Saturday, April 30, 2011

Birthday Giveaway!


In celebration of my birthday today (It's getting close to a big one!) I'm offering up some charm packs!  I have one grey charm pack and two charm packs of Denyse Schmidt's Picnic and Fairground fabrics (left over from cutting up my quilt blocks yesterday) up  for giveaway.  If you would like to enter, please tell me anything about your experience with Long Arm Quilting in the comment.  Some possible ideas to comment about:   Do you have a long arm machine?  What do you like/dislike about it.  Do you have your quilts sent out to be long armed?  Do you think it is affordable?  Worth having done?  Or do you prefer to quilt your own quilts?  Have you had some good/bad experiences with sending your quilts out?  Please make any comment regarding long arm quilting--I will consider it as a birthday present to me as I really want to know how to make my upcoming long arm business a good one and I need your ideas!!!  Closing date for this draw will be May 6th and I will do the draw on May 9th.  First prize will receive the grey pack, second and third will receive the Denyse Schmidt packs...  Thank you so much for your comments and opinions:)

61 comments:

Lara said...

Yes I always send my quilts off to the LAQ. My LAQ is very fast but I've had a couple of experiences when she's used the wrong colour thread or all over pattern :( And once the quilt backing wasn't lined up straight which was disappointing but other than that I've had good experiences. Happy birthday!! Hope you have a great day!! I have an Oliver too :)

Jeannette said...

Well Happy Birthday! That is too funny our names are spelled the same and our Bithdays are close! As for the long arm business I think the intelli quilter is a wise investment for the long arm because it has so much potential that can really set you apart from other long arms. Also I think it is important to decide with the quilt owner what they are wanting from the quilting...ex..the quilting to "pop" or the piecing to show....the thread color has so much to do with that. I could go on and on I guess.

One for a wish.. said...

Sorry can't help you with types of LAQ's but I think you've pinpointed already the main areas of concern for those sending quilts- turnaround and expense. (and quality of course).I've had two quilts quilted where the quilter didn't listen to what I asked for..really disappointing. It's also good to get the customer to choose the thread - some people like the the quilting to stand out, some to blend in.

~Michelle~ said...

I've quilted my quilts on my domestic machine, rented a LA machine, and sent them out. In general, I would probably prefer to send them out, but there is a price consideration, especially if it is a bigger quilt. I'm more inclined to do it myself if it's going to be a utility quilt for myself. But I'll send them out if the quilt will be gifted. All LA experiences have been good, but communication is key! Expectations were set up front!

Kirsten N said...

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday for today Heidi:) I can only do "straight line" stitching on my quilts with my sewing machine so I would love to be able to send my quilt off to a Long Arm Quilter and get them done professionally in a lovely pattern for a change! Not sure if there are many LAQ nearby where I live in Northern NSW as I would imagine posting a quilt off may be costly also.

Tong said...

Happy Birthday! So sweet of you to do a giveaway to celebrate! I don't have a long arm machine nor do I have any first person experience with long arm quilting, but a few of the ladies at my MQG have sent their quilts to local long arm quilters and they all seem to be pretty happy. I think it is pretty pricey but for a big quilt, it's just impossible to do on a domestic machine, it might be worth it. Sorry I'm not much of a help. Thanks again!

Laura said...

Happy Birthday! And what a generous giveaway to celebrate! I've not used a LAQ because of the costs. I went into our local shop that now does LAQ. I can apparently pay to take a class then rent the machine out. I think I'm afraid. I've seen so many beautiful patterns on flickr though from those who have sent their quilts out.

Andi said...

Happy Birthday to you!!!!!
I've been stitching with your FMF fabrics today and mixing in some of the new DS fabrics as well. They work so well together!!!!
In terms of long arm quilting, I used to use them a lot until I learned how to quilt my own quilts. Now I can quilt by hand and also on my Bernina. I haven't used a long arm service for about 5 years now.
BUT I'm thinking about going back for a quilt that is going to be VERY big and I can't quite face basting and quilting it all on my domestic machine. My plan is to have the LAQ do some loose machine quilting and then I'll do some hand quilting as well with Perle 8 thread when I get it back.
I think the thing that makes a LAQ really stand out from the crowd is doing something that simply couldn't be done in any other way. Have you seen Karen's quilting at "Quilts on Bastings"? She also does lovely blog posts about her work. Great photos. Very inviting!!
Hope that all helps.
Andi x

Alisa said...

Happy Birthday! Well, I've never had a quilt done by a long armer. But if/when I do, I plan on talking to a couple of her customers as references. I've heard that it's a good idea to be very specific about what you want. Don't say "just do what you want" if you have an idea in mind about how you want your quilt to turn out. Again Happy B-day and thanks for the give-away chance.

webmailaddress2 said...

Happy birthday! I've seen LAQ demos but have never used one before. I hand quilt everything, which is a huge pain but makes it mean even more to me. However, I must say that LAQ looks totally awesome!

anne said...

So its your b'day...Happy Birthday to you...LAQ I have not used anyone as I hand quilt but I have friends who do. So from there comments I think price is a factor, friendly service, helpful assistance regarding style of quilting and thread used, good quality wadding and maybe a little something to personalise the return of the quilt......tied with a special ribbon, or gift wrapped. Just something to make receiving the quilt back special. Enjoy your day.

BaileyGirl5 said...

Happy Happy Birthday!! I took one quilt to a local longarm quilter because I was kind of stumped and just wanted to "get it done." I was a little disappointed because she really only offered an all over very large seashell like design. I was hoping for a smaller all over stipple. She was very nice and got it done quickly but it doesn't seem special to me now. I have been hand quilting lately and wish now I could go back and do it over.

I live in a small town and there aren't any other longarmers around so I don't think I'd go there again. If I had someone I could work with more and have more choices I'd definitely do it again though.

Ellyn said...

happy birthday & best of luck with your long arm business. I do not have one & always send my big quilts out to be quilted. I have found a very affordable & talented longarmer in Arizona where my parents and oldest dd live, whenever I go to visit I take a stack of quilt tops with me! It's worth it when you find someone good

Marci Girl said...

Happy Birthday and Great Question! I ironically just received back my first quilt I sent to a long arm quilter! I was really pleased, she did a great job, but I didn't leave enough overhanging batting, so the last inch didn't have batting in it because the batting shrunk up in the quilt. Next time I'll make sure to have 4"-5" of overhang. She had it for about a month, which was fine, and she followed the instructions for what I wanted perfectly! Her price was really good and I will be using her again, though I don't make too many quilts, so it won't be that often. Hope this helps!

Digital Misfit said...

Happy Birthday HeidiHo (even though we don't know each other, I feel comfortable calling you that since I have been stuck with the nickname since birth too LOL).
I WISH I had a longarm quilting machine! The cost of sending a quilt out to be done can be prohibitive, but usually worth it. My best friend always brings hers to a local gal who does a great job.
hugs,
Heidi
heidig@gmail.com

Megs said...

Happy Birthday! I have never used a LAQ, but that is because I have only made quite manageable sized quilts. I am starting on a few larger quilts and I have considered that maybe I would like to get them quilted for me, so maybe I will let you know when I am ready and I could become a customer!

Angelina S. said...

Happy birthday!

I've only used a LAQ one time. It was affordable, but kind of frustrating. She had a long wait, didn't have the thread color I needed (it was dark brown, not some crazy color) and wanted me to buy it for her, and didn't have many quilt pattern options. I could have handled most of that - but not the 8 month wait. She was really unprofessional, I feel. Now I quilt everything at home. If I make anything bigger than a throw I'll go to another LAQ but not to her.

Thanks for the chance to win. You've got some beautiful fabrics up for grabs here!

Barb said...

Happy Birthday and congrats on your new business! I'd love to be able to send out more of my quilts...but I find the cost is often prohibitive. But I like to save up $$$ to have large quilts done by the local LAQ. I love not having to baste my own quilts!

Bluquilt said...

My mum hand-pieced a beautiful quilt for her own bed. She sent it to an LAQ and was very disappointed with the result - the backing has some creases and there were LOTS of threads sticking out all over it where the LAQ had changed cotton spools. The threads were all 2-3 cm long and couldn't be neatly woven inside the quilt to stop them unravelling. It was 2 years before Mum felt like using that quilt.

Jen B. said...

Happy Birthday!
I have yet to finish my first quilt, but my mom and aunt are big quilters. My mom has done a combination: hand quilted, quilted on her machine, sent it to my aunt to long arm quilt or sent it to a different long arm quilter. For her it depends on the size of the quilt and how complex she'd like the quilting to be. Sometimes it depends on what my aunt's up to since she travels quite a bit!

Bek said...

Happy Birthday to you!!! I have no experience at all with long arm quilting i'm sorry! Although it does seem to be quite expensive so i've heard - hence the reason why i have learnt to do my own hehe. I hope ou have a very happy birthday :)

Bek xo
dreamfctry.blogspot.com

gill said...

Happy Birthday!
I've always done my own quilting because LAQ is so expensive! Here in the UK it's nearly £100 for a single quilt and on top of the cost of fabrics I'm afraid it's out of my price range! also a part of me thinks the quilt wouldn't really be 'mine' if someone else did the quilting!

Elizabeth D. said...

Wow, happy birthday to you!! What a wonderful giveaway! I've never sent my quilt out to a long-arm, I've always felt like it was a lot of money for something I could do myself. I am planning to learn how to use a long arm machine myself to quilt the king-size quilt top for my bed this summer, but I definitely wouldn't send it off. I like having my hands on every part of the quilting process, and the actual quilting is my favorite part of the whole process.

Mama Spark said...

Happy Birthday to you!! I use a long arm quilter extensively. She is my friend and she gives me a discount b/c I do a LOT of ferrying of projects to and from her for others as well as a LOT of marketing and fielding questions for her too. All that being said, she is very willing to work together with me to get exactly what I want on my quilts. Sometime this weekend I will be showing the Layer Cake quilt (from the quilt along) that she quilted and it turned out so well. I was so happy with it. I went to her place and chose exactly what I wanted. She will often send me links to sites that have patterns and I will choose what I want (or I can choose from the patterns she has). If I choose a new pattern I am responsible for buying it too. She carries batting that I can buy for my quilts too so I don't have to go out looking for what I want either. It is a great service all the way around!!

Carmen said...

This is an amazing giveaway -- thanks so much! I'm nearing a "big one" birthday too, and I feel a little uneasy about it:) But your attitude about it is way better than mine!

Sadly, I actually don't have any experience with long-armers. I think I instantly have an impression that it will cost a lot, and I just can't splurge at the moment. I'd love to, though, because I don't quite have a handle on FMQ yet on the larger quilts that I make, and I would also love to break out of stippling. I've also searched for long-armers in my area (near Toronto, Canada) and they seem simply impossible to find via Google. Maybe even making yourself findable is the only advice I can give you:) But all the best -- that's really exciting that you're starting up a business!

cherie godbey said...

Happy Birthday! I have never sent out a quilt for long arm quilting. Not that I wouldn't want to, but the pricing is always to confusing! I wish my store would give free bids or something! :)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Happy Birthday! I do not have a long arm quilter. I send out my large quilts to be quilted and I think it's worth it especially for the custom designs.

Meg said...

What a great giveaway! Happy birthday! I have never had my quilts sent out, but I am planning a queen that I want done professionally. I have never done it because I just can't afford it!

peaknits said...

Happy birthday! I have the big 4-0 approaching in 17 days myself:) I will have to think of a giveaway too - as it is cause for celebration - or so I keep telling myself. I think for larger quilts - long arm is the way to go and worth it, I have paid $100 for quilting but it beats weeks of wrestling with a big quilt and not have the designs I want - the long arm lady can do so many cool things I can't on my little machine. I was thinking of taking a class to learn to do it myself and rent a machine somewhere - then I can say I did the whole thing:) Enjoy your celebration and thank you for the opportunity for your giveaway!:)

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday! I hope that your day is wonderful! As far as long arm quilting goes, I am planning on making a Cal King quilt for my bed and since I just have a little Bernina Activa 220 I am going to pay to have it long arm quilted. For basic meandering it is like 1 1/2 cents per square inch and to me, that is worth it for me not to have to try and do that either by hand or try and get my little machine to do it. I would rather do it all myself but since I can not own a long arm myself I am just going to have to settle for an awesome long arm quilter doing it for me! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Melissa said...

Happy birthday!

I've never sent a quilt off to a long arm quilter. I've definitely been tempted to, but I always end up quilting myself. Cost is a huge factor for me.
I wish you luck on your new business endeavor!

Johanna said...

Happy birthday!
I just got my first quilt back from the LAQ and it is beautifully quilted but way too expensive. It was a very special quilt so I had to do it but I will think very hard about sending a quilt out in the future...
But - if I had more money (still studying..) I would definitely send more of my quilts out. My laq offered a great service and even called me to talk about the pattern!

Sonja said...

Those are some nice charm packs lady! I wish I could help you with LAQ info, but I've never used one. I do know that I would look for someone who uses designs creatively to enhance the overall quilt design. I'm not much of a "same meandering design" type of person. Good luck and Happy Birthday!

Quilt Girl said...

Happy Birthday to You! I hope it is lovely...

I always send my quilts out to a LAQ Gal. She is wonderful, always brings out tons of thread choices, shows mw different patterns on her computer and can mix and match to create the effect I'm looking for. She tends to take some time, but since she is super reasonable and provides the batting (even explaining why different choices might work better for a certain quilt). I haven't been disappointed!

Bronwyn said...

Happy Birthday! I used to send my quilts out to be quilted when I had a very basic machine. I bought a super duper machine and I am slowly working on it to do my own quilts. BUT I have discovered professionally done basting - fraction of the cost of quilting and it holds the quilt together very nicely for a long time. This is very practical for me, as 1) I hate basting using any type of method 2) It bypasses the one stage of quilting that I procrastinate and grumble about 3) The quilt is not in a rush to get finished (as with spray that can lose its stick), so I can leave it for a while and come back to it when I'm ready!
The one complaint I have had so far with sending out my quilt to be basted is that the backing was not put on as I would have liked ie the label that I had already sewn into the back was only just on the quilt and not placed further in as I would have liked. Communication is the key to getting your quilt done by someone else - write it done if you must so that they know exactly what you want.
Good luck with what you decide!

Deidra said...

I don't have a long arm. I've always wanted one just don't have the space for it or the funds. Hopefully in the future.

Hollie said...

I don't have any experience with Long Arm Quilting at all but my LQS has one and they're offering classes which I am planning to take very soon.

The Hungry Crafter said...

I don't have any experience with LAQ, but that is only because I've never made a quilt big enough :) If I ever do a full size quilt, I will most likely send it out for quilting. My biggest concern will be cost... My preference would be to have it done locally, but i don't know how feasible that would be in my area.

Mari said...

Happy Birthday :-)
I have had one quilt sent away for quilting, but in Norway that is soo expencive.(300$
I have bought myself a quiltingframe and Viking megaquilter. So I can quilt kingsize quilts, myself. I like it alot and with a bit of practise, it looks good.Payd about 2000$ so after 6-7 quilt,I`m even.

Elena said...

Yay, happy birthday!!!
I've only ever completed one large quilt, and I did send it to get long-armed. It came out gorgeous, but at $90US, it was definitely quite pricey, despite being just $.01/sq inch. My long-term sewing/studio dream is to have my own long-arm to quilt for myself and close friends, but that's many many years and square feet of studio space away! :)

Jen said...

Happy birthday! Thank you for your generosity! I have never sent a quilt out to be quilted but I would definitely consider it on a bigger one, especially if it was made with good fabric! My main limiter has been the price.

Marg M said...

Happy birthday. I use a LAQ with all my big quilts (Queen/King ) as I am new to quilting I use to just say they could do what they liked. The smaller quilts I hand quilt. I have not been disappointed but I had seen a lot of their prior work for 2 of them. I have used 3 different people now. All had good turn around time,about a month except over the big holiday season. I had changed LAQ's as I had moved States, with work hence having to find different people. I found them by word of mouth at shops that I used.
Now that I am a little more experienced I look at the patterns suggested and the colour threads and have a little more input. I still find the LAQ's I use make the right choices.
I am lucky that I can afford this service as I do find it pricey.
Hope you had a lovely birthday. It was mine also :-)

Cathy said...

Happy Birthday, came here via the lovely Patchandi!! Sorry I'm not much help on the LAQ side of things, I have always done my own quilting on my domestic, or hand quilted. I would love to buy one of my own one day though. Good luck with yours. xo

Teresa Felgueiras said...

I don't have a long arm and unfortunately i don't know anyone in Portugal who has one. I'd love to have some of my quilts log arm quilted for I've seen wonderful work and it's really difficult to quilt a large one in a domestic sewing machine. To send it away would be very expensive because of the postage.

NotYetTheDodo2 said...

Happy birthday! I do not have a longarm, I do not know where in this country I cpould send my quilt so have it quilted, and I am serious ly curious about how that would be one day to get the chance to meet a longarm machine! I'll be reading through people's comments now, I'm probably asking myself many of the same questions....

baukje said...

Hi, I just discover your blog, saw it on Patch Andy's blog.HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!! LOVELY quilts you make. I am a beginner, made about 4 doll quilts and only 1 small quilt which I quilted by hand.
I am working now on a grandmother's flowergarden quilt, I am planning to quilt it by hand. I really don't know anything about long-arm quilting machines. Only saw one on a craft fair last year.
I would love to win the charm pack......

LJ said...

I am a frugal quilter and I quilt all of my quilts. I rather use the money saved and put it into more fabric and supplies-batting-thread. Happy Birthday!!

sewjourn said...

Happy Birthday....mine is on the 7th so I HAD to enter....just might be lucky!

Becca said...

First off, Happy Birthday! I have yet to finish a quilt large enough to need LAQ and I'm torn as to whether I'd send out or just try hand quilting. I've said so before but your quilts are just gorgeous and your new one with DS's new fabrics is beautiful....with how many you've made, have you considered adding some to your Etsy shop?
myownpemberley@gmail.com

SewOverwhelmed said...

Happy,happy Birthday to you! I'm sorry I don't have any experiences with LAQ. I WISH I did though! I usually make Queen to King size quilts and they are wearing me out trying to quilt them with my sewing machine.I would love to send my tops out to be quilted but I don't think I could afford it, sounds expensive.

Helen said...

My Mum brought a LAQ frame and I got to use it a few times and loved in! We then moved 3,500kms away and I couldn't take it with me! I have quilted on one and also sent quilts away. The joy of getting a quilt back and just having to do the binding is priceless!! Happy Birthday!

ladmquilter said...

I have had several quilts quilted by a long arm quilter they came out wonderful, they were both free hand and computer image they make the quilts look so wonderful better than anything that I could do myself. Have a Happy Birthday.

Susan said...

I've only been quilting for 2 yrs now and have only ever quilted my oown, though I would love to try a long arm quilter. And if I had an unexpected windfall, I'd love to own my own long arm machine

Vintage April said...

I got a longarm a year ago and love it! I get a lot more quilts finished. Happy Birthday!

Bj said...

I have always squoze my quilts into my little machine to quilt them, yes, I've managed to get Queen size quilts done. I just finished a quilt I've named "Kentucky Whirligig" which is made with a Kansas Trouble Fabric that I absolutely love and I plan on asking my amazing friend Roslyn to long arm quilt it for me, she does amazing work, free hand and I can hardly wait to see what she does with it.

Dawn said...

I would love to have my own LAQ machine. I do all my quilting on my machine right now. But have a queen size quilt I am thinking about sending it out to be quilted. I attend to quilt guild meetings each month where members have shared some beautiful quilts quilted by LAQ, the work was completed by members of the guild. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck.

Jennadesigns said...

I personally have never used a long arm quilter, though I would consider buying one myself when I have a little bit more income. I love doing ALL of the work on a project, from selecting a color pallete, pulling fabrics, cutting, piecing, sandwiching, pinning, quilting and binding... somehow that just makes it "mine." I honestly don't know I'd feel the same if someone else long-arm quilted it, though I agree, I've seen some beautiful work out there. Unfortunately, I've also heard some not-so-great stories and mishaps happen. So, short answer, maybe, someday, in my own home!

And have a very happy birthday!

Zibu said...

I've never sent a quilt out but I've always admired the quilting done by LAQs. I sort of just want my own LAW setup... ;-) Happy birthday!

Emma said...

I'm just about to send my first quilt out to be LAQed. It's for my sister &. Just too big to quilt by myself on my machine at home. I think it's expensive, but hopefully my sister will have it forever so it's a good investment. Happy birthday, thanks for the giveaway :)

Anna said...

I have only just started quilting in the last couple of years, but I am getting to the poit now where I am considering tackling a Queen to King size quilt. This I would love to send out to have LAQ'd, as my machine is a small one. I have been looking, but they are not easy to find if you dont know where/who.
Good luck with your venture!

beth lehman said...

I have only done 9 quilts. One was large enough to have me scared to do myself - but I lucked out and "won" someone longarm quilting it for me. All my other quilts have been twin or smaller. I have wondered if I would enjoy longarm quilting myself. I would like to know more about doing that kind of work. For now, I do it myself - although for a really large quilt I think I might pay for it!

elizabethlehman@hotmail.com

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