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Its been discussed many ways many days, one more time please

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Well, if you were going to deliver the coffee and cheesecake, I might take you up on it; but since you're not...forget it!!;)

Okay, Monika, I'll send you what Tina sent to me. I did exactly as she said for squaring and attaching zippers...


Requested: Squaring Leaders- "How-To"

*I had previously posted this in another forum and was asked to repost the info here. The original post was about quilts not rolling up evenly..

Have you squared your leaders? Even if the machine is new... the leaders may not be perfectly square to your table. Also, if you have had your machine a while, maybe your leaders have stretched or been skewed by improper rolling... For example, if you advance the quilt without making sure to pull the leader tightly back to the right side after quilting right to left. When you quilt in one direction the quilt may migrate a little. This small distance of migration will be compounded dramatically over the length of the quilt, eventually resulting in leaders that have been stretched and skewed.

Here's the way to check:

1.) Pin your pick-up leader to your quilt lining leader.

2.) Roll the leaders all the way onto the pick-up roller keeping the tension between the leaders fairly tight.

3.) Then roll the leaders back all the way onto the quilt lining roller, again keeping the tension between the rollers tight.

4.) Now roll back to the middle, where the pinned leader edges are in your sewing field.

5.) Using your channel lock, stitch a horizontal line (on the pick-up leader) as close to the pinned edge as possible.

6.) Move your needle below the pinned edges and sew another horizontal line (using your channel lock) on the quilt lining leader as close to the pinned edges as possible.

These horizontal stitched lines on each leader will be perfectly square to your table. If you see a difference in length between the stitched line and the edge on the same leader, then your leaders are not square. Here's how to fix:

7.) Unpin your leaders.

8.) On each leader, turn down the edge, so that the stitched line is exactly on the edge of the leader and sew down.


P.S. Whoops! - Thought I had better add that I also stitch a new center line across both leaders using my vertical Channel lock while they are pinned together.... just to be sure!

After you have confirmed your leaders are square, then you can check to make sure the problem is NOT in your pick-up roller by simply placing a 90 degree square tool to measure the height of your pick-up roller from the table. Also, if you look at the eyebolts that hold the roller, you should see the same number of visible threads exposed. You can also place a level on each roller and adjust the eyebolts. This will only work IF your table is perfectly level.

To make sure your leaders are rolling up squarely every time, you can repeat steps 1 -6 and measure the distance between the stitched line and the STRAIGHT SQUARED edge to see if the distance remains the same across each individual leader.

I never use my quilt top leader, so I didn't mention it. If you do not full float, and are using this leader, you will have to square it as well (pin to the pick-up leader and proceed with the squaring process)

I place a piece of painter's tape on my quilt top leader right above both edges of the quilt to visually confirm that my quilt rolls up straight each time. Simply look to make sure the tape remains at both quilt edges after each advance.

I know this all sounds complicated, but it is really easy to do. Hope this helps!!

Tina Collins


Jackson, MO



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Hey Monika,

I haven't marked my zippers, but I think I would take two measuring tapes made from the soft fabric and stitch those down on my leaders with the longarm, rather than mark it with a sharpie. One of the tapes would be upside down but you could still read it.

Our dear Darlene Epp has fabulous instructions on how to install zippers. It's terrific with great photos, too

Click on this link and download the instructions:


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If one sews bias tape to their zippered leaders to attach quilt tops to, would the bias tape not get stretched and pulled off grain, possibly making the quilt top "skewed" or cattywampus when rolled up to be quilted? Hate to sound stupid, but I have just finished taking my first year of fashion design classes including draping and flat pattern making, and it has been told to me repeatedly to be careful when handling fabric on the bias as it stretches (and have had to redrape a piece -- even small -- as it was overworked) so would the bias tape stretch as well as it is made to stretch in order to bind around curves, etc.

Does one really use bias tape, or is it a strong twill tape cut on the lengthwise straight of grain, which has the least pull/stretch?

I am a newbie here so please forgive me if this is a dumb question!

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I've never heard of using bias tape. That sounds a little odd to me.

I sewed the 2" gross grain ribbon on one edge my zippers and then stitched the other edge of the zippers to my leaders. I pin (or stitch) to the gross grain ribbon so if I have to remove the quilt I can zip it off and it stays on ribbon area. This helps wear and tear on the zipper part of the fabric. I've had this set up for a year now and it works great. My gross grain ribbon is intact.

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I use the gross grain ribbon too. Works great. I haven't marked mine off in increments. I keep saying I will but then it just doesn't happen. LOL those darn quilts keep getting in my way! I think the marks would help if you had a top that was not square or to make sure you get it loaded square. I don't seem to have a problem with that so that is why it is such a low priority. I did have the marks on my old machine leaders.

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