Long arm quilting services refers to sewing the layers of a quilt using a longarm sewing machine that is defined by its large throat space. The industrial-standard equipment is designed to work faster and better than traditional quilting systems. This allows quilting factories or companies to streamline their orders into conveyor-belted results. Such a quick production service can tackle bulk orders. For small-scale projects, however, hand quilting is commonly used instead of longarm machines. People who have an affinity for threadworks and handstitched designs often take their sewing hobbies to online marketplaces like Etsy. Longarm quilting services come with different packages for edge-to-edge quilting from existing designs, customized quilting, and various quilt basting options.
Edge-to-edge long arm quilting services is also known as pantograph quilting. A pantograph is a continuous lined pattern for longarm quilt designs, much like a wallpaper roll. These patterns are used during longarm quilting when the overhead machine moves across the quilt in an edge-to-edge precision. The pantograph acts like a vast stencil to guide the repeated patterns, or motifs, over the quilt’s three layers (top, batting, and backing). There are virtually endless possibilities for pantograph motifs, like geometric shapes, flowers, leaves, feathers, stars, curls, and birds. The quilter rolls this pantograph pattern across the back table of a longarm machine. A stylus or a laser pointer is connected to the longarm for tracing each pattern as the quilter moves the machine. This enables the stylus to keep tracing while the longarm stitches the corresponding pattern. Depending on the overall layout, this process is repeated in horizontal, vertical, or diagonal setups to complete the intended look.
Computerized long arm quilting services
Automated quilting machines use digital patterns rather than rolled paper pantographs. Longarm quilting machines that are compatible with this technology include different machine brands such as Statler Stitcher, Intelli Quilter, PC Quilter, and Machine Quilting Robot. By using longarm automation, you do not need to maneuver the longarm by hand as the whole process becomes computerized.
A touchscreen interface or tablet is connected to the longarm quilting system. You can simply choose the required configurations and designs on the screen. The software needs to be compatible with your longarm quilting hardware, and manufacturers develop their machines accordingly to support specific programs. Computerized longarm machines have a tremendous commercial appeal, especially during COVID restrictions. Both home and professional quilting businesses benefit from automated production lines that require minimal human intervention.
Points to consider about longarm quilting services
Longarm quilter location
Some quilting companies offer online consultations, but it is always favorable if there is a good local quilter around you when it comes to longarm quilting services. This facilitates drop-offs and is particularly useful if you need to place frequent orders.
Before hiring a longarm quilter, decide on your quilting style preferences. Some companies have edge-to-edge specialties with their off-the-shelf quilt designs. Others focus on custom patterns to create user-defined aesthetics for longarm quilting services.
Browse the longarm quilting catalogs of different companies to get some perspective on pantograph ranges, trends, and creativity. You can also come up with your own inspirations if you choose to opt for custom designs.
Make sure that your chosen quilting service delivers your order within suitable timeframes. Fast turnarounds are crucial for regular bulk orders.
Pricing and packages
Depending on the quilt material, dimensions, thread, and patterns, choose budget-friendly longarm quilting services that meet your expectations.
Longarm quilting services in the US
Walker Quilt Co
Walker Quilt Co is an authorized retailer of longarm quilting machines. Its rental studio provides an exciting hands-on learning opportunity with longarm certification classes and machine rentals. Moreover, Walker Quilt Co has established professional longarm quilting services for its clients. So, you can enroll in classes, rent a machine, and place orders for your quilts. These features make the company a one-stop quilting hub for hobbyists and professionals alike.
Walker Quilt’s longarm services are available with computerized designs for edge-to-edge pantographs as well as semi-custom ideas. In just three easy steps, you can choose your design, mail your quilt, and receive the shipped delivery. The website has a built-in calculator that takes its parameters of design type, dimensions, and batting size to calculate your estimates.
The company’s edge-to-edge quilting service has a vast ready-made collection of quilt patterns. This design option delivers quick turnaround times at affordable prices of $0.02 -$.025 per square inch.
Semi-custom quilting makes room for details and personalization in the quilt design. For example, you could have a central edge-to-edge pantograph with various digitized patterns forming a creative border. The price of these longarm quilting services ranges between $0.035 -$0.05 per square inch.
Walker Quilt Co offers a shipping service to help you send your quilt fabric and backing for a unique transformation under the longarm quilting machine. You need to separate the quilt top, batting, and backing layers and follow the measurement specifications before packing everything for shipping. The company also provides options for batting materials and dimensions, in case you are unsure about your own batting fabric.
Once your quilt reaches Walker Quilt studios, the department will collaborate with you on a regular basis to keep you updated. You will be notified of your quilt’s status through images of the finished design. Following your approval, you will receive the invoice and complete the payment before Walker Quilt Co issues your tracking information.
The Old Country Store
The Old Country Store emerged from DIY creations that evolved into a handmade utopia with the local craftsmanship skills. It offers classes for various stitching and patchwork quilting projects, including longarm rentals. Once you acquire the Long-Arm Certification, you become eligible to rent the BERNINA Q24 long-arm quilting machine at $20 per hour. A certification instructor is available to guide your quilting endeavors; you will need to bring your own fabric and backing.
Edge-to-edge longarm quilting services are available at The Old Country Store. As soon as your quilt top arrives at the studio, professional quilters begin the pantograph stage. The company has a diverse portfolio of longarm quilting themes such as “National Parks” and “In Loving Memory of Dad”. Such E2E quilting uses a single-colored thread that runs continuously from one end to the other to stitch computer-guided patterns.
BERNINA long-arm quilting machine in the studio is equipped to tackle all small and large-scale projects ranging from crib quilts to wall-sized quilts. With a maximum width of 120 inches and no length limitations, the E2E quilting service works with dynamic possibilities. Its general fee package covers the Aurifil thread, a Quilter’s Dream batting choice, and return shipping fees. While the normal turnaround time is 2-3 weeks, the store accommodates strict deadlines on request. There is also a $10 gift card for locals who wish to pick their finished quilt from the store.
The longarm quilting service covers binding processes as well, if requested by the client. Your quilt layers will undergo a machine/hand binding stage where the binding fabric is adjusted, machine-sewed to the front, and hand-stitched to the back of your quilt. This machine/hand binding service costs $0.20 per linear inch. So, if you opt for store binding, make sure to adhere to the fabric yardage limits to prevent miscalculations. However, if you do intend to bind the quilt by yourself, the store returns your finished quilt with its raw edges open for you to trim and adjust.
Manual longarm quilting
At Quiltography Studios, custom longarm quilting is explored as projects, classes, instructional videos, and custom artwork. You can schedule free consultations regarding quilt tops, threads, batting fabric, quilt backing, etc. Hand-guided free-motion quilting samples are available to guide your interests, and you can also submit your own patterns. The quilting service is not computerized; the longarm machine is manually operated at the studio.
The pricing for most edge-to-edge and semi-custom designs ranges around 2-3 cents per square inch of longarm quilting. Custom quilting costs $28 per hour. Quiltography Studios charges binding by linear inches, starting at 8 cents per linear inch. The studio’s pictorial quilting timeline is quite impressive, and it proves just how versatile the designer is in terms of quilt aesthetics at reasonable prices.
You can also sign up for longarm quilting classes for a profound hands-on experience at the machine. There are also free video tutorials that demonstrate essential DIY techniques for applying borders, binding corners, sewing batting layers, adding hanging tabs for wall quilts, making patch blocks, etc.
A stitch in time…..
Some expert long arm quilting services often prefer hand-guided longarm quilting machines over automated systems, depending on their quilting contexts. The authentic, hands-on quilting experience gives the designers more control over the process, allowing them to handcraft the textile patterns. This manual method has a more creative element to it as the quilter is still the one who physically does the work. Other designers choose to make long-term investments in computerized quilting machines to automate their work. The speed and precision of computerized systems accelerate the design and binding stages -not to mention the futuristic appeal that these gadgets have for millennial quilters.
The aspects of time and project scope greatly influence your choice of longarm quilting styles, whether you purchase the equipment or outsource your work. The art of longarm quilting is actually a final step in making a quilt as it is the stage where everything comes together. So, if you enjoy the slow and steady movements of intricate detailing, unfazed by the pressures of time, then manual longarm machines are the best choice. You are the artist, the quilt is your canvas, and a stitch in time saves nine!