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Basting the sides of the quilt


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I've always quilted from one end to the other (top to bottom as opposed to doing anything fancy in the middle and working out from there) and so as I roll the quilt I baste the left side so that it doesn't shift or pull, but I'm always unsure what to do about the right side. This assumes working from the front of the machine. How to you more experienced quilters treat the edges of a quilt as you work down the length? I'm concerned about basting the right side since sometimes the quilt scoots a bit to the right as I stitch across the width and then there is a bit of the top bunched up against basting stitches.

I have a top on the frame now and am ready to start quilting and want to do piano keys around the border, then use Circle Lord boards for the body of the quilt but am unsure whether to SID around the border before I start, or what order do do the stitching in.

I know you will have the answer! :D

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You are going to get a ton of answers from a ton a people on this, but I was told from the beginning TO never do the borders and then come back to do the center. DO the center first if you have to start there and then come back out and do the borders.

You pin baste or SEW baste your sides down on both sides...and this goes for the top edge as well.... and on each row the left side then the right side and then do your design work

With your idea of piano keys. I would do the piano keys as far as I can reach...left side across the top and down the right side then do the center... if you have good tension on the quilt and all is flat and no slumping on the bottom fabric, you or a slack center of the top you shouldn't have any sifting. HOWEVER if you have slack in the center I would do the center first and then the borders... IF you have a slump on the backer I would stuff batting into the rollers to take up the slack...and make it flat, you will wonky your backing a bit, but a slumpy back means normally that its not square and isn't rolling on the pole equally.

Make your next roll check to see if the slump is still there and if not then...piano key the left edges do the body and the then the right side piano key...moving down the quilt this way to the bottom....keeping an eye on the fabrics as you roll.

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Carmen,

I try to be extra careful when rolling to a new area of the quilt, to make sure the back doesn't have any puckers on the roller bar and that the side clamps are pulling the back taut. Then I take a lot of time to hand press the top, making sure it is fully extended and flat from the center out to the sides, then I baste both left and right edges. I also avoid basting down too close to roller #2 (holds the quilt top), because the quilt sandwich is not properly stretched out at that point.

There is a fine line between having the quilt sandwich too stretched out and taut so that the thread breaks, and not having it stretched out enough so that you get puckers. The trick is finding the balance. I hope this makes sense. Let us know how it goes!

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Carmen,

I change my methods depending on the quilt but for the most part this is how I do quilts that require me to roll back and forth. First I get the quilt square on the frame and square as I roll. I baste the top first then each side. Then I put the clamps on after I've done the initial basting. Next I decided where to start. If it has one border I sid that border up the left, across the top and down the right stopping where I have to. Next I got into the center of the quilt. If it has blocks I SID those or do the inner quilting. If the background is densly quilted I leave that until the end. I pin any unquilted areas well! I can't stress that enough. If it is a whole cloth I look for things that might act as a stabilizing element. Outline major shapes, lines, etc. Again fill as much as I can without doing too much dense quilting. Now I look at the border. If the border has a motif stitched in it I'd do that. If it has piano key's I may or may not do those, depending on how much quilting I've done in the rest of the quilt to this point. If it is a dense filled border and I can't do it in parts then I'd pin it in and roll. Again pin the snot out of it! Roll and continue until I get to the end. This process has worked out pretty well for me. I've found that the more time I take to stabilize the area the better. If you start to do dense quilting before you roll to the next section you will have a bear of a time trying to keep that quilt straight and square on the sides...at least that is my problem. Oh and I tend to keep my sandwich pretty tight. Not too tight so that a quarter would bounce off it but not saggy in the slightest.

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I also baste each side. If I'm doing a blk pattern I usually start in the middle of the row I'm on and work out. If there is any backing movement I'll just take my basting stitches out and redo them. If I have bunching on the right (I usually move left to rt on the front of the machine) it's because I pulled my top fabric too tight to get it to be the correct measurement. As I move down the quilt I try to keep the same measurement, let's say the quilt is 80x90, I measure each row to insure it is 80" across. I also use the channel lock to move across the quilt and see that it is even. Let me tell you, it's rare that it all works out but it seems to come fairly close. The last quilt I did looked so square but things didn't work out that way. It was about 1" difference when I got to the bottom. Oh well, I did the best I could. When I start in the middle of a quilt it seems to shrink up for me and the last row looks like an hour glass. What do I do wrong? I also tried floating and it was a terrible disaster. I also tend to keep the quilt tight. If I don't I'm sure to get puckers on the backing. I find a pieced backing is harder to work with because the darn seams don't give.

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