Well, this wasn't expected.
I got my my second Carolina Christmas back from the longarmer, and it's quilted with the most wonderful pattern of snowflakes and swirls. But, as you can see in this picture, something isn't quite right. (Back of quilt is photographed for clarity.) She and I both looked at the quilt when I picked it up. Neither of us saw it. I didn't find it until I was trimming the edges. Of course, this was the middle of the last edge to be trimmed. There it was, a spot about as large as my hand with fingers outstretched, completely void of quilting.
How did it happen? We aren't quite sure, but this is our best guess: This is a very wide panto pattern, almost 18", and the computer controls make the quilting machine loop back on itself to fill in parts of the pattern as it goes instead of sewing the pattern completely, left to right. We assume that her computerized machine ran off the edge of the quilt and shut down rather than looping back to fill in this gap. She didn't see it and advanced the quilt on the roller.
She gave me some matching thread and I will locate a repeat in another area and trace the missing piece of the pattern onto some acetate, so I can make a stencil to mark the area before quilting it myself. Since the quilt had been trimmed it would have been hard to reload it on the longarm and adjust so that the pattern would match up. It is a lot easier if I fix it.
I don't blame her. She's a great quilter and I love her work. This is just one of those things that happen when you automate the process - once the machine ran off the side of the quilt it didn't go back on this pass. Just one of those things.