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Questions for a Longarm Quilter
Below is an informative article about what
questions to ask a longarm quilter.
Many people use the services of a professional longarm quilter. A professional longarm quilter will do the quilting on your quilt and may even offer binding and other quilting related services. Each professional longarm quilter is an independent business person. Many professional longarm quilters’ take classes, attend machine quilting conferences, attend longarm group/guild meetings and practice, practice, practice to expand and hone their quilting skills. Each quilter has their own pricing structure and it will reflect their quilting skill level. A good professional longarm quilter can take a so-so quilt top and make it wonderful! Professional longarm quilters are skilled, technical and artistic craftsmen and deserve to be compensated as such.
If you are contemplating using a professional longarm quilter (or already use a professional longarm quilter) here are some questions you may want to ask about them and their services.
Questions you may want to ask a professional longarm quilter :
Questions a longarm quilter may ask before seeing your quilt:
Questions NOT to ask a longarm quilter:
Where is the computer and does the machine run itself?
The majority of longarm quilting machines are hand guided. This means that if the machine is to work, someone needs to be in control of and moving the machine.
How long does it take you to quilt a quilt?
Each quilt is an individual and each quilt will take a different length of time.
Can I rent time on your machine so I can do my own quilting?
Can I watch you quilt my quilt?
That looks so easy, anyone can do it!
You can purchase your own machine for $15,000 or more, take the classes, practice, practice, practice, break the needles, re-time the machine, practice, practice, practice some more on muslin, sheets, charity quilts, etc., and after more practice, practice, practice THEN you can quilt your own quilts.
Before dropping off a quilt:
If you make an appointment, please make every effort to be prompt. Professional longarm quilters are busy business people. They will wait for a while if you are late, but if you are going to be very late, please be courteous and call. Be understanding if your quilter reschedules your appointment.
If your quit back is seamed, make sure it is stitched together correctly, edges are even and the selvedge is trimmed. Also make sure that the stitching lines “covers” the selvage “printing”.
Please make sure your quit top and especially your borders are as flat as possible. If they are not, the quilter may not be able to avoid pleats and puckers on the finished quilt no matter how skillful she may be.
Feel free to suggest quilting ideas to your quilter, but be flexible enough to hear what the quilter has to say. Through experience, the quilter may have creative ideas to enhance the beauty of your quilt.
Don’t keep calling your quilter before the completion date. If the quilter calls you to say the quilt is done early, you will have a pleasant surprise.
If you are unhappy with the way your quilt turned out, please be courteous and talk to your quilter about the problem. Try to determine where the problem is – thread color, pattern choice, quality of workmanship, etc. Contact the quilter and give her the opportunity to work out a reasonable solution with you.
By asking questions and listening carefully to the answers you can make an informed decision on the professional longarm quilter you want to quilt your quilt. If you and the quilter both have the same expectations, you may develop a long-term mutually satisfying relationship.
©2006, Cindy Roth, Renton, WA
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