Monthly Archives: June 2016

Charity Quilting at Laurena Longarm Burlington MA

#QuiltsforPulse Charity Day July 10

The sock in the gut last Sunday was fierce… not another mass murder hate crime. How can we help the healing?

The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild offers one way that quilters can reach out to those impacted by the tragedy at the Pulse Night Club on June 12, 2016. The call is out for bright, happy heart quilts using rainbow colors. Want to join us? We’d like to help them out with finished quilts.

The OMQG asks that the quilts be between 48 x 60 and a twin size. Laurena is purchasing white on white fabric to back 10 quilts. She will use the fabric with the blocks on the front to capture that modern esthetic.

Would you like to help us in this effort?

On Sunday July 10 from 1 to 5pm, we’ll meet to begin assembling quilts (or who knows? Maybe there will already be tops to quilt!) here at our studio in Burlington, MA. If you’d like to attend or contribute blocks, just RSVP here

Need ideas for heart blocks? Here are some suggested by the Modern Quilt Guild

Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston Quilts for Pulse
Allison of Cluck, Cluck, Sew has a heart quilt block you could use
Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston Quilts for Pulse
Foundation pieced hearts from Sew Mama Sew’s Amy Gunsun

When there is pain, a quilt made with comforting thoughts is one way we can help.

Come Quilt Weeknights in July

Summer brings long days – the perfect opportunity to get more done!

Summer brings hot evenings – the perfect opportunity to escape into air conditioning!

This July, reserve your Mini Studio Block on Wednesday and Thursdays evenings.

Summer Longarm Quilting Weeknights at Laurena's Longarm Quilting
Tangle of Lights pattern from Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project

That’s right! Three hours of air conditioned longarm quilting on Wednesday and Thursday nights throughout July. Begin your Mini Studio Block between 4 and 6 pm.

What are those weeknight Mini Studio Blocks?

July 6 and 7

July 13 and 14

July 20 and 21

July 27 and 28

Call Laurena’s Longarm Quilting at (781) 229- 0734  or email at info at burlingtonlongarm dot com to reserve your block now.

3 Ideas for Pieced Quilt Backs

Is there something in the air? Is it spring madness? Lately, we’ve seen some tiny quilt backs.  I’m talking about quilt backs a mere 2″ bigger than the front. That’s tight! Ideally, your quilt back should be 6″ – 10″ longer and wider than your top. There may be a pieced quilt back in your future!

You can read our tips on how to piece a quilt back and the 9 steps to matching prints on a quilt back, but how about a few ideas to fuel your creative piecing of that nice, big quilt back?

3 Approaches to a Pieced Quilt Back

  1. Add a contrasting fabric down the middle of your quilt back. Linda rented one of the hand guided machines this week and was gracious enough to let us photograph her backs. In the first quilt back, she’s added a coordinating print to two strips of solid.
    Quilt backs from Laurena's Longarm Quilting Boston
    In her second quilt back, she stitched strips of black on black prints and bordered them in red. What a great way to use up the leftovers!
    ideas to piece quilt backs
  2.  Apply the Rule of Thirds to your quilt back. The Rule of Thirds is used by artists and cinematographers to create a pleasing composition. The camera on your phone may have the horizontal and vertical grid which divides your frame into a “nine patch” or “tic tack tow.” Creating movement around the center quadrant is pleasing to your eye. How do you do this yourself? Take the dimensions of your quilt back and divide them by 3. Add a strip of fabric a third of the way across your back or create your own nine patch of made from stash fabric.
  3. Improvise your quilt back with leftover blocks

    Pieced quilt back from Modern Quilt Relish
    The improv quilt back from Modern Quilt Relish

There’s a lovely tutorial on how they approach piecing a quilt back on Modern Quilt Relish.  It makes a very interesting back, albeit more time consuming. A design wall helps to lay out options. Need a big design wall? Come to Sew Social, on first and third Thursdays. We’ve got loads of room to spread out and a wall covered in batting, ready for your quilt back improvisation.

As we head into summer, the spring madness of small quilt backs will probably calm down. However, what goes around, comes around! Be sure to keep in mind that a quilt back should be at least 6″ – 10″ longer and wider than your quilt top.

Laurena Rental Gammill Longarm Plus Quilting Machine Boston

5 Hints for First Time Longarm Quilters

Laurena Rental Gammill Longarm Plus Quilting Machine Boston
Does this view make your pulse race?

Our “Learn to Use a Longarm” classes are filling up quickly in 2016. Laurena always says that real quilting begins when you return, ready to use the longarm yourself for the first time after the class.

We’re there to support you on your longarm journey, helping you load the layers and preparing for the first stitch. When the sides are clamped and you’ve tied down your threads, it’s all yours!

Here are 5 Tips for Beginning Longarm Quilters

  1. Be nice to yourself! Feeling unsure is normal; after all, you’re trying something new. Probably you’ve gone to shows, liked photos on social media and read books, so you’ve seen fabulous examples of longarm quilting. You probably don’t see everyone’s first longarm quilting experience. Even if you’ve been machine quilting, remember that you are learning.
  2. Breathe. Are your shoulders hunched, or your jaw tight? Longarm quilting can be really pleasurable. Our hand guided machines all have adjustable table heights for a physically comfortable experience. A couple of long exhales before starting to quilt lets you release any anxiety built up.
  3. Choose a simple quilt top. Practice makes improvement. If the only quilt top you own has 5,000 pieces and you want to use rulers, and fill it with feathers, save it for another day. Make a simpler top, use muslin or a choose a charity quilt top for your beginning longarm quilting.
  4. Choose a simple quilting pattern. Organic, flowing shapes that suggest a motif are great for many quilts. You can practice smooth, consistent movement across the quilt which results in lovely, even stitching.
  5. Give your quilting the horseback view. Did you ever hear the adage that “if you can’t see it from the back of a galloping horse, no one else will?” It’s true!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so enjoy your time with the longarm quilting machine. It’s about the quilting experience as much as it is the quilt.

Ok, quilters: Do you have any other suggestions or advice for newbie longarm quilters?