Here is how the adorable pantograph "Meandering Daisy" is working itself out on my customer's giant, refreshingly scrappy king-sized quilt. She requested simple white thread on top, so of course I chose the tried-and-true Aurifil 50 wt. in #2021. This color of white thread is not the shocking bright white, but a more delicate white. Using this top thread gave me the perfect opportunity to use my Magna-Glide Classic prewound bobbins, another tried-and-true product I love. Since these are white, but the backing is black, I was concerned about a white bobbin being too busy on the back. But my customer assured me that she would like to see the white daisy pattern on the black backing fabric, so I racked it all up and got one row done before dinner last night.
This quilt is approximately 108" square. So the first pass took me about 50 minutes to complete. The design is wide, about 10 inches I guess, so it covers a large area with each pass. Today my goal is to try to complete each pass quicker, while maintaining the beauty and flow of the stitches.
Longarm quilters do more than tame quilts. We tame batting. This king-sized quilt of course come with king-sized batting. Every packaged batting comes out of the bag looking somewhat like this:
There are hard-pressed kinks throughout. These must be tamed before racking up the quilt or else these creases will be permanently quilted into the quilt. And that's not good! I've picked out a few of these mistakes in my 5 years of longarming. So I decided a few months ago that I would always press the batting before I rack it up.
Pressing a football-field of batting on my ironing board is not good for business. It's a time stealer, and it picks up every single stray thread known to man. Even when I vacuum first. So I press the entire batting on my longarm after I've pinned on the quilt top and the backing fabric to the leaders.
Here is how the king-sized creases looked before pressing:
Because the batting so long, I fold it up on itself and let it hang close to the floor:
I slowly run my iron vertically across the batting wall, steaming generously all the way. This uses a lot of water. I barely put pressure on the batting, because the steam is doing all the work.
This is how it looks when I'm done:
I pull it up about 12 more inches to press out the fold at the bottom, repeat the pressing process on the inner wall of batting, and then it's ready to be loaded onto the frame. The batting hangs nicely with no creases:
And the excess is folded up from behind the machine, so it can feed evenly when I roll the quilt:
Now I'm going back into the studio to dust off this frame...