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  • 4 weeks later...

OK this answer could be long - grab a coffee and settle down!!

Firstly don't assume it was something you did to make the bottom border wider, chances are the piecer did not measure three times through the centre of the top to get an average measurement from which to cut the border.

This is how I load tops.

I have previously marked my canvas leaders from the centre out in one inch markings ie. centre is O then outwards, 1, 2, 3 etc I use these markings to line up the edge and vertical lines of the top as I quilt.

First attach the backing and batting fabric to the rollers in your preferred manner.

Find the centre of the top (at the top and bottom edges) and place a pin each end.

Next (I don't pin anything to the no 2 roller) feed the top under the number 2 roller and bring it up the the No 1 roller and lay it about 1"away from the edge of the canvas.

Place the centre of the top so that the centre pin is in line with the centre of the backing - put a pin through all 3 layers vertically to hold in place.

Take the left edge of the top and if the top should measure 48"in total lay the left edge of the top in line with the 24"mark on one of the leaders - do the same on the other side.

Now bring your machine over the quilt and place the front of the foot in line with the top border seam where it joins the first stitched line - this could be a piecing line or a sashing. Hope I have explained this clearly.

Now set your horizontal channel lock and move the machine to the left a few inches - the it the top is on straight the foot will be in the same position in relation to the piecing line. If not you should ease the top back or forward until the foot is level with the seam. Once it is in the correct position you should place a vertical pin on the edge of the border to hold it in place. If the border is quite deep you might want to place another pin in front of the foot too.

Do this to the left edge and then to the right

Make sure that the vertical border seams are vertically straight by setting your vertical channel locks and moving the machine vertically.

Baste the top and sides less than 1/4"from the edges of the top (this stitching does not have to be removed as it is inside the binding).

If you have manipulated your vertical sashings so that they are straight you might notice that some of the blocks are a little smaller or larger than they should be and you can quilt them to elimate fullness.

When you've quilted that area of the quilt you need to roll on and manipulate the top again vertically and horizontally to make sure it is laying straight.

When you get almost to the end (you can see the bottom edge of the top, you need to take the centre pin that is on the top and pin it to the centre of the backing and batting and then pin the edges as you did at the beginning, then pin the endge of the top and baste.

You should then get to the end and not have a curve or excess fabric.

This is easier to show than tell but if its not clear email me and I'll try to explain it another way.

Best wishes

Sue in Australia

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  • 4 months later...

I have been doing so well, until today. I am trying to load a quilt to start a pantograph pattern. Once loaded, when facing the machine from the front, the left side was very loose. I completely unloaded everything, squared up the back and reloaded everything. It still looks loose, but I thought maybe it was just me so I stitched a reference line before floating the quilt top. I started stitching about an inch away from the top, left corner of the backing and batting, and by the time I got to the other side I was less that half an inch from the top. What am I doing wrong? It was so loose the first time that the machine would not stitch. I haven't tried it again, because this is a customer's quilt and I really don't want to mess it up. Help!!

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Today is a new day! When you unloaded did everything measure up evenly? Droopy backs happen. I use large safety pins, leaving them open and pin the daylights out of the quilt after it is loaded.

Sort of a baste as you go, keeping everything squared up, even as you load to float. Eventually, things will line up and you wonder where all the fullness went. It can be time consuming, but I picked up on the tip from Pam Clarke of Pam Clarke designs. She pin bastes her quilts. In doing a pantograph, maybe you could pin around and single stitch baste the row you are in. Good luck!

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After loading, unloading, resquaring, reloading, and quilting, the thought crossed my mind, briefly, that my backing fabric may now not be long enough. I was to the last two rows of pantograph and my worst nightmare happened. My backing fabric is about 2 inches shorter then the quilt top. So what now? I have unloaded the entire mess....I am guessing that I need to sew about 8-10 inches of backing fabric to the quilt and try to reload. Can anyone let me know....I will not give up - I will learn to do this.

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Mary Beth;

Sounds like a rough few days. Yep, this has happened to most of us at the begining, but dont fret , it does get awesomely better. On the present issue when this happened to me I just sewed on the xtra 8 inches like you said and it was fine. Also just in case this isnt something you allready know I always "MAKE SURE" my back is at least 8 inches (Minimum) longer and wider than my top. If it isnt which is rare as I normally measure while the customer is in studio , I have them take it back and add on the additional to make sure it meets that minimum xtra, and if I dont catch it while they are there, I call them and have them come and pick it up to add on. Alot of folks bring their tops and backs thinking that an inch extra is enough. Trust me on this dont let the clients get into the habit of scimping on backing , it'll make your life a living heck.

Jamie

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Thank you Jamie for the reply. In the beginning I did measure the backing to be 8 inches longer, however, I guess when I took it off the rollers and squared it up again I cut the excess off. I didn't think I "squared" that much, but I guess I did. Anyway, I stopped last night so they wouldn't need to take me to the loony bin, and will continue today. I will sew on the extra fabric and try it again. I love this site, you all are so helpful.

Mary

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HI, Mary Beth, Where are you in the Kansas City area? Do you know about the longarm guild? Hope you solved your quilt problem.

One of my first ones was a flannel (top and back) with Delux Quilter's Dream batting. I ended up sewing an addition on the backing by unpinning just the bottom and scooting my sewing table along the bottom as I sewed more fabric on! Luckily it was one of mine. Jeri

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Hi Mary Beth

The things I would check for this problem are:

That the backing is square (you did this)

That you have rolled the backing on evenly. If the backing has seams and they are running vertically to the rollers that you have finger pressed the seams flat as you rolled the backing onto the roller. Where there are seams the backing will be tighter to the rollers because of the extra thickness.

If the seams are running parallel with the rollers that the seam remains straight as you roll on.

If the backing is pieced, that the grain of the fabric runs the same way on all pieces. If not it will stretch differently.

Finally but least likely if you haven't encountered this problem before, that the sides of the table where the rollers are bolted to are both out an equal distance from the take up roller. Meaning that the distance inside the take-up roller to the No 2 roller is the same at both ends of the table.

Hope something here will help.

Best wishes

Sue in Australia

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Jeri, I have attended one meeting of the MO-KAN Machine Quilter's Guild - then I got a full time job and have not been able to attend again. Today I go for an interview for a part time job at a local fabric store - then I should be able to attend more meeting and even join. I loved the one meeting I attended, they had such good information and the upcoming speakers are another reason for a part time job!!

Thank you all for the helpful information. I noticed someone has a post to find out if there is anyone who can help with squaring the back - I am anxiously awaiting a response to that one. In the mean time I will re-read your responses and put them into practice.

Have a great day,

Mary

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HI Mary Beth, Sorry I didn't get back to you, have had the grandkids for a couple of days. Triplet 2 yr boys and 3 yr big sis-so they do keep gramma busy!!

Good luck on your interview. Which fabric store?

The guild is great! So much support from everyone. Meadow Lyon is doing the program on pantos this month --it's this coming Thurs. if it fits in your schedule.

I need all the help I can get on pantos (grins)--I love working from the front of the machine. I'll try to e-mail you with my phone # maybe we can get together. There are several APQS owners in the area. Jeri

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I have decided that this was "just one of them days!!" Let me tell you all how this finally worked out.

1. Loaded the quilt, but upper left corner was "loose".

2. Completely unloaded the quilt, back, and batting.

3. Resquared the back, (Had already squared the back before #1).

4. Reloaded back, top and batting.

5. Things were going surprisingly well, until I got to the last 2 rows of pantograph quilting and realized that the quilt top was about 2 inches longer than the quilt back.

6. Unloaded everything again - without uttering one, single, word!!

7. Set entire mess aside for one week!!

8. One week later, while pressing seam of backing - lightly scorched the fabric. Still no words.

9. Since the scorch did not show on the right side of the fabric, and it was very faint, (just like me at that point), I went on.

10. Reloaded the entire quilted mess and finished the quilting job.

11. Not watching close enough, I quilted right over a flower head pin. Luckily it perferated the pin head so it just came right off - hope I never do that again - timing.

12. While removing the quilt from the frame for the last time (hopefully), I noticed that at some point one of those blasted flower head pins had pricked my finger and I dropped a couple of drops of blood on the back, last week. (Thank the good Lord it wasn't the top).

Let me just say that Spray and Wash on a q-tip worked wonderfully. Then I used a damp towel to clean off the S&W.

The good news, I am just as sane today as I was before I started that quilt - whatever that is!! The better news is, I refuse to give up. I will be a quilter!! Maybe not show quality, but I will make my momma proud!!

Thank you for your help while I was trying to get through this. It helps to know that you all are out there.

Mary Beth

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am a relatively patient person...except with myself, so I anticipate that I will need to install a Whine bar in my quilting room. My machine is not due until september and I'm still waiting for the equity line for the construction project.

One thing to consider. I know we are all a frugal bunch, but don't you think it is better to waste 1/2 yard of backing than to have to pin un pin and pin again because the backing runs short?

I prefer a zinfandel....:P

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I was haveing a simular problem and discovered my leader fabric was scrunched up close to the roller. I guess it will be wise to completely unroll each leader occasionally. This may not be your problem but sure made a difference for me.

I lunged in the other day and ordered a Millie. Now the long wait. It will be worth it tho.

Audria with a Quilted Heart.

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Thank you for your shoulders!! Wow, what a time that was. But I found out you were right - today is a new day. I have not ran out of backing fabric again- yet! I will check the leaders and make sure they are not bunched up, that made sense. I wouldn't mind using more fabric, but I find that too much is a little hard to handle. I am allowing a little more now. I really appreciate you all and your kind advice.

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