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ffq-lar

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  1. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from mitzi in Quilting makes the.......you know.   
    Here's the same meander partially filled with hooked feathers. Thanks for looking and asking about the technique. Taught and written in books by Suzanne Earley, Sally Terry, and many others.

  2. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from mitzi in Quilting makes the.......you know.   
    This one was loaded with the long side across--and it was small. The quilting field gets marked with a big curvy meander. In the photo that is the solid line. The dotted lines are the center lines that halves the space--you will stretch the feathers out to the line, making a turn with the curve. The outside dashed lines are the outside boundary of the feathers. Once the field is quilted, advance and mark another meander. You can fill a field with one pass, but I like to shorten some meanders so it looks more random. The key seems to be to not narrow the width between the curves of the meander. Make sure the space between the "walls" is about the width of your hand, so you don't have squishy feathers or too far to stretch your stitching.

  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from CiCi in Magnifying Glass for Longarms   
    I use a lighted one with a clamp that I bought at JoAnn's. It's normally $20 but I used a coupon and got it for half off. I don't use it much for stitching but it's invaluable when timing. It clamp's on the handle wherever you need it and the light is a bright LED.
  7. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from appr216 in Quilting makes the.......you know.   
    Here is a tiny (34"x42") baby quilt. My new customer's second quilt. She loves piecing and loves the fabric with the tiny print, but only had two fat quarters. She felt she failed when choosing some companion fabrics--not enough contrast and she wasn't happy with the peach sashing. But, she sighed, make it look pretty if you can....

  8. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from MastiffMomQlt in Really stumped on how to quilt this one. Suggestions, please :) now w pic   
    The center panel has a great vintage look to it. The feathers you mentioned would over-ride the hexies in a pleasing way.
    Another thought would be to stitch plain old CC's on the neutral hexies. That even, repetitive line--ending up with circles and petals--would be calm, not detract from the flowers, be easy to stitch, push the background back so the flowers pop, and result in a "wallpaper" look to the background. Not particularly dramatic, but the vintage look of this might call for vintage-type quilting.
    Or stitch several dramatic feather plumes on either side and fill in the rest of the neutral hexies with the CC's to further accent the feathers. The feathers would stand out and the CC's recede.
  9. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Enchanted Quilting in Really stumped on how to quilt this one. Suggestions, please :) now w pic   
    The center panel has a great vintage look to it. The feathers you mentioned would over-ride the hexies in a pleasing way.
    Another thought would be to stitch plain old CC's on the neutral hexies. That even, repetitive line--ending up with circles and petals--would be calm, not detract from the flowers, be easy to stitch, push the background back so the flowers pop, and result in a "wallpaper" look to the background. Not particularly dramatic, but the vintage look of this might call for vintage-type quilting.
    Or stitch several dramatic feather plumes on either side and fill in the rest of the neutral hexies with the CC's to further accent the feathers. The feathers would stand out and the CC's recede.
  10. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from MtnBarb in customer payment   
    I'm with Kristina. When customers ask if I need a deposit I tell them their quilt top is the deposit!
    On occasion I've had customers hand me cash up front for half and then pay the balance with a check --my evil mind assumes it's because they don't want their better half to know how much they spend on their "hobby"!
  11. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Anette D. in French Onion Soup   
    Den and I owned a French restaurant many years ago and we served a great French Onion soup. I just made this tonight for dinner. It is rich and warming. Serve with a salad. Enough for two big bowls.
    Two large onions--your favorite type
    Small shallot
    Two pieces garlic (not two whole garlic--just two cloves)
    One cube of butter (I told you it was rich!)
    Can of chicken stock
    Bottle of sweet sparkling wine (Asti Spumante) or a bottle of sparkling apple juice
    Dried thyme or Herbs de Provence
    Six slices of french baguette--put in a 250 degree oven until completely crisp but not brown
    Six slices of Swiss cheese-diced
    In a heavy skillet, melt the butter and add finely minced garlic, finely chopped shallot and thickly sliced onion.
    Cook over medium until all is wilted but not browned--about 15 minutes.
    Add the can of chicken stock and 3/4 cup of sparkling something.
    Cook an additional 10 minutes, adding pepper to taste, dried herbs (about a quarter teaspoon), and taste to see if it needs salt. If it does, use dried or paste chicken bouillon to taste.
    After you have adjusted the flavor to your liking, fill oven-proof bowls about 2/3rd full of soup. Overlap three pieces of crisp bread on top and cover each bowl with half the diced cheese. Place on a baking sheet and put in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
    It will be molten and gooey. The bread will be crisp on top and soft underneath. The onions will be fabulous. This has a zillion calories and you will crave it every year when the days shorten and it starts to get cold out. Drink the rest of the bottle of sparkling stuff with dinner.
    This is what Den calls "Blond Onion Soup"--made with chicken stock instead of beef. Much sweeter and more subtle-flavored than the classic recipe.
  12. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Carathren in hook assembly question   
    So happy to read you got your problem fixed. It makes you feel so confident!
    Just for future reference for others, if the bobbin thread is somehow catching, check that the hook-retaining finger that keeps the bobbin assembly in place is correctly positioned. The last step in timing is positioning the finger so it's just barely in the slot and stops the assembly from rotating. If it sticks too far into the slot the bobbin thread with catch and stick or break. Ask me how I know this!
  13. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lkl in Back from MQXWest   
    Honey, I'm home!
    Spent three great days in Portland. MQX was good. I met friends old and new. We had a wonderful APQS-and-friends dinner Thursday night. I did my part to get our economy rolling again.
    Whenever they figure out how to let is post more pictures I'll share some from the show and the dinner.
  14. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from lkl in Back from MQXWest   
    I don't have a Flickr account, nor Webshots/Smile and don't want to have to do that. Waaaa! I want this to be easy and I don't want all my quilting photos accessible to the world.
  15. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Anette D. in what do you do with two borders each 6 inches?   
    For the two borders, nothing is going to show in the busy floral so I would crosshatch it, to accent the diagonal-ish design in the gold border and give the eye a rest so you can dazzle them with the gold border. That's where the quilting will show beautifully so concentrate on that one. Maybe an ornate feather design that you do so well, but instead of feathers, stitch leaves.
    I came back and added a photo of a C-curl leaf (like the C-curl feathers that work so well in borders.) The same idea as the feathers, but leaves are more forgiving and they cover a lot of ground without really dense stitching. Just like the feathers, when you come to a fork in the road ( the place where two spine-lines diverge) you stitch a standing leaf so you can change directions.

  16. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Anette D. in Dresden plus embroidery quilt finished   
    One of my favorite customers has a great eye for color, does gorgeous applique and embroidery, and she and I have clicked so well. She gives me beautiful original quilts to quilt and trusts me to know what direction to go to enhance her tops. This one is a simpler Dresden plate ala Eleanor Burns and she added on-point embroidered bouquets and then designed the border to finish it beautifully. Here's the full shot. It's full-bed sized.

  17. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from carolinequilts in What is it with people waiting until the last minute????? VENTING !!!!   
    Bravo! This is how you run a business! You keep it on a professional level, you set your own rules, and then you have the cajones to stick to those rules. In a nice way, of course! Plenty of " I would love to quilt for you. My next opening is xx/yy/2013. Can I schedule your quilt for that time?"
    I learned early on (when I was finishing a customer quilt on Dec 23rd) that it isn't worth missing your special family times to provide special family times for a customer. I make sure all December quilts are finished by the 15th and take the rest of December off!
  18. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bekah in NQR - Story about our DS and family   
    Many years from now your kids--all of them--will be telling the story to their grandchildren of the journey that you all undertook. How three came from far away and grew and learned and loved--to join and make a different family. Your story is heartwarming.
  19. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Bekah in Back from MQXWest   
    I don't have a Flickr account, nor Webshots/Smile and don't want to have to do that. Waaaa! I want this to be easy and I don't want all my quilting photos accessible to the world.
  20. 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.
  21. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Anette D. 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.
  22. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from connieb in That book thing   
    Den and I are finishing up the printing of "the book" today!
    I'm taking a few copies to MQX so my Moxie buddies can critique it. Ask to see it if you run in to me!
    Thanks to all for the encouragement and not-so-subtle nudging!
    I'll post info after I return from Portland. It'll eventually be available on our website.
    FYI--it's a sashing and border design book with hints and tips.
    Love you all!
    Linda and Den
  23. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from Borderline Quilter in That book thing   
    Hi Kay. Dennis is the computer genius of the family and it will be available as a download (PDF) if you want to print your own and save the pricey international shipping charges. And not have a long wait! Thanks for asking.
  24. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from suzanp in That book thing   
    Hi Kay. Dennis is the computer genius of the family and it will be available as a download (PDF) if you want to print your own and save the pricey international shipping charges. And not have a long wait! Thanks for asking.
  25. Upvote
    ffq-lar got a reaction from suzanp in That book thing   
    Den and I are finishing up the printing of "the book" today!
    I'm taking a few copies to MQX so my Moxie buddies can critique it. Ask to see it if you run in to me!
    Thanks to all for the encouragement and not-so-subtle nudging!
    I'll post info after I return from Portland. It'll eventually be available on our website.
    FYI--it's a sashing and border design book with hints and tips.
    Love you all!
    Linda and Den
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