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Longarming #20 - Lettuce Leaves Are For Salads, Not Quilts!
This is one of the newsletters in a series of almost thirty on "Getting The Most Out Of Your Longarming Dollar." That was the title of one of Ruth's talks at Shipshewana's Schoolhouse training sessions during their Quiltfest.
The purposes of those talks and these newsletters are to:
  • Allow you to get the best longarm quilting results;
  • Have you end up with a work of art of which you are proud;
  • Anticipate the needs of your longarmer because that impacts the cost; and,
  • Make the longarming process easier on your longarmer so that they may focus on the quality of their craftsmanship.
Prior emails in this series can be found on our web-site: on the tab newsletters.
Lettuce Leaves Are For Salads, Not Quilts?

Lettuce is great for salads. I love it! Ruth adds all kinds of other plants to hers, but, as for me . . . I want lettuce!

Looks yummy! But not on a quilt!

That's A Salad - This Is A Quilt!

You'd think that we lived in the San Joaquin Valley, with some of the lettuce leaf borders that we get in. Lettuce leaf boarders are created when the border material is longer than the center of the quilt. Typically, a quilter unknowingly "eases in" the fabric as they sew it together. This can happen for many reasons, the most common of which are because the fabrics are not pinned together or a surger is used to sew the fabric together.

The result is that the border will not lay flat and has humps, or lettuce leaves, on the edge. When there are multiple borders this problem can be exacerbated.

In the picture below note that the center is laying flat and the border has humps that will become pleats or tucks if not corrected. This is what is called a "lettuce leaf border."

In a previous email we discussed the proper way of measuring the borders and center and then pinning. Only to remove the pins just as they are approaching the presser foot of the sewing machine.

There are alternatives to completely removing and re-attaching the border [after measuring and pinning].

When the fullness in the border is minor, it can often be remedied with the use of spray starch, such as Mary Ellen's, and pressing. The looser the weave, the more one can shrink the border. Tight weave, quality fabric, such as Moda, will not shrink much, if at all. [Please note that in the photograph, above, the lettuce leaf is too extreme to be corrected by starching and pressing.]

This shrinkage principle also is a reasonable solution [no pun intended] for closing pin or needle holes left over from unwanted pinning or stitching.

Be aware, however, that if you starch everything to cover up all minor imperfections, then it limits the longarmer's ability to close holes, etc. because the fabric has already been starched and pressed.
We hope that this has been informative and helpful!

May The Lord Richly Bless You!
Rick & Ruth Grihalva
At Forever In Stitches our goal is to further the art of quilting and longarming.
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