Ok, I am relatively new to Long Arming but am getting right good at pantographs.
Here is how I set my system up for a pantograph
1. Load backing onto frame
2. Load batting onto frame, lining top of batting up with top of backing where it attaches to the leaders
3. Lock my vertical channel lock so that I can only move the machine horizontally (you dont have to lock it, but it helps)
4. stitch either a basting stitch or a regular one (i am lazy I just do a regular one) along the top of the batting and backing (notice we havent loaded top yet)
5. Lay top edge of top against stitched line (from step 4), adjust till top is laying flat over all and even with the top stitch line.
6. Remove channel lock if you forget you will get mad at yourself, ask me how I know
7. Stitch either basting stitch or regular one along top of quilt to stabilize it and keep the edges from folding over while not watching, I also stitch down the sides as well, securing the quilt on 3 sides and letting gravity handle the 4th.
NOTE: I usually float my tops, I tried putting the top on the rollers but somehow got it all skewed, so floating works better for me. Please do what works best for you. If it is a small (60ish wide) quilt, floating shouldnt be an issue.
8. Position the needle to the upper left corner of the quilt (assuming you are facing your quilt from front of machine), put needle down.
9. Move to back of machine and unroll pantograph so that it lays over the whole table. Weight the ends to keep it from curling.
NOTE: As another side note here, I went to lowes and bought a couple 18x22in plexiglass sheets, and use them to lay over the pantograph. This keeps the panto from rolling as well as allows me to mark with a dry erase the start/stop of the quilt and arrows for direction on more complicated pantos.
10. Turn on your laser guide on back of machine and make sure your pantograph is level (I use the edge of my table to ensure it is straight)
11. Adjust the laser light to the spot of the highest design, you need to make sure that you have enough room to quilt that top part and not run into the rollers. Remember, your needle is down and in the upper corner of your quilt.
12. Needle up, then slide machine along the pantograph so you can see if you can stitch all of the parts without hitting anything (rollers, edge, etc) dont sew, just positioning here. run it all the way across.
NOTE: I generally use the dry erase markers to mark the edges of the quilt on the plexi over the panto. that way I know where I need to stop/start on each pass. You can also use a clear ruler or even a regular ruler. Basically you are trying to let yourself know when to stop since you are not looking at the fabric while stitching.
13. I adjust the laser guide and panto until I find a satisfactory placement. this may take a few minutes so take your time.
14. I then test tension on batting/backing with a scrap piece (your backing should be wider than quilt, so you should have room for this.) adjust as needed.
15. I lock my stitches off the top (pull bobbin thread up and do a couple locking stitches)
16. I stand in back and move the machine so that the laser light follows the lines on the pantograph.
Note: I do recommend doing a few passes without the stitching, just dry runs, especially if it is a new pantograph. so you get the feel for the design. I sometimes do this just to get into the groove. Then I will stitch.
17. Once you have finished the row, be sure to cut threads, I do this off the top in the spare area so I dont have to be exact in the center.
Hope that helps...