janets Longarm Quilting by Betty Ann.

What is longarm quilting …
Longarm quilting is the process by which a longarm sewing machine is used to sew together a quilt top, quilt batting and quilt backing into a finished quilt. The longarm sewing machine frame typically ranges from 10 to 12 feet in length. These machines load the top, batting and back into a metal frame, and sew the three layers at once. The machine head rolls vertically and horizontally, allowing it to quilt while the fabric stays in place.

These longarm machines allow quilters to have their quilts finished without going through the time-consuming process associated with hand quilting. Sewers (or sewists, piecers, or quilters) can now take their finished quilt tops to a professional longarm quilting business and pay a fee to have their quilting done by a longarm quilter. The availability of quilting services has helped to cause a surge in the quilting business and an overall growth in interest in quilting as an art form.

The longarm quilting machine comes equipped with a sewing machine head, a worktable, several fabric rollers, and a metal frame. The overall dimensions of the frame can range from 10 to 12 feet in length by two-and-a-half to four feet in depth. The machine comes equipped with a table region. The table size ranges in lengths like the machine. Larger table sizes can accommodate up to king sized quilts.

The sewing machine head is large and made of industrial strength metal. It can be either hand-guided or computer guided, with controls at both the front and back ends to guide the head. For a full range of movement, the sewing machine head is placed on wheels that run on metal tracks along the frame of the machine. The sewing machine head can also come with a laser pointer, which can be used to guide the quilter along patterns, called pantographs.

The hand-guided machine head contains handles by which the quilter can guide the machine along the fabric to sew the design of choice. A computer-guided machine head is hooked up to a computer system that allows the quilter to select the chosen design to be sewn onto the fabrics. With the push of a button on the computer's keyboard, the longarm sewing machine will sew the design onto the quilt with minimal physical assistance.

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BettyAnnQuilting@gmail.com  209-552-1448  9-6 PT

The frame of the machine consists of several rolling bars onto which layers of the quilt sandwich are placed. On one side of the machine, two rollers, known as the feeder bars, are present with a muslin leader onto which the backing and the quilt top can be attached. Material is attached by sewing pins, a snap system, or sewing zippers to the muslin leaders and then the material is stretched tight over the belly bar, which ensures that the layered material is smooth and taut according to the sewers’ desires.

The backing of the quilt is attached by sewing pins, a snap system, or zippers to a third roller, known as the “take-up” roller. The take-up roller is the region onto which the quilted layers can be moved to allow the quilter to gain access to a new region of quilt top.

The backing, quilt top, and batting are commonly basted together by a single-row of stitching, but can also be pinned together onto the muslin leader on the take-up roller. The stretched region of fabric that spans between the take-up roller and the feeder rollers is the area over which the fabric layers are actually sewn together into the finished product.

Custom work is done when the sewer wishes for the quilt blocks to contain individual designs in each block or area of the quilt. This method is typically more time-consuming for the longarm quilter and is a more expensive method for having a piece quilted.

Depending on the type of quilting work desired by the customer, the process can require additional time and resources for the longarm quilter. Some sewing styles, like meandering, which entails an all over fill-in design, require less attention to detail and can be done more quickly. Other styles and designs, like feathers and motifs, require the longarm quilter to pay more attention to details and alignment and therefore can be time-consuming and costly.

If you are interested in having your quilt stitched by Betty Ann please contact her at 209-552-1448 (9-6) PT



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