (10cm) longer and 4" (10cm) wider than your quilt top.  You will see from the picture that this will allow at least 2" (5cm) on each side. 
Why does my wadding fabric need to be wider? 
Essentially your wadding needs to be bigger than your quilt top and enough to 'fill out' the width of your binding.  Also, during the quilting process the whole quilt sandwich shrinks very slightly and the extra wadding accommodates this variable.

Do you provide wadding?
I can provide Hobbs 80/20 (cotton / polyester), Hobbs Polydown (100% polyester) wadding, Hobbs 100% Wool, or Quilters Dream 100% Cotton for your projects at an additional cost.

Which wadding do you recommend?
As a long arm quilting service I am happy to work with any wadding which you provide.  In the past this has included 100% wool, bamboo, cotton, cotton/ polyester blends and 100%polyester.  Please refer to the manufacturer's guidelines to understand the composition and how the wadding will react when washed.  Different waddings have different shrinkage rates and may give the quilt a different look once washed.

The easiest way to check all this is to lay out all the layers together with the wadding on top of the backing and the quilt top on top of the wadding.  Each should frame the other. One of the key advantages of using a long arm quilting service is that you DO NOT HAVE TO BASTE YOUR QUILT SANDWICH!

Personal Note ...
Before I had a long arm machine I used to complete my quilt tops, choose the wadding and backing and then dutifully hand basting them into a quilt sandwich on my hands and knees, ready for the day they would be hand quilted.  Sadly, that day never came and they never saw the light of day ... until I bought my APQS long arm machine.  However, before I could quilt them I had to undo the stitching I had already done.  It took considerably less time to remove the stitches than it did to stitch them in the first place, but now they are completed quilts and are being enjoyed and used regularly.

You may have some quilts in a similar state.  If you have finally decided to get them long arm quilted the basting stitches will need to be removed before they can be loaded onto the long arm machine.  The removal of this stitching can be added to the cost of the service if required. 

Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt, quilted at Fabadashery Longarm Quilting

 

Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt,
Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt,
Here is a pretty quilt to cheer up this dull Valentine's day.  This is Karen's charity Pink Kisses Quilt.  She has pulled out all the pink fabrics in her stash for the blocks.  I enjoyed looking at all the different 'pinks' in this quilt, because I love colour theory and how many interpretations of one colour there can be.  

Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt,
Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt,
Potentially there are 49 different pinks in this quilt, they are all different, but all pink.  There are an infinite variety of tints, tones and shades of pink in the world and I guess we all have our favourite. The pink gingham border particularly evoked memories of a party dress I used to wear as a child.
Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt,
Karen's Charity Pink Kisses Quilt,
To finish it off let's spread some love and have some hearts, Ginger Hearts by Apricot Moon.

Ginger Hearts Quilt Pattern
Ginger Hearts Quilt Pattern

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Olwen's Rainbow quilt

Olwen's Rainbow quilt
Olwen's Rainbow quilt 

It almost a year since I quilted this Rainbow Stripe quilt for Olwen.  It was to be gifted later in the year, so I have had it in the wings to show you.  When Olwen fell in love with a Jelly Roll of Rainbow batiks, neither of us knew the significance the 'rainbow' would have in 2020. The black fabric really throws the bright colours forward.  The quilting pattern Olwen chose was 'Modern Curves' which always gives a stunning finish.  To finish it further, Olwen took advantage of my binding service and also had a quilt label embroidered.

Olwen's Rainbow quilt
Olwen's Rainbow quilt 

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Eirwen's 'Grassy Creek' Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt 2020

Eirwen's 'Grassy Creek' Mystery Quilt 2020
The first of the Bonnie Hunter 'Grassy Creek' 2020 Mystery Quilts has arrived from Eirwen, who has made several Mystery Quilts in the past and benefitted from her 20% discount.  Eirwen has gone all the way with the full size quilt and all the borders.  As you can see from the detail, she managed to use up a lot of scraps at the same time.

Eirwen's 'Grassy Creek' Mystery Quilt 2020
Eirwen's 'Grassy Creek' Mystery Quilt 2020
To keep the whole quilt light, Eirwen used a lawn cotton backing and a thin wadding.  The quilting pattern is called Vigour, which has some lovely open leaf shapes.  This is the first time I have stitched this pattern out - I think it could be a new favourite!
'Vigour' quilt pattern designed by Hermione Agee
'Vigour' quilt pattern designed by Hermione Agee