I sent my Raspberry Ripple quilt to a long arm quilter to be quilted. I had never used a quilter before but I wanted to having this top done because it is a gift and I can't do quilts this big on my little machine. I won "half price quilting" from Joanne during a blog contest she had so it was a sign I needed to send her the top.
It is a little freaky sending a top out to someone you don't know. You spend a lot of time and money on quilts so you don't want anything to happen. I had looked through Joanne's web site before winning and was really impressed with a couple things. First, I could afford her prices! Second, she maintains her blog with pictures of the quilts she works on and her work was lovely!
I contacted her and she responded quickly with information about sending in my quilt top. I have no clue about quilting, so I really liked that she was comfortable making choices about my top for me - what color thread to use, what pattern to use for the design. I'm not super fussy and liked all the quilts on the blog, so I figured mine would look good too!
I shipped my top out along with batting and backing and a little over a month later it came back. She boxed it up very well to protect it from the post office. I requested tracking on the box (because I'm paranoid) and she did this without a problem. I was also surprised at how cheap it is to mail a quilt - I did priority mail and it was only ten bucks each way!
When I pulled the completed quilt out I loved what I found. She had picked a wavy design with tan thread that matched my background. The stitches looked great! A couple areas were a little puckered but those were my fault - you know, you get those blocks that don't want to be flat because you messed up sewing them a bit :0) She did a great job with my top. I'll be sending more out.
If you need a top or two long arm quilted, I recommend her work. I think the max size she works with are queen tops and basic loops and meandering costs only $65 for this sized top! She has a lot of patterns and a real talent for picking patterns for doing fancy computer designs and these cost one cent an inch, which is comparable to other places I saw.