Monday, May 11, 2020

Tips from Carrie

Hi, quilting family! I am still accepting orders during Covid-19, but I’m not currently bringing people into our house. You’re welcome to bring projects and simply drop them off on our porch, or you can always submit by mail (see further info about shipments at the bottom of this post). When submitting projects, please print this  “order form”, fill in the pertinent information, and include in your bag/box. For quilting design, you can either let me know Edge-to-Edge or custom quilting. You can let me pick whatever design I think would fit best, or if you have certain ideas, please feel free to jot them down on the order form. Or you can request a call prior to quilting, and we can discuss on the phone.

Please take a glance through the topics below. These are items that come up often with my clients, and I thought it was worth sharing them with all of you, my beloved! If I’ve forgotten anything, or if further questions arrive, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

- EFFORTLESS BINDING: If you are having me apply “effortless binding” - which means the quilt comes back to you completely finished, bound, and ready to use - you do NOT need to make a binding strip. I PREFER it if you just give me uncut yardage. If you’ve already assembled your binding strip, it’s still usable for effortless binding, so go ahead and bring it. But if you haven’t assembled the binding strip, DON’T. If you want to know how much yardage to bring, send me your quilt’s dimensions, and I can let you know! See further info by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom.

- ATTACHED BINDING: If you would like me to attach your binding strip to the front of the quilt, so that you can wrap it around and sew it to the back of the quilt yourself, please make your binding strip 2.25” wide. Just a little narrower than the typical binding many people use.

- WAVY EDGES: If I quilted your project heavily/densely, I recommend that you apply a little back pressure to the binding as you attach it to your quilt. If you don’t sorta kinda stretch the binding ever so slightly, you might end up with excess fabric in the binding, which could create wavy edges. You don’t need to stretch MUCH. Just give it a tiny little pull or back pressure as you lay it down onto the quilt top and sew it on. Loosely quilted projects won’t need this.

- TWO QUILTS ONE BACKING: If you are using the same backing for two different quilt tops, feel free to leave the backing fabric in one big long piece. Same for batting. I can load that long piece of backing fabric on my frame, quilt through the first quilt, and then just lay the second quilt on and continue quilting. It would save you some of the excess backing fabric, and it will save me time, only loading up one quilt backing versus two. This is an especially good option for things like placemats or baby quilts. Please click here to see an example.

- STRETCHY BACKING: Minkey, fleece, and faux-fur all have stretch - a LOT of stretch sometimes. When I load this stretchy fabric on my frame, it stretches from top to bottom, which compresses the width from side to side. For this reason, please make sure your stretchy backings have at least 12” of extra width and length than your quilt top. For example, if your quilt top is 40x60, your stretchy backing should be at least 52x72.

- LEADERS: I request that backing fabric is at least 8” longer and wider than the quilt top. For example, if your quilt top is 50x70, your backing should be at least 58x78. If your backing fabric isn’t quite big enough, we can fudge it by adding “leaders”, which are strips of alternative fabric. It does not have to match the quilt, because it will be cut off later. But it does need to be cotton - NOT stretchy fabric. You will only need to attach this to two opposite sides, either the top and bottom or the sides. Leaders are not needed on all four sides. Please send me the measurements of your quilt top and of your backing fabric (without leaders), and I can advise you on how to attach leaders. Please check out examples and photos by clicking here.

- SEAMED BACKING: I try to have long seams run across the frame, from left to right. If I have it running up and down, from top to bottom, the seam will be rolled around the bars on the frame each time we advance the quilt to the next area. And each time that seam rolls around the bar, the thickness of the seam piles up on top of itself, making a bulky spot on the roller that can make it hard to stretch the quilt taut and can mess with thread tension.
   It is preferable if your seaming and/or leaders allow for mounting width-wise on the frame. This allows for more quilting in a single span of the frame, with less time spent tying off and advancing the rollers. Please check out examples and photos by clicking here.

- SELVAGES: I encourage you to leave the selvages intact on the sides of your backings. I like to use it to attach to my quilting frame. I do NOT recommend using selvage within the seaming of your quilt top or backing. They are double-woven, thus thicker than the body of the fabric, and they do not behave the same as the rest of the fabric. 

- STAY-STITCHING: Some longarmers require a “stay stitch” around the perimeter of quilt tops. This is just a simple straight stitch that runs along the outside edge of your entire quilt, less than a quarter inch from the cut edge, so that it will be hidden inside the binding in the end. The purpose is to prevent your seams from pulling apart along the edges of your quilt as you handle it, prior to quilting. I do NOT require this. If your quilt has lots of tiny pieces around the edges, I definitely think it’s a good idea. But if your quilt has long strips of border fabric around the edges, for example, I do not think stay-stitching is necessary.

- SUBMITTING PROJECTS BY MAIL: Please DO NOT send packages to me by courier. UPS, Fedex, Purolator, etc. canNOT find our rural address, and I have had huge headaches trying to track them down when they get returned to processing centers. Please only use CanadaPost or US Postal Service to send shipments. My address is:
Carrie Behlke
Site 3 Box 17 RR 1
High River, AB T1V 1N1

- PAYMENT BY CHEQUE - my banking accounts bear my personal name, not my business name, so please make all cheques payable to CARRIE BEHLKE. 

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