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I have just started long arm quilting. I have successfully finished two small quilts with cotton backings. A friend gave me a small quilt to finish and provided fleece backing...which is very stretchy in one direction!!

Which way do I load this type of fabric, with the stretch on the rollers or along the length of the frame?? I would hate to destroy her beautiful quilt!

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It looks like quilters load both ways so try both ways and see what you like best.

I have done a few minkie backs. The key is keeping the back loose. I always load the selvage to the leaders. When I advance the quilt, if the sides are beginning to curl then the back is too tight and needs to be loosened.

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As everyone says, not stretching the fleece/Minkee is the key.

 

I cut muslin rectangles about four inches wide and twelve inches long to use as a base to clamp to. Wrap the fabric around the edge when the backer is slack and pin every two inches and parallel to the edge. This stabilizes the edge so the clamps don't stretch out the backer. Attach the clamps to the pinned fabric right on one of the pins and tighten the clamps elastic only until the backer is level. Make sure you use a curtain rod or yardstick to elevate the elastic/clamps barely to the level of the bed of the machine. Ease off on the roller-to-roller tension and all should be good.

If the backer is stretched, any curvy quilting you do will result in little balloons of fabric around the curves after the quilt is unloaded.

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