All of our customer quilts go through a four step process:
Consult—We speak by phone, e-mail, in person, sometimes all three! We will discuss your project in detail: what it is, who will be using it, and how it will be used. We ask a LOT of questions, but that's to get a better feel for how best to work with your quilt. We will discuss what kind of quilting (edge to edge, custom, or heirloom) is best suited to your quilt and budget. At this point you will get an approximate time frame for completion. We will also discuss thread type and color(s) to be used, batting, any extra services desired (piecing backing, special trimming, etc.).
Plan—We take your quilt into the studio, enter details into our tracking database, take accurate measurements, and start the process of selecting designs for use. This often happens at the same time as the consultation, as some quilt tops immediately "tell us" how they want to be quilted. Other tops require more detailed planning that may include creating a graphic of the quilt in EQ 7 to use for auditioning quilt designs.
Approve—Some of our long-standing customers will say "just do what you think is best," and we can just run with that. But until we know each other, we prefer to give you the final say. You may receive a proposed layout of selected designs that would work well for your quilt top (for edge to edge quilting), or, for custom/heirloom work, a detailed layout of motifs and borders. This will give you a clear idea of how your finished quilt will look, and will give us a "road map" that makes it easier to do the actual quilting. The only surprise we want you to have is a delightful one when you see how great your finished quilt looks!
Quilt—Backing and batting are loaded, and the top is laid onto the frame. The edges of the top are basted to the other layers. You can either bind over the basting, or remove or trim it when the quilt is returned to you. We generally prebaste the entire quilt, to provide a stable quilting surface and minimize draw-in (the shrinkage caused by the quilting process). After quilting is done, we inspect the quilt before removing it from the frame, trim loose threads, and trim the quilt to remove excess batting and backing.
Below are the quilting design plan (left) and the PDF that was sent to a client for approval, along with a close up photo of the center of a Bear Paw block.