All posts by Alanna Nelson

5 Family activities while you’re at the Bayberry Quilt Show

Many of us cope with family members who aren’t thrilled to experience a Quilt Show. At the Bayberry Quilters of Cape Cod Show, it might just be easier to send them on to other places, leaving you in peace and quilts.

Quilt Shows aren't the only action on Cape Cod
Great beach photo by Kirstin Carey thanks to Cape Cod Chamber

First and foremost, the beach. Cape Cod National Seashore not only has magnificent beaches, but a wonderful visitor center near Eastham. Will they need to eat? Stop by Arnold’s clam shack.

For the golfer, Cranberry Valley Golf course offers award winning 18 holes of championship golf.

In case of rain, Hyannisport offers indoor alternative perfect for the family: The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.

For the curious shoppers of all ages, the Brewster General Store offers sweets and goodies that will distract them from any vendor purchases you may have picked up at the Quilt Show.

The Cape Cod Rail Trail runs from Dennis to Wellfleet and there’s many bike shops along the way that will rent bikes and trailers.

That should keep them busy. Enjoy the Bayberry Quilt Show.  There’s nothing like undistracted immersion in a favorite past time. Be sure to stop and say hi to Laurena at the Gammill Longarm Quilting booth.


5 Tips for Using Minkee on Quilt Backs

Laurena sees more and more quilters arrive with Minkee quilt backs. This plush microfiber fabric feels scrumptious, making it totally irresistible for cozy baby or lap quilts. Before working on the first customer’s quilt with a Minkee back, Laurena checked out as many online sources to make sure it would be a success. Here’s 5 tips to using Minkee fabric on your quilt.

  1. These plush fabrics are very stable along the warp, but stretchy on the weft.  Keep the selvedges on your fabric and do not cut them off.
  2. Pin your zippers opposite the grain of the fabric (i.e. perpendicular to the selvedge edges). This will control the wiggly aspect of the fabric. It may mean more rolling, but the results are definitely worth it.
  3. Minkee is 60″ wide. Joann Fabrics sells a similar product called “Soft and Comfy” that is 58″ wide. Measure your backing to ensure that your fabric is  4″ – 8″ wider and longer than your quilt top. If you need to enlarge the back, add that extra panel in the middle of your back. This makes the back interesting and keeps it stable.
  4. Think about your batting choice.  Quilter’s Dream Cotton Select gives the quilt a fantastic drape. (Yesterday, motivated marathon quilter Susan finished 4 baby and lap quilts using Select and they looked fabulous!) Higher loft battings plus the plush backing will give your quilt a different dimensionality.
  5. Quilting stitches tend to disappear in the plush fabric. If you’re hoping to make a colorful quilted statement on the back, you may want to consider a heavy flannel instead of plush microfiber.

The folks at created one of the best videos on how to use Minkee, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Magnificent Quilts at the Museum of Fine Arts

It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s time to see beautiful quilts in a gorgeous environment that’s air conditioned.

Laurena Longarm Quilting says definitely visit the Museum of Fine Arts Quilts in Color!
Detail from one of the 58 quilts from the Pilgrim/Roy Collection on view now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Have you been to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the Quilts in Color Exhibit? If you haven’t, be sure to get there before the exhibits closes on July 27.

What a fabulous setting to view spectacular quilts. How often do we get to view quilts close up and from a distance? This is one of those special occasions.

The museum curators carefully chose lighting, hanging mechanisms and even wall colors to unite the different themes of the exhibit.  It’s an opportunity to discover color combinations and how they play on quilt tops. Nearly all of quilts were made before 1950, Gerry Roy links his background and appreciation of Abstract Impressionists and Op art.

Did I mention that the museum is air conditioned? It’s closed on July 4, but open late normally Wednesday through Friday nights. Check the hours and keep in mind that Bank of America card holders can flash their bank cards for free admission the first weekend of the month.

If you absolutely cannot get to see the exhibit in July, definitely click over to enjoy all of the fabulous slideshows and videos about the show.

I’ve been twice since the exhibit opened, and I certainly plan to get back this month.  See you there?

How to bind your quilt

In a way, it’s starting backwards. Binding your quilt is what happens after the zippers are off and you’ve admired all of your hard work. Here’s a great video with tips to create a great binding. Am I keeping my eye on the goal?

And remember, Laurena offers binding services as well… just in case you’re on to your next top!

Save 15% on allover patterns through July 31, 2014

Who would have guessed that my first post would be about saving money?

“Save,” you ask? “How do you save?”

It’s just 3 steps….

  1. Make an appointment to drop off your quilt (email info at burlingtonlongarm dot com or call Laurena at (781) 608-7891)
  2. Get your quilt top and backing to her Burlington studio by July 31, 2014
  3. Choose from a range of edge to edge patterns in stock. You’ll also choose your thread color and Voilà! Save 15% off Laurena’s regular pricing on pantograph allover quilting.
Save this summer when you quilt using theStatler Stitcher
A Statler Stitcher ready to quilt your top!

That’s not too difficult, right?

This is perfect timing for quilts heading out with college bound kids, or to get a head start on tops for fall quilt shows.

Your top will be quilted using one of our Statler Stitcher machines. I love the way you can scale the pattern to your quilt, choosing the offset and stitches per inch. Bring your own batting, or choose from Laurena’s wide range of options.

Stay tuned! I’ll share some of the interesting patterns Laurena has already loaded onto the computer in upcoming posts.