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Thread: Long arm basting

  1. #1
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    Long arm basting

    I recently got a new and larger long arm machine (Nolting)...love it. I have seen a few videos where quilters are basting the top and sides of the quilt before quilting, but also dropping down 12"-15" and doing a basting line across the quilt. Then proceeds to baste the entire quilt (sides and across) before quilting the design. Has anyone else tried this and is it advantageous? Logically it sounds right, but would like opinions before I try it.
    Thanks for your input.
    The Future is Now!

  2. #2
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    I only do the top and then do the sides as i'm going. I have never had an issue. I float all my tops now as well and they are always good

  3. #3
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    Hi Nonnie60, I baste the top and sides as I proceed down through the sandwich to help keep everything straight and even. I do not baste across the top before quilting unless I am doing a wholecloth quilt. With a wholecloth quilt I seem to be constantly running the quilt back and forth between the rollers, following the marked quilting lines, not wanting to do a lot of stops and starts. The basting keeps the layers in place so they don't bunch up, especially the batting. I have found that I need to remove a few basting stitches just before I get to them when quilting as it makes the basting needle holes close up very nicely. With pantograph designs I only baste along the sides as I go, which helps to keep the top from folding back over itsself.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tallchick's Avatar
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    Here is the method I use, it helps prevent unexpected issues as well.

    http://youtu.be/Igl2Zi9kE54
    Lisa

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think the most common method is to baste the top/batting/back, then baste down each side as far as your longarm will go, then quilt that area. After rolling, quilt the sides again. If you use a measuring tape each time, you ensure that the width of the quilt remains the same as you roll.

    In my opinion, it is not necessary to do as much basting as described in the original post. Plus, so many lines can alter the design of the quilting. The only way I would do that much basting is if I were using a water soluble thread (such as Superior's Vanish) in top and bobbin.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    Basting across definitely has it's advantages. The quilt can't draw up in the middle as you quilt it. I use magnetic bars on the belly bar as I quilt, so it stays straight and I don't need to do quilting across the quilt. You can purchase these for about $5/bar at Harbor Freight. I have three, as I normally do lap quilts. I don't baste the entire quilt, though, as I float my quilts.

  7. #7
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    I have never basted a quilt, except for a friend to hand quilt. For longarm quilting, I secure the quilt top across the top, then baste the sides as I proceed.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    I also have an old Nolting and love it too. I baste the top and sides. I don't do any basting through out the quilt.

    When I get to the end of the quilt I baste the bottom edge. For me I feel it stops the quilt from moving around.

    I also float small and twin sizes. Sometimes extra care for very special quilts and some times just get it done so not alot of prep. Each quilt gets what it needs.

    Enjoy your Machine. You can find LA/ Nolting Forums if you goggle and there are a lot of great tutorials and techniques out there to try.

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  9. #9
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I do like it. I think it helps anchor the quilt and it makes it easier to trim and bind.
    Patski
    always learning

  10. #10
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I have heard of longarmers basting quilts for hand quilting. I have not seen anyone baste a quilt that they are going to machine quilt. Occasionally I will SID so I can roll back and forth. Usually I am too impatient for that!

    I do baste the sides as I go along and anchor the top of course...

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I run stitching at the top and then along the sides as I roll the quilt (and along the bottom when I get to it). I almost never baste across the top with the exception of when I know I will be rolling it back and forth often (to prevent tucks). I have a friend that bastes tops for a number of handquilters.

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone for your input. It's been helpful.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindi View Post
    Basting across definitely has it's advantages. The quilt can't draw up in the middle as you quilt it. I use magnetic bars on the belly bar as I quilt, so it stays straight and I don't need to do quilting across the quilt. You can purchase these for about $5/bar at Harbor Freight. I have three, as I normally do lap quilts. I don't baste the entire quilt, though, as I float my quilts.
    I also have the magnetic bars and love them. I got them at Harbor Freight. They are the right design. The Home Depot and Lowes have a lip on them that you don't want because it won't lay flat.

    What I really wanted to say is; depending on the quilt, I often baste the entire quilt before I start quilting because I will want to roll (on a Longarm) my quilt back and forth several times to quilt different areas (using the same thread or same motif) before I make changes. If the quilt is not entirely basted you cannot roll the quilt backward more than the width of your quilting area that is not basted. (I hope that makes sense).

    Tip: When basting the entire quilt, you must continue to check the back to make sure you do not get pleats in the backing (depending on your batting). Ellen
    Last edited by Ellen 1; 05-30-2017 at 10:06 AM.

  14. #14
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    I agree with prism. Then you have to remove all those basting stitches after you have finished the quilting. I would not like doing it on batiks; it tends to leave 'holes' I think. Just mho.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewnclog View Post
    I agree with prism. Then you have to remove all those basting stitches after you have finished the quilting. I would not like doing it on batiks; it tends to leave 'holes' I think. Just mho.
    Just one quick response to your comment sewnclog. When you baste you use big stitches and they are very easy to remove. I usually make the 3-4-5 inches apart. Easy to remove, just cut the ends and pull the top thread out and then the bottom thread. Again I am referring to the Longarm but you can also do this on a domestic machine. That is the beauty of the basting, the stitches do not have to be small to hold the sandwich in place.

  16. #16
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    I just finished a small quilt with a cross design. I did a lot of basting to keep the design straight.

    It is important to keep checking the back. I didn't have tucks, but it was looser than I wanted.

    Additionally I used wool batt. I don't use wool often so Im wondering is the loosness was due to the wool batt?

  17. #17
    Junior Member quiltnutt's Avatar
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    Congrats on your New Nolting. My 24" Pro is going on 13 yrs and is a true workhorse. You will love it. I baste the top and sides as I quilt the top. I add a sacrifice border of muslin on the bottom of the top so everything is nice and tight, no ripples when you get to the end.
    If I am doing a custom quilt that requires alot of rolling back and forth, then I will baste the entire quilt so your back will stay nice and smooth. My basting for this is real close,like 4-5 inches ..too far it will cause wrinkles on the back. Alos check your backing and batting when you advance the quilt. Give the batting a tug to smooth it in place, they get wrinkles and you can't see them til it is too late.
    I never float my tops however this is a personal preference of the longaramer. You will find out what works best for you .
    Pat, Lover of Art Deco and Applique
    www.BobbinKnobbins.com

  18. #18
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petthefabric View Post
    I just finished a small quilt with a cross design. I did a lot of basting to keep the design straight.

    It is important to keep checking the back. I didn't have tucks, but it was looser than I wanted.

    Additionally I used wool batt. I don't use wool often so Im wondering is the loosness was due to the wool batt?
    while the wool bat may have made for a little more poofiness, it won't cause looseness of the backing.sometimes when I'm rolling back and forth often and the backing is something that isn't very tightly woven, it seems to maybe stretch the backing some--I've found this especially true on cotton sateen widebacks.

  19. #19
    Super Member kristakz's Avatar
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    I have found this really helpful when doing a dense custom quilting job. For a basic pantograph it's not necessary, but if the quillting is really dense, or you are doing sections and then returning to the rest of that row later, it really helps keep everything aligned and straight.

  20. #20
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    I am very new to longarm quilting. I have a midarm 15" Bailey. I am having a hard time getting my basting stitch 1/4 inch from the top of the quilt without it getting under the foot. Any hints or tricks. I've watch every video I can find and they all say to walk your hand along behind your stitching. Am I making this harder than it has to be or does it just take practice?

  21. #21
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    leloy, I walk my hand in front of the foot, and that helps. (I actually spread my hand out around the foot to keep the top as smooth as possible around the foot.) I also go very slowly, one stitch at a time. Usually I have sewn the top with extra borders all around so I do not need to baste so close to the edge of the top.

    An easy solution is to invest in some water-soluble thread from Superior and use that an inch down from the edge. You don't even have to use a basting stitch. If needed, you can add a line afterwards a quarter of an inch down.

    Edit: I should add my setup is not a Bailey.
    Last edited by Prism99; 02-19-2018 at 02:31 PM.

  22. #22
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    I basted the top of the first few quilts I did, then quit and just pin and remove the pins as I need to. I pin about every 12" or so.

    I'd also suggest seeing if you can get a "glide" foot for the bailey. The are bowl shaped so that really helps to keep the quilt top from flipping around on you.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by leloy View Post
    I am very new to longarm quilting. I have a midarm 15" Bailey. I am having a hard time getting my basting stitch 1/4 inch from the top of the quilt without it getting under the foot. Any hints or tricks. I've watch every video I can find and they all say to walk your hand along behind your stitching. Am I making this harder than it has to be or does it just take practice?
    Leloy, it just takes practice. I've longarmed almost a dozen quilts now, and I'm only now getting good at basting the top. If my quilt has a border, I now make it an extra inch wide so that I can baste in a little ways and trim it off.

  24. #24
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I have a Nolting long arm. The only time I baste a quilt is when someone wants to hand quilt it. I find it much easier to baste it on the long arm than trying to baste it by hand.

  25. #25
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    Thank you - I have dissolving thread. I never thought to try that.

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