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Longarming #22 - When Things Seam To Be Secure --- Not!
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.
When Seams Seem To Be Secure --- Not!

I'm sure some of you are saying "Not another one of those silly titles." But, believe it or not, I come up with these titles to pique your interest in real issues.

The point that I am making is that quilts are made up of a lot of pieces of fabric that are sewn together along seams.[Pretty clear so far.] And everything holds together just fine. Until....

Have You Seen Our Longarms?
Many of you have seen our Innova AutoPilot Mach 3 longarm quilting systems. They are magnificent! Shown here is just the end of our small 12 foot long machine with Raggedy Ruth operating it.

These machines can create the smallest, most delicate stitching [an example of this is our "double needle" wrought iron medallion, shown below]. This delicateness appears deceiving because of the speed and accuracy with which the longarms create the stitched designs while keeping the stitch length constant and beautiful. In order to create such stitching the fabric must be held steady.
To hold the fabric steady during the stitching process a lot of pressure is put on the quilt top.and pieced bottom. This is unlike hand quilting using a quilting hoop, where the sides and edges are uniformly held into position.

So What?

Every quilt has seams that go to the edge of the quilt. Quilts with borders have just a few spots where the seams go to the edges. Quilts like nine-patch quilts without borders or piano key borders have a lot of seams that go to the edge of the quilt.

The pressures from the quilt's top attached to the top and bottom rollers and the side clamps can cause the seams to open, or pop open. When the quilting is completed and with open seam ends, the only hope is to trim off the open areas or assure that the open areas are small enough to fit within the binding, which is unlikely.

Simple Solution

When you sew those seams that go to the edge of the quilt, make sure they are back-tacked.

But what about piano key borders that are made up of multiple cut strips where you can't back-tack the seams? An additional way to secure those seams as well as on quilts that have a lot of seams that go to the edge is to sew all the way around the quilt at 1/8" from the edge.

This may seem like a non-solution because when the quilt is trimmed, the seams are subject to coming open. However, these open seams will be bound up in the binding and thereby become secured.
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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