My Inspection Process….

It’s Tuesday!  Today’s tip is regarding an inspection process that every quilt I quilt goes through.

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.

7. I continue with my inspection until the pin works its way into the area between the rails where I can get at it to fix it.  Now I drape the quilt over the bottom rail. 


8. Now I use my body to hold the quilt in place while I fix whatever needs fixing. 

9. And so continues the process until I am finished checking every square inch of the quilt.

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…..



5 responses to “My Inspection Process….

  1. Wonderful tip to check the back when it is loose and then to use your body to stabilize the quilt while fixing the minor mistakes from the front!

  2. This is a great tutorial, Ardelle. I use leader grips on the bottom roller, and pin to the top . . . somehow I find that way easier to keep the quilt square when loading. If I have to fix something, I keep the top pinned and use those C-clamps on the bottom bar. I cringe when I’ve taken it off and find those pesky mistakes and the quilt needs to be reloaded!!!

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