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Thread: Backing Question!

  1. #1
    Junior Member recycler's Avatar
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    Backing Question!

    I have 2 quilts ready to take to the quilter and am attempting to get the backing ready (pieced), but am undecided whether to run the backing horizontally or vertically! Pros/Cons of either method! TIA!

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    When a pieced back goes onto a longarm, it's best if the seam runs the same direction as the poles. Some quilts can be quilted sideways, and some cannot. We don't have to roll the quilt as many times if we can have the length of the quilt running side to side, or horizontally.
    Annette in Utah

  3. #3
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    I think the long armer would be able to mount the quilt either horizontally or vertically, so you should be able to put your seams however you want, unless your quilt is exceptionally large in one dimension?
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  4. #4
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    My long armer takes it any way, I often have pieced designs on the back. Just ask yours if she has a preference.
    I just want to spend the rest of my life laughing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    I use a longarm and put on piecec backs all the time. Contact your longarmer... ask if seams should be pressed open , and if 1/2" or 1/4" allowances preferred. Unless the quilt is huge, most frames can mount a quilt in either direction.

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    As a long armer who just had a bit of a problem backing I'm going to weigh in. First, I want all of you to grab a sheaf of papers, roll up 1/2 of them and put a rubber band on the middle (your seam), Now roll the 2-3 other pages around it--you'll notice that the outer pages will be loose on both ends because that rubber band creates a bulge in the middle. So when we get a back with 1+ seams all running the same direction, we'll load it so that those seams are parallel to the roller bars to prevent this. The back I just worked with had two parallel seams and then a shorter one where she pieced in another chunk of fabric. It probably would not have been much hassle except that the 2 parallel seamed pieces all had the grain going the same direction (length-wise) and the smaller chunk had grain on the width--so when I did some diagonal lines it pulled the bias much more on that one piece. Required lots of starch and steam to get it less flexible--but honestly anytime I've had any pucker in a backing it's been this situation where the piecing had been done with grain going several ways and seams going several ways. The reason this doesn't happen with pieced backs that include pieced blocks (orphan blocks, etc) but has the seams basically going the same way is that the smaller piecing does not have as much stretch.

    Most of us can turn a quilt to the side and still get the pattern desired so that is not any problem. (although if you want any writing in the quilt, that is a little trickier!)

  7. #7
    Junior Member recycler's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input from the long armers vantagepoint! I really never thought about that! What i failed to mention is that I'm using a minky type back, so will have a nap and wondered if it would be strange to have it run across the quilt and not lengthwise...

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Minky needs to be mounted a certain way on the longarm to avoid stretching. I haven't done it myself so I'm not sure which way it goes. Also it may not be possible to rotate the quilt on the frame if you want a quilting design that is directional. A discussion with the longarmer could solve several problems in advance.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingshorttimer View Post
    As a long armer who just had a bit of a problem backing I'm going to weigh in. First, I want all of you to grab a sheaf of papers, roll up 1/2 of them and put a rubber band on the middle (your seam), Now roll the 2-3 other pages around it--you'll notice that the outer pages will be loose on both ends because that rubber band creates a bulge in the middle. So when we get a back with 1+ seams all running the same direction, we'll load it so that those seams are parallel to the roller bars to prevent this. The back I just worked with had two parallel seams and then a shorter one where she pieced in another chunk of fabric. It probably would not have been much hassle except that the 2 parallel seamed pieces all had the grain going the same direction (length-wise) and the smaller chunk had grain on the width--so when I did some diagonal lines it pulled the bias much more on that one piece. Required lots of starch and steam to get it less flexible--but honestly anytime I've had any pucker in a backing it's been this situation where the piecing had been done with grain going several ways and seams going several ways. The reason this doesn't happen with pieced backs that include pieced blocks (orphan blocks, etc) but has the seams basically going the same way is that the smaller piecing does not have as much stretch.

    Most of us can turn a quilt to the side and still get the pattern desired so that is not any problem. (although if you want any writing in the quilt, that is a little trickier!)

    Perfect answer! As a longarmer, I won’t quilt a backing with vertical seams for that exact reason. I will turn it so the seam is parallel to the bars.
    Always keep music in your heart 🎶❤️

  10. #10
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    I have pieced backing fabrics both ways. If the fabric is directional, it is seamed vertically. I use a half-inch seam allowance and then press to one side. That is finished with a line of top stitching which helps hold that seam. Plus lots of starch along the seam line.

    I make sure to match the direction of selvages when piecing. If the selvage is on the LEFT of piece number 1 it is also on the LEFT of piece number 2. Selvages are trimmed off the backing. I also stay stitch around the backing.

    Backing is starched, ironed and folded on a hanger for the quilter. It is also marked TOP and BOTTOM and shown to the quilter at the consultation.

  11. #11
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I often piece my backs with the left over from the front. My favorite LAQ has never complained. I iron my seams open and cut off the selvage edges. A friend of mine decided to do the same when she saw mine. LAQer fussed at her so I asked why she didn’t fuss at me...ir was because the back wasn’t pressed and selveges were not removed. I never thought it would be a problem and had never thought to ask.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  12. #12
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    I longarm my own quilts. I did only one quilt with the seam vertical to the rollers. Even though I had cut off the selvedge edge and ironed the seam open, I still had a huge humpy by the end of the quilt and had to fight with the top to keep the very slack edges of the pieced top from having nips and tucks. That was the last vertical seam in a back for me. Now, if I can't use a single piece back, I buy 108 to 120 inch wide fabric when I see it on sale, I always make my seam as one that runs parallel to the rollers. I mostly use pantographs and they are almost always set up to run across the quilt and do look similar to rows even though the edges are inter woven. They don't look as good to me if they run lengthwise on the quilt top.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  13. #13
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I've sent several large quilts out to be longarmed by different people and nobody mentioned the seam. The only thing they say is to have x amount of inches side to side and top to bottom.

  14. #14
    Junior Member recycler's Avatar
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    Boy, there is a lot of good information in this thread! I really appreciate all of your comments as I just never pictured all that can happen with backings if pieced wrong. My long armer has never complained about my backings and has done a great job, so they must have been ok so far, but I will definitely give her a call to discuss her methods and preferences! Thanks so much for your help!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilli480 View Post
    Perfect answer! As a longarmer, I won’t quilt a backing with vertical seams for that exact reason. I will turn it so the seam is parallel to the bars.
    What do you do if the quilt is too long to turn it horizontally.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I quilt my own quilts on my 9" throat DSM and they always come out good. I am easy to please if it is done by me.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  17. #17
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    I almost always piece my backs - just to add a bit of a design element. My quick favorite is to cut it in 4 pieces and sash them together like a giant block. But, if I am only piecing 2 long pieces, I tend to use one whole piece in the center and split the other to use along each side (think 1/2 a whole and 1/2). I just like the look of it rather than a seam down the center.

  18. #18
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    Ive sent my fabri to the long arm lady and she gets it together the way she wants. Lately now I have been sending 108 backs. Cheaper for me to buy that way and no seams in the back

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