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Thread: Mounting a quilt on the Longarm

  1. #1
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    Longarm Quilters. Do you have any special tips to share?

    Here is my Mrs Farmer mounted on the Longarm, ready to quilt now. When I mount a quilt, I first pin the bottom of the top on and roll up the rest of the quilt top, leaving enough to pin later.

    Then I pin the bottom of the backing on the second roller and roll that up leaving enough for the back roller.
    Then I pin the top of the lining to the back roller and roll it to just right lol.

    I then foat the batting on top of the backing, put the machine on horizontal lock and run a seam, attaching the batting to the backing.

    I then float the top to the batting, using the seam I just ran as a guide to keep the top straight.

    I roll everything up snug and run a seam down the right side and one down the left side.

    Now the quilt is locked between the seams, and the rollers in a perfect square. Any exta that pops up in the middle of the quilt because of (there are many reasons) has to be eased in between the locked area. I put the clamps on the sides and almost always have to go back and loosen them. The clamps should just hold the sides not pull them out of shape.

    What are you tips or how do you do yours.....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    It looks like you don't need any tips. The only one I can give you is to make sure your pantograph/or other design is going to right way. Don't ask how I know that tip.

  3. #3
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I float the top and batting and straighten as I advance the quilt. If you float the top it's so fast to load.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I don't float mine. I take the time to pin. Sounds like you have a system going that works for you, so keep going!

  5. #5
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip on running a seam to hold the back, batting and top together. I have been floating the batting, but have always been pinning the top on top of the batting through to the backing. This should save tons of time!! Thanks!!

  6. #6
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I forgot to add that the front area is then pulled forward and locked so you have a 26 inch area or so to quilt on. The pic doesn't show the front pulled out.

  7. #7
    Junior Member ruthruff3's Avatar
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    I have a long arm business here in Michigan and I float both the batting and top - it will make it easier if the quilt is not square to work it in. I baste my top, batting and backing along all sides together as I go. I like to freehand all my quilting so I don't have tips on pantograph. Best wishes and enjoy!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I used to pin everything but picked up tips as I went along. ..now floating both top and batting goes so fast. Oh I never use the laser or pantograph or even the circle lol...

    One more tip. You can unzip the leaders and pin the quilt on while you sit, if you have trouble standing for too long. I have two sets of leaders. Once I had to take the quilt off and put another on. Thank goodness all I had to was unzip the leaders.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I have around 10 sets of zippers. I just pin to the zippers (I used to sew the back to the zippers with a big stitch, and will still do that if I'm prepping a bunch of quilts when someone else is on the machine). I don't float the top, I like the control that rolling it on the roller gives me, and I have some warning that things are not square and straight if the quilt top doesn't roll straight. When loading, I measure the top somewhere across the middle of the quilt. I use those measurements to attach both ends and the middle of the quilt on the zippers/leaders. If there is extra fabric in the borders, this is where it really shows.

    On tops that are critical to keep absolutely square, I use a lazer square that I bought at the hardware store. If the rows of blocks are, say, 10", I measure down 10" on both sides, put pins straight up and use the laser to make sure the row is absolutely straight.

  10. #10
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    I also float my tops and batting, and baste along the sides as I quilt. I use clamps to hold the top in place along the belly bar after I advance the quilt each time

  11. #11
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    Shelly: "I measure the top somewhere across the middle of the quilt. I use those measurements to attach both ends and the middle of the quilt on the zippers/leaders. If there is extra fabric in the borders, this is where it really shows. "

    Ok this is interesting to me and I don't understand lol. When you measure the middle of the quilt that will give you the measurement or should also be the measurement of the top and bottom of the quilt. Sometimes that is not so.

    So would that mean that the belly of the quilt will stick out further on the sides than the top and bottom?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I have some clients are 'generous' with their borders. Sooo...I find a spot around the middle of the quilt to get a width, and use that as the width of the quilt. It keeps me from ending up with hourglass shapes and apple shapes. Silly me....I like them to end up SQUARE!!

    For example: If I just used the measurement on the border, it might be 100", but the measurement through the middle might be 98". I want the top and bottom to be 98" also. I put a pin straight up on the back&batting at center, then one each direction 49" away, so I know where the edge should be. Hopefully, the 1" extra each direction is well distributed and not hard to work in.

    Clear as mud?

  13. #13
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I've just started "longarming" and these hints are wonderful! I think I'll get the zippered leaders! wow!

    MY hint -- actually not mine, saw it somewhere on a video in "internet world". With the backing so big, it's hard for me to iron and make it look right. So I run an iron along the main crease - the one that's so hard to get rid of, spray the backing lightly with sizing, then I lay the huge backing out over the frame work. I spray it like mad with plain water....dang near get it dripping wet. I walk away for 2 hours and come back....the wrinkles are darn near gone! I then pin it on and roll it up. Works like a charm - no major ironing!

  14. #14
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley
    I have some clients are 'generous' with their borders. Sooo...I find a spot around the middle of the quilt to get a width, and use that as the width of the quilt. It keeps me from ending up with hourglass shapes and apple shapes. Silly me....I like them to end up SQUARE!!

    For example: If I just used the measurement on the border, it might be 100", but the measurement through the middle might be 98". I want the top and bottom to be 98" also. I put a pin straight up on the back&batting at center, then one each direction 49" away, so I know where the edge should be. Hopefully, the 1" extra each direction is well distributed and not hard to work in.

    Clear as mud?
    Oh yes, got it. I guess I do it a different way.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I've just started "longarming" and these hints are wonderful! I think I'll get the zippered leaders! wow!

    MY hint -- actually not mine, saw it somewhere on a video in "internet world". With the backing so big, it's hard for me to iron and make it look right. So I run an iron along the main crease - the one that's so hard to get rid of, spray the backing lightly with sizing, then I lay the huge backing out over the frame work. I spray it like mad with plain water....dang near get it dripping wet. I walk away for 2 hours and come back....the wrinkles are darn near gone! I then pin it on and roll it up. Works like a charm - no major ironing!
    Oh dear lol. Honey, I do not iron hahahhaha....when the quilt comes to me....all threads are clipped the backing is 3 inches bigger than the quilt all around and both the backing and top are pressed or ironed. I have a sheet of do's and don't's and advice of how to finish or prepare your quilt for the quilter (Some beginners need helpwith that). that I hand out. the quilt is quilted the way it is received.

  16. #16
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I remember another tip. You know how when you put a new bobbin in and start to quilt and it beeps when the bobbin is almost empty? well you can still go quite a ways before it's empty, especially if you are almost done in that row.

    The other thing is when you have just have some thread left on the bobbin. I wind that thread on my sewing maching bobbins and that keeps my big bobbins empty and ready for the big machine.

    Also, you know how you waste this huge piece of thread when you change threads and pull it through. I wind that piece around an empty toiled roll lol. I dont' know what I will do with all those pieces of all colors of thread but something might pop up....

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