Learning from the past - how cost effective and quickly Machine Quilting changed our Quilts

I learned to quilt at a very young age from my grandma. She always put her quilts in a wooden frame that had to be rolled and I would always have to help her roll her quilt.  It was quite the ordeal loosening vise grips, rolling and realigning the quilt while keeping it taught with no wrinkles.

Funny how this looks similar to the longarm process of today!  She taught me how to use a thimble, hand quilt and tie off knots.  Those were the days!!!  I wish I had a pic of us quilting, but I don't :(  She also had tons of fabric scraps like all of us.  She kept them in trash cans and it was my job to iron them and cut them into 2" squares or whatever the quilt of the day was!

My mother-in-law also hand quilts, but she doesn't use the rolling process.  She has a wooden frame in which she lays the entire quilt out in and quilts that way.    All of our church quilters use this process as well to perform the hand quilting ritual! This process requires a very large area especially with everyone wanting King size quilts these days.

This is a quilt for my daughter that my mother in law hand quilted and we all joined in to help!
My mother in law made double wedding rings for each of her kids one year for Christmas and she has 13 kids!!!

Hand quilting is beautiful, but requires a large room and days upon days to quilt a quilt.  Some women find this very satisfying and soothing, but it's not for me.  In this fast paced word today everyone wants instant gratification and results.

Therefore, since there are not many hand quilters left or they don't tend to hire out, a lot of people bring their quilt tops to be quilted on a long arm machine today.  If you bring your quilt to a long arm quilter do your research 1st.  Make sure they have references and know what they charge!  After you put a labor of love into making a top, you definitely want the quilting to show off your labor of love.  Believe me when I say there is definitely different skillsets of long arm quilters and there really isn't any going back if you don't like the way they quilted your quilt.

With all this said, my daughter asked me to make a quilt for her and her kids and I also wanted to make a quilt for a future daughter-in-law and I'm always making baby quilts.  I previously had family that could quilt for me, so it was no big deal.  My grandma passed years ago and my mother-in-law really doesn't quilt much any more so I was going to be forced to hire a long arm quilter since I really don't like to hand quilt nor do I have a frame or space to put a quilt up and didn't want to do one by myself :(

I had my daughter's top all made, but didn't want to pay the price of a long arm quilter!!! I was dragging my feet on getting the quilt quilted.  My daughter knew I was dragging my feet and suggested that I quilt it myself on my sewing machine.  She said she saw on the internet how people use their domestic machines to quilt their own quilts.  I brushed her off because her quilt was 108" x 90" and I thought there is no way that I'm going to be able to quilt that on my domestic machine!!!  She surprised me by treating me to a Machine Quilting class.   I was skeptical but also curious.  Hey, this could save me a ton of money by quilting my quilts myself.  During the class, I brought a quilt top that I wanted to give to one of her sons (my grandson).  I really couldn't believe how easy it was.

We love Appletree Quilting in Columbia, Missouri!!

I did end up buying this Husqvarna Viking Topaz 20 machine that I sew, quilt and embroidery with today. 

I used it to machine quilt this 108 x 90 quilt which I gifted to my daughter and I of course I had to also make a pillow and add my dove embroidery label!

I did some stitch in the ditch and some ruler work on the quilt.  After this, I learned about quilt as you go (QAYG) which is even easier and plan on trying out this process in the future.

he domestic quilting class was one of the best gifts my daughter has ever given me besides her undying love and grandkids!!!  I am now hooked on domestic machine quilting and will not think twice about making tops because I know I can quilt them now for practically nothing except my time in my sewing room which I call my Happy Place!!!  

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