A Short Guide to Longarm Quilting

A Short Guide to Longarm Quilting

Technological advancement has had an impact on every industry and this also applies to quilting. Gone are the days when the only option was hand quilting and now quilters have the option of using home sewing machines or a longarm machine as well. As the name indicates, longarm quilting is a process that uses a longarm machine, which load the top, back and batting into a metal frame so all the three layers can be sewn at once. The machine head rolls vertically and horizontally, allowing the machine to quilt while the fabric doesn’t move from one place to another. Depending on the machine you opt to use, it can be manual or also operated by a computer through which designs can be quilted automatically.

How does a Longarm Quilting Machine work?

A sewing machine head, a worktable, fabric rollers and a heavy duty-frame are the elements included in a longarm quilting machine. The dimensions of the frame can vary as per the machine, but it is usually between 10 and 14 feet long. Like the machine, the table size also tends to vary. King-sized quilts can easily be accommodated on a large table easily. There is a flat area on the table where you can place the clear plastic, thin and patterns you wish to follow.

The hand-guided machines come with handles that enable you to move the machine along the fabric and sew the design of your choice. As far as a computer-guided machine is concerned, it is connected to a computer system and you can choose the design you want to sew. Only a press of a button is needed to make it happen. There are several rolling bars on the machine’s frame and these are where you place the quilt. On one side of the machine, there are two rollers called feeder bars on which the backing and top of the quilt is placed.

Types of Longarm Quilting

Two main styles of quilting can be done when you are using a longarm machine; namely, pantograph and custom. A long design running the entire length of the table is called a pantograph design. The pantograph is placed under the plastic layer on the table and is then traced by a laser or a stylus on the machine thread. Using a pantograph for quilt is one of the most popular options because they don’t require a lot of effort on the part of the quilter.

It is also possible for you to go with custom work, even though it is a bit more tedious. This option is a good way to go if you are interested in sewing different designs on separate blocks. This kind of design will cost more if you are going to send off your quilt to a professional because it requires greater attention to detail and is also more time consuming.

You can decide what kind of quilting you want to go for and get a longarm machine as it will help you save a lot of time in the long run.

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