Quilting on a longarm quilting machine, like the Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18, is a great, rewarding and fun part of the quilting process. If you own one of these machines, as I do, sometimes people will ask you to quilt a quilt for them. Everyone sews a little differently, however, so a 1/4 inch seam sewn on one machine by one person can be different from another. Pressing techniques can also be different.
When you give your quilt top to a longarm quilter to quilt for you, there are a couple of things you can do ahead of time which will make you your longarmer’s new best friend.
- When sewing on your borders, don’t just sew them on strip-style. Instead, measure the two ends and across the middle of the quilt top, then take the average measurement to cut the borders that length. Pin in place, starting at both ends and working towards the middle. This will help keep the quilt square and avoid flared corners.
- Press all your seams flat. Once your quilt has been completely pressed, hang it on a hanger to avoid creases. This will save your longarmer so much time not having to repress the quilt top before putting it on the frame.
- Sew 1/8 to 1/4 inch all around your quilt top. This will stop seams from separating when on the longarm quilting frame.
- Press your backing fabric and hang neatly on a hanger.
- If you are piecing your backing, sew with a wider 1/2 inch seam which adds more strength and stability, and press open so the seam allowance lays flat. Keep all the small pieces of fabric toward the middle and use larger pieces of fabric along the outside edges of the backing. This will also add strength and stability and will avoid excess bulk in the binding. Try to keep the grainline of the fabric pieces consistent, so the Warp threads, for example, are all running vertically. This will help keep the backing square and avoid it from going “wonky”.
- Have minimally 3 to 5 inches of extra backing all around each edge, though your longarmer may also tell you their preference, depending on the size rollers of their machine. The extra backing fabric gets attached to the leaders and allows for free movement of the machine head without worrying about hitting the bars or side clamps. This is especially important if your longarmer will be using computer guided robotics on their machine, like the Janome Pro Stitcher Premium computer software available for the Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18, Janome Quilt Maker Pro 16 and Janome Quilt Maker Pro 20.
If you’re working on a quilt on your Janome QMP longarm quilting machine and you find that the edge of the quilt top is buckling; has some extra fullness, as in the photo below, a great way to fix it is spray with Terial Magic Stabilizing spray. Janome Canada is a distributor of Terial Magic, so check with your Janome Dealer to order.
Follow the directions on the bottle, but, basically you’ll spray Terial Magic on the fabric, let it dry, then press. This quilt top in the photo above still needs a good press, but already some of the fullness has disappeared. Terial Magic washes out afterwards, so no one will know what challenges and remedies you faced getting the quilt top quilted.
These are little tips that I find useful and thought I would pass on, whether you will be the longarm quilter doing the quilting, or will send your quilt top to someone else who’ll do the quilting. Contact your local Janome Dealer to purchase all your sewing needs!
Janome Canada Dealers have lots of terrific savings and promotions going on right now, including specials on the Janome Quilt Maker Pro longarm quilting machines! Check out the Offers and Promotions tab on Janome.CA and check with your Janome Canada Dealer for details!