How to woo your longarmer

It’s always hard to offer advice to clients about piecing, which is something we see so intimately when quilting their quilts, which is why I keep my mouth shut regarding opportunities for improvement unless someone asks.  I mean, after all, I know what I need to do to improve (practice, practice, practice!), so please don’t think I’m coming from a judging place here.

But friends, if you want to woo your longarmer (and end up with a better result!), measure your borders.  Take a measurement from the center and the edges, and go with the median number.  Cut the borders that size and sew them (using pins).  Don’t just cut a long strip, sew until you get to the end, and then cut off the extra.  OR here’s what can happen…

All that fullness has to go somewhere!

I finally have a picture I can show you because one of my clients did not piece this.  It’s a rescued quilt top that she had me finish.  There are some cool vintage fabrics in the quilt, and the whole thing is hand pieced.  It’s just such a shame that the borders weren’t measured because that could have greatly reduced this fullness in the quilt.

As a longarmer, I do my best to cover up errors, but not all are able to be covered up.  With this one, I folded the excess, top stitched where the fabric met up again, and then quilted as if it never happened (with the excess hidden away).  My client then has the option of hand stitching where I topstitched and then seam ripping my stitch or she can leave it and just enjoy the quilt, which is probably what she’ll do.

This seems like such a little thing, but really, it makes a huge difference.  I have to work fullness into probably a third of the quilts that land on my frame, but luckily, it’s rarely to this extent.

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