Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Edge-to-Edge Quilting is What I Do!

There is a misconception about independent longarm quilters.


'Independent' I define as 'individual longarm professionals who work separately from local quilt shops'.  The shops I'm speaking about have one or more industrial quilting machines commercially cranking off anywhere between 75-100 client quilts a month and guarantee a quick turnaround of 1-2 weeks with factory-manufactured speed. If it's custom quilting that's wanted, the client is referred to their custom quilters, who work for the quilt shop for a finder's fee. 

The misconception:  'Independents' (defined again as longarmers that do not work for quilt shops) are erroneously made to seem that custom is all they offer to clients. But in truth there are very few of my independent quilting colleagues that specialize only in custom quilting. They are driven toward customizing because (mis)information given and accepted as truth in the quilting world is difficult to unravel, no pun intended.

Digitized Edge-to-Edge
My intent is not to defame quilt shops.  It is to clarify my training and expertise to the quilting world as an independent longarm quilter - and to snuff out misconceptions.  Pictured in this post are a few quilts I've quilted professionally over eleven years with the edge-to-edge, allover, overall, pantographed, whatever-you-want-to-call-it technique :):
Freehand Edge-to-Edge in Feathers
My brief bio:  purchasing my Gammill Classic in 2005, my goal was to learn all styles of quilting so I could offer a wide range of techniques to my clients. I attended Machine Quilters Showcase in Overland Park, Kansas three summers in a row. I learned personally from classes taught by Karen McTavish, Sue Patten, Linda Taylor, Pam Clarke, Cathy Franks, Cindy Roth, Renee Haddadin, Sue Schmeiden, Donita Reeves, Dawn Cavanaugh, Judy Woodworth, Linda Thielfoldt and Claudia Pfeil just to name a few!  It was intensive training that I felt my customers deserved.
Freehand Edge-to-Edge in Curly Feathers
Besides custom quilting, I've learned edge-to-edge techniques and trouble-shooting tips to get a perfect product with classes such as "Free Motion Edge-to-Edge and All Over Designs", "This Quilt is Trouble!", "Intro to Longarm Quilting", "Thread Facts & Fiction" and "Refining Technical Skills".  There's more to quilting than simply putting the thread down into a design the client chooses.
After the initial three years of training, I continued attending local longarm classes on maintenance, business, finance, and more longarm techniques...and I still continue to be "Board Certified" in the longarm quilting arena by attending as many classes as I can.
Edge-to-Edge, front and back of same quilt
And then, after seven years of perfecting techniques, I retrofitted my Gammill to a Statler computerized system.  I can now tweak whatever pattern is chosen into whatever size needed into whatever shape wanted and get the quilt to the client in whatever time desired.  
Freehand Overall in Curls, above and below
The computerized, or digitized technique, can be sewn as edge-to-edge or custom.  Very cool!  But the coolest part is I was originally trained freehand, so I can still offer the freehanded, non-digitized style to my clients if that technique is the best fit.  
Edge-to-Edge, above and below

A vintage 30s with an Edge-to-Edge treatment
Do some people choose an edge-to-edge over a custom treatment when the custom is typical?  Sure, and it's not always because of budget restraints.  Look at the Vintage 30s pictured above that has been entirely sewn edge-to-edge.  It's perfectly lovely, perfectly appropriate, and perfectly budget-wise.  It's all up to the client since it is, after all, their project.  I respect that.

A couple more edge-to-edge quilts:
Edge-to-Edge with the backside flipped to the front to show detail
Edge-to-Edge with the backside flipped to the front to show detail
Freehand overall in Feathers, above and below

Misconception starts with perception, and perception is real from anyone's standpoint. But I hope from my point of view I've clarified what an independent longarm quilter is all about through this post.  Know that this independent is committed to listening to you, the client, in finding the best fit from pattern to budgetary needs to thread color.  I'll take the time that your project deserves, because by the time you bring it to me, it's taken quite a bit of your time and finances, already.  But if it's speed you need, I can do that too with a guaranteed turnaround of one week, and a guarantee to complete it with professional, personalized results...

...every time.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Sweet Anniversary Quilt

Recently a friend of mine celebrated a milestone anniversary.  Part of the celebration was making this super-sized king quilt top and shams...and getting them to me to finish so they could enjoy it for their big day.  She even had me bind the quilt so all she had to do was present her labor of love.  Keep in mind this was her second try at quilting. Amazing!

It's been sewn entirely in batiks except the very center block she cross-stitched.  She wanted custom quilting only in this block to highlight its sentiment.  I chose to SID (stitch in the ditch) around the 'frame' and to quilt the entire block in scallops or clam shells...a nice design choice considering it's a sea theme :).

She chose a very simple edge-to-edge pattern to mirror the fabric: swirls and hearts.  Can you see this design in the fabric as well as the quilting pattern?

Not everything that may be worthy of custom quilting needs it.  This project proves that.