Floating the top?

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by , 07-27-2012 at 03:53 AM (1058 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by quiltingweb View Post
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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  1. w7sue's Avatar
    I am VERY new to longarming, but from what you describe, I would think it would be safer to attach the top to rollers - just to be sure - and as much as I would love to do something special for the "front" they are both kind of like fronts and I would probably meander so it would look good on both sides.

    I have made many backs using leftovers from the front, but they are always floated in the middle of a VERY GENEROUS back for the ladies who have done longarming for me in the past. It never occurred to me to ask them to fight the battle of centering both - I always said it didn't matter where the back landed - that's why it was always floated.

    It's hard to discuss this kind of stuff - sometimes - with a good friend, but she needs to know what is going through your mind and maybe give more input on how she wants it quilted - she may know about your ability to do some beautiful special work and may be disappointed if it only has meandering on it. Maybe she doesn't care how the quilting plays out on the back - the front may be more important to her.

    I am sure that whatever you end up doing will be great!

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