FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a "Long-arm Quilting Machine
What is a "Computer Guided System?"
What is a "Intelliquilter?"
Why use a computer guided system instead of or in addition to hand guiding?
How long will it take to get my quilt back?
What should I consider when choosing patterns for my quilt?
What kind of batting is best?
Can I piece the quilt back?
What is the best fabric (natural or synthetic) for a quilt back?
Should I use a print or a solid fabric for the back on of my quilt?

What is a "Long-arm Quilting Machine?

Way back when I first started quilting, everyone did hand quilting. There were a few brave souls who would attempt to do machine quilting on their domestic sewing machine. Trying to move all those layers of fabrics through that little machine was a true test of patience! Now, I have a longarm quilting machine. What this means is that the throat space is a lot larger and the machine head moves intead of the fabric. Aaahh, life is good. I can quilt or baste your quilt top. Just ask.

What is a "Computer Guided System?"

A "Computer Guided System" is a feature added to a long-arm quilting machine that has hardware, a computer, and software which will guide the sewing head making it possible to precisely execute a wide variety of patterns from simple to intricate over and over again. Our computer guided system is the "Intelliquilter "

What is an "IntelliQuilter?"

IntelliQuilter is an after-market add-on for the long-arm and mid-arm quilting machines. The IntelliQuilter is a state of the art computer that sits on the head of the longarm machine and allows the quilter to program pattern size, size of the block, stitches per inch, repetitions of the pattern along with many other computer art options.

Since the patterns are digital, accuracy in patterns and stitch lengths are ensured.

What is "pantograph" quilting?

A pantograph is one "edge to edge" design that is quilted continuously across the whole quilt. The design crosses the piecing and unifies the quilt with one color thread and one pattern, resulting in a lovely and budget-friendly quilt.

Pantograph quilting is done on my Gammill Longarm with an Intelliquilter Computerized System to assure you the highest quality results with a fast turn-a-round time. There are many beautiful designs to choose from, ranging from simple geometric patterns to intricate feathers, swirls, and leaves, just to name a few. Prices range from .0195 to .04 per square inch. Minimum labor charge: $50

What is "hand guided quilting?"

Hand guiding is when a person physically controls or guides the movement of the long-arm sewing machine head to create the stitching pattern. It can be done totally free-hand, with a stylus and template, or a design can be traced by following it with a laser light. We have moved into the new century and use computer aided quilting to quilt your quilt.

How long will it take to get my quilt back?

Our current time in the studio until your quilt is ready to be picked up or shipped out is around four weeks. Please allow additional time before the Christmas Holidays and before Graduation in the Spring. You are always welcome to call and ask about our schedule. If you have specific date deadline for your quilt, just let us know, and we will do our best to have your quilt completed by your date.

What should I consider when choosing patterns for my quilt?

    • How will the quilt be used: functional, utilitarian, decorative, heirloom, etc.
    • Who will the end user be? (a child, nursing home, college dorm, guest room)?
    • Scale of piecing: large, medium, small
    • Motifs or designs in the fabric
    • How "busy" is the quilt
    • Theme or Style

Click HERE for a few of pantographs that we have available. We have HUNDREDS of patterns, and continously adding new patterns.

What kind of batting is best?

There are many factors to consider which can help you make a wise choice.
    • How will the quilt be used? For show, as a wall hanging, by a baby or child, by a family with pets, or as a home decor item versus a "blanket,"
    • Is it likely to need frequent washing?
    • How much puffiness and what kind of drape versus stiffness will you want the quilt to have?
    • Do you need a flame retardant fiber as one might for a baby or child's quilt?
    • Do you need a natural fiber such as cotton, bamboo, wool, or silk?
    • How warm will the quilt need to be? (Southern states do not need as much warmth as up north!)
    • What color/s are your quilt top and backing? Black Batting is sugggested when using predominantly black fabrics on top and backing.

Both cotton and cotton/polyester blend battings are all-around good choices for many quilts. Polyester may be warmer and have more puffiness. Wool adds warmth and puffiness, and doesn't hold creases or wrinkles as much making it a good choice if you intend to enter a quilt to in a show or competition. There are flame retardant battings and newer battings made from eco-friendly materials. Batting comes in white, natural, and black colors. Occasionally fabrics such as cotton flannel or polar fleece are used as batting.

We are happy to help you select batting that will meet your needs. Or for more detailed information about batting, click here.

For over 70 ways to use batting click here.


Can I piece the quilt back?

YES, pieced backs can be used and can be quite attractive. However, when a quilt is finished on a longarm machine, it is possible to center the back ONLY ONE WAY due to the way the quilt is mounted and rolled it as it is quilted. We can not be responsible for centering a quilt top inside a bordered back.

Please do NOT put extra blocks along the edge of the quilt back, as those will most likely not be included in the quilting. Also keep in mind that we require that the backing be at least 3-4 inches larger all the way around than the top, and we can't guarantee where anything on the back will end up after being quilted.

If you have a specific direction for the backing, (like 'this is the top") Pin a note to the backing.

What is the best fabric (natural or synthetic) for a quilt back?

The backing should be the same type of fabric as the predominant fabric in the top. If the top is primarily made of 100% cotton, please use a 100% cotton for the backing to avoid puckering.

We have used fleece, Minkee and other stretchy fabrics with success, however, although every precaution is taken, tucks or puckering may occur during quilting. Note- we have a NO MINKY rule in our shop. Being forced to use it, will incur additional charges. (sorry)

(Mounting stretchy fabrics with the selvage edge perpendicular to the pick-up roller on the machine will help reduce stretching, so plan accordingly if the back requires seams to make it large enough.)

Should I use a print or a solid fabric for the back of my quilt?

There are at least two schools of thought about backing fabrics. One preference is to use a print which hides stitching and any tie-off knots. The second preference is to choose a fabric that will showcase the stitching on the back in effect making your quilt "reversible." If you want stitching to show on the back for a "reversible quilt," think about thread colors that will work well on both front and back.