ATL (Ask the Longarmer) – Edge Stitching

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Edge Stitching

When I’m working on a quilt, I often have lots of time to think – some quilts involve DAYS of stitching the same repetitive elements, which gives my mind time to wander — sometimes aimlessly — but sometimes in a more logical manner. Often I wonder if my clients question why I do some of the things I do, or why I have certain requirements for them to follow. Really?!? She wants me to do WHAT? 😉

I’ve been longarm quilting for over 10 years now, so most of what I do is second nature to me. But I realize what is commonplace to me may be very foreign to someone who has not worked on a longarm or maybe hasn’t seen one in person. In this series of articles called Ask the Longarmer, I’ll offer tips and hints and insight into why your longarm quilter may ask you to do certain things to prep your quilt, or why she handles tasks a certain way. There really ARE logical reasons for these requests, and the end result will be a quilt we can both be proud of.

I’d love to answer any questions YOU may have on the longarming process, so feel free to comment and I’ll try to answer your question in a future post.

So let’s get started.

Here is something you might be wondering about:

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

Basting the edges before quilting helps me ensure everything stays square and straight.

Basting the edges before quilting helps me ensure everything stays square and straight.

When I load your quilt on the longarm 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 longarmers 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 reason the thread, especially on the back, is sometimes different colors, is a very closely guarded secret. I’m not sure I should give this away as I may get banned from the Royal Order of Longarm Quilters for doing so… but… well… okay, here goes —

It’s 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.

So now it’s your turn – what would you like to know? Comment below to send me a question.


One thought on “ATL (Ask the Longarmer) – Edge Stitching

  1. Ah, I would have thought basting the edge was common practice. How else would you get the edges to lie down? I use up partial bobbins this way sometimes. Other times I use them for piecing, either as top thread or even to rewind onto the DSM bobbin. Or I use them for the hand-stitching… They go away one way or the other.

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