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Flat Quilt top?

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I am relatively new to longarm quilting. I have a APQS Millennium with stitch regulator and I just finished a quilt top - a square in a square foundation pieced "I Spy" child's quilt. When I finished it, my points all matched perfectly and the quilt could not have laid flatter - not a single bump or "blousy" block. I put it on the machine - pinned it and it really looked good. However, as I was quilting, I found that it just didn't lay flat in all places as I worked my way across the quilt. Some blocks appeared to be blousy than others and with an overall meandering stitch, some of the blocks just seemed to have excess fabric... I'm so disappointed.

What am I doing wrong? I have done other quilts (a drunkard's path) with a overall meandering and it came out great.

Any tips would be most helpful. I'm preparing to put a log cabin on the machine and I'm a little nervous.

Thanks in advance!

Mary

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Mary,

Sometines the culprit isn't the top, it's the backing. If the backing isn't square on the top and the bottom, the quilting won't roll flat. If the side aren't square, it is very difficult sometimes to determine where the middlle of the quilt is so that you can pin it centrally. My customers rarely bring me a square backing...

Another thing that I do to keep things on track is to baste the left side of the quilt with the machine as I move down, so that the layers don't shift.

Does this help?

Kathy


kathy martinez

Seattle Longarm Quilting

Lake Forest Park, WA

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Mary, If you suspect a quilt is not square (flat is good, but square is better) measure through the center like you were going to add borders, and compare that measurement to the edge.

If you are off more than an inch or so, measure from the center of your leaders- whatever 1/2 the center measurement was, and ease the quilt into that measurement. That will help square things up.

Another trick is to use a "loftier" batting. I like Hobbs 80/20 to help take up poochie-ness.

Good luck, you'll get good at "needy" tops after a while....

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Hi Mary,

How well you are making a top, the fact that you are working with different fabrics, and different sides of the fabric - bias or not - will disturb the quilt top, And the only way you will notice this, is when you have mounted the backing, batting and top at your machine.

I always use polyester batting, when I have a distorted quilttop from customers, and you can see this before hand, when measuring the four sides of the quilt. If it is a square quilt, and the four sides are not at the same size, I cannot just cut a piece away, but use loft batting, so the distortion will be quilted away.

Also when blocks are not square, or not equal to each other - I notice this when working with circles or spirals - it is sometimes difficult to work things out, but over all things will be ok after quilting!

Good quilting!

Sylvia Kaptein

Sylka-Mode

www.sylkamode.com


Sylvia Kaptein

Sylka-Mode

www.sylkamode.com

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I have discovered that quilts that are pieced on point which contain diagonally set blocks have way more stretch and if you pull them as you quilt, it will cause lots of problems. So you should consider floating the top if it stretches (test before you load it). If it floats on the back and batting you can measure and reposition the top as you work. Maybe this was the case with your top?

Sue


Sue Tennill

The Quilting Room

McKinney, TX

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Hi Mary,

I'm not sure what you mean.

a square in a square foundation pieced

Does that mean that you used that foundation stuff that looks like heavy interfacing and you lay your cut fabric on it (sometimes ironing it) and then sew the seams?

If that is what you mean, I have only worked with it once and that foundation added bulk at the intersections. I had to drive around the intersection or get bogged down. I can see where you might drag/scootch the quilt over as you

are quilting it.

I like the float method. I don't mind that the quilt top is hanging down, so is the batting. ;) And I like to baste or pin baste the sides to minimize the drift to the right that you can sometimes get when you float a quilt. I have markers on the

quilttop roller (small pieces of PVC) that mark were the left side, center and right sides were when I started the quilt. With it floating, I can make any small adjustments as I go.


Linda Card

APQS Chat Member since August 2005

Ramona Quilter Longarm Quilting Service (Retired Dec 2013)
Gammill Optimum Plus (sold to a friend Dec 2013)
Ramona, CA (Moved to Central Texas Sep 2014)

My webshots site: http://community.webshots.com/user/legcard (not active)
Blog site: http://ramona-quilter-big-dream.blogspot.com/ (not updated in months)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. I made sure my next quilt backing was very square - the top measured square and appeared to lay flat, once again and used a Quilter's Dream cotton/poly batting. I had absolutely no trouble with the quilt at all - so I'm guessing the backing was the problem. Such a simple resolution - thank you all!

Mary

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