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Hey Ladies and Gents,

I have a question for those who have a better grasp of how the quilt sandwich will roll than I have. I have a large quilt back with 12 inch border all around. I explained to my customer that I wouldn't be able to center it and she is OK with that. But I would like to do the best I can. I am wondering where to place top. I know there is a relationship difference in the rolling process. Don't know if I am getting my point across but hopefully someone out there can understand my gibberish. Thanks for your help. K

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Centering the sides is easy. The top/bottom takes a bit of math. I draw the backer on paper and figure where the top would sit in a perfect situation---such as if the top is loaded 5 inches from the top edge of the backer, there would be 5 inches of backer left at the bottom. Then take into account the fact that the quilting will advance the top a bit (eating up maybe an inch of top over a 100" quilt) and the thickness of the batting (wool batting will make the top shorter than flat cotton batting will). Then I might load the top 6.5 inches down from the top edge instead of 5 inches down. Then I hope for the best...

 

Just as in woodworking, measure twice or three times, verify your plan, then go for it. As an added safety measure, I pin the top edge and methodically advance and smooth to the bottom edge. This eases my mind that I'm on the right track. 

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Looking at your backing it doesn't really matter.  I don't see a 12" border going all around.  I see a border on the right side and the bottom.  Load your backing so the quilt advances vertically (I may be the only one who does this).  When standing in front of my loaded quilt I like to see it with the top at the top.  It's easier to visualize what I want to do.  I would load the backing and watch my upper left corner.  You will lose some of the light colored fabric on the right side and the bottom, but you will lose it anyway.  The top left corner and the left side won't matter because the dark fabric goes clear to the end.

 

If it does, in fact, have a 12" border all the way around it then definitely follow Linda's instructions.

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I have a lot of customers who use two or more pieces of fabric to make the back.  I almost always mount the back with the seams parallel to the rollers.  I then take the corresponding top measurement, compare it with the backing measurement, and half the difference.  This is the how far from the top edge I set the top.  It doesn't exactly space the seam(s) in the back, but it's close.  I recently did just that with a pieced back, and got it almost exactly centered.

 

I mount parallel so that I don't have the seams rolling up on themselves resulting in tight and loose spots on the top.  On the pieced back quilt just completed, I did roll the top and back together after they were mounted to make sure they started and ended where I thought they would.  BTW, I did not put batting between them on the test roll.  Batting is just to difficult to handle to test.  Jim

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LOL, I don't do any measuring. I always lay out the top centered on the back and then mark the back with pins on the corners. When I load the back on the frame, I roll out until the pins appear and place the top. If I tried measuring and math who knows what or where would happen.

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Those are tricky.  What I usually do is find the center of the backer and measure up how ever many inches it is from the center of top to top.  So if the quilt is 90" I would find the center on the backer, measure up 45" and load the top on that mark.  It doesn't solve all the problems though because the batting can change it but it at least gets it close.  If I have a puffy batting I'll move up just a little bit more, maybe an 1/2" - 1".

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