Ask the Longarmer

Do you ever wonder why your Longarmer has certain requirements or does things a certain way? Join me as I help you understand how to work with a Longarmer to be sure your quilt comes back to you looking it’s best! I’ll be adding new information and tips from time to time, so be sure and check back often! Or if you don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to my blog over on the left side of the page. And if you have a question or issue you’d like me to address, please feel free to send me an email.


I want dark green thread on the top of my quilt, and white on the back. Why can’t you do this?

Actually, while this can be done, I usually advise against it as you might not be very happy with the outcome. With a longarm quilting machine, we are moving the machine around in all directions over the quilt sandwich at a high rate of speed. As we change direction, the thread tension often changes slightly as well. Ideally the portion of a stitch where the top and bobbin thread meet will lock exactly in the center layer of the batting, but this is not always the case. Continue reading here….


Do you really need the quilt backing and batting to be 8? larger than the quilt top? I don’t cut them that big if I’m hand quilting or quilting on my domestic sewing machine (DSM)!

There are several reasons why I ask for the batting and backing to be a total of 8? wider and 8? longer than your quilt top. When you are hand quilting or quilting on your DSM, you baste the layers together before starting. Since you lay everything out flat, it allows you to see if you are going to come up short in one area or another BEFORE you ever start the quilting process. Then you can make adjustments so you don’t run out of backing over there in the lower left corner, or wherever. Continue reading here…..


What is the stitching around the edges of the quilt, and why is the thread color sometimes different than the main quilting design?

When I load your quilt on the frame, I baste the edges of your top to the batting and backing as I work my way down the quilt. This ensures that the quilt will stay square and straight. Not all LAers do this, as it takes more time, but it’s important to me to have your quilt look it’s best when it’s finished. The thread is sometimes different colors as this is how I use up partial bobbins ;-). You may remove this stitching if you wish, but most clients tell me they like it as it makes it easier to apply their binding.

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