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Old 07-25-2012, 07:42 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 394
Default Floating the top?

A friend has given me a quilt to quilt. I have a long-arm machine. My question is...the top and back are about the same size, both are pieced with different block sizes and fabrics. The back is about an inch wider than the top. I've added muslin fabric to the top and bottom of the back of the quilt so I can attach it to my leaders.

Should I float the top so I can adjust as I go, or do I attach it to the roller? I've floated the top before on quilts, but I've always had a generous backing fabric and wiggle room. I just don't know what the best way to do this. I know that sometimes, if the tension is different for the top and back, you can end up with more or less top or bottom when you're done...but if I attach it to the rollers, I know I will stay straight and square.

Any thoughts?

I've also seen some beautiful free-form feathering that I'd like to try, but I'm wondering if, because the back and top are both pieced, different fabrics and blocks, if just an over-all meandering is better, nice, nondescript, blendy...

Sometimes I know exactly what to do, sometimes I agonize forever...waiting for the quilt to speak to me, but this one is keeping quiet.

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