All Quilting Machines
What is Machine Quilting? A longarm quilting machine is a large, commercial, sewing machine that has the ability to move 360 degrees. It is operated using hand controls and moves across the quilt with virtually little effort. The length of the typical longarm machine throat is approximately 30", thus making it possible to handle even large quilts with thick batting. The machine rests on wheels, which move effortlessly along rails embedded in a 12-14 foot table. The quilt top, batting and backing is each attached to rollers, creating a "sandwich." Such pinning onto the rollers eliminates the need to pre-pin or baste the three layers together. As the longarm machine quilts the quilt, the rollers are manually advanced to keep the quilt secure and wrinkle free. The longarm machine is then positioned directly over the three quilt layers. The longarm operator stands on one side of the machine to follow a preprinted pattern called a "pantograph," or on the opposite side of the machine to do free-motion or "custom" quilting. Longarm quilting machines can generally stitch up to 3,500 stitches per minute in contrast to domestic or home machines, which average 750 stitches per minute. Longarm quilting is therefore much faster and less cumbersome than other quilting methods. Longarm quilting machines are not intended to replace hand quilters. There is certainly room for both quilting methods. Longarm quilting however, can be more durable, and in many cases much more artistic in its interpretation. With its durability, time saving, and creative capabilities, longarm quilting machines are changing the face of quilting for many generations to come. Types of Quilting Edge to Edge or Allover — This is a single pattern or pantograph pattern, which is quilted over the entire quilt top. Free Motion — Random edge to edge quilting without the aid of a pantograph pattern Meandering — Free motion quilting in a consistent pattern over the entire quilt top. Custom — Any combination of free motion, pantograph patterns, meandering, blocks, stitch-in-the-ditch, border treatments or templates used to complete a quilt top. Outlining — Free motion quilting around appliqués or around preprinted designs on a quilt top. Considered Custom Quilting. Stitch In the Ditch — Stitching in between seam lines to add definition to quilt blocks. Considered custom quilting given the tedious nature of the quilting so that the stitches do not show but the desired block definition does. Heirloom — Typically intricate, heavy quilting designs that are very labor intensive such as trapunto, whole cloth, or designs requiring that the entire quilt be marked prior to quilting.