What does the name mean?
The Royal Bluebell ‘Wahlenbergia gloriosa’ is the floral emblem for the Australian Capital Territory. It is a small perennial herb with oblong leaves about 2.5 cm long and violet blue flowers up to 2-3 cm. The A1 refers to the American Longarm A1 Quilting Machine that we use to create our masterpieces. The Intelliquilter tablet operates computerised patterns used with the A1.
Can I see your quilts in person?
If you would like to arrange a personal viewing of a quilt, please make an appointment with us and we will be happy to assist you.
What is the physical address of the business?
Our address is 25 Golden Grove, Red Hill ACT 2603 Australia. This is also our mailing address.
What are your business hours?
We are open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but we do ask that you call to make an appointment before visiting us.
How do I send you my quilt top?
After you have contacted us and discussed your project please complete this form and attach to your quilt. Please prepare it based on our instructions (See FAQ How do I prepare my quilt for quilting?) and send to Bluebell A1 Quilting, 25 Golden Grove Red Hill ACT Australia 2603. Please consider sending your parcel by registered post.
What is a good project for a beginner?
We recommend starting with a small quilt that features simple blocks, applique or piecing techniques. A wall hanging that has pieced blocks, fusible applique or a pre-printed panel is a great project to begin with.
How much fabric do I need to make a quilt?
The amount of fabric you will need will vary depending on what size your quilt will be and how intricate the piecing. It is best to use a pattern that tells you exactly how much of each fabric is required. These are only general guidelines for helping you determine fabric purchasing, we cannot guarantee that these amounts will be accurate for the quilt that you plan to make. Most quilters like to order extra fabrics for their project. Any left over fabric can always be used in other projects.
There are hundreds of books and magazines available to purchase which include fabric requirements and patterns.
What if I've chosen to make a quilt for a baby, and that quilt calls for snaps, buttons, or other such embellishments?
Buttons and snaps are a potential choking hazard for infants and toddlers, so we suggest you substitute either embroidery or applique for the embellishments. Please leave all semi-loose embellishments off the quilt before quilting. You can add them later to your quilt.
Do you provide wadding/batting?
We prefer to provide the wadding/batting and backing as we can source good quality products at good prices.
We prefer to use the Matilda’s Own batting from Victorian Textiles. We supply 100% bamboo, 100% wool, 60/40% wool/poly, 100% cotton and 60/40% wool/cotton. We don’t use 100% polyester batting in our quilts unless specified by the customer. We find wool, wool/poly, bamboo, cotton and cotton-blend a much better choice for a number of reasons.
- it can be blocked flat with a steam iron after quilting,
- it doesn’t shift and make puckers while you are machine quilting.
- it just feels better.
We do not use poor quality high loft polyester wadding designed for general craft projects.
Do you provide a binding service?
You can choose to include binding as an additional cost to give your quilt a professional finish.
What are your shipping charges?
Our shipping charges are based on the weight and size of the quilt being purchased. We use Australia Post and this is automatically calculated on our web site. We provide shipping in Australia and internationally.
How will my package be shipped?
Our standard method of shipment is Australia Post with normal delivery time being 7–10 business days. For all international shipments the normal delivery time can be 1–4 weeks.
What can I get quilted?
We can quilt any size of quilt from small projects to large king size quilts. If you’re not sure, just contact us and we can assist.
How long does quilting take?
Our turnaround time is dependent on our workload. If you require a rush service or would like to enquire about our current work times, please contact us.
Can I choose my own design and thread?
Yes! We have a large range of pantograph patterns to choose from and we can offer advice on suitability of patterns. We also have an extensive colour range of thread and backings.
Can I bring my own backing material?
We use good quality backing fabrics which are wider and purpose made for the backing of a quilt. We will use customer supplied backing materials however we have found that the material we provide will give a better result to the final quilt.
If you are providing your own backing, please follow our preparation advice to achieve the best result.
How do I prepare my quilt for quilting?
The three layers of the quilt will be loaded onto the machine independently of one another. Please don’t baste or pin the three pieces together if the quilt top is to be professionally quilted.
- If your quilt top and backing have a definite directional “head” then please leave a note pined onto the quilt top and quilt backing to identify the “head”.
- All four sides of the backing should be squared. This is critical for us when loading the backing onto the rollers.
- When preparing your quilt backings and wadding/batting, please allow 3-4 inches on all four sides. This enables us to pin the quilt top and bottom to the roller zippers ready to quilt. It also gives us 3-4 inches on both sides to clamp the quilt in its position and allows stitching run-off on both sides.
- Press the quilt top well, check for loose seams and threads.
- Indicate if your top and/or backing have a direction, mark with paper pinned or taped to the fabric.
- Trim loose threads on your quilt as they can show under light fabrics and can get caught on the machine.
- Your top should be free of embellishments, such as buttons, beads, charms, pins, etc.
- Borders should be flat. If not, this may cause tucks, pleats or fullness.
If you will be shipping your quilt top and backing, fold them neatly and they will ship beautifully.
Where are your quilts made?
All of our quilts are handmade in Canberra, Australia. We make our quilts using the highest quality techniques, fabrics and threads to give you a truly unique product. If we are selling another quilter’s quilt on consignment it will be locally pieced and quilted by Bluebell A1 Quilting.
I have a question about quilting, can I email you?
Yes! We love hearing from our customers and quilting fanatics. We do get quite a few emails and it may take a few days to reply but we do try our best to answer any questions sent to us.
Can I pin your photos on Pinterest, Twitter etc?
Yes, we would love for you to pin our quilt photos, but please provide a source/link back to our web site and acknowledge that they are from Bluebell A1 Quilting.
But I saw something cheaper in the shop …
Our quilts are all handmade in Canberra using quality materials. We do not sell cheaply made imported products like those that can be purchased in some commercial shops. The material and backing alone can cost most of the money being charged. This means you often get the craftsmanship for next to nothing. Our quilts are manufactured to last for generations.
Why are quilt sizes in inches and feet?
In the world of quilting, patterns are created using inches not centimetres. This is the traditional and worldwide standard.
What seams should I use for sewing a quilt?
A 1/4 inch seam allowances is standard for all quilt projects.
What are the parts of a quilt?
Quilts are made up of three layers:
1. Quilt top
2. Wadding/ batting
The quilt top is the primary design of the quilt. (Some quilters also prefer to piece their backings to make their quilts ‘double sided’.) Most longarm quilters prefer backings not to be pieced because of the possible movement of the backing during the quilting process.
The ‘sandwich’ of wadding/batting in the middle of the quilt gives the quilt warmth and weight.
The backing is the bottom layer of the finished quilt.
The wadding/batting and backing fabric must be at least 3-4 inches wider than the quilt top as part of the final longarm quilting process. Backings are attached to zippers on the top and bottom rollers. Clamps are attached to both sides to stabilize the backing during quilting.