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Questions for any of you LA quilters.

Questions for any of you LA quilters.

Old 02-25-2013, 08:17 PM
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Default Questions for any of you LA quilters.

Hoping that any of you LA quilters can answer my question. I have no idea how one loads the quilt onto the framework but here is what happened to me. I went to a lot of work to make a nice backing for one of my quilts. I did not mention to the LA lady that I sent it to that I hoped she would try to make back and front match. When I got it back, there were a great many puckers in it and I was sadly disappointed to see that my last outer border on the backing was way wide on one side and barely there on the other. So what I am wondering is, if I ever do this again, do I need to let the quilter know that I want the back and the front to match? Or in other words, to be centered on top of each other? Or is that even possible? Seems like it would be hard since I imagine you have to put the backing on upside down, correct? If it is possible to have top and bottom match are there any pointers I need to do to help the LA quilter achieve what I want. The lady I sent mine too said that with a pieced back, it has a tendancy to pucker but I had never seen it on any of the other quilts other folks have got back from her. (This is a local to me lady). I am just glad that this was a quilt for me and not a gift. Hope you can figure out what I am asking. :-)
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:29 PM
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I am not a longarmer but there was a discussion about pieced backs being hard to center. I can see there might be a problem with keeping a pieced back taut because the fabrics my stretch at different rates especially if some were on the width(stretches more) and some on the lengthwise of the fabric. If she can quilt with a sheet on the back, I would just send that if her quilting is good otherwise.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:45 PM
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Not sure what your backing was like. Quilting a pieced backing can be challenging.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:49 PM
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It is hard to match top and bottom exactly, and especially if you didn't tell her that was your intention.

I can see why a backing might have puckers if it is badly pieced, but in that case I think the longarmer should have let you know in advance, so you could fix it. If the backing was in good shape (flat) then I wouldn't expect puckers.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:00 PM
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Perhaps speak with your LAQ ... admit you know you did not mention it to her, and ask how it is best to be handled the next time around, and of course, if she can do it for you, or not.

It probably depends on the level of skill of your LAQ as to whether she can do it ... or even would tackle it.

My LAQ does not guarantee it ... though she's pretty accurate in getting things lined up.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:39 PM
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One problem when quilting over a top batting and a patched bottom is needle breakages. This is caused by the seam from top and bottom meeting which can mean 8 layers.
Second problem is the stretching from top to bottom and sides on the bottom piece. Which is underneath nd difficult to see.
Some times Laq wil sell extra wide backing which means no seam at all this works far better .
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:50 PM
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IMHO, puckers on the back are unacceptable. If the LA was having trouble and knew it, she should have contacted you and asked how you wanted to proceed. If she can't get it right, she should decline the job. As to matching, nothing can be assumed. It must be discussed up front
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:33 AM
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when loading for long arm quilting the backing is attached to leaders- facing down (so the wrong side is up) then rolled up on the bar...then the top is attached on a second bar- rolled up- then the backing is unrolled some- and the loose end *generally the top of the piece* is attached to another leader- the top is brought forward over the backing- the batting is floating in between them both- the backing & batting has to be larger than the top- (we generally *try* to have everything centered - at least side to side) as the quilting is done all 3 layers are rolled together on the take up bar- it is difficult to *match* a design on back to the front- takes alot of extra work (and experience)- many will simply tell you- not do-able...as for the wrinkles/creases on the back----it is 'normal' to with each turn of the bars to stop & smooth- draw taut -- make sure there are no wrinkles on the back- i keep a mirror on the table & check it constantly to make sure i do not have any problems going- always smoothing, keeping everything wrinkle free-
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:33 AM
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i have a mid-arm machine and am no expert. But. I usually piece all my backs because I don't want to buy fabric and only want to pull from my stash. I have also centered backs and fronts without problem. I do not have puckers or broken needles. I do not think puckers are acceptable. However, giving the quilter a heads-up about your desire is really only common sense. She could not read your mind.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:07 AM
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It isn't too terribly difficult to center a pieced backing with the top from side to side, but it is much more difficult top to bottom. I would never guarantee to any client that I will get it perfect but I will come as close as I can. I will explain that a 1" tolerance needs to be expected.

As far as puckers, any number of issues could have caused it. As Dunster mentioned, if the quilt was poorly pieced or out of square or had any fullness in any of the blocks, any of those could cause it. Additionally if the pieced backing wasn't large enough to attach the side clamps, that too can cause puckers, mostly near the edges because the LAQ would have to remove the clamps to quilt the edges of the top. I require my clients provide a backing that is 6" bigger on ALL sides. I can get by with less but it can cause these kinds of complications.

Some LA racks are ill equipped to handle the bulk caused by pieced backings. It causes the completed quilt on the take up roller to be irregular in diameter and can cause some quilters problems. I have a dead bar or tension roller on my rack so it is never an issue for me, but I do know of some LAQ that will flat out refuse a pieced back or one with a single seam running the length of the backing.

If your pieced back was a duplicate of the top and you wanted it to line up exact.... IMHO, that IS impossible.
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