Longarmers like extra backing and batting

Longarm Quilters like for their customers to provide extra batting and backing for many reasons. One of the reasons is because our quilting foot hits the grippers holding the sides of the quilts, so it is very difficult to stitch within 3+ inches of those grippers.  However, for me, the biggest reason we like extra fabric  is because the backing and batting draw up during the quilting process. Another reason is so that we can accurately provide good stitch quality and tension for your quilt. Longarm machines are so finicky when it comes to tension; much, much, much more so than a domestic machine, that it can be difficult to achieve good tension and good stitches. So, most of us will test out the tension and stitching on a side piece before we add it to the quilt.  If you look closely at this picture, you will see the side border of the quilt I was working on.  There is about 6 inches of extra backing and batting.  I added a 3″ wide piece of fabric  at the side of the border and tested my stitches there with each thread change before stitching on the actual quilt.

Quilting on the Square

This has been a particularly rough week.  I’ve been working my tail off this week, doing volunteer stuff for 2 quilting guilds.  By Friday night, I was nearly in tears.  I was so dog gone tired and my body hurt all over.  So, in spite of how busy I know I am right now, I decided to take a break.

I used to live in a small town in Indiana.  I loved living in the small town, away from the hustle and bustle  and rat race of busy city life.  We moved to the Kansas City area 3 years ago to be near family, and we moved into a house that is far enough out from the city for me to be okay and close enough in to the city for my husband to be okay.   So… my way of taking a break yesterday was to get far enough away from the city to feel like I am in another world.

Have you ever been to Quilting on the Square in Holton, Kansas?  I have been meaning to get there, but never had.  Yesterday I got there.  Quilting on the Square is a quilt store that is located on the corner of Holton’s town square.  Holton is a charming little town that is like being in fairy tale world of days gone past.  It’s close enough to Topeka, but it is far enough out to have that small town feel.

Mark and Mary Pfeiler, Quilting on the Square’s owners, took me on a tour of their newly extended store.  They also showed off their new room for their longarm quilting machine and business – I was envious!  For whatever reason, I was transported into another world as I gazed open-mouth like a child in a candy store at their fabrics, etc.  They have it all arranged so colorfully well, that you feel like you are having an out of body experience  as you put bolt of bolt of fabric on the counter to be cut and taken home.  There were so many fabrics that I love.  I don’t know what happened, but I left there with more fabric than I think I’ve bought in the last year.  But, you know what?  As I drove home, I was at peace.  I was at peace with what I’d spent, and I was at peace with the shared experience with Mary, Mark, and their assistants.  If you haven’t been there, you need to go!!!  I warn you, though, to take your SUV, van or truck, your debit card and credit card and all the cash you can stash.  You’ll be glad you did.