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Thread: Top almost done - prep for longarm?

  1. #11
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaorth
    at the risk of sounding stupid.... what is a stay stitch?
    Not stupid. :) It's a term that comes from garment sewing, and it means to stitch close to the edge with large stitches. It prevents garments from stretching on the bias while they're being made (hence the "stay" part). In quilting it helps keep blocks together at the seams, and keeps the edges straight and prevents stretching.

  2. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    If the back is pieced, like rows of patchwork, spare blocks, etc. then how much excess should be at the top? How you get it so that the top of the backing lines up with the top of the front, approximately? Gosh, this even sounds dumb to me, lol.
    You won't be able to have the top of the backing line up with the top of the front. The backing will always be larger than the top when you are taking it to a longarmer. Because of the way LA'ers have to load the quilt on the frame, they require the top to be the smallest part of the quilt.

    The way to have the top of the backing line up with the top of the quilt is to lay it out on a floor, pin it, and quilt it yourself. Or - (this just occurred to me) you COULD sew a piece of scrap onto the backing, which would move the top of the backing down a bit, but I'd be worried about the guesswork involved in that.

  3. #13
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    So if the longarmer wants the back 5" longer than the top, it should be +2.5" on each end of the backing? The way I'm doing it, the backing is pieced from straps and extra blocks, in vertical rolls, so the extra width is there, doesn't matter if it's a little more to the left or right. But I'd like to come close to centering it top to bottom. If I were going to quilt it myself, that'd be no problem, I'd figure it out, lol. But I'm sending it out. I'll ask the quilt artist, but I'd like to have a clue first.

  4. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Check with your longarmer - if she says 5", she probably means 5" on ALL sides. I've never had one smaller than 4" on all sides, and usually they want more in the range of 6".

    A (hopefully helpful) word of advice - tell your longarmer that you are new, and ask her to explain the things you don't know or understand completely. If she does so graciously and patiently, then use her services. If she gets cranky about having to explain things to you, run far, far away. Good communication is essential for a successful experience for both you AND her, and good longarmers who want your repeat business and referrals will take the time to make sure you understand everything.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Rhaorth's Avatar
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    ty for the info :)

  6. #16
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    So if a top is 40x40", and you piece the backing just to have the excess needed to load it on the frame, then how can you do it so that the added pieces end up trimmed off? I've seen some pieced backs that must require some pretty precise positioning...

  7. #17
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    generally if the long armer is requiring 5" that means all the way around- so if the top measures 80"x90" the backing/batting needs to measure 90"x100" (5" all the way around)

  8. #18
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    So if a top is 40x40", and you piece the backing just to have the excess needed to load it on the frame, then how can you do it so that the added pieces end up trimmed off? I've seen some pieced backs that must require some pretty precise positioning...
    when the (longarmer) loads a quilt the backing is fastened to leads- and rolled up on roller bars- then the top is loaded- and rolled up= then the backing is pulled across the quilting area and again fastened to leads- (pinned or basted) the top is brought up over the backing and the batting is (floated) inbetween- clamps are used to hold the backing/batting taut on the sides-
    if you work closely with the long-armer---and they are willing to do the extra work/time they may try to line things up===but as the quilt is quilted the backing/batting draws up---much like doing embroidery or applique---which is why you need extra fabric/batting in the first place- so things are not likely to stay---lined up
    after the quilting is finished and removed from the frame you lay it out and trim/square it in preparation for binding...cutting off the excess backing/batting

  9. #19
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    Welcome from Kansas

  10. #20
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    Thanks for the info, ladies! I knew you wouldn't steer me wrong!

    Fortunately, my backing is a large piece of muslin. I don't have to piece it, and should have plenty for extra all around.

    I have one more border to put around the entire piece, and then I'll try to get a photo uploaded.

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