Quilt With Us

I seem to have trouble getting everything square in my frame. I mark center on the mounting strips and on the quilt back and top (first squaring both) but it just doesn't seem to be quite square. I also have to put the pieces on more than once to get it rolling in the right direction. The largest I've done is a large crib quilt size so it's not a big deal to have to put the pieces on several times to get them square. I'm about to embarq on a king size. Any suggestions?
Jane in FL

Views: 49

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Jane,

I'm not sure what kind of frame set up you have, but after I have pinned my backing onto the rollers, and basted the batting in place, I usually baste the quilt top to the top of the batting (called "floating".) I use my horizontal channel locks to baste a straight line across the top. I use my vertical Channel locks to baste down both sides of the top. (If you don't have channel locks, mark the takeup roller where you baste both sides and keep it even as you roll.)

I hope this is a clear as mud! The key is to keep basting the sides as you roll, in a straight line.

~Leslie H in WA
Mine is a Bailey so I don't have channel locks. It's a very simple frame with the 3 rails and the machine can quilt a 4" pattern. Since I am only planning on doing my own work and not use it as a business, I opted for the smaller, non-computerized model. Plus I just dont' have the room for a Gammil, although I'd love to try one just once, or maybe several times.
If I read your posting correctly, you baste the entire quilt together on the frame, roll it back as one piece on to a "holding" rail, then quilt so you don't have the top on one rail, the backing on another. That might be the way to go when I put on my king. That way I could avoid the top creeping along as I quilt.
I actually baste each section that is in the quilting area, then quilt, then roll. Each time I roll, I baste first and then quilt. You can baste without cahnnel locks by measuring against your leaders and rollers, and by using the piecing lines in the quit top itself. This is, of course, assuming the quilttop has accurate seam lines.

OK, this makes sense. I'll have to try that on my king. My frame is wide enough for a king, but I'm making this one more like a spread than a quilt so it hangs down the side of the bed. So, it's too wide. I'll have to quilt it, then add the borders after and hand quilt those. Another learning experience!
At least I'm working on finishing some of my projects. (That's what I tell my husband!)
even tho i have a hinterberg frame and voyager 17, i bought donita reeves intro video (tips and techniques for longarm quilting) from putting the quilt on and through all the basting techniques, it was a big help. she also talks about threads and other things. very helpful video. have had it for almost 5 years and i keep referring back to it, but then again i am in my 50s and find i always have to keep referring back......
Hi, you can turn the quilt and do the borders. Have you done that before? I haven't done it myself but have read lots of posts on other groups about turning a big quilt to be able to quilt it all on a frame.
I haven't tried it, but figured that's how it would have to be done, even with a machine with a huge quilting area. The only thing I've tried is when the quilt is finished to turn it around, remount it so I can quilt the small portion at the header that I miss. I think I need to have more backing extending past the quilt at the beginning.
I had trouble keeping the first couple of quilts square. Started out pretty good, but seemed to loose ground as I rolled up the quilt. Just finished one and I did keep this one nice and even. I spent a lot of time when I loaded the quilt, smoothing out from the center everytime I advanced the roller. Also if you are doing a big quilt, and have pieced the backing, be sure to have the seam running parallel to the roller . Good luck with the king size!!
Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) I would measure the back and make sure it is square before I put it on the frame. Measure the top also.
2) When I put the backing on the rollers, I pin the bottom edge on first, roll it, then pin the top edge on. then I roll it back and forth 3-4 times until all the warp is out ot the backing. If that doesn't work, the backing may not be square.
3) Check your frame. Are the rollers straight and parallel to each other? Sometimes I forget to raise or lower the takeup roller the same amount and then things get off. Also, check the leaders or mounting strips to see if they are straight.

In my opinion, if this is happening repeatedly, something is off and needs to be straightened out.

Another thing I do when quilting is this: Before I begin quilting a row, I baste down the left side, quilt that row, THEN baste down the right side and roll to the next area. This has worked very well for me, especially with some quilts that are not quite as square as they should be.

Hope that helps!
Jane, you might try that pink measuring tape for longarm machines. It's 120" long, but measures from the center. It has sliding tabs with points that you can line up with your center, both sides, and any places in between (like borders). It has velcro ends that go around your side bars so it floats over the quilt instead of being constrained by the leaders.

Me too on the not-quite-even on my leaders, Either the guy who set up the machine got them stuck on wrong, or they just torque out of alignment no matter how I tug at them. I got so frustrated with un-square quilts, that now I stabilize them by measuring from the outside edge of the backing (i.e. 4" from the edge on the left and 4.5" from the edge on the right--I never seem to get them totally even, LOL). I start like Leslie does. So I go all the way down both sides and across the bottom, then detach the top from the leader so I have the whole thing only on the pickup bar and the backing bar. That also lets me use the clamps a bit tighter than I used to before stabilizing, so I can make sure I don't get puckers on the back. Then I roll it back to the top and take off quilting.


Country Fair

New & Exclusive! Country Fair Collection just $6.96/yard Shop now »

Chambray Tonals

New & Exclusive! Chambray Tonals just $6.96/yard. Shop now »

© 2018   Created by CT Admin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service