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Thread: "Floating Tops"

  1. #1
    Member Debbie Ness's Avatar
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    How many of you ladies with long arm machines, 'float' the tops (and/or batting) on your machines? I took lessons on an HQ16 and we only attached the backing to the leaders. Who else does this and can it be done on other brands of machines. Thanks so much for your input.
    Deb

  2. #2
    Super Member CoyoteQuilts's Avatar
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    I have always floated my tops and batt on both of my frames. I had a domestic machine on a table top Handi Quilter and now have a Quilting Solutions Stretch machine. I hate quilting in the 'ditch' or 'valley' or what ever it is called.

  3. #3
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I have a Tin Lizzie and I float the batting and top. I've tried rolling the top and it didn't work any better than floating for me. Do it which ever way is easiest/best for you.

  4. #4
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    When I bought my Gammill Optimum they taught me to float my top and batting. It works great for me. I had a Pfaff Grand Quilter before and I always had all 3 layers secured and it was awful, wish I had known about floating then, it might have been a different story. Good luck.

    Sherryl
    Candlequilter

  5. #5
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by candlequilter
    When I bought my Gammill Optimum they taught me to float my top and batting. It works great for me. I had a Pfaff Grand Quilter before and I always had all 3 layers secured and it was awful, wish I had known about floating then, it might have been a different story. Good luck.

    Sherryl
    Candlequilter
    I have the Pfaff quilter now and my first quilt I fastened everything on the bars, but since then I have floated the top and batting and I seem to have better luck keeping the right tension. I do find that the last few inches of quilting require simply pinning the top to the backing to prevent puckering.

  6. #6
    Power Poster debcavan's Avatar
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    I floated a top the first time I longarmed. But I no longer do. I quilt so intensely that it would draw the quilt top up in the center of the bottom edge.

    I also have an easier time getting blocks to line up on unruly quilt tops that have extra somewhere in the quilt top. I do a lot of charity quilt tops that others have made.

    We had a professional judge at our local quilt show last fall. The comment that showed on my slip time and time again was how square my quilts were and how straight the lines were. I know the width of the top of the quilt is the same as the bottom edge because I have measured it and pinned the quilt to the leader so they are the same measurement.

    Also if you SID on a horizontal line you can tighten that quilt better to stretch the top a little so you can see that ditch.

    I have floated one quilt top in the three years I have had my machine. I was being lazy that day. It was a small charity quilt

  7. #7
    Power Poster debcavan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaBear61
    Quote Originally Posted by candlequilter
    When I bought my Gammill Optimum they taught me to float my top and batting. It works great for me. I had a Pfaff Grand Quilter before and I always had all 3 layers secured and it was awful, wish I had known about floating then, it might have been a different story. Good luck.

    Sherryl
    Candlequilter
    I have the Pfaff quilter now and my first quilt I fastened everything on the bars, but since then I have floated the top and batting and I seem to have better luck keeping the right tension. I do find that the last few inches of quilting require simply pinning the top to the backing to prevent puckering.
    The quilt sandwich should not be pulled tightly. It should not be a drum. You should be able to put your finger underneath and grasp it from on top. A too tight top will affect your tension

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i float mine on my hinterberg frame with juki machine.

  9. #9
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    I float small quilts only, others get attached.

  10. #10
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    I secured both ends of everything on the first few quilts on our GrandQuilter, but after I mounted a pin-basted quilt and asked about it here I reconsidered how to do it. I started floating them (but didn't know that's what it was called) and loved the result. I asked our quilt teacher about it and she agreed that floating was preferable and gave me a couple of pointers to help me out. Now that's the only way I do them.

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