Quilting machines & the cost of maintenance and repair - November 18, 2014
One of the most common questions quilters ask us about APQS quilting machines is the cost of maintenance and repair.
Wholecloth history - November 11, 2014
When you read through a quilt show catalog, you'll probably see a category devoted to "whole cloth quilts." Learn more about wholecloth history...
Common machine quilting problems & how to fix them! - October 28, 2014
Prospective customers often ask us what to expect for typical problems or repairs to their APQS longarm machine. As much as we’d like to think that everything will stay the same forever and nothing will ever go wrong, they are, after all, still machines.
Best threads to use in APQS machines - October 21, 2014
Thread shred, breakage, fuzzing, lint, and poor tension are all reasons to wonder if the thread you are ogling at the quilt shop is the right choice for your machine and your project.
10 tips for quick cutting - September 30, 2014
Use these tips to whip out your quilts in no time flat!
What is the difference between the 5 APQS longarm quilting machines? - September 23, 2014
Have you been dreaming about an APQS longarm quilting machine but aren’t certain which model suits you best? In this article we will explore the differences between our machines to help you determine which one is best for you.
Great APQS Longarm Giveaway winner update: Finding space for a longarm - September 9, 2014
Lots of quilters stop by our booth at quilt shows and dream of a perfect quilting studio including a longarm machine. Many lament about not having the space for one.
TLC tips for older quilts - August 26, 2014
If you're trying to save an older quilt from the cutting pile, these tips from well-known quilters may help you extend the life of your special treasure...
How to do a pantograph [with VIDEO] - August 19, 2014
With literally thousands of pantograph designs available today, you can quilt anything from a simple swirling pattern to an elaborate cityscape scene across your quilt.
Miniature quilts - August 12, 2014
Mini quilts are a wonderful way to accomplish a particular pattern or technique without investing lots of dollars into fabric and batting.
How do you properly use rulers when you quilt? - July 22, 2014
Ruler work is a quick way to make a quilt spectacular but it can be intimidating. The most important thing to remember is safety. The last thing you want is to hear the heart sickening sound of the hopping foot crunching on Plexiglas while using your APQS
Quilting more than one quilt at a time - July 15, 2014
Imagine how quickly you could knock out quilts if you could get more than one on the frame at a time! Well, it IS possible if you use a single backing fabric for both quilts.
How to mark a quilt - July 8, 2014
Have you ever walked through a quilt show and felt the inspiration oozing out of the quilty masterpieces but have wondered how the quilter makes such incredible designs on the quilts?
How to turn a quilt - July 2, 2014
Turning a quilt is really very simple and fast to do IF you know the secret ingredient – bendable pins that recover their shape after winding around the rollers.
How to load a quilt [part 2] - June 17, 2014
Now that you know more about the possible methods you can choose, let’s review the basic steps for quilt loading...
Quilting by the numbers - May 13, 2014
The Quilting in America 2010 Survey shows that the quilting market continues to grow at a steady rate, and is indeed valued at $3.58 billion.
Best Mother's Day gifts for quilters - May 6, 2014
Mother's Day is just around the corner...
Tips for using "unusual" fabrics for quilt backing - April 29, 2014
Read our tips on how to successfully use "unusual" fabrics for your backing.
2 common backing troubles - April 22, 2014
Today we are focusing on some of the backing troubles that can derail an otherwise wonderful quilt...
Which class should I take? - April 15, 2014
If you’re lucky enough to attend some quilt shows this year, you’ll likely face the dilemma of what classes to take once you get there.
Spring cleaning for quilts - April 8, 2014
A quilt's condition will determine whether you can launder it safely.
Ruling the World: Getting the most from your templates - March 25, 2014
In the longarm industry, rulers and templates are always highly sought-after tools of the trade.
In like a lion or a lamb? - March 4, 2014
Take this last month of winter while the weather is still keeping you indoors to become a "March Lion" and set some ferocious goals for yourself.
Frugal fabric finds - January 28, 2014
We’ve put together some ideas on how you can indulge in your love of fabrics for a lot less than what you’d usually spend.
Prepare for "quilting emergencies" - January 21, 2014
During every class I teach to beginning longarm quilters, I bring up the subject of an "emergency preparedness plan".
Step-by-step process for thread breakage problems - January 14, 2014
When you're hard at work on a quilt, and your thread decides not to cooperate, your blood pressure can increase exponentially.
Get creative with your fabric stash - December 23, 2013
If you are truly a "quilter" you have a fabric stash. Once you reach your limit on available shelving, it's time to get creative.
Strip cutting quickies - December 10, 2013
Here's a handy chart to use to help you cut the patches you need for your project using a 6" x 24" cutting ruler and long strips of fabric.
You can quilt that out, right? - December 3, 2013
For machine quilters who work for others, those are famous (or maybe infamous) words!
What's in your wallet - November 26, 2013
Your wallet can help you with your quilting and fabric purchases as well as save you money.
You can test quilting designs with vinyl - November 19, 2013
If you're struggling with how a quilting design might look in your quilt, here's a great way to audition your ideas.
Houston Quilt Festival 2013 - November 5, 2013
We share some of our favorite pictures from this year's quiltling show in Houston.
Start over, start fresh! - October 29, 2013
Sometimes a person just needs to begin again.
To wash, or not to wash... - October 22, 2013
Among quilting circles, it's as polarizing as politics and religion ... do you wash your fabric or don't you?
Storage ideas for quilters - October 15, 2013
Quiltmaker Suzanne Nelson shares ideas to store all our beloved gadgets and gizmos.
What's the best way to store your quilts? - October 8, 2013
It's a good idea to store quilts in a space where you'd feel comfortable yourself.
Why is my block not square? - October 1, 2013
Inaccurate seam allowances, inaccurate cutting, and even careless pressing can add to the "attitude" our quilts develop about laying flat, square, and true.
What causes railroad tracks? - September 24, 2013
These railroad tracks aren't of the Amtrak variety … these tracks refer to those pesky "flat lines" of bobbin thread sometimes found on the back of your quilt.
Thread wisdom - September 17, 2013
With so many thread choices available, including thread type, TEX, weight, ply, twist, choosing the right color may be the simplest decision you'll have to make!
The color of emotion - September 10, 2013
Much research has been done regarding color and its effect on emotions. Hospitals paint their rooms blue to promote restfulness, and fast-food restaurants install red booths to evoke an "urgent" feeling.
Quilting ergonomics - September 3, 2013
Correct machine height and ergonomic features will allow you to quilt for many hours without fatigue and strain on your body.
Pin poke folklore - August 22, 2013
Flower head pins, corsage pins, T-pins; it doesn't matter how you attach your quilt to the frame. One of those pins is going to get you some time!
Sewing secrets revealed - August 20, 2013
In the spirit of sharing, here are some fun hints that just might make your sewing and quilting more efficient, but also more fun!
Taming thread woes - August 12, 2013
When your thread starts to snap, it doesn't take long before your nerves start to snap, too. Here are some things to try that will help you narrow down the trouble and get back to quilting without stress.
Quilting for others ... what should you know? - August 6, 2013
If starting a quilting business is one of your long-term goals, here are a few tips to get you started down the right path.
Sore finger first aid - July 30, 2013
Every now and then, we quilters have to pick up a needle and thread. How do you avoid sore fingers after a bout of hand sewing? Read some of our quilters' home remedies, and you might find a method that work for you!
Bobbin basics - July 19, 2013
Longarm quilting machines require much less bobbin tension than you may believe when compared to your home sewing machine.
Sign your work - July 16, 2013
Labeling your quilt appropriately establishes original authorship and recognizes individuals involved in the quilting project. Use these tips to help authenticate your next creation!
Right brain, left brain, no brainer - July 9, 2013
Learn how to create more consistent quilting designs by determining what type of quilting “thinker” you are.
What makes a balanced design? - July 2, 2013
The concept of balanced quilting seems easy to understand, but there are many aspects to address while finishing your quilt.
Scissors Savvy - June 25, 2013
When it comes to quilting and piecing, you should always have a good pair of scissors on hand. Read our tips to help you choose the proper scissors for the job and to keep your scissors in great shape.
I'm stuck...what do I do? - June 18, 2013
If you're wondering what to do with a quilt, check out the APQS Forum for quilting inspiration or ask yourself these questions to alleviate "quilter's block!"
Flat quilts can still get wavy borders - June 11, 2013
What can make an otherwise flat quilt get wavy borders? Read on to find out!
By hand or machine...which way to go? - June 4, 2013
Do you wash your fabrics by hand or machine? Either way, we've got great washing tips for you!
Blue Star banners - what are they? - May 21, 2013
If you know someone in the military, check out this short history and free pattern to honor your soldier!
Ten tips for cutting fabric quickly - May 14, 2013
Check out these ten tips to help with your efficiency in the piecing stage. You'll be whipping out quilts in no time at all!
Relieving quilter's guilt - May 7, 2013
Don't let "quilter's guilt" of an unfinished project rob you of the pleasure of sewing or quilting.
Wool applique on your longarm - April 30, 2013
Donating your old wool clothing to Good Will? Not so fast! Here's a few ways to re-purpose wool fabric in your quilts.
Inspiration station - April 23, 2013
Inspiration for your next quilt design can come from anywhere - all you have to do is look!
How you can secure starts and stops - April 16, 2013
If you are still using needles to bury the beginning and ending threads on your quilt, you are missing out on ways to be more efficient! Check out these two methods using your longarm machines.
Finding a balance in quilting - April 9, 2013
With show season upon us, use a critical eye when designing your quilts. Learn how to balance your quilt designs.
Quilt show etiquette - April 2, 2013
Whatcha gonna do when the quilt police come for you?
Spring has sprung, clean your studio! - March 26, 2013
In the mood for a little bit of spring cleaning? Don't forget about your quilting studio
Create a quilt "repair kit" - March 19, 2013
Before you slice up the leftovers or shove the scraps into the garbage, consider making a "repair kit" for every quilt you make.
Banishing bulky seams - March 12, 2013
Whether you quilt for others or quilt yourself, you've most likely encountered a few mountains of fabric at patchwork intersections. Here are a few tips from the APQS team to help you avoid roadblocks or needle breaks from bulky seams!
Clever bobbin storage ideas - March 5, 2013
Is your bobbin collection an unorganized mess? Use these storage ideas from APQS to help keep your quilting area tidy!
Our new generation of quilting machines. - February 27, 2013
Our machine updates have made our machines even easier to use. Watch this video for more information.
Oh say...can you see? - February 26, 2013
Is your eyesight not what it used to be? If the answer is yes and you feel it's affecting your ability to quilt, it might be time to make some adjustments!
Add luster, luminosity and depth to your quilts - February 19, 2013
You can add richness to your quilts using fabrics that create the illusions of luminosity, luster and depth.
Hearty advice for quilters - February 12, 2013
Celebrate Valentine's Day by giving a special valentine to the person closest to your heart...YOU!
A touch of yellow - February 5, 2013
Do you love the color yellow in your quilts? Yellow can have some amazing powers when incorporated your design!
Batting has an "up" and "down" - January 22, 2013
Well, most of it does, anyway! It may surprise you to know that many batting products have a right side and a wrong side, just like fabric.
Mind your "P's" and "Q's" - January 15, 2013
Practice, practice, practice...did we just hear you groan? Though it may not be your favorite thing, a good warm up session will not only improve your skills, but keep you from blacksliding each quilting session!
Backing mysteries busted - January 8, 2013
Next time you choose a backing fabric, take these tips from our APQS team into consideration!
Quilter's new year resolutions - December 26, 2012
It's nearly time to close the door on 2012, and put all of the regrets about what didn't get done aside.
Husband's guide to last-minute gifts - December 18, 2012
A handy guide of gifts the quilter in your family is sure to love.
Lacy longarm scarf - December 11, 2012
Need a simple, beautiful homemade present for a gift exchange or to give to a close friend? Here's a quick tutorial on for a lacy scarf that's sure to impress!
Holiday Stockings - December 4, 2012
Have you hung the stockings by the chimney with care? If yours are looking a bit tired and weary, or the toes have holes from lumps of coal, try whipping one out using your longarm machine.
Magic metallic thread - November 27, 2012
Even if you consider yourself a more "traditional" quilter who likes muted tones, country flair, or even Civil War reproductions, sometime during your quilting you will discover the luster and shine that metallic thread can bring to your project.
Better bindings: part 2 - November 20, 2012
A recent blog article mentioned that binding stitches should be very close together, up to 1/16-inch apart. Several panicked quilters quickly questioned the sanity of this notion. Let's clarify that today!
Thanksgiving reflections - November 20, 2012
Thanksgiving Day marks a month of celebrating family, friendship and love. Remember to spend time with those you hold dear during the next few weeks.
Better bindings - November 13, 2012
Quilters are often polarized when it comes to whether binding is the best or worst part of a quilting project. When you reach that stage in your quilt, the end is near – literally!
Keeping scale in perspective - November 13, 2012
Is your purse full of little scraps of paper with quilting design ideas doodled on them? Does your checkbook register look like an artist's pad?
What makes a SmartBobbin so smart? - November 6, 2012
Every day quilters ask about the APQS SmartBobbin and wonder what makes it the intelligent choice for longarm quilters.
What's the magic TOWA number? - November 6, 2012
Any number you want it to be! That wasn't the answer you were expecting, was it?
Trick or treat - October 30, 2012
Just for fun, and because we quilters deserve a few "treats" every now and then, here are a few quips that pay tribute to our passion for chocolate.
Applique quilt quandaries - October 30, 2012
Personal preference aside, the decision to quilt on top of applique can often be guided by the amount of quilting in other areas of the quilt.
Do you need some creative ideas for fabric hiding places? - October 16, 2012
Sometimes you have to get creative...not only to store your newfound fabric, but to disguise your purchases from anyone who doesn't understand why you needed more in the first place.
Ask APQS: Matching thread color - October 16, 2012
Machine quilters must choose between what may be "practical" in relation to the time investment for the quilting, in addition to what is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Fuzzy flannel fast appliqué - October 9, 2012
For a fast, fun weekend project, try whipping up a flannel throw.
Boo boo Band-Aids for quilting mistakes - October 9, 2012
Here's a great trick for touching up spots where your stitching line wandered off its path.
Football Fridays...bleacher quilts - October 2, 2012
Whether it's soccer, football or another sport, having a little cushion under the tush is a must for fans on the sidelines.
Just How "Tight" Are You? - September 25, 2012
When the quilt is stretched firmly on the frame, any air space created by the batting is crushed by the quilt layers.
Quilt As Desired...A designer's epitaph! - September 18, 2012
How many of project patterns have you come across that contain the words "Quilt As Desired?"
Machine applique tips - September 18, 2012
When you really have to get things done, fusible web and machine applique come to the rescue.
Fast fun fall fabric - September 12, 2012
You can capture some of this fall spirit with a quick and fun project that you can complete right on your longarm!
Flannel facts and fables - September 12, 2012
Who can resist the feel of that soft, cuddly fabric against your skin when the temperature starts to dip and the evening chill encourages you to throw the windows open at night?
Setting your batteries to recharge - September 4, 2012
With Labor Day in the books, now is your chance to revitalize yourself in preparation for those long winter nights when you really WANT to quilt!
Blanket stitch with a longarm? - September 4, 2012
Autumn presents the perfect time to put a small project together to give the technique a try.
What's the Difference Between Bobbins? - August 29, 2012
If you are a little bit of a sleuth, you can find several different bobbin types on the market today.
How Many Stitches per Inch? - August 29, 2012
Hand quilters and machine quilters use different measuring gauges (figuratively speaking) to determine the right stitch length for a project.
Fusible Interfacing and Quilts - August 22, 2012
Fusible interfacing has transitioned from a staple in sewing rooms to a valuable tool for many quilters.
Couching with Your Longarm - August 22, 2012
"Couching" secures fibers to the surface of the quilt that would not normally fit through the needle's eye.
Did you know...Manual or stitch regulated? - August 15, 2012
The evolution of machine quilting has produced some wondrous features that early quilters could only dream about.
Did you know...What the judges are judging - August 7, 2012
Learn more about some of the "measurable" criteria judges use to evaluate quilts in competition:
Did you know...Attending to Pressing Matters - August 7, 2012
The debate about "ironing" versus "pressing" has waned in recent years as quilters finally realize that piecing quilts requires a different skill set apart from the laundry room.
Did you know...How Do You Secure Starts and Stops? - July 30, 2012
Quilters for generations have used needles to bury the beginning and ending thread tails on their quilts. However, you may not need to use that extra effort...
Did you know...Simple Sashing Setting Squares - July 26, 2012
When you're the quilter and not the piecer, you know what a barrel of fun it can be if the sashing strips on a quilt don't quite line up at the corners of the blocks.
Did you know...Do you really HAVE to stitch in the ditch? - July 19, 2012
Quilters can make a case for both a "yes" and a "no" answer...
Did you know...Caring for your steam iron - June 27, 2012
Here are some tips to keep your iron lasting for years and out of the garbage can:
Did you know...Hand appliqué tips and tricks - June 27, 2012
Here are some tips that can make your hand appliqué easier while giving you great results.
Did you know...just how "tight" are you? - June 27, 2012
Somehow, just because we can, we stretch and pull and tighten until our quilt top sits military-style on the frame, ready to bounce a quarter to the ceiling. However, we fail to notice how that tautness pulls at our seams, stretches our borders and makes
Did you know...What's under your bed besides dust bunnies? - June 27, 2012
With all that creativity, time and effort that goes into each project, it's a shame to think of your treasures stuffed into closets or cedar chests. There are better ways to store your quilts (and even show them off!)
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