Saturday, July 30, 2011

QUILTONOMICS 101 - Part 1 The Quilting of it All

Before I begin, I feel that I must point out several important things.  In NO WAY am I discouraging anyone from frequenting quilt shops (after all I am a shop owner)...or patronizing their longarmer or any other venue.  This is simply a way to save if you find you must and for those of you fortunate enough to not be feeling the money crunch..PLEASE  SPEND SPEND SPEND !!!

The first area in which you can save is your quilting.  Many of us have gotten into the habit of sending every single quilt top out to a longarm service.  While this is great and the longarmers thank you for it..this might just be one way to trim a little cash.  Ask yourself several very important questions before you ship off your next top:
  1. How large is the top?  If it is a throw size or smaller you may very well be able to machine quilt it yourself.
  2. What is the intent of the quilt??  If it is a quilt that is intended to be loved to pieces, i.e. a baby quilt, a charity quilt, or a quilt for a teenager...these are the perfect tops to machine quilt yourself and at the same time get in some really good quilting practice.  If a quilt is intended to be an heirloom, please consider hand quilting where size is never an issue and the time spent is worth the end result.
  3. Am I ready to learn a new skill?  Now might be the perfect time to take a machine/hand quilting course at your local shop.  The investment in the class fee will more than pay off with your first finished project.  Hand quilting is becoming less and less prevelant but can be a relaxing and fulfilling way to finish those quilts which are intended as heirlooms.
  4. Will my longarmer be insulted?  As many of you know, whenever you send a quilt out to your favorite longarmer they have no less than a 6-8 week turn around time.  There is plenty of business out there for them and like every artist they encourage new learning processes!!
Let me know what you think of these tips and if you have any to add!!  I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this particular subject!

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