Jump to content

ffq-lar

Member
  • Content Count

    10,548
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    274

Reputation Activity

  1. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from ormondbeach in Knots and Loops   
    This happens to me every time with King Tut. Dawn advised a while ago to thread so there is no twist as the thread travels from cone to needle. At the three-hole guide above the tension assembly--go up the last hole, skip the middle, and down the third hole. Thicker threads (for me anyway) require a much tighter top tension than I use for thinner threads. Sewer's Aid helps tame the thread as well. Some people recommend turning the cone upside down as well to help un-twist the twist.
    (To fix the loop/knot without re-stitching--pull the thread so the knot is loosened, take an old machine needle and insert about a half-inch away from the loop . Sweep the needle under the loop to catch the thread and push it into the batting with the needle. If the knot won't loosen, use a tiny crochet hook to pull it under the fabric.)
    Go to the second thread under this post in "ask the experts" to view Dawn's advice for this same problem.
  2. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Dave-Jane in making the entire quilt?   
    Is that all applique or is it from a panel? If it's a panel figure $100 per square yard--which is what many quote as a reasonable price considering all the work involved in building a quilt from scratch. The listed size is 57 x 73 = 4161 sq inches divided by 1296 (a square yard) = 3.21 sq yards X $100 equals more than anyone would be willing to pay at $100 per sq yd.
    That price includes material, labor, quilting, and binding. The longarm quilters mostly-unattained but wished-for hourly pay is $25 per hour. If you take it down to $20 per hour and do the math, all you can spend on this cute quilt is 16.5 hours. Can you get it done--fabric chosen, purchased, washed, ironed, cut, pieced, loaded, quilted, and bound in two hard-driving days? Do you want to do that? Will you accept $10 an hour and spend 30+ hours on it? And if you do, would that time be better spent doing other customer quilts and getting a better rate of pay?
    If that is all applique--even fused applique--run like the wind! You'll nevernevernever realize an acceptable per-hour charge for all that work.
    If the customer has their heart set on that exact quilt, can you steer them to an accommodating piecer who might be willing to take on the job? Let them negotiate the price for the piecing so you won't be the bad guy. Then offer to quilt it for your usual price.
    Sorry to rain on the parade, but it only takes one generous gesture to take on a job like this and realize it isn't worth the price most people are willing to pay.
  3. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lkl in Ripples in right border only   
    Hi Kelly.
    Do you load the top to the leaders or float it?
    With floating, you can control and adjust each horizontal seam as you get to it. When you advance, check for a perfect horizontal seam by snugging the hopping foot edge up to the seam, engaging the channel lock, and pushing the head down the seam-line. Adjust and pin in place any section of the seam that is out of line. This will keep the top square as you go. You will be able to easily tell after quilting the field whether the borders are waving.
    If the borders are flat as you go, the waving of the right side might be caused by stretching of the border when it's pinned to the top leader and rolled onto the roller. If that's the case, something is wonky--either the rollers are not perfectly parallel or the top leader needs to be trimmed.
    You can pin your top leader to the take-up leader, roll back a forth a bit to settle the difference, and the engage the channel lock and run the machine across the front leader near the pins to see if there is an offset. Use an air-erase marker and the hopping foot to mark the straight line or sew a basting stitch with the lock engaged to see how much off the leader is. If the leader is off, you don't need to trim the leader, just use that sewn or marked line to pin to.
    I hope this makes sense and is helpful.
  4. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lkl in Bottom Tension Varying with Cotton Thread   
    Everyone is different, but 200 on the Towa might be a bit tight for thicker cotton thread. I run King Tut in the bobbin (seldom but on occasion) and set the bobbin at 150 (or less) and the top tension at "way too tight". That's a technical term! Also, have the top a bit loose on the rollers. Test-stitch off the quilt to see where you need to be.
    Problems on the top side always point to the bottom side as the culprit. Make sure your bobbin case is clean and without lint under the finger. Make sure your bobbins are tightly and evenly wound--no squishies. I think Dawn has info on flat-lining in one of the "tension" help threads.
    Now's a perfect time to educate your "cotton-only" customer to the joys of poly thread. She will not go easily, but the range of colors, thicknesses, and glorious effects you can achieve with poly threads is worth trying to sway her to the "dark side"!!
  5. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Matt Sparrow in The Mystery of the Odd Noise...   
    I'd say yes, position the hopping foot as you would for your needleplate. My Rulermate seems to be the same height when installed as my needleplate so I don't adjust mine. And then remember to adjust again when you remove it --if you don't leave it on all the time.
    (It can't be a dark and stormy night in Sequim, Dory! People probably don't know about this little pocket of Washington State--up north on open water--across the way is Canada. This town sits in a spot where it doesn't rain! The topography splits the rain clouds and wind so there is no bad weather! It's the banana belt of Washington and a favorite retirement spot. We get 40"-60" of rain a year in Olympia. Sequim get about 15". I'm gonna go visit my friend on the "Riviera" this winter!)
  6. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from carlarenalanders in have a manual to their machine or is this a silly question..   
    If you purchased recently, look for an included DVD that has instructions for your machine and will step you through all functions. If you purchased used, email Dawn or Amy for a copy.
    How to change the needle--loosen the set screw at the side of your needle bar with a small screwdriver. Don't remove the screw, just loosen enough to remove the needle. Hold the needle and lower it slightly through the hole in the needle plate so you can angle it back up and clear the needle bar. New needles insert with the groove at the front and the scarf (indentation) at the back. Insert up as far as it will go and tighten the set screw. Don't overtighten or over time you may strip the screw or wear a groove at the end and it won't hold your needle securely. You can use a pin inserted in the eye of the needle to determine if it's facing perfectly forward. If it's angled to the side, loosen the screw very slightly, use the pin in the eye to turn the needle so the eye is forward, and tighten. Manually lower the needle bar to check for needle clearance and to make sure all is secure and straight.
    I assume your Lenni is threaded the same as the other machines. Place your thread cone on the holder. Bring the end of the thread through the loop at the end of the guide just above the holder. Adjust the guide so it is exactly above. Take the thread towards the front of the machine and insert the end through one hole of the three hole guide in the center of the machine. It doesn't matter which hole--i use the lowest one and my guide points down. Again heading towards the front, you will now thread the next three hole guide above the tension assembly. This guide should be positioned so when you look at it straight on it's like clock hands pointing to "8 o'clock". Insert the thread up the first hole, under and up the second, and under and up the third hole. This is the classic threading path but many times and with different weight threads you may thread fewer holes and in a different manner. But this is good for now. Bring the thread towards the tension disks and wrap it behind and to the front of the tension disks. That would be clockwise. As you pull around the disks and up, lay the thread inside the U-shaped tension spring and pull down against the spring. The thread is pointing towards you. Make sure the thread is between the disks and up against the spindle in the center of the disks. Go down and around the small L-shaped guide below, up and threaded towards you through the hole at the end of the take-up lever, down to the the curly pigtail just below--hold the top of the thread with one hand and below that with the other and spiral the thread into the pigtail--just a twist around. Or you can thread it until you get the hang of it. Now the pigtail below that and just above the needle gets the same treatment. You are now in position to thread the needle.
    With the needle threaded, use an even pull to tug the thread through the needle. If it pulls really hard or won't move at all, loosen the top tension by turning the dial on the outside of the tensioner--counterclockwise to loosen and clockwise to tighten. Adjust--big turns are better than small until you get close to where the tension needs to be. Adjust until a pull on the thread through the needle makes that U-shaped tension spring deflect (move lower)--at rest it should be at "10" on the clock and with good tension it should be pulled to "8". The thread should pull smoothly through the eye.
    Load a bobbin in the case so when the thread is pulled through the finger the case will spin clockwise. Insert the bobbin leaving maybe a three inch tail--you'll need to look to see how it inserts but soon you will find you can do it by feel--really!
    Hold your top thread, needle down and up, and that should bring up your bobbin thread. Set your stitch length/speed and do some test stitching.
    Tomorrow being a holiday I imagine you won't be able to get anyone until Tuesday. Try to get a live person on the phone--or look up Dawn's profile. Her contact phone number is under her signature.
    Good luck and I hope this helps a bit and that I didn't make some mistakes. I'm not in my studio and am writing this by closing my eyes and threading an invisible machine in the air!
  7. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from yankiequilter in Trying to Find The Instructions on Quilting a Sweatshirt/Hoodie   
    Hi Cindy,
    Buy a nice sweatshirt at least two sizes larger than you wear. Nancy's Notions has beautiful sweatshirts made specifically for this type of application, but a regular weight good brand will work as well.
    Purchase at least 3 1/4 yds of "backer" fabric. Cut in half and seam it together. Load with the seam running horizontally as you usually would. Cut the sweatshirt as Linda S described and also cut up the front at the center line leaving the neck ribbing on the rest of it. Load the sweatshirt with the seam of the backer running down the imaginary center line of the back of the sweatshirt. This will mean that the sleeves will be north and south and the body east and west. The seam of the backer will run up the back and miss the front, since cutting and laying out the flattened sweatshirt will cause the front to splay out. Pin baste well, taking extra care with the shoulder seams as they will tend to bump up a bit. Quilt as desired. I start at the body and work out to the sleeves, which entails rolling one sleeve up unquilted. It takes longer to load and pin baste than it does to quilt unless you are doing something elaborate on the back.
    There will be enough fabric all around the quilted shirt to salvage for binding, or use regular bias tape to bind the cuffs and around the front and neckline. Cut off the neck ribbing and shape the neckline however is pleasing to you. With mine I left the neckline high and then pulled it back so it had a "V" and fastened down with pretty buttons. This exposes your pretty lining/backer fabric. French seams used to re-sew the sides and up the underside of the sleeve will make it reversible.Or you can grade the seams to remove excess bulk and overlay twill tape or more bias tape to lay down and cover the seams. My added advice is to grade some fabric away from the underarm to make it less bulky. Try it on inside out and have a friend pin the underarm for a better fit.
    I've done one for myself and three for friends. They are not warm when you wear them--I think cutting off the cuffs lets a lot of cold air in so I wear like I would a sweater--not for warmth, just for "show". And with another layer either over or under if I need it to be warm.
  8. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from JustSewSimple in Trying to Find The Instructions on Quilting a Sweatshirt/Hoodie   
    Hi Cindy,
    Buy a nice sweatshirt at least two sizes larger than you wear. Nancy's Notions has beautiful sweatshirts made specifically for this type of application, but a regular weight good brand will work as well.
    Purchase at least 3 1/4 yds of "backer" fabric. Cut in half and seam it together. Load with the seam running horizontally as you usually would. Cut the sweatshirt as Linda S described and also cut up the front at the center line leaving the neck ribbing on the rest of it. Load the sweatshirt with the seam of the backer running down the imaginary center line of the back of the sweatshirt. This will mean that the sleeves will be north and south and the body east and west. The seam of the backer will run up the back and miss the front, since cutting and laying out the flattened sweatshirt will cause the front to splay out. Pin baste well, taking extra care with the shoulder seams as they will tend to bump up a bit. Quilt as desired. I start at the body and work out to the sleeves, which entails rolling one sleeve up unquilted. It takes longer to load and pin baste than it does to quilt unless you are doing something elaborate on the back.
    There will be enough fabric all around the quilted shirt to salvage for binding, or use regular bias tape to bind the cuffs and around the front and neckline. Cut off the neck ribbing and shape the neckline however is pleasing to you. With mine I left the neckline high and then pulled it back so it had a "V" and fastened down with pretty buttons. This exposes your pretty lining/backer fabric. French seams used to re-sew the sides and up the underside of the sleeve will make it reversible.Or you can grade the seams to remove excess bulk and overlay twill tape or more bias tape to lay down and cover the seams. My added advice is to grade some fabric away from the underarm to make it less bulky. Try it on inside out and have a friend pin the underarm for a better fit.
    I've done one for myself and three for friends. They are not warm when you wear them--I think cutting off the cuffs lets a lot of cold air in so I wear like I would a sweater--not for warmth, just for "show". And with another layer either over or under if I need it to be warm.
  9. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from CindyT in Trying to Find The Instructions on Quilting a Sweatshirt/Hoodie   
    Hi Cindy,
    Buy a nice sweatshirt at least two sizes larger than you wear. Nancy's Notions has beautiful sweatshirts made specifically for this type of application, but a regular weight good brand will work as well.
    Purchase at least 3 1/4 yds of "backer" fabric. Cut in half and seam it together. Load with the seam running horizontally as you usually would. Cut the sweatshirt as Linda S described and also cut up the front at the center line leaving the neck ribbing on the rest of it. Load the sweatshirt with the seam of the backer running down the imaginary center line of the back of the sweatshirt. This will mean that the sleeves will be north and south and the body east and west. The seam of the backer will run up the back and miss the front, since cutting and laying out the flattened sweatshirt will cause the front to splay out. Pin baste well, taking extra care with the shoulder seams as they will tend to bump up a bit. Quilt as desired. I start at the body and work out to the sleeves, which entails rolling one sleeve up unquilted. It takes longer to load and pin baste than it does to quilt unless you are doing something elaborate on the back.
    There will be enough fabric all around the quilted shirt to salvage for binding, or use regular bias tape to bind the cuffs and around the front and neckline. Cut off the neck ribbing and shape the neckline however is pleasing to you. With mine I left the neckline high and then pulled it back so it had a "V" and fastened down with pretty buttons. This exposes your pretty lining/backer fabric. French seams used to re-sew the sides and up the underside of the sleeve will make it reversible.Or you can grade the seams to remove excess bulk and overlay twill tape or more bias tape to lay down and cover the seams. My added advice is to grade some fabric away from the underarm to make it less bulky. Try it on inside out and have a friend pin the underarm for a better fit.
    I've done one for myself and three for friends. They are not warm when you wear them--I think cutting off the cuffs lets a lot of cold air in so I wear like I would a sweater--not for warmth, just for "show". And with another layer either over or under if I need it to be warm.
  10. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from RoseCity Quilter in Trying to Find The Instructions on Quilting a Sweatshirt/Hoodie   
    Hi Cindy,
    Buy a nice sweatshirt at least two sizes larger than you wear. Nancy's Notions has beautiful sweatshirts made specifically for this type of application, but a regular weight good brand will work as well.
    Purchase at least 3 1/4 yds of "backer" fabric. Cut in half and seam it together. Load with the seam running horizontally as you usually would. Cut the sweatshirt as Linda S described and also cut up the front at the center line leaving the neck ribbing on the rest of it. Load the sweatshirt with the seam of the backer running down the imaginary center line of the back of the sweatshirt. This will mean that the sleeves will be north and south and the body east and west. The seam of the backer will run up the back and miss the front, since cutting and laying out the flattened sweatshirt will cause the front to splay out. Pin baste well, taking extra care with the shoulder seams as they will tend to bump up a bit. Quilt as desired. I start at the body and work out to the sleeves, which entails rolling one sleeve up unquilted. It takes longer to load and pin baste than it does to quilt unless you are doing something elaborate on the back.
    There will be enough fabric all around the quilted shirt to salvage for binding, or use regular bias tape to bind the cuffs and around the front and neckline. Cut off the neck ribbing and shape the neckline however is pleasing to you. With mine I left the neckline high and then pulled it back so it had a "V" and fastened down with pretty buttons. This exposes your pretty lining/backer fabric. French seams used to re-sew the sides and up the underside of the sleeve will make it reversible.Or you can grade the seams to remove excess bulk and overlay twill tape or more bias tape to lay down and cover the seams. My added advice is to grade some fabric away from the underarm to make it less bulky. Try it on inside out and have a friend pin the underarm for a better fit.
    I've done one for myself and three for friends. They are not warm when you wear them--I think cutting off the cuffs lets a lot of cold air in so I wear like I would a sweater--not for warmth, just for "show". And with another layer either over or under if I need it to be warm.
  11. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from ReisingStarQuilts in Trying to Find The Instructions on Quilting a Sweatshirt/Hoodie   
    Hi Cindy,
    Buy a nice sweatshirt at least two sizes larger than you wear. Nancy's Notions has beautiful sweatshirts made specifically for this type of application, but a regular weight good brand will work as well.
    Purchase at least 3 1/4 yds of "backer" fabric. Cut in half and seam it together. Load with the seam running horizontally as you usually would. Cut the sweatshirt as Linda S described and also cut up the front at the center line leaving the neck ribbing on the rest of it. Load the sweatshirt with the seam of the backer running down the imaginary center line of the back of the sweatshirt. This will mean that the sleeves will be north and south and the body east and west. The seam of the backer will run up the back and miss the front, since cutting and laying out the flattened sweatshirt will cause the front to splay out. Pin baste well, taking extra care with the shoulder seams as they will tend to bump up a bit. Quilt as desired. I start at the body and work out to the sleeves, which entails rolling one sleeve up unquilted. It takes longer to load and pin baste than it does to quilt unless you are doing something elaborate on the back.
    There will be enough fabric all around the quilted shirt to salvage for binding, or use regular bias tape to bind the cuffs and around the front and neckline. Cut off the neck ribbing and shape the neckline however is pleasing to you. With mine I left the neckline high and then pulled it back so it had a "V" and fastened down with pretty buttons. This exposes your pretty lining/backer fabric. French seams used to re-sew the sides and up the underside of the sleeve will make it reversible.Or you can grade the seams to remove excess bulk and overlay twill tape or more bias tape to lay down and cover the seams. My added advice is to grade some fabric away from the underarm to make it less bulky. Try it on inside out and have a friend pin the underarm for a better fit.
    I've done one for myself and three for friends. They are not warm when you wear them--I think cutting off the cuffs lets a lot of cold air in so I wear like I would a sweater--not for warmth, just for "show". And with another layer either over or under if I need it to be warm.
  12. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bekah in Latest Glacier Star--very different   
    Here is a close-up of the micro-stitching.

  13. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bekah in Latest Glacier Star--very different   
    I deleted a photo from a previous post so I could share this latest Glacier Star. She used solid white for all the background, almost-solids for the colored fabric, and on in-take told me she didn't want girly/curvy quilting anywhere. Only straight-line designs. Sort of Art Deco-ish. *gulp*
    I'm not much for straight line stuff, preferring McTavishing, spirals, curls, paisleys, etc. I stared at this one for a long time, started in on the easy stuff and drew for hours trying to find something for those odd-shaped white spaces in the corners. I did a ton of micro-stitching and it was very effective. She picked it up this morning and heartily approved of it all. Whew! Thanks for looking!

  14. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bekah in Dawn is a marvel!   
    I emailed Dawn about my bad M & M wheels a short time ago and within minutes she sent me an email saying new wheels were on the way.
    *sigh* I love Dawn.
    *sigh* I love APQS.
    --A very happy Linda
  15. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bekah in Guild "Donation"/Raffle Quilt Done But Won't Hang Straight   
    That's a beautiful quilt, Cindy! The quilting looks great.
    Blocking will help.
    But--folding it constantly for taking around to the various venues to sell tickets will not do it any good and the blocking job won't last long.
    My advice is to sew a narrow pocket at the bottom and the top of the quilt for display. Insert long dowels into the pockets. If you can't find dowels long enough, have a handy hubby or the local big-box home improvement store rip a 1" X 2" in half, making sure it's long enough to span the quilt. Sand all the edges smooth and insert into the pockets. These pieces will make the quilt hang straight by weighting the bottom and keeping the top straight. To use with a quilt hanger that normally uses clips to attach the quilt--make two short decorative chains with key rings on each end to loop over the top of the display frame and the ends of the dowel or board.
    Good luck with your ticket sales!!
  16. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from elkayr in What happened to Off the Edge quilting?   
    Think happy thoughts! Maybe they retired. Maybe they only want to sell wholesale. Wholesale orders for larger quantities are easier to fill than one or two rulers at a time. Maybe their competition bought them out. Maybe they won the lottery! So it may only be sad for us--and not them!
    What I worry about are the vendors at the big quilt shows. A friend just got back from Houston and very seldom do they cover their expenses at a big show. They're only there to keep their products in the minds of quilters. Competition is fierce and prices must be as good as or better than their on-line catalog or no one will buy. Vendor space is expensive. She says they think long and hard each year to decide if it's worth it to lose money to vend at a show. Now that's sad!
  17. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from CindyT in Guild "Donation"/Raffle Quilt Done But Won't Hang Straight   
    That's a beautiful quilt, Cindy! The quilting looks great.
    Blocking will help.
    But--folding it constantly for taking around to the various venues to sell tickets will not do it any good and the blocking job won't last long.
    My advice is to sew a narrow pocket at the bottom and the top of the quilt for display. Insert long dowels into the pockets. If you can't find dowels long enough, have a handy hubby or the local big-box home improvement store rip a 1" X 2" in half, making sure it's long enough to span the quilt. Sand all the edges smooth and insert into the pockets. These pieces will make the quilt hang straight by weighting the bottom and keeping the top straight. To use with a quilt hanger that normally uses clips to attach the quilt--make two short decorative chains with key rings on each end to loop over the top of the display frame and the ends of the dowel or board.
    Good luck with your ticket sales!!
  18. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from CindyT in Terrific Thursday   
    Cindy! I'm tired just reading your post!
    Very seldom do I use "loaded and unloaded" in the same sentence, let alone about the same day!
    Yesterday I "helped" a local tree service take out a bunch of large old trees. I helped by standing in the cold and watching the four of them work really hard!
    I quilted for lots of hours on a big 30's repro quilt with an appliqued border--very pretty but not even close to being finished. Happy Friday, everybody!
  19. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Primitive1 in Dawn is a marvel!   
    I emailed Dawn about my bad M & M wheels a short time ago and within minutes she sent me an email saying new wheels were on the way.
    *sigh* I love Dawn.
    *sigh* I love APQS.
    --A very happy Linda
  20. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Parm in Latest Glacier Star--very different   
    I deleted a photo from a previous post so I could share this latest Glacier Star. She used solid white for all the background, almost-solids for the colored fabric, and on in-take told me she didn't want girly/curvy quilting anywhere. Only straight-line designs. Sort of Art Deco-ish. *gulp*
    I'm not much for straight line stuff, preferring McTavishing, spirals, curls, paisleys, etc. I stared at this one for a long time, started in on the easy stuff and drew for hours trying to find something for those odd-shaped white spaces in the corners. I did a ton of micro-stitching and it was very effective. She picked it up this morning and heartily approved of it all. Whew! Thanks for looking!

  21. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Primitive1 in Quiltaholic and More!   
    Repeat after me--
    The smell of new fabric is an anti-depressant.
    Spray starch makes for soft hands.
    Rotary cutting wards off "bingo flaps".
    A needle punching through fabric alleviates tension.
    Batting is the original "warm fuzzies".
    Blood pressure is lowered when you refold your stash.
    Picking fabrics to go with your favorite focus print keeps your brain young.
    Figuring yardage for the binding as you stand in line at the fabric store causes looks of amazement from your friends.
    The looks on the faces of the recipients of your handwork will warm your heart forever--and everyone needs a warm heart!
    And finally--when a hobby turns into a passion--well, that's what the world needs. More passion!
  22. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lindasewsit in U2 messages   
    "Cleaned"? Huh? What's that?
    Oh. I remember. That's what I used to do on occasion before that big machine moved into the studio.
    Now when Den and I are talking, I hand him the long-handled Swiffer and ask him sweetly, since he's so tall and strong and everything, to pleeeeese wipe down those naughty cobwebs in the corners.
    Also swapping out the bright light bulbs for 25 watt-ers makes my living room instantly cleaner!
    It's a tough job but somebody has to figure out how not to do housework!
  23. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from RoseCity Quilter in Quiltaholic and More!   
    Repeat after me--
    The smell of new fabric is an anti-depressant.
    Spray starch makes for soft hands.
    Rotary cutting wards off "bingo flaps".
    A needle punching through fabric alleviates tension.
    Batting is the original "warm fuzzies".
    Blood pressure is lowered when you refold your stash.
    Picking fabrics to go with your favorite focus print keeps your brain young.
    Figuring yardage for the binding as you stand in line at the fabric store causes looks of amazement from your friends.
    The looks on the faces of the recipients of your handwork will warm your heart forever--and everyone needs a warm heart!
    And finally--when a hobby turns into a passion--well, that's what the world needs. More passion!
  24. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Oma in Loading a backer without squaring it first--long   
    Another thread had questions about methods for squaring a backer before loading. Here is a technique for loading those wide backs or pieced backers that are large and perhaps not square--without messing with them.
    1- If it is a wide back, load with the selvedge attached to the leaders. If it is a pieced backer, lay it out on the floor and look for the edge with the straightest line. If the pieced backer is directional--either in the fabric or configuration of the pieced blocks, figure which way it needs to be loaded. If it isn't straight, you may need to trim a bit, but if you have it laid out and can do it, simply mark the straight edge with an water-erase marker or even a permanent marker. This edge will load to the front roller and eventually be trimmed off. If the pieced backer is not directional, find the straightest edge and that will load to the front roller. Mark a bit if there are whoopsies that need to be evened out. ("Whoopsies"? A technical term for swoops or poke-outs of fabric that stray from straight.) Just mark those whoopsies straight.
    2- You now have a line--either marked or woven--that will load to the front roller. Splay all that fabric wrong side up across the rollers with the loading edge at the front. *You do not need to center the fabric.* Did you get that? Don't center--it isn't necessary with this technique. And you don't need to place the fabric under the leveler roller--just throw it over the rollers and let it hang down the back of the frame. Unfurl a foot of the backer leader fabric from that front roller. Reach INSIDE the two rollers, grab the backer leader fabric and bring it up to lay the edge all along the top of that roller. You now have the side of the leader facing you, that you will pin the backer to. Bring the backer fabric towards you so the edge of both backer and fabric are facing you and lined up. Start in the middle and pin to the edge--if there is a selvedge, lay the selvedge so it hangs beyond the leader edge and pin onto the regular weave of the fabric--usually a quarter-inch to a half-inch in from the inside of the selvedge. Pin from the center to the other edge.
    3- Gather all the backer fabric on one arm and pull it towards you. Bring the bundle UNDER the frontrollers in a big circle and push it all under the leveler roller and over the back leader roller. This is just an easier way to get the backer in position rather than stuffing it all between the two front rollers and accomplishes the same thing. Sounds funny, but try it.
    4- Here's the loading secret. Go to the back and pull and straighten all the backer with the excess pooling on the floor. Pull the fabric taut until it is completely flat with the front backer (which will have about 10 inches or so of the leader extending out towards the back) and the pinned fabric is tight. Adjust and pull so it is all smooth and flat. Now it's all smooth and flat, the excess backer is pooled onto the floor-- try to get that hanging as evenly as possible. Go to the front and release the brake while holding the roller stationary. Assuming you have power advance, step on the RIGHT pedal and the backer fabric will be advancing towards you over the roller. The canvas will give the fabric a grip and stay fairly straight as it advances. Load the advancing fabric by slowly rotating the front roller at the same speed. Try to keep the fabric in the stitching field flat. Watch the top of the back roller for bumps and lumps. As these appear, set the brake and even out the bumps by reaching from the front and pulling each edge carefully to smooth the fabric flat. I usually go to the back to do this so I can flap out the backer and help it feed evenly. Back to the front and advance again. The reason this works is you have started with a straight edge which will make the fabric load straight if you are careful.
    4- IF the backer is not square, it will immediately start to show. You will notice that one side is scrolling (loading) wider and one side is scrolling inward. This is OK and you will end up knowing if you have enough USABLE straight fabric to safely load the quilt. Advance, tug, pat, smooth, advance, tug, advance, smooth.
    5-Stop advancing when the backer is just above the tabletop and you can see that the back edge of the fabric is (hopefully) parallel to the table top. Take the excess fabric that is over the backer roller and lift it up and use one pin to pin it to the fabric in the stitching field. Unfurl the backer leader about 10 inches, reach inside and bring the edge up to lay along the top of the roller. Unpin the fabric and bring it up to lay on the leader. Pin to the leader somewhere in the middle and smooth the fabric along the leader. Now look at the sag in the fabric. If there are bias wavy lines, unpin the middle and adjust the fabric right or left until the waves are gone and the fabric looks even. This is exactly the technique you use when you square up yardage. You grab selvedges and hang the yardage down, looking for distortion and waves. Then you adjust the selvedges until the fabric hangs true. You then know that the fabric was not cut on the real grain and you have long triangles of fabric that you remove when you square up. Same thing only on a huge scale!
    Have I lost you yet!
    6- Pin the backer--center/out/center/out. The backer is pinned and you have pushed the leader over the bar and the backer now is a big hammock. Go to the front and remove the sag by rolling onto the BACK roller. Then advance to the front roller. If you have sag on one side, roll back and forth to even it out.
    7- Now the backer is loaded and even. Takes less time to do than it takes to try to describe it! Look at the two front rollers. The not-square backer has scrolled onto the roller. One side is scrolling out and one is scrolling in. Take a quilt clamp or use your blue water erase pen and place a mark on the canvas of the top roller where the backer is NARROWEST.
    The scrolling-out side is easy--mark where the first loading pin is. The scrolling-in side needs investigation--press along the line of pins you used to load and find the first one. Mark there. The distance between the marks is the USABLE width of the backer. You then must decide if that usable width is enough for the quilt top. If it is, use the marks to load the top, centering between the marks, not the edges.
    8-If there is not enough usable width, call your customer and explain. She can pitch a fit at the LQS and get a squared-up replacement, tear-to-square and add more backer, or replace it completely. Believe me, she will be more vigilant with the next backer.
    Pleasepleaseplease don't try to fudge one of these to try to skip the drama of replacing a backer. The quilt will be a nightmare with constant adjustments and will never hang straight--even on a bed.
    I hope this wasn't too confusing. Print it out and try it with a big piece of fabric and it should be OK. The loading technique of reaching in and pinning to the backer results in an edge with all the pin points inside a fold made by the backer and the leader. I have always loaded this way and never have hole in my clothes. Place the pins at the ends both facing in, and you also won't tear a hole in your forearm as you quilt!
    Comments please on whether this is confusing. I will edit or expand on it if there are questions.
  25. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from IMN2Quilting in Loading a backer without squaring it first--long   
    Another thread had questions about methods for squaring a backer before loading. Here is a technique for loading those wide backs or pieced backers that are large and perhaps not square--without messing with them.
    1- If it is a wide back, load with the selvedge attached to the leaders. If it is a pieced backer, lay it out on the floor and look for the edge with the straightest line. If the pieced backer is directional--either in the fabric or configuration of the pieced blocks, figure which way it needs to be loaded. If it isn't straight, you may need to trim a bit, but if you have it laid out and can do it, simply mark the straight edge with an water-erase marker or even a permanent marker. This edge will load to the front roller and eventually be trimmed off. If the pieced backer is not directional, find the straightest edge and that will load to the front roller. Mark a bit if there are whoopsies that need to be evened out. ("Whoopsies"? A technical term for swoops or poke-outs of fabric that stray from straight.) Just mark those whoopsies straight.
    2- You now have a line--either marked or woven--that will load to the front roller. Splay all that fabric wrong side up across the rollers with the loading edge at the front. *You do not need to center the fabric.* Did you get that? Don't center--it isn't necessary with this technique. And you don't need to place the fabric under the leveler roller--just throw it over the rollers and let it hang down the back of the frame. Unfurl a foot of the backer leader fabric from that front roller. Reach INSIDE the two rollers, grab the backer leader fabric and bring it up to lay the edge all along the top of that roller. You now have the side of the leader facing you, that you will pin the backer to. Bring the backer fabric towards you so the edge of both backer and fabric are facing you and lined up. Start in the middle and pin to the edge--if there is a selvedge, lay the selvedge so it hangs beyond the leader edge and pin onto the regular weave of the fabric--usually a quarter-inch to a half-inch in from the inside of the selvedge. Pin from the center to the other edge.
    3- Gather all the backer fabric on one arm and pull it towards you. Bring the bundle UNDER the frontrollers in a big circle and push it all under the leveler roller and over the back leader roller. This is just an easier way to get the backer in position rather than stuffing it all between the two front rollers and accomplishes the same thing. Sounds funny, but try it.
    4- Here's the loading secret. Go to the back and pull and straighten all the backer with the excess pooling on the floor. Pull the fabric taut until it is completely flat with the front backer (which will have about 10 inches or so of the leader extending out towards the back) and the pinned fabric is tight. Adjust and pull so it is all smooth and flat. Now it's all smooth and flat, the excess backer is pooled onto the floor-- try to get that hanging as evenly as possible. Go to the front and release the brake while holding the roller stationary. Assuming you have power advance, step on the RIGHT pedal and the backer fabric will be advancing towards you over the roller. The canvas will give the fabric a grip and stay fairly straight as it advances. Load the advancing fabric by slowly rotating the front roller at the same speed. Try to keep the fabric in the stitching field flat. Watch the top of the back roller for bumps and lumps. As these appear, set the brake and even out the bumps by reaching from the front and pulling each edge carefully to smooth the fabric flat. I usually go to the back to do this so I can flap out the backer and help it feed evenly. Back to the front and advance again. The reason this works is you have started with a straight edge which will make the fabric load straight if you are careful.
    4- IF the backer is not square, it will immediately start to show. You will notice that one side is scrolling (loading) wider and one side is scrolling inward. This is OK and you will end up knowing if you have enough USABLE straight fabric to safely load the quilt. Advance, tug, pat, smooth, advance, tug, advance, smooth.
    5-Stop advancing when the backer is just above the tabletop and you can see that the back edge of the fabric is (hopefully) parallel to the table top. Take the excess fabric that is over the backer roller and lift it up and use one pin to pin it to the fabric in the stitching field. Unfurl the backer leader about 10 inches, reach inside and bring the edge up to lay along the top of the roller. Unpin the fabric and bring it up to lay on the leader. Pin to the leader somewhere in the middle and smooth the fabric along the leader. Now look at the sag in the fabric. If there are bias wavy lines, unpin the middle and adjust the fabric right or left until the waves are gone and the fabric looks even. This is exactly the technique you use when you square up yardage. You grab selvedges and hang the yardage down, looking for distortion and waves. Then you adjust the selvedges until the fabric hangs true. You then know that the fabric was not cut on the real grain and you have long triangles of fabric that you remove when you square up. Same thing only on a huge scale!
    Have I lost you yet!
    6- Pin the backer--center/out/center/out. The backer is pinned and you have pushed the leader over the bar and the backer now is a big hammock. Go to the front and remove the sag by rolling onto the BACK roller. Then advance to the front roller. If you have sag on one side, roll back and forth to even it out.
    7- Now the backer is loaded and even. Takes less time to do than it takes to try to describe it! Look at the two front rollers. The not-square backer has scrolled onto the roller. One side is scrolling out and one is scrolling in. Take a quilt clamp or use your blue water erase pen and place a mark on the canvas of the top roller where the backer is NARROWEST.
    The scrolling-out side is easy--mark where the first loading pin is. The scrolling-in side needs investigation--press along the line of pins you used to load and find the first one. Mark there. The distance between the marks is the USABLE width of the backer. You then must decide if that usable width is enough for the quilt top. If it is, use the marks to load the top, centering between the marks, not the edges.
    8-If there is not enough usable width, call your customer and explain. She can pitch a fit at the LQS and get a squared-up replacement, tear-to-square and add more backer, or replace it completely. Believe me, she will be more vigilant with the next backer.
    Pleasepleaseplease don't try to fudge one of these to try to skip the drama of replacing a backer. The quilt will be a nightmare with constant adjustments and will never hang straight--even on a bed.
    I hope this wasn't too confusing. Print it out and try it with a big piece of fabric and it should be OK. The loading technique of reaching in and pinning to the backer results in an edge with all the pin points inside a fold made by the backer and the leader. I have always loaded this way and never have hole in my clothes. Place the pins at the ends both facing in, and you also won't tear a hole in your forearm as you quilt!
    Comments please on whether this is confusing. I will edit or expand on it if there are questions.
×
×
  • Create New...