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Thread: Loading the quilt on a longarm?

  1. #1
    Junior Member tyoung's Avatar
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    I was given a longarm machine and want to try to load fabric on the leaders to practice. I have discovered from reading that you start in the middle and pin. My machine is a NuStyle and the front two leaders are horizontal and parallel. I am not sure which one is which as far as top and backing fabric. Several topics I've read said they "float" the quilt top.
    Today I read about leader grips and they pretty easy too. Has anyone used those before?
    I'm in need of any help I can get. :-) Thanks!

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I couldn't find a picture of your machine, but the bar closest to my belly is the bar that I load the back on. The top can be loaded on the next bar, but I do float most of mine. The other end of the backing fabric should be loaded on the take up roller. I have leaders and pin, but they are coming out with several new methods all of the time.
    These are for HQ machines, but the one on loading a quilt is really good.
    http://www.handiquilter.com/how_to_videos/
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    search for manquilter on youtube. has some great videos. i think his web site is www.manquilter.com

  4. #4
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyoung
    I was given a longarm machine and want to try to load fabric on the leaders to practice. I have discovered from reading that you start in the middle and pin. My machine is a NuStyle and the front two leaders are horizontal and parallel. I am not sure which one is which as far as top and backing fabric. Several topics I've read said they "float" the quilt top.
    Today I read about leader grips and they pretty easy too. Has anyone used those before?
    I'm in need of any help I can get. :-) Thanks!
    If your frame came with the machine directly from Nustyle Quilting, it might look like the picture below. Nustyle is still in business. http://nustylequilting.webs.com/index.htm

    The bar that goes through the throat of the machine is the take up roller. Your backing gets pinned to the leader on that bar then the other end of it gets pinned to bar farthest away from the machine. Then you lay your batting down and pin or stitch it to the backing on the takeup roller. The rest of the batting you can just let drape & puddle over the backing payout roller or some frames have a batting roller hanging below the backing payout roller. Your quilt top will then get pinned or basted along the line you just pinned, tacked or basted in the batting. You can pin the other end of the top to the middle roller or you can run it under the middle roller and let it drape over. Draping over is called floating the top. Floating lets you fiddle with the batting, smooth out wrinkles in all the layers, and/or scooch the top around to quilt out lumps. Pinning the quilt top to the payout roller helps keep it square assuming it is square to begin with. I float mine more often than not so I can keep smoothing the batting and picking threads off it without having to un-pin & re-pin the quilt top.

    Juki on a Nustyle Frame
    Name:  Attachment-171195.jpe
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Size:  14.5 KB

  5. #5
    Junior Member tyoung's Avatar
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    Beverly, That is the exact table I have with my machine! The table covering is brown linoleum (?) with those striped leaders. I am going to load fabric on it today and turn it on. It seemed very high compared to the machine though. Do you have the same issue? Tina

  6. #6
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyoung
    Beverly, That is the exact table I have with my machine! The table covering is brown linoleum (?) with those striped leaders. I am going to load fabric on it today and turn it on. It seemed very high compared to the machine though. Do you have the same issue? Tina
    There should be bolts on each end of the frame to raise & lower the poles. Your take up roller/pole should almost touch the bed of your machine. As the quilt gets rolled up on the take up roller; you have to raise it up every few passes to keep your sandwich just skimming the machine bed.

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