Rewind the clock to 6 1/2 years ago. I was a begginer at this longarming thing. Not only was I a beginner, I had just gone through a year of chemotherapy and had a BAD case of Chemo Brain (a researched and documented condition). The first number of quits that I sent out, much to my mortification came back with little things to fix. At the time I was pinning to my leaders, so reloading was a big deal! I soon realized I had to be diligent at finding any problems before I unloaded from my frame…and certainly before I called the customer that her quit was ready. I also decided I was going to be very fussy!
But how was I to find all the little issues like areas where stitching is missed, puckers in the backing, loose threads, tension issues?!
I realized somehow that the answer was to inspect the back! I was amazed at what I noticed on the back that did not show from the front! Not only that, it is much easier to rip from the back if need be. So here is the routine I now go through with every quilt…
1. When I finish the quilt, I remove the backing from the bottom roller.
2. Next I completely roll the quilt onto the top roller.
3. I go to the back of the machine where I am closer to the back roller, and unroll 6 inches of the quilt.
4. Now I slowly walk the length to the roller, running my hand along the quilt, studying it for issues.
5. Unroll another 6 inches and repeat step 4.
6. When I find an issue that needs fixed, I reach under the quilt to the right side of the quilt and stick a pin in the offending spot so I can find it from the front. On the quilt below, I had missed stitching part of the cross hatching in the circle.
8. Now I use my body to hold the quilt in place while I fix whatever needs fixing.
One of the biggest things I find is bobbin threads that need dealt with.
The time this takes is nothing compared to the time fixing something later takes. We are all human and will have a few mistakes along the way. However ensuring these mistakes do not leave our studios is the professional thing to do.
Till next week, happy stitching…..