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Thread: Backing overage for long arm quilting

  1. #1
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    Backing overage for long arm quilting

    Hey all
    i have some backing fabric that doesnít quite have a luge overage for a long arm quilter (OT has 2 inches instead of 4). Can I sew a scrap piece to the edges of the backing so they can stretch it sufficiently, and just cut it off once itís done? I guess Iím not really sure what the purpose of all the overage is.
    thanks
    Kellie

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Yes, you can sew strips to enlarge the backing. On my machine, extra is needed so my machine head doesn’t bump into the side clamps that keep the backing stretched. Even more space is needed for ruler work because the added ruler base can be stopped by the side clamps, not allowing the needle to get close enough to the edge of the top.

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    It sounds like you are not going to be doing the quilting. Call the quilter to find out what their requirements are and if they would accept the backing with the temporary strips. When you drop the quilt off be sure that you tell the quilter that the strips are not part of the backing. Backings are often pieced and the quilter may think it's just part of the backing and quilt it in. You might get an unexpected accent strip in your backing!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  4. #4
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    My machine needs at least 4 inches extra all around the quilt backing. I would not mind someone sewing a few extra inches to the existing border. I try to tell a potential client ahead of time how much extra I need and the reason for it.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  5. #5
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    Yes, you can, and as already mentioned, be sure to tell the quilter what pieces are not backing.

    The only place you may have a problem is at the bottom of the quilt. The bottom of the quilt will be determined by which way it is loaded on the frame. As a quilt is rolled onto the takeup bar (the bar that collects quilted parts of the quilt as it is completed), the backing rolls up a bit more than the quilt top. Think of rolling a magazine around it's spine and how the page edges don't line up---it's like that. You need more of the actual backing at the "bottom" than anywhere else for that reason. Many longarmmers, myself included, have learned this the hard way when they ran out of backing at the "bottom" before the quilt was done, and had to add more backing, which is not a fun job at that point. Sometimes this will influence which way I load a quilt, so I can have the most extra backing at the "bottom" where it is needed.
    On the "sides" the extra backing is used for the tension clamps to clamp onto and not be in the way of quilting, so not as much extra backing is needed on the sides sometimes, depending on the particular side clamps the quilter uses.

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KellieRiley View Post
    I guess I’m not really sure what the purpose of all the overage is.
    thanks
    Kellie
    We (LAQ) need the overage to attach to the leaders on the frame and as others have mentioned the side clamps. We also need the extra at the sides so we have a place to test tension.

  7. #7
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    Agreeing with all the above. I have added extra fabric to all sides of the backing when I was presented with a backing that was not large enough. Sometimes the backing would be just an inch or maybe 2 inches larger than the top. I like to use strips of muslin for this. I butt the muslin up to the sides of the backing, use a large zig zag stitch and whip them together. This way after the quilt is quilted I can snip off the muslin very easy and don't have to contend with a seam allowance along the edge of the backing.

  8. #8
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I've done that as I appreciate having at least 4-5 inches on every side but that's just me. Others can do with less.
    Suz in Iowa
    Designer EPIC, Brother XR3140
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  9. #9
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snooze2978 View Post
    I've done that as I appreciate having at least 4-5 inches on every side but that's just me. Others can do with less.
    Not just you. I want a minimum of 5" but prefer 6". Have worked with less and it just causes too much aggravation for all the reasons stated above (hitting side clamps, not having enough for top and bottom leaders, etc).

  10. #10
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    You got great explanations as to why the extra inches, but as you can see, everyone's setup is a bit different so different needs. It's best to contact the quilter who is actually going to do the work for their requirements for their machine.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I quilt my own quilts and 2" extra all around works for me. I use my DSM.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  12. #12
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    I do this all the time. i do charity quilting and get tops and backing and the backing is not big enough but also when I am making my own and I only have 2 inch extra on the sides. i have left over fabric that I save to use just for this purpose.

  13. #13
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I quilt my own quilts and 2" extra all around works for me. I use my DSM.
    when quilting on DSM you are not rolling the quilt up or need to clamp the sides for tension purpose (to keep the quilt from jumping when that hopping foot is laying down 1200 stitches lickity-split). An explanation of how the LA rolls with example of rolling a magazine and the back ends up shorter since all the pages are the same size, really does explain this well.

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