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my table is too small

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Hi all,

A customer brought me a quilt which is 112 inch square but my table is only 10 feet.

Is there anyone out there who tried to do a quilt bigger than her table?

I thought I maybe could fold the excess and quilt for instance 80 inch to begin with and when I am done, take the quilt off and than start all over again and quilt the remaining 35 inch. It is a block pattern, every block has a separate pattern, that may make it easier.

I did not promise her yet that I would do it, but she really wasn't able to face the prospect of quilting the whole thing by hand.

Is it possible you think? Has someone experience with it?


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You can put 112" on a 120" roller. It's a tight fit, but possible. I also have a ten foot table and I just took off a 110" quilt. It was very close and I put it on the frame with the head over on the quilt. I hope not to ever have to do this again, but this was for a niece. I had hoped APQS would offer (as in trade) the longer frame to those who bought the Lenni with the 10' table, which was all that was offered at the time I bought mine.

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It is very difficult to quilt something that is wider than your leaders. Loading is a problem because not only do you have extra top, there is extra batting and backer which is almost impossible to keep straight and maintain tension upon.

If you load one side at the very edge of the leader, the other side will of course hang over the opposite end. As you advance the quilt, the extra top, batting, and backer which almost certainly must be folded back upon themselves, will load a double thickness as the quilt advances. Before you get to the center of the quilt, that one side will cause stress on the rest of the quilt. I can't see how it will be possible to get a good result.

Maybe smarter minds than mine have solved this problem...good luck!:o

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What if you do what Linda describes but add a section of batting equal to the remaining section of quilt top that is not folded back onto itself? I am probably not describing this well.

If you decide to quilt the left side of the quilt over 80" fold the remaining quilt top and batting over onto the quilt top and the backing onto itself. With this method you will quilt the entire length of the 80". Each time you advance a quilted section onto the take-up roller lay a piece of 80" wide x 18" long piece of thick batting (or 2 layers of regular batting) to make up for the doubled over quilt top, batting and quilt backing.

You would have to use the 80" wide sections only as long as your quilted area (approximately 18") because longer sections of batting will get in the way of your quilting.

If you have pieces of leftover thicker batting this might be feasible otherwise you will have to sacrifice a full size batting.

Once you have the left 80" quilted remove the quilt sandwich from the frame and lay out the quilt aligning the unquilted side to make sure it is parallel to the quilted side. Place chalk or blue H20 eraseable pen markings on the right hand side of the quilt to help with alignment.

By this I mean lay out the quilt so it is square and place markings on both the quilt top and the backing every 6" so that you can keep the top aligned with the backing so the quilting remains square. While the quilt is off the frame you can trim the left side so there is less bulk.

Place the quilt back on the frame this time with the left side doubled over on itself for the first 30". That will give you room to quilt the right side. Remember to make sure the markings are aligned and pin together if necessary to ease in any bulk that may have occured by quilting this way. You will still have to add the thick batting sections to the quilted area before advancing onto the takeup roller to keep the quilt advancing evenly.

I am sure that the last few rows that you quilt will have quite a bit of bulk on the takeup roller and therefore you will not be able to quilt all the way to the front of the machine. It might take you an extra pass to get the final length of the quilt done.

Now that being said I have never done this and it is only a suggestion. I would try this on muslin to make sure it is even possible.

The last advice I have is that the above advice is only possible if you do not need to turn the quilt to do the borders. If you want to turn the quilt to do the borders then I would approach it differently. It would require a lot more manipulation of the quilt. Because you would have to do one of two things.

1)Do exactly as above basting down the borders as you quilt the inside blocks and then once both sides are done you will have to turn the quilt 90 degrees and repin to the takeup leader the first 60" or the edge then fold over the remaining section of quilt onto itself and attach both edges to the remaining section of the leader that will allow you to use your side clamps to stabilize the quilt. Hopefully the border is not too wide and you will be able to quilt the free section in one pass. Then unpin and do the same to the opposite side. If you have the C-clamps to temporarily secure the free end of the quilt to the quilt backing roller other wise you will have to secure it with pins to the leader. Remember to place the quilt underneath the quilt top roller so that the quilt remains level.

2) This suggestion requires a lot more fuss and manipulation. Fold both borders back on themselves as you quilt the inside blocks adding fat batting as mentioned above each time you advance the quilted sections onto the take-up roller. Mark both sides as mentioned above to keep quilt top square. pin baste, spray baste, or hand baste for stability as borders are not quilted. Turn quilt 90 degrees and quilt the side borders as described above.

I hope this makes a little sense to you as it is late and I am beginning to confuse myself. This is probably something that is better understood if it was demonstrated rather than explained in this lengthy post.

Once again this is only a suggestion I have never done this and I highly reccomend that you try it out on a sacrificial muslin practice quilt. The sections of thick quilt batting you use for your practice piece can be reused on your "real quilt as they are just used when advancing the quilted sections onto the take-up bar to maintain an even advancement of the quilt sandwich.

Hope this helps.

Good Luck as this will be a big undertaking!!!


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Thank you Janice, yes sometimes it jùst fits, but this one is absolutely too big.

Linda I realised that it would give a hump on the right side and you are probably right, it will destabilze the whole quilt.

Lisa, you have really thought it through. I have read your instructions thrice to fully understand it and it seems to me that I am taking some risk to make this quilt. I didn't for instance realise that the bulk on the pickup roller would be so big that it would get in the way and decrease the throat of the machine considerably. That is something you realise when you have advanced quite a bit and by than it will be too late. Your mail made me aware of a lot of problems I did not even think of.

Maybe I should advice her to look for someone who has a 12 feet table. The problem is that there are not so many longarmers in Holland, maybe less than 10, I'm not sure. The thing is that I do not like to deliver a quilt that has a good chance of being imperpect.

I will think about it some more.

thank you for thinking along with me.


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