Category Archives: Longarm quilting

Tips for people who are learning how to use longarm quilt machines.

Laurena recommends Boston Custom Quilters

Custom Quilters in the Boston area

When she began Laurena’s Longarm Quilting in 2007, Laurena  imagined that she would use her hand guided Gammill machine to turn customer tops into quilts. It wasn’t long when she realized that new clients might enjoy quilting their own quilts and she began teaching others how to use longarm quilting machines.Laurena recommends Boston Custom Quilters

That was many quilts ago! Since 2008, nearly 500 people learned how to use longarm quilting machines at Laurena’s. She’s purchased a small fleet of hand guided and computerized quilting machines. As she looks at the future of Laurena’s Longarm Quilting, she realizes that hand guided custom quilting will not be the business focus.

Laurena decided to no longer accept hand guided custom quilting work. She will happily accept edge to edge Statler Stitcher projects (the majority of her “quilt by check” customers use this service). And fortunately, Laurena can recommend other custom quilters in the Boston area.

Margo Coates of Dragonfly Longarm Quilting

Krista Ellis can be contacted at or at (781) 938-6594

Julie Legere of Ironworks Quilting

Carrie Zizza of It’s a Zizza Machine Quilting

Diana Reinhardt Annis is based out of Norton.  You can reach her at 508-285-4986 See some of her work on her Pinterest Page.

If you’ve got a custom job already in Laurena’s queue, don’t worry! She will definitely complete the work she promised. But if you are looking for a hand guided custom quilter, take a look at this list. Or, bring your quilt in and we can suggest some strategies to have the Statler Stitcher quilt that top.


Love longarm quilting? Become an LLQ Subscriber

Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston rentals
Another top becomes a cozy quilt!

Turning a top into a quilt is a great feeling! For many of our customers, becoming a Longarm Subscriber is a fabulous way to make sure that feeling happens every month.

What is the LLQ Subscriber Program? It allows quilters to pay monthly for longarm rental hours. Quilters purchase these hours at a reduced rate and use them as needed. If the hours aren’t used up in a month, the hours roll over and do not expire. If the subscriber needs more hours in a month, he or she is able to purchase additional hours at the reduced rate.

Subscribers agree to participate in the program for at least 6 months. If they find themselves accumulating too many hours after the initial time period, Laurena allows them to freeze the subscription for up to 3 months in a calendar year. If, after 6 months, the subscription doesn’t turn out to be the right fit, you can cancel with 30 days notice. The hours are in your “bank” to use as needed.

What a deal, right? This is one way to make sure you get your longarm quilting fix at a great price. Rates depend on the number of hours in the subscription.

Become a Longarm Subscriber at 4, 6 or 8 hours per month at only $17.50/hour. You do need to reserve blocks of at least 4 hours each time you come to the studio.

Need more time? Become a Longarm Subscriber at 10 or 12 hours per month at $15.00/hour. You reserve at least 6 hours each time you come to the studio.

And wait, there’s more (just had to say it!)…

Longarm subscribers still benefit from the frequent renter program. So, each time you pay for 25 hours of longarm rental, you receive 4 free.

Do you need any more excuse to quilt more? Definitely not!

Click to download the subscriber guidelines under the Subscription Program description for all of the details.

And if you have any questions, call or email and we’ll be happy to answer them!

New Statler and Paper Quilting Patterns

After the Machine Quilter’s Expo, lovely delightful packages and downloads arrived in the studio. Hurray!  New paper pantograph and Statler Stitcher quilting patterns for all of us to enjoy. While Laurena knew the contents of the packages, it was still nice to watch the paper patterns unroll.

With so many paper and digital quilting patterns available, stocking our pattern stash does require strategic thinking. Were we reflecting a wide range of quilting styles? Did we already own something similar? What requests did we receive?

Whether you rent longarm quilting machines or have us do it for you, here’s a few highlights of what’s been added.

Laurena Longarm Quilting machine rentals Burlingotn, MA
Zydeco by Sally Ann Meyer

For paper pantographs to use on the hand guided machine:

Easy Peasy which features nested angles and arcs and gives a wonderful allover texture. The 6″ pattern by Lorien Quilting offers the opportunity to practice tight curves and points without worrying about exact positioning.

Whoosh and Denise’s Spirals create movement and work well in linear quilts.

Zydeco is a really relaxing pattern with fun energy that looks great on quilts for all ages.

One of the new digital patterns available for the Statler Stitcher

On the Statler, we’ve downloaded one of Anita Shackleford’s Modern sets.  Then there is Camelia with its graceful blossoms.

Alanna and Gwen have been working to get a fairly complete list of digital quilting patterns available for you to peruse in the shop and from the comfort of your own digital device. Gwen’s stitching out patterns when she can sneak in a row. These are on display at the Studio, too.

At your next appointment to choose patterns or quilt your own quilt, take a minute to see what’s new. As always, Laurena is happy to add patterns.

Rent mid arm quilter Charm at Boston Laurena Longarm

Gammill’s The Charm now in Boston

Is it time for a charming free motion machine in your life? Oh, yes, we have a cutie for you. Presenting:

Gammill Charm at Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston
The Charm sits in a table with extendable side and back leaves.

The Charm, by Gammill

Boston now has a resident Charm at Laurena’s Longarm Quilting! Whether you are shopping for a mid arm machine or just looking for a more comfortable sit down free motion quilting experience, give Laurena a call.

As soon as we set her up, we pulled out muslin to start playing around.

Image of Gammill Charm at Laurena Longarm Quilting Boston

The tablet is easy to read, the sewing area is beautifully lit and the muslin slid under the presser foot. The Charm is a great choice for free motion quilters, but thanks to the laser light, you can rest a motif on the quilt and follow the light if you would like to follow a written motif.

There’s no zippers needed and no class prerequisite to rent the Charm. Choose from more than 100 quilting threads we have on hand or bring your own. The Charm even has a basting stitch option. If your quilt is not overly large, you could baste it on the machine. Rent the Charm for $12 an hour.

Stop by to welcome our charming new mid arm quilting machine to Burlington. You can give us a call at 781-608-7891 or email info at burlingtonlongarm dot com to set up a time to give it a stitch.

Learn to use a Longarm Quilting Machine

I love this machine!

Such joy in their voice! I’ve heard several quilters use the word “love” as they enjoy their first session on the hand guided longarm machine. I remember my own joy the first time I watched my own top become a quilt.

Learn to Longarm Quilt at Laurena's in metro Boston
Take the intro class at Laurena’s and enjoy a whole new quilting experience.

If you’re a hand quilter, the surprise of watching a quilt come off the “frame” in a day is exhilarating. If you’re accustomed to moving your quilt sandwich under a sewing machine, there’s the relief of “driving” across a quilt top laid all nice and flat in front of you. There’s definite advantages to longarm machine quilting.

Laurena teaches the basics of longarm quilting usually twice a month. She’s taking a bit of a break during August and the September class is full, but here’s the rest of the fall schedule.

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014
  • Wednesday, November 5, 2014
  • Saturday, November 22, 2014

The class begins at 9am, costs $50 and is about 4 hours long.  Bring a pencil or pen for note taking, a covered beverage and perhaps a snack so you can stay jazzed for the duration.

Are you ready for a new quilting experience? Reserve your spot now by calling the studio at 781.608.7891 or email info at burlingtonlongarm dot com.

Statler Stitcher Samples

With Laurena out of town this week, Gwen and I took time to implement ideas and prep quilts for next week’s “back from vacation” mode.

The latest #StatlerStitcher to join Laurena's Longarm stable
Isn’t it a beauty? This Statler Stitcher has a 14′ table.


Gwen created samples of 36 Statler Stitcher patterns we have in stock. This will give customers a better chance to discover possibilities as they match their quilt to the computer guided stitching options. We’ve had many already on display, but it’s nice to see everything currently available. More of our renters try the Statler, and we’re happy to download and purchase new designs if there’s one you really love.

I made a nice show and tell catalog of the batting, giving you an easier opportunity to handle samples rather than just on the bolt. Check them out next time you’re at the studio.

In the next month, I hope to photograph all of our current samples and upload a catalog for you to peruse at your leisure.

Kudos to Gwen for her persistence!

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.