Kwiltr

Using Two Layers of Batting

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Still pretty green at the longarm game and working my way through various challenges.  Right now I have just finished loading the biggest quilt yet for me to quilt with my Lenni.  As if the size isn't enough challenge, I also wanted to have a go at using two layers of batting.  It is something I've admired in quilts done by others, and something I tried to do on my Sweet 16 Sitdown and gave up on.  It was one of the selling points for me to go to a longarm set up.  Now reality hits, and I am trying to figure out all the little ins and outs of that decision.  

So my quilt top is 112" by 96". I have a Hobbs 80/20 cotton batting on the bottom layer against the backing and a Hobbs Wool batting on top. When I first took them out of their bags, I thought, "oh, no problem, they're both really thin!"  But the wool puffed up after spritzing with water and a quick trip in the dryer to get the wrinkles out!  I made a sling to hold my batting so it doesn't drag on the floor till I get it rolled on a bit...I'm not a quick quilter, and I didn't want it getting stepped on and collect threads, at the least, from my carpeted floor.  Loading the quilt, before the batting portion, took me several hours, then I just spent a few more getting the batting loaded and basting my top edges down to start.  I would starve at this if I was trying to make a living at it!  I measured and remeasured and pinned, just to try and get it basted down square and straight, dealing with the extra fullness of the batting.  One layer of cotton is a picnic compared to this.

So here is my question, thought I'd never get to it right?!  For those of you who have worked with two layers of batting, how do you ensure that when you advance the quilt, the two batting layers feed in unison and straight and you don't get one of the layers with a fold or pucker in it?  Just a side note, I loaded my quilt top on the quilt top roller as I gives me a feeling of security having it under control on the roller when it's so ungainly in size.

i actually have a second question as well.  Getting into longarm quilting has been a series of  challenges and revelations to me.  I only quilt for myself, so it's not the business side of things I'm talking about.  It's the how's and why's of it that seem to have eluded me when deciding I would really like to get a longarm.  It's probably just me, not asking the right questions, but I think it's also, not knowing what questions to ask.   Having gone theough a learning curve when I got into FMQ on a domestic machine and then later a Sitdown midarm, it was relatively easy to find resources for a multitude of nuances involved with Sitdown quilting.  However, what I've found with getting into a longarm, apart from reading through forums, there just isn't the same kind of information out there.  So my question here is, how did you all get so knowledgeable on all the little tricks and how to's to longarming?  Was it just a trial and error experience, or is there a resource out there I haven't found where you can go get a lesson on some of the more in depth questions?  Have a good friend who has it all figured out?  In the past, almost year, that I've had my machine, I've wished there was someone I could go to and just spend a day, picking their brain with all the questions I've come across, and end up muddling through.  I'm sure there are easier ways for me to do things, more efficient, more exacting, whatever.  

Sorry to go on and on here, but I just have to think I'm not the only one out there trying the hard way to figure all this stuff out.  There ought to be a big book of knowledge for this! ;) :lol:. And no luck finding all of my answers on YouTube! 


Kathy :)

2016 APQS Lenni

Janome 6600P

 

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My guess is that having the new owners class would be helpful - it wasn't an option for me where I live, so I've had to read and read and read - here and other places.  Thankfully Quilters are a friendly bunch and share knowledge and help freely!

Give yourself grace - a learning curve is a learning curve and you can't really rush it without making yourself crazy!

I love my Lenni and know I have years and years of learning ahead of me, so I'm trying to enjoy the process and the accomplishment when I master something new or figure something out.  Have fun & happy quilting!


Deb

May your passion for thread & fabric creations bring joy to you and others!

Blessed wife to my amazing husband, thankful mom to my phenomenal kids, Caretaker to the very spoiled fur & feather babies.

APQS Lenni 2016 and a few Janome machines

Blog: applewoodquilts.blogspot.com

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Kathy, 

I feel your anxiety and felt the same way when I first started.  My dealer gave me a quick 1 hour lesson and that was it.  Another dealer took pity on me and suggested I come and take a class with 2 teachers she had coming in.  They were great teachers but no way was I ready for any of those lessons.  I barely knew how to turn the machine on and I was terrified it was going to create me bodily harm! 

At last all I can say is load everything you can old sheets, etc. and practice over and over and over.  Draw lines to represent boxes, sashing etc.  I asked friends to give me lap size quilt tops to practice on.  They new I would make mistakes and they were okay with that and it gave me practice pieces and they got free quilting.  I do quilt as a business now and have won some awards.  

Take classes.  Watch videos and join blogs.  There are some great on line classes through places like Quilt University, Craftsy etc.  

If you were near me I'd take you under my wing.  I hope you find a good quilting friend. 

Ditch the double batting.  The wool bat will give you plenty of definition of your stitching.  Melissa


Missy

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First question - with every advance, tug batting layers very gently, and smooth.  This is quite a bit easier to do if you float your top.

Second question - I think Craftsy has a class by Terri Watson that is a sort of fundamentals of longarming.


Gail Olfert

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of times our breath is taken away

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I quilted 2 layers of batting with no problem. 8 oz and a 6 oz polyester batting and did not have any slipping between the layers. I used all the rollers on the machine. Did not make a significant change in the warmth factor. Carol

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Hi,

I do not know where you live.....but I did have a class when I got my Lucey....my rep did it in too days....three hours each day....it was helpful...but I still had a lot of questions.....there are some great videos out there both on U-tube and also on DVD's you can buy......I am lucky enough to live near an APQS dealer that offers both classes and rental time on her machines in the shop and have taken a couple of classes from her....maybe you could find someone that does near enough to you to travel too and do that.....I know it seems crazy to rent time on a machine......when you have one of your own....but I did and got some tips along the way.....and there are also books out there.....don't forget the videos that are on APQS website...they are also helpful....as to two layers of batting....I haven't done that yet....but I know that the wool batting does fluff up when spritzed.....all I did with the wool batting as it said it would not shrink much...was load it and smooth out the wrinkles (left it lay over the frame of the machine a day before loading)....it look a bit flat until I washed the whole quilt after getting it quilted and it fluffed up wonderfully.....have fun!  Oh and I will tackle a smaller quilt first when I do try the double batting.....Lin

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Kathy, where in BC are you? Is going to Kamloops an option for you? I took my beginner's class from Bill at Heather's Fabric Shelf. He spent the whole day with me and taught me tons of stuff. Both he and Heather are great people and always happy to help, and Bill is also a certified APQS technician. Maybe you could go there to spend a day and ask all the questions that you have?


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I learned a lot through trial and error and just doing.  I recommend that if you are using templates for curves, etc while using double batting, especially the wool on top, that you make sure you're holding the template down firmly.  There have been a couple of times my hopping foot hit it and I've been extremely lucky that my machine's timing was not affected.  I think using the roller bar on quilt top is good for helping to keep everything stable while quilting with double batting.  You-tube videos are very helpful as well.


Debbie

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Thanks everybody for your support and suggestions for help on my end of day sharing session ;).  Thanks Gail O for your method on keeping the batting sorted out.  I've done the same thing for a single layer, but wondered if there was more to it with two. 

You are absolutely right Missy, it's the anxiety of fumbling through it talking!  I do celebrate my successes when they happen, but I'm afraid I am a Type A personality with a bit of perfectionist thrown in...like to have a plan, know all the steps and get it done!  I need to chill. :rolleyes:  It's so much fun when I can just quilt!  I like to be challenged, but I need to enjoy the process of working through it.

For others who mentioned the orientation session with the Dealer, I did that back in December, but it was very basic and most of which I had figured out already, having done a one day tryout with a machine at my dealer's before purchasing. My pointed questions were a bit "glossed over" during the orientation, I think because they were outside the lesson plan made for that day. I'm about five hours drive to the closest dealer here and about 7 hours to Kamloops, so not really handy.  

I found the Terri Watson class for the Fundamentals of Longarming.  It's on www.anniescatalog.com, for anyone else who may be interested.  It appears to be very basic as well, and surprisingly, many of the comments about it are about looking for a more advanced class from her, which would be more of what I'm looking for.  I can free motion quilt and have taken many classes on that either online or in person.  It's more of the specific challenges encountered when learning the longarm method when going beyond a basic quilt, basic single layer batting, basic e2e or panto quilting, etc.

Thanks for the heads up Debbie on the ruler work with the added puff and mentioning the quilt top being mounted.

Anyway, thanks again! You've all been very patient with my rambling!  I love my Lenni too and shall keeping pushing him til we get it all figured out :)


Kathy :)

2016 APQS Lenni

Janome 6600P

 

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Kathy:  There's no substitute for experience.  Start with whole cloth quilts.  Use inexpensive fabric, and experiment with different methods of loading the quilt, different types of batting, different quilting techniques.  Start using templates, try different types of threads.  I say whole cloth quilts because they are less labor intensive, and without piecing issues, easier to quilt on.  You can always find some one who wants the finished quilt.  Working on quilts like these will remove your fear of making a mistake.  In fact the mistakes are exactly what you want because, we learn far more from our mistakes than from our successes.  Starting out on an important quilt will take all the fun out of learning to long arm, and indeed, long arm quilting itself.  It really is good to do some uncomplicated quilting for others just for the experience.  The learning experience goes on forever.  I've long arm quilted nearly 800 quilts, and I still learn something with each new quilt.  Once you learn how to turn on and run your machine, and learn how each feature works, the rest comes from experience.  Good luck.  Jim

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 Kathy,

I had the initial class at the very beginning and then a year later had my second class.  I loaded old sheets and used old mattress pads for practice, then I used them for packing material, dining room table pads and pillow covers.  It all takes time and practice.  Each quilt I have done, I have tried something different.  Still have those hiccups with some thing new and even some of the old.  It will get better.  Been at this for 4 1/2 years now and still haven't really done feathers yet.  You will get the hang of it.  Good luck, Belinda, Murphy, NC

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On 9/7/2017 at 6:51 AM, Gail O said:

First question - with every advance, tug batting layers very gently, and smooth.  This is quite a bit easier to do if you float your top.

Second question - I think Craftsy has a class by Terri Watson that is a sort of fundamentals of longarming.

Hi, Kathy -

Adding to Gail's suggestion:  On my recent Lavender Rose quilt, I used exactly the two layers that you loaded last month.  At first, I had the top floated - but I found that the large quilt just didn't keep itself lined up floated, so I took the extra time to fasten the top to the feed roller and tighten it up.  Then, when advancing the quilt, I also did what Gail said, gently tugging EACH batting layer separately to keep them smooth.  I also checked for wrinkles by running my hand over the flat quilt.  But to tug the layers effectively, I had to loosen the two feed rollers a bit so there was room for the batting to move.

In addition, I use an extra bed sheet to protect the batting when I've got the top on the feed roller.  Otherwise, when I lean against the batting while quilting, I'll tear up the batting a bit.  I drape the bed sheet down to the floor over the batting tails, then gently tuck the bed sheet under the top feed roller.

Learning?  I took a 4-hour "renter's class" from Angela Huffman in Louisville (about 4 hours' drive away from me) before buying Lucius (Lucey).  Then I took the beginner's and advanced classes from her also.  Since then, it's been a lot of trial and error.  And I'm still learning.  Always.


Eric

Spring Hill, TN

...always practicing on my "Lucius", always learning!

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On October 10, 2017 at 8:14 AM, EHonour said:

 

Learning?  I took a 4-hour "renter's class" from Angela Huffman in Louisville (about 4 hours' drive away from me) before buying Lucius (Lucey).  Then I took the beginner's and advanced classes from her also.  Since then, it's been a lot of trial and error.  And I'm still learning.  Always.

Thanks Eric for your tips!  I would love to be able to take an advanced class from Angela Huffman!  I get the trial and error process.  I don't know if you noticed my other post more recently about getting tiny puckers on my quilt top, from the fabric being pushed, a result of the thickness factor.  Do you have any thoughts on that?  I was at the Quilt Expo in Portland recently so asked a few longarmers about it and they all said to raise my hopping foot a bit.  I've only just returned home, but thought I would  do that and see how it goes.  I can always lower it back down.  I'm talking another half or sol business car thickness.  Business card thickness if such an arbitrary measurement?..like, how thick is a business card?  Know what I mean ;)


Kathy :)

2016 APQS Lenni

Janome 6600P

 

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When I use two layers of batting, I always gently pull the bottom layer and put my hand under the quilt top to make sure it is straight.  Then I do the top batting layer.  I went to MQX and took many classes.  It's probably not very convenient for you, but you can always ask on the forum or facebook.  Many times it was a trial and error.  At one point, I told myself I should write a book on WHAT NOT TO DO when longarming.

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9 hours ago, LibbyG said:

When I use two layers of batting, I always gently pull the bottom layer and put my hand under the quilt top to make sure it is straight.  Then I do the top batting layer.  I went to MQX and took many classes.  It's probably not very convenient for you, but you can always ask on the forum or facebook.  Many times it was a trial and error.  At one point, I told myself I should write a book on WHAT NOT TO DO when longarming.

That would be awesome LibbyG!  I'd buy it! :) No, there isn't much convenient to me here, so online resources have been a godsend.  In fact, just today I stumbled upon a thread that Dawn Cavanaugh had posted about raising the hopping foot to accommodate thick battings, of up to 3 or 4 business cards and equates one business card to the equivalent thickness of 4 pieces of a sticky note paper!  Now that was enlightening!  So I raised my hopping foot a bit more and voila, no more puckers!  

 

Thanks for your tips!


Kathy :)

2016 APQS Lenni

Janome 6600P

 

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Kathy, I'm in Deer Park, WA, near Spokane, I don't know how far away from you that is but I'd be happy to get together and teach each other all that we've learned.  I got Lenni in 2010 and have had classes and practice, practice, practice.  I have lots to learn too but am happy to share what I have learned.

 


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Kathy,  I think all of us have learned by just reading these posts over the years, in fact anytime I run into a problem I usually do a search for the problem and see several ways to get through it...the quilters on this forum are so generous with their time and knowledge, I am so thankful for them.   Just keep practicing, watch all of the videos you can, take classes if possible, but over time you will feel more confident in what you are doing...it is a learning process that takes some of us (me) years....


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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sewmanyquiltssewlittletime/

Proud Millie Owner!

Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time

Custom Long Arm Quilting

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Kathy, I saw that you mentioned your Type A personality with a little perfectionism thrown in!   I hear ya!

A few months after I got my Lenni (2 years ago) I jumped in with both feet and signed up for a class through craftonlineuniversity.com .   It is called APQS Longarm Certification, Sponsored by Fons and Porter.   Dawn Cavanaugh teaches the class.  It's 14 lessons spanning maybe 16 weeks or so.  It is not for the faint of heart!  Dawn is a great teacher and she expects a lot.....so that should feed your perfectionism.  It is pricey ---   $499.00!  But, what I learned in that class would have taken me years to learn on my own.  Most of the assignments are mailed to Dawn and she personally critiques them.  For being an online course it is very hands on and I cannot say enough about Dawn.  The course also covers starting and building a business; it is pretty all encompassing.  

I am happy to say I passed the class and have the Certificate framed on my wall to prove it!    Look into it.....good luck!

Nancy


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On 10/12/2017 at 10:42 PM, Kwiltr said:

Thanks Eric for your tips!  I would love to be able to take an advanced class from Angela Huffman!  I get the trial and error process.  I don't know if you noticed my other post more recently about getting tiny puckers on my quilt top, from the fabric being pushed, a result of the thickness factor.  Do you have any thoughts on that?  I was at the Quilt Expo in Portland recently so asked a few longarmers about it and they all said to raise my hopping foot a bit.  I've only just returned home, but thought I would  do that and see how it goes.  I can always lower it back down.  I'm talking another half or sol business car thickness.  Business card thickness if such an arbitrary measurement?..like, how thick is a business card?  Know what I mean ;)

Right. I had the same problem on my first double batting, and I called Angela - who told me the exact same thing: raise the hopping foot a business card or two!  It worked for me, too.   On my recent Lavender Rose, I didn't have to do that.  Puckering and pushing the extra fabric wasn't a problem.  Perhaps it was that I had the fabric stretched a bit tighter.  I've also found that using the top fabric roller (instead of free floating the top) helps, too. 


Eric

Spring Hill, TN

...always practicing on my "Lucius", always learning!

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On October 23, 2017 at 6:32 PM, EHonour said:

Right. I had the same problem on my first double batting, and I called Angela - who told me the exact same thing: raise the hopping foot a business card or two!  It worked for me, too.   On my recent Lavender Rose, I didn't have to do that.  Puckering and pushing the extra fabric wasn't a problem.  Perhaps it was that I had the fabric stretched a bit tighter.  I've also found that using the top fabric roller (instead of free floating the top) helps, too. 

 Sometimes Eric, it seems to be just how you hold your mouth as to whether you get puckering ;).  I'm working on a Sew Kind of Wonderful quilt with some bias stretch happening I think.  I thought I had it all solved until the other day when I got a pucker in my feather half way through it!  I took out the stitching, wet it down to encourage it to shrink back to "normal", completed the other seven feathers in the exact same piecing arrangement without a hitch while the unstitched area dried.  Went back and tried with a slightly different approach to the stitching order and it still puckered in the exact same spot.  I pleated it and sewed it down and called it good!  I wasn't going to rip it out again.  I only quilt for myself, so I've decided I'll have to live with it!  7 of 8 done without a pucker is not a bad ratio ;)


Kathy :)

2016 APQS Lenni

Janome 6600P

 

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