Long Arm QuiltingDragonfly Quilting can offer you a wide range of different quilting services:

My husband John has installed the Intelliquilter (IQ) system onto my Gammill. The 'IQ' is a computerised system that allows the machine to stitch a pre-designed pattern automatically.

The quilting design, i.e. the stitching; can be either Pantograph Quilted (also known as Edge to Edge) or Custom Quilted.

Edge to Edge/Pantograph Quilting:

Pantograph Quilting is fairly simple to complete. This effect is achieved by stitching a duplicated pattern continuous across, from one side to the other, and down the full length of the quilt. The end results adds a stunning finish to your patchwork top.

Custom Quilting:

Customised Quilting is exactly what it says; the bespoke and unique stitching of a design. A complex design could include cross hatching, individual block patterns, stitch in the ditch etc. Each section of the quilt is independently quilted to the customer’s specifications. This is a far more ‘hands on’ and time intensive process than the pantograph technique, however it achieves dramatic and wonderful effect, truly enhancing the individual design of the patchwork top into a family heirloom.

Basting Only:

We also offer a basting service for those of you that wish to hand quilt your tops. The basting will ensure that you have a perfectly layered quilt ready for your hand quilting. These stitches are easy to remove and give you an easy reference to follow.

Digitise:

There are hundreds of “Intelliquilter” patterns to choose from. Dragonfly Quilting with the introduction of the computerised system is able to digitise your own unique patterns as long as it is in a single continuous line.

This opens up the possibilities for you to be creative yourselves

N.B Please note all consultations are by appointment only.

Quilting and Patchwork FAQs

What is Patchwork?

Long Arm QuiltingPatchwork is the craft of sewing pieces of cut fabrics into a larger design. This design can usually be based on a repeat pattern until the chosen design is built. This is achieved by using different colour-ways and shapes. These shapes are carefully measured and cut. There are many different ways of making “blocks” which are then sewn together. Precise joining makes the patchwork lay flat without any puckers, and when you have all of your blocks they can then be joined together. This then becomes known as the “quilt top”

What is Quilting?

Quilting is the term used to sandwich two layers of fabrics together with wadding in between. Quilting can be done by hand, domestic sewing machine or the Longarm Quilting machine.

The origins of quilting can be traced back to the middle ages, and the word “Quilt” seems to have been first used back in the 1200’s in England. Early quilting in England was used to make bed covers which then became family heirlooms. Quilting was also used to produce clothing that was light but also warm. Padded jackets were also worn under suits of armour to make them more comfortable.

The early settlers to America from England established quilting as a popular craft and it soon became a social activity where women would get together in a “quilting bee” to make bed quilts for young girls about to get married. The aim of the women getting together was to get the quilt finished in a day.

What is Longarm Quilting?

What is Longarm quilting I hear you ask? Well, as you have now started upon your journey into the Patchwork and Quilting world you will soon have lots of different pieced quilt tops. The final step of your journey is “The Quilting” and as you will soon realise, quilting under a domestic sewing machine is not the easiest of ways to quilt your beautiful top. This is where the Longarm Quilting machine can come into its own.

Although much larger and heavy-duty, the Longarm quilting machines are very similar to your domestic sewing machines, but the throat area of the machine has been extended; hence the term “Longarm”. The next difference is the Longarm machine has sets of wheels which allow the operator more ease in moving the machine head around whilst quilting. Many quilters struggle at this stage with their domestic machines as they have difficulties moving the sandwiched quilt around under the needle, whilst with the Longarm machine the three layers of the quilt are attached and suspended between rollers. The Longarm machine has another set of wheels running along a track attached to a 14ft table thereby allowing the operator to move the machine not only up and around, but also from side to side.

The process of sandwiching the quilt onto the Longarm machine is achieved by attaching the top edge of the backing fabric to the roller, then bottom edge is attached to a different take up roller making sure that the backing is taut. The placing of the wadding is next, it is lined up with the top edge of the backing fabric; I allow my wadding to lie freely. The quilt top is now lined up with the backing and wadding both attached to the top roller. The bottom of the quilt is attached to another roller keeping it square to the machine.

With new technology the Longarm machine has entered into the new age of digital. The operator used to guide the machine following a paper pattern, they can now quilt on “their own” using a computerised system. However, the system is not entirely automatic, you still need the skills of the operator to make sure that the quilts is rolled on properly, the tension is correct, and that the pattern is correctly positioned.

Along with this new technology comes the difficult choice of picking the type of quilting that you would prefer. Knowing the different terms used, can help make an informed decision.

Pantograph

Long Arm QuiltingThis is also known as “edge to edge” quilting, but mainly is where the quilting is over the whole of the quilt top (all over) this can be achieved by various ways ie; by using templates or using a laser or stylus to follow paper rolled patterns. The Longarm machinist can also use a computerised system which has limitless possibilities for pattern design.

Custom

This is where the quilter has been asked to enhance the quilt top by using their own design and creative skills. Some of the following are also considered to be custom quilting.

Stitch in the Ditch

This one of the hardest stitches for the Longarm quilting machine. It is free hand, but with the introduction of the computerised system it has become a little easier, but is still as time consuming.

Outline or Shadow Quilting

Outline or shadow quilting is exactly what it sounds like. “Outline” is stitching about ¼” inch around any focal point. “Shadow” quilting is following the stitching line about ¼” inch apart to the edge. This type of quilting really makes any focal points stand out.

Stipple

Stipple is a stitch that looks like a jigsaw puzzle. These can be either large or small depending on individual choice.

Meandering

Pretty well covers anything. It could be loops, connected to stipples, swirls. It is a very free form of quilting and can be beautiful.