I've decided to add a feature to my helpful hint blog now that I'm getting back into a somewhat normal routine. It will be about dealing with quilt top issues. Let me explain what it's about before I start.
In all the 30 years I've been a professional machine quilter; I can count the number of absolutely perfect tops I've received on one hand. The most recent perfect top was one sent to me by an internet friend that lives in Texas. It was so perfect it didn't need any trimming at all to make it square after the quilting was done.
Also; through the years I've seen people buy a machine to start doing machine quilting for a living..... before they see the real picture. It's really not just about having fun stitching designs then collecting the money. There are problems with customer tops called issues that must be delt with on almost every top brought to the professional quilter.
Professional quilters are expected to be the "fix all fairy" and make every issue disappear with our magic wands. We are expected to magically fix every seam that wasn't sewn.... to grow a backing to fit the top.... to press out all the wrinkles.... to correct the flip flopped seams..... to make a too short border longer.... to make a too long border shrink..... to make a backing that's pieced with stretch on one side and not the other get quilted without tucks..... and numerous other issues. We are expected to do these things.... without charge.... while doing our lowest priced quilting.
What I tell my customers is...... "my magic wand is broken and your top will be quilted in the condition it arrives"
Don't get me wrong.... I love what I do.... even dealing with the quilt issues. I love the challenge of dealing with all the issues.... so long as it's understood I can't fix every issue as if it didn't exist in the first place.
My intention is to show the things that go wrong with a quilt top and how a machine quilter can possibly deal with the issues. Every machine quilter will have different ways to deal with the same issues. This blog will contain ways that I deal with the issues.
I believe my helpful hints about quilt issues will be beneficial to toppers and also helpful to those who just quilt their own tops. By visiting my blog to see the issue I deal with frequently; they can check their own tops for the same issues. If a topper sees an issue and how it affects the outcome of the quilting; maybe they will choose to fix it before taking it to their quilter. Those doing their own quilting will probably pick up a few hints for working with their machine.
These issues should be a part of the "be professional" blog labels. I thought if I give them a separate blog label it will be easier to navigate if you just want to read about quilt issues.
So here's to hoping I can help you even without my magic wand......