Kerri Quilter

Help: Floating Top & not keeping square on frame

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Hello all!


I always float the batting and top when I quilt. In my insane perfectionism, I want to ensure the top is square on all four sides. When I load the top I am very careful to square the top to the frame and have several markings (edges and seams of the columns in the quilt) to keep the right and left sides straight as I progress down the quilt. Every time I advance the quilt I will also use the rows in the quilt top to 're-square' and work in any bulk. (I know that the piecing can be a part of the problem, but that is why I spend so much time re-squaring with every advancement.) 


 


So the problem.... when I get to the bottom of the quilt the center of the the top is almost always 1/2 to 3/4 inches shorter than the sides; gradually bowed ╭━╮ . Then I am in a panic to ease the bulk of the sides or pulling the center of the top extra taught to even out the bowing.


 


Very frustrating! Because it's happening on all customer quilts, regardless if it's pantograph or custom, I feel that it is a result of my leaders or frame.


 


Any thoughts on what the problem is and how I can fix it?


 


Thank you!


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That also happens to me whether I float the top or put it on roller bar.   I always sew a straight line across top and line top of quilt with this, and still as I move down to bottom of quilt it bows.  I also would like to know why this is happening.   Anyone????

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I should also add that the backings are not pieced... so I don't have any build up of a seam allowance running down the center of my projects causing extra bulk on the back bar. (PS. If I have a pieced backing I am sure to run it parallel with the frame/bars). 

 

Still perplexed. :wacko:

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Do you baste your sides using a regular stitch or do you use your one stitch button to baste the sides? Are you working your side borders as you go? Are you doing stitch in the ditch on the inner borders before quilting the interior of the quilt. All those things contribute. .but the biggest contributor is floating the top. That roller keeps even tension on the quilt. They put it there for a reason. Everyone I know who floats their tops has this problem.


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I'll have to disagree with Lynn. I float exclusively and have never had a problem like Kerri describes. I check for square with every roll and add tension when needed with magnetic bars. Square quilts stay square and un-square ones are dealt with individually to correct. 


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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I used to have that happen to me too and I read somewhere (here?) about marking the backside of the machine with a marked piece of tape lined up with a mark on the table.  And put the mark where the machine is when it is even with the outside of the quilt.  I check it every roll of the machine and my quilts have stayed square since.  Make sense?


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LeeAnn Meduna

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At first I thought your problem was with the sides bowing inwards, but then I went back and re-read your post.  It sounds as if maybe your leaders may have to be straightened, and if you float your tops sometimes you have to anchor them in some way (Linda's magnetic bars).  If the quilts are very wide, I've found that the middle does get tighter than the outer edges so you need to deal with that as you go.  Use your channel locks to scroll across the quilt to make sure they are straight across.  It sounds as if you doing that, but if the bottom of your quilt is 1/2" to 3/4" off then something is definitely wrong somewhere (IMHO).  I'm not an expert, but I would start with the leaders first.


Leslie

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What direction do you stitch your sides. If you're stitching back to belly, could the sides be getting stretched? I usually stitch belly to back of the quilt has excessive borders.


Heidi Patterson

APQS Blissed Millennium with Quilt Path

APQS Sales Rep - Educator - Authorized Service Rep

Boise, Idaho

208-861-5018 (cell)

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Well I guess I'll jump in here with my 2 cents.  I have had this happen to me in both cases, square and unsquare.  I quilt my sister quilts for her and none, I mean none of them are square and she says she doesn't care, just quilt them.  Now you can guess who has the problem trying to make theses monsters look good!  Her quilts were not pieced with care and she didn't care. They almost always bowed in the center.  And some, no matter what I did I could not correct this.  Some were worse than others. I have quilted her quilts attached and floating, it doesn't matter, same result. 

Now, I have some other quilts that are pieced about as perfect as can be and I have almost no problems with them.  The piecer prides herself on her work and it shows.  It is a pleasure to work on her tops.  Once in a while I will get one that the corners try to be longer as I go down the quilt.  I watch that and ease those a little bit with each roll and  by the time I get to the bottom, I'm back square.

All that being said, I don't think my leaders are square, even, or what ever you call it.  After pinning, if I run a straight line across the top I will run off the top at the end.  Putting on binding I cannot use a lock for the stitching because I will have too large of a seam or run off the binding.  I think the leaders are some of the problem, but it has A LOT to do with the top itself.  Not only it being square but if there is any fullness in the top.  Now that, to me, is more of an issue and probably the culprit, than square.


D28907A6D426C1F636F2BF6F24BE7BF7.png

APQS Lenni Lover

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I just loaded a medallion quilt that is not square.  Just basting,  I started at the top and by the time I worked to the bottom (it's about 60" square) it was a hot mess.  I had measured before and knew that the bottom was more narrow, and that the whole thing bows out in the middle in both directions.  I should have flipped it and started with the narrow end at the top.  Anyway, I re-basted the whole thing starting at the bottom narrow end and worked up.  I used my channel locks to keep the most obvious thin borders and outer edges straight in both directions.  There will be plenty of fullness to "quilt out", but at least it's starting out square.  It took a lot of time.  I'd only do it on my own quilts.  


68580D71558C5CD4FA14E80CBBEC4870.png  Millenium with Circle Lord, Bliss and IQ

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I have watched two videos taught by Kimmy Brunner discussing how to straighten up leaders and quilt tops. Lots of wonderful information beginning with checking the backing to make sure it is square, loading a quilt top, and a few tricks on how to keep quilt tops square as you quilt. 

 

First one was from March 2016, and the second one from July 2016.

 

 

 

Nicholette

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Thank you Nicholette for posting these videos! I still have a question regarding the process one should use if you are quilting a more modern quilt, with a ton of negative space and not much to speak of for seams or borders you would want to stabilize. I'm thinking one would just place strategic basting lines throughout the quilt before starting any amount of dense quilting to keep things from bunching up before you get to it? Any comments on that scenario?

Thanks!


Kathy :)

2017 APQS Lucey

Janome 6600P

 

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On 11/21/2016 at 10:44 PM, Kwiltr said:

Thank you Nicholette for posting these videos! I still have a question regarding the process one should use if you are quilting a more modern quilt, with a ton of negative space and not much to speak of for seams or borders you would want to stabilize. I'm thinking one would just place strategic basting lines throughout the quilt before starting any amount of dense quilting to keep things from bunching up before you get to it? Any comments on that scenario?

Thanks!

 

 

I'm wondering this too - and not necessarily for modern quilts.... just extra wide ones.    Should I be basting across all the way down & then going back to do the inner quilting?  I only have this issue with very wide quilts, pinned or float.

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I float my quilts.  Before I start quilting I usually choose a colour thread that is the most dominant in the quilt and I work from the top to the bottom quilting in that colour.  I check each advance of the quilt that the blocks etc across the quilt are still straight with the channel locks.  I keep the sides straight using markings I have on my front Quilt top roller.  I pin every unquilted area with flat flower head pins every 4", as if I was basting the quilt. When there is about 3 rolls of the quilt left until the end I will advance to the very end and check the squareness of the bottom edge, baste it then go aback and complete the first colour of quilting.

Once I get to the bottom I then use the next most used colour thread and work my way back to the top.  The another colour to the bottom etc.  This way I am repeating the same design in the same colour and not having to remember quite as much what I have already quilted.

 


Lyn Crump   Hand Guided 2013 Millenium Blissed and Gliding    APQS Sales Rep SE Qld Australia   www.busyquilting.com.au   On Facebook and Instagram as BusyQuilting


Attitude is everything - So pick a good one!

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