Pushing the limits

Have you ever wondered just how big of a quilt can be quilted on a longarm?  Well, it depends on the size of the table, and the parking position of the longarm itself, each machine has a different limit.

Normally I tell my customers I can accommodate a backing that is 110″ wide, which means I can accommodate a quilt up to 102″ wide.  But once in a while, with the customers knowledge, I’ll push the limits.

Yes, loaded centered and doing the math, that means this backing is 121″ wide!  This also means I have no place to park the machine.  But, since I designed this quilt for the customer (she pieced it), I felt sure we could work with the larger than normal backing.

And yet that left me no room to park the machine overnight where it could do it’s nightly oil drip.  Yes, my machine does sometimes drip oil overnight, it’s the nature of the beast.
Thankfully, back when I first started quilting, a longarmer, who is no longer with us, gave me a trick for keeping oil off the quilt if the backing was oversized.  It’s a simple little trick and inexpensive:

I remember at the time being amazed at how cheaply an oil drip guard could be made!!!!   It’s a doubled over piece of aluminum foil, curled up around the edges of 2-3 layers of cotton batting.  The oil doesn’t go through the foil, and even if, for some unknown reason, a large amount of the oil inside the machine were to run out overnight, the curled edges could prevent the oil from getting onto the quilt or the backing.

Sometimes when you’re pushing the limits it’s the really little things that can make all the difference.

4 thoughts on “Pushing the limits

  1. Getting ready to load one that’s pushing the limit of my 8′ table. I’ve never had oil to drip, but this would be the time…

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