Custom Longarm Machine Quilting

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Quilting Questions

Why does my backing fabric need to be bigger than my quilt top? Can't it all be the same size?

No. In order to load the backing fabric onto the rollers, I need at least 3 inches extra at the top and bottom (total of 6 inches). While it is still quiltable if the quilt top is the same width as the backing fabric, it is preferable (and much easier to quilt) if the backing fabric is also 3 inches wider on each side (total of 6 inches).

The same general rule goes for the batting, only instead of 6 inches total, it needs to be at least 4 inches bigger.

Why is it more expensive for you to seam Minkee than regular fabric?

Minkee is a thicker, heavier material. It is also quite "slippery." It requires a double seam, and takes quite a long time to prepare for seaming. Regular fabric is generally cooperative and doesn't move much when pinned. It can be single or double seamed, and takes less than half the time required to seam the Minkee.

Why does the thread charge include a new needle?

The needle needs to be changed after every quilt. This is typically done to ensure that the needle is not over used. Also, some needles dull quickly, especially if going through thicker seams or heavier fabrics. As a general rule, I change the needle every time I change a quilt.

How do I figure out how much it will cost me to have my quilt done?

Here's an example of how to figure out your quilting cost.

1. Measure the quilt top. sample: 48x48
2. Multiply measurements. 48x48=2304 square inches.
3. Multiply the square inches by the cost of your desired quilting.
all-over $0.015 = $34.56
custom $0.02 = $46.08
interpretive $0.03 = $69.12
4. Add in any extra services. sample: all-over design plus 1 border: add $10.00 to all-over total. = $44.56
5. If you would like to purchase batting from me, figure it out this way:
48 + 4 extra inches = 52 inches.
Batting at $10.99/yard
52 inches/ 36 inches (1 yard) = 1.44444
1.44444 yards at $10.99 = $15.87
(NOTE: I usually round to the nearest 1/8, 1/4, or 1/3 yard, for ease of computing)
6. Add thread and needle charge of $4.00 (additional $2.00 if variegated)
7. If quilt is a rush order, take quilting total and times by 1.5
all-over (including add. border) = $66.84
custom = $69.12
interpretive = $103.68
8. If binding services are desired, here is how to figure out approximate total:
Measure quilt top. sample 48x48
Take perimeter (all 4 sides added together) sample: 48 x 4 sides= 192 inches
Add at least 1 inch per side sample: 192 + 4 = 196
Multiply total inches by $0.15 sample: 196 xd $0.15 = $29.40
9. If I am seaming a backing fabric, or batting, or doing any other service, add those in.
10. Add up all of your figures. For our sample we had a 48 x 48 quilt rushed using an all-over pattern with an additional border, batting, thread, needle, and 196 inches of binding. The batting, thread, and needle are all taxed at 6.45%.
subtotal: $116.11
tax: $1.28
total: approximately $117.39

Remember, I cut batting to the nearest fractional increment, and binding inches are an approximation.

If binding inches are an approximation when I figure it out, how do you know for sure how many inches you do?

When I make the binding, I measure how much I have made. Then I attach it to the quilt. Whatever is left over is subtracted from the initial amount. That leaves me with my total running inches.

example: made: 215 inches of binding
leftover: 31 inches of binding
total running inches: 184 inches