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Thread: Quilting Leaders

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Van. Island, BC
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    Quilting Leaders

    I'm finally getting ready to make my own leaders. The book says 4 inch, 18 inch & 24 inch. I have four rails, does this sound right. Do I only put leaders on 3 of the rails. I bought 6 yards of duck cloth. I was just going to slit it down the middle & put 22 inch on each. Of course I can't do that cause I'm short about 18 inches. The 4 inch one sounds too short.

  2. #2
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Rural Small Town Ontario
    The leaders different widths because the rails are a different distance from where the fabric will be - the 24" is for the bottom rail - you'll attach the bottom of the backing to it.

    I started with 3 leaders, and now I'm only using two - I load the quilt back (attach to the top and bottom leaders), load the batting then baste the entire top - baste along the top edge, smooth & roll and baste down the sides and then baste the bottom edge of the quilt top.

    With everything basted, then your clamps on the sides are stretching all three layers together and evenly.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
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    your take-up rail does not need a long leader as the quilt starts out very close to the sewing machine. i'm like Linda, i only use two of my leaders... all layers attached to the take up leader and only the backing attached to the longest leader. an additional hint: i took a permanent marker and wrote right on the leader how the layers are attached... it can get confusing
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    I usually use all 3 leaders, but sometimes only 2. My leaders are all the same length, and I don't see any advantage to having some shorter than the others - on my frame. The difference in the way the frames operate might explain the differences in length.

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