Elaine and I currently call Virginia Beach, VA home. And we currently refer to home as Studio 708. It all started when my best friend and lovely wife, one in the same, ask me to go to the quilt show...she was in the market for a longarm machine. As it turned out the longarm machine was a power tool attached to a computer...the rest is history. She does get to use it...I golf and ride a motorcycle...so I'm not always in Studio 708.
The Mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover active service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.
Not Forgotten QOV is dedicated to aid in that mission with the commitment and sincerity of those we recognize with this Award. We will forever be grateful for their service and sacrifices to this country and the freedoms they stood and stand watch over.
We operate a hand guided Innova Longarm for our quilting needs. We have been longarming quilts since 2012. We spent a year researching and testing a plethora of longarms. The selection of Innova came after much consideration due to the financial investment that was being made. Two main reasons Innova was the choice. A computer tablet delivered "pantograph" system, which moved the operator to the front of the machine and very limited maintenance. Many of the other machines required daily oiling and maintenance...above the quilt. It just seemed, oil daily, the chance of damaging a quilt was greater. The computer tablet pattern system provided a much more ergonomically correct positioning for the operator.
We use a Brother Entrepreneur Pro 1050X for our embroidery needs. Whether quilt labels or a special request for a shirt, bag, hat or other need, The Brother handles them all.
QOVF® originated from a vision of a mother with a son serving in Harm's Way in Iraq. From her vision of a post deployed warrior being wrapped in a quilt to comfort him the Quilts of Valor Foundation formed in November 2013. For information go to www.qovf.org.
Annually We Quilt/Not Forgotten QOV participates in events by setting up Visitor Booths. We award QOV's, collect donations, sell Raffle Tickets for one of a kind quilts and at the Mancuso Mid Atlantic Quilt Fest in Hampton, VA every February we raffle off a Singer Featherweight. Check our calendar for where we will be next.
We have two QOV Sew Days a month. The 3rd Friday from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at A Different Touch...1107 S. Military Hwy. Chesapeake, VA (757) 366-8830 & the 3rd Saturday from 10:00AM to 2:00PM at VFW Post 4809...5728 Bartee St., Norfolk, VA
"My Way" Longarm Video Series. Introduction
Loading a quilt back.
Loading the batting.
My Way Tools and Techniques
Loading (Floating) a quilt top.
Quilt preparation is the first step for getting the best longarm quilting possible.
We operate a hand guided longarm using edge to edge patterns. We enjoy working closely with the quilter to optimize their desires regarding the finished product. Custom work is accepted after a one on one consultation.
Square Quilt and Backing: Your quilt needs to be square (same width top & bottom/same length left and right side) to load on the frame correctly, otherwise it will load at an angle on the frame or flare in the middle or flare at the top or bottom causing waviness. Note: Very often there is a slight difference…¼ to ¾” variance…this is no problem. So, please square your blocks in your top and measure your quilt at the top, bottom and middle – get an average measurement and cut your borders to fit your quilt based on that average. This helps in preventing wavy borders.
If you are piecing your backing, please square your blocks as you piece to keep the seams as straight as possible without puckers. If there are any squaring issues we will contact you so they can be corrected. Backing seams should run horizontally (left to right) This eliminates puckering as the quilt is being advanced on the frame. A thick vertical seam can easily cause issues as the quilt is advanced in the longarming process. Remember…when it is all said and done…the back is 50% of the quilt you have spent hours making. Don’t short change your efforts by cutting corners on the backing. We would never recommend ‘muslin’. If that is your choice we will complete your quilt as you request.
If you are not putting a border on your top, stitch the perimeter of the quilt as close to the edge as possible to eliminate seam separation when tension is applied when loaded on the longarm frame.
Extra Backing and Batting: To fit your quilt on the frame we need an extra 8” – 10” (10” preferred) of backing. This means 4” – 5” extra of backing all the way around the quilt. If you provide batting it should be 6” wider and at least 10” longer than the pieced top. Currently we charge $5.00 a yard for 80/20 or 70/30 depending on what we have on hand. We stock Hobbs or Pellon. We will use whatever you supply.
Pressing the Fabrics: Please press all the fabrics of the quilt top and backing. Press the quilt top so that all the seams lay as flat as possible and press the backing fabric so that there are no deep creases (especially in batik fabrics.) Backing seams should be ½” and pressed open. When pressing the borders, it is good to press the border’s seams open when possible. Before loading we press out creases due to hanging/folding at no charge.
Trim Threads: Cut loose threads on the pieced top, they can catch on the hopping foot of the longarm. Cut loose threads on the back of the top as well as threads can get lodged between your quilt sandwich and show through backing and/or the top.
Batting: There are many kinds of batting available. If you are doing a quilt with very dark fabrics you might want to consider black batting. Please use quality batting, craft batting will not hold up as well.
● If your backing or top is directional, please mark it clearly or mention it during the intake process. Let us know any specifics about your top and back.
● Any quilting issues such as puckering, weak seams/holes, wavy borders, pleats etc. will NOT go away with the quilting, they may be exaggerated. We will do our very best to work with the issues to minimize them in the end product.
● In most instances, we can say we have been able to determine difficulties that may be encountered during the longarming process before the first stitch is applied. In those cases you will be contacted so we can determine how you want to handle the situation. On occasion the problems may be encountered during the process. Again, we will contact you to work out what would be the best outcome for your quilt.
It is our goal, when finished, to compliment your quilt. We will do everything possible to attain that goal. The first step is working with you during the intake process to meet the needs and desires you envisioned.
I'm sure if you had the time you could count the number of manufacturer's of longarm quilting machines. We think we tested them all at one quilt show or another. But when the decision was made that our investment would be in the Innova System someone smiled upon us. Our dealer, Virginia Longarm, had just swithced from another well known manufactuer to the ABM International product. Since our purchase Virginia Longarm has opened a showroom in South Carolina and has become known as The Longarm Network. While we are certain there is a kaleidoscopic range of dealers from coast to coast we feel that Virginia Longarm and TLN sets the bar when it comes to customer satisfaction and administering the equipment needs in the longarm quilting community. If you are in the market for a longarm to add to your inventory of quilting tools check out their showrooms.