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Thread: To Pin or Not To Pin - What Is The Answer?

  1. #1
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    what are most of you long-armers doing to attach your quilt backing to your leader material? some people i know have zippers that let them baste to a leader and then zip back on (very nice - but i don't have that) and others release their leaders, attach by pinning or basting and then reattach leaders to poles (i don't think detaching is a good idea). i have always pinned with straight pins, but it does leave a leeetle wavy edge up there. maybe i should be basting right across with the longarm. what do you do?

    also - i then leave about 3 - 4" below that to attach my batting, then another 3-4" to attach my top. what do you do?

    then - sometimes i 'float' the top (i always float the batting (it's easier to shift it around to square it up) and sometimes i don't, depending on the size. what do you do?

    i find that if i don't leave enough 'spare' material at the top and bottom, i stitch right into the leader. does anyone else have this problem?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I sew my zippers directly onto the backing fabric. It makes it nice to zip the finished quilt off, check the back for oobers, put back on if fixes are needed. I use a really long stitch to sew them on, then ***rip*** them off and trim the quilt.

    Make sure you take them off before you trim. I've eaten one zipper by not paying attention!!

  3. #3
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    did yours come with the zippers or did you do that? how does that work?

    you have the leader, then the attached zipper (closed) , then the backing attached to the other side of the zipper? Just the one leader piece? what i've seen is different.

    i've see a kind of 2-pc leader. the first regular piece, then a second piece that zips onto that. you unzip, baste the back to the removed piece, then rezip the 2 pieces back together.

    i'd like to somehow make a detachable zippered one. i would need a 115" separating zipper. and 115" of leader material. then i could baste the leader to the backing , zip zip and go.

    does yours do the same on both ends?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Hmmm....My take up roller has one half of a zipper set. It has the zipper pull at the left end.

    My front roller has the other half of a zipper set, the slide in part.


    ON THE QUILT BACK, with the back upside down (so that the batting will rest on the wrong side of the fabric) For the take up roller edge, I sew on a zipper that has a slide on the left end that will be zipped onto the take up roller.

    One the front roller, I sew on a zipper with a zipper pull on the left end.

    ***
    I have two rollers at the front, one for the backing fabric, and one for the top. I also sew a zipper half just like the bottom of the back.

    Hopefully the picture will help this make sense. I made this sample for me to use so that I get the right zipper in the right place. I just purchased much shorter zippers to make my sample.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    hmmm back to you. let's see:

    a half zip on the takeup bar to attach to the backing which has the other half.

    a half zip on the backing front bar (against you) to attach to the bottom of the backing.

    a half zip on the roller for the top of the quilt, with the other half on the end of the top.

    right so far?

    how does the top of the top attach? do you also attach the batt? or float it?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Yep, right so far!

    At this point, your back is on. I lay the batting on the back, then I lock my horizontal (no channel locks on an A-1, so I just clamp the wheel), and run a straight line. This gives me a nice straight edge for the top edge of the quilt top. After I center the quilt top on that edge, I pin it, then run a 1/8"to 1/4" basting line, and pull the pins. I also baste the sides each time I advance. By basting the tops and sides, I have a nice square quilt, I don't have to watch out for pins and the binding goes on with no surprises.

    Clear as mud?

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    very clear.

    i have never basted the sides, but i saw a tute on youtube that showed that.

    okay...so the top of the batting and the top of the top are basted down to the backing. veeerrry close to the top edge. within 1/4" i assume. or actually, if it's basted, it doesn't matter.

    so you don't float anything cause it's stitched along the sides all the way.
    do you roll the batting (i don't)?

    i have always pinned the backing to my leader. my backing has had to be longer to accomodate this method or else i quilted right into the leader. i then pinned the batting and top together on the backing. the result was little swoops between the pins along the top edge.

    my poles are 10' long. i imagine i will have to get seperating zippers the same length as my leaders. bayside quilting has wonderful leader material with stripes.

    i also saw a tute where a piece of fabric is cut the length of the field between your bars. it is pinned a lot along that edge of the backing. it is about 2 - 3" wide and at the outside edge of this piece there is a casing through which a small dowel or narrow plastic piping goes. THEN the clamps are applied and the result is very even pull along the sides. does that make any sense?

  8. #8
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    someone out there pm'd me with a website. i accidentally deleted it. please show a re-run for me. i would really like to look at it.

    so sorry. and thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I don't roll the batting, it hangs down and I usually just kick it under the machine when it gets in the way.

    Your backing should be 4" extra all the way around, 8" long and 8" wider than the top. This gives you room to 1)attach to the leaders so you don't run over things and 2) test tension on the sides. When you advance the quilt, you change the tension slightly, and when you change bobbins, things change. This gives you room to make sure everything is ok before you have to frog (rippit, rippit) a whole row. This also gives you some breathing room in the event that things get a little wonky.

    I have one set of zippers with leaders, and 4 sets of just zippers. I sew my back directly onto the zippers. You can get a really good price on the long zippers on e-bay.

    I've seen the side clam thing. I just take once of the clamps that came with my machine, and clamp to a skirt hanger. It gives me two clamps to connect to the quilt, and they both have the same tension. I don't always use the side clamps. It depends on the quilt!

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    my batts also hang down and i am also a kicker. i removed hat bottom bar recently altogether for some additional leg room.

    i allow myself about 8" at the top above the batting. about 3" of batting above the quilt top. i know. too much. it makes me feel secure. i leave about 3" extra batting and an extra 3" backing on the sides. altogether about 1/2 yard more than i really end up with in length. i use 120" batts that i trim down to end up with a 95" to 100" square quilt (my favorite size is 96 x 96). i find that the batts that are called queen are too small to cover the box spring on a high bed.

    the skirt hanger idea is new to me. they should name it after you, like "the shelley technique"

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