Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have read several messaages about floating quilt tops. Can someone please tell me what the advantage of floating is? I have a stack and whack top that needs quilting. I sewed it together on point, with sashings between the squares. I have been procrastinating on quilting it as I am leary of the blocks being on the bias and maybe stretching as I quilt. Would floating the top be the best way to do it? Thanks for your suggestions in advance.

Naomi Ames

APQS Millennium

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can explain to you what floating a quilt top is, but as far as the advantages with the top that you are doing, someone may be better at that than me, I will let them answer it.

When you float a top, you dont pin all three layers to the take up roller. you pin the backing to the feeder and take up roller and then pin the top to the feeder. Then roll out your backing and line up your batting and top and use the machine to stich the top to the batting, all four sides.

The advantage of this is that you can stich all the way to the edges and even over them so that your all over design does not have gaps.

I love floating tops, it is so much easier, and it give you flexiblity to go off the edges and not get your clips stuck on the base. You can also sew the binding onto the top this way as well. I love that cause I dont have to fight to get the binding on large quilts on my DSM.

Hope this answers your question about what a floating top is.

Blessings and hugs

Tracey

Link to post
Share on other sites

Naomi, I find that floating the top (and the batting) save time and it lets me quilt right up to the very edge of the top. I also found that I could keep the quilt top smoother and straighter than when it was wound on a roller.

Once I have the backing pinned to the feeder and take up roller, I put the batting and quilt top in place about 1" from the top of the backing. At that point I baste across the top about 1/4" from the edge. I do not baste the sides but I pin down the area I'm quilting if needed. Each time I advance the quilt I make certain that the top is lined up to the same ruler markings on the leaders as it was when I started. (Example: If the quilt top is 80" wide then each edge should line up to the 40" mark on the left and the right side as you advance the quilt.)

When I get to the last section of the quilt, I baste the bottom of the quilt top about 1/4" from the edge before I complete the quilting. This method is working very well for me and the quilts are squared up nicely when I remove them from the machine.

I hope this helps you. If you have more questions just let us know.

Happy Quilting !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like we all have our own little method for loading/floating. I suppose there's no right or wrong way but whatever works for each of us is "right".

I load the backing on both rollers, then I load the top on roller #2, carefully rolling it to keep it straight and even. Then I sandwich my batting in, put the channel lock on and baste a straight line across the batting. Now I have a perfectly straight line onto which I pin the top edge of the top. Actually I pin just a tad down from the line so the line is cut away when the quilt is trimmed.

After pinning the top edge of the quilt to the straight line, before adding any tension, I run another basting line across the top of the quilt. I found that by pinning the top and then adding tension, I could get a little distortion along the top edge so now I baste, remove the pins, put the tension on the quilt.

I do not baste the sides as I'm quilting. I make sure to keep the quilt straight and even as I'm quilting but I do everything as I'm rolling the quilt. If I have to change threads, I do so with each pass.

I rarely turn the quilt to do borders as I try to do them as I go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gee, I didn't even ask the question and what a revelation! I have been pinning all three layers to the take up roller as I have seen in the Sally Terry video I received. This seems so much easier and less time consuming! One question, I HAVE, is what speed do you run your machine to get those longer basting stitches. Do you turn on you stitch regulator?

How do you not turn on the stitch regulator? Do you just push the blue button on the right handle? Thanks, so much! I feel so enlightened!:D:P

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, to run the machine without the S/R, just hit the button on the right hand only.

As far as making long stitches, I don't worry a whole lot about it. I set the S/R on the lowest number and loosen the top tension WAY loose. That way, it's very easy just to pull the stitches out if it matters and the only time I can see that it would matter is if someone is turning the edges over instead of cutting and adding binding.

I just leave the stitches in and no one has ever said anything. On my own quilts, the binding covers them.

I'm glad you feel enlightened! ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I am basting my sides, I do it as I go along, meaning that I stich them as I roll my quilt forward.

I dont change my stich length. I run the S/R all the time so whatever I am using on the quilt, I use on my basting. It saves the time of changing them around all the time. I also tried to get as closed to the edge of the fabric as I can, that way when the binding gets put on it does not show through. So make sure you have less than 1/4 inch between the edge and your stiching.

I have tried to stich to the ends without basting and the ends get caught up in the needle and foot and causes problems.

The other thing too is that Judy had sent me directions on how to sew the binding onto the quilt, while on the machine. You have to use the floating top method to do it. She got it off of gadget girls website.

I had done about 10 community service quilts on the machine for the soliders overseas. I put the binding on them while they were on the machine, great practice. It was not that hard.

Now that I am comfortable doing it, I can offer that to my customers for an additional fee.

I can take a picture when I get back up to my roost (my sewing room). Today I am on the couch with a cold bug.

Blessings and hugs

Tracey

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Linda S

I pretty much use the method Judy does, except I baste my backing to my zippers. Then I pin the sides as I go down the quilt, removing them before I roll to the next spot. I like the "half-float" method a little better, as I don't have to worry so much about keeping the top straight.

Linda

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying to float a quilt top for the first time...

I have mounted backing to both take up rollers and sewed a scant 1/8 inch across the top of the batting and backing. I then sewed a scant 1/8 inch across the top of the quilt top to tack it to the other two layers and have pinned the sides of the three layers together.

Do I now have to stabilize this quilt by sewing down the sides and a row across the bottom before I can quilt it allover OR can I meander from the top down like usual?

I got all confused after reading this Linda Taylor book where she says to always stabilize all four sides before quilting centers. Is that correct? I have never read that before or done it that way for that matter...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heidi: I'm not quite sure I understand the question but I'll tell you step by step what I do and maybe that will help. If you have questions again in the morning, you are welcome to call me if that will help.

I do the same things you've talked about as far as basting the batting down to the backing and then basting the top edge of the quilt down.

Now . . it depends on what I'm doing. If I'm doing a panto and I'm at the back of the machine, I am working from my right to my left (which may or may not be right . . remember I taught myself). So, I am starting out at the far right hand side of the machine (when I'm at the back). If I'm back at the front of the machine, I pin both sides of the edges just as far as I'm going to quilt on one or two rows (depending on the panto -- basically just the area that is available for quilting. I baste down the edge that I'm starting on (which would be the right side if I'm at the back of the machine) but I only pin the other side because sometimes while quilting, a little bit will shift. When I get over close to that left edge, I stop, take the pins out maybe reposition them so they aren't going to get run over with the needle. If everything looks nice and flat and straight, I may just leave the pins out. At the point where I stop to check things out though, I'm only about 1/2 - 1" from the edge.

Now . . if I'm working at the front of the machine, I will machine baste the edge where I'm starting. If I'm going left to right, then I machine baste the left edge but never the right edge, just in case the fabric moves over that way a little bit. It shouldn't but sometimes it does.

I pretty much always stitch the borders and everything . . changing thread as needed. IF for some reason I am not stitching the borders, I just pin them.

Also, I try not to leave any center areas unquilted. Suppose I have navy borders and a navy center with some ecru in between the center and the borders. I would start with the navy center, then do the ecru sections, then do the navy sections. Again . . just in case the fabric shifts a little, I'm working my way toward the outer edges.

If I stitch the navy center, then the navy borders (to keep from changing thread, then I go back and do the ecru, sometimes I will get little puckers at the edges.

I hope tihs makes sense.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I was really disappointed with the instructions that came with my older Ultimate 2. There were no pictures showing how it all fit together and no good things on a video called Gone Quilting. Is this the best they have? I was really stumped on it for a while now I think I'm on the right track. I've only done it once and it scared me. I loved it once I got it on. I had a few little bumps on the back. I was just dring all over practicing pantos and such. Do any of the good teachers use APQs and make videos showing our rollers? All of the videos I've been studying use Gammill Systems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A tip I picked up from Sue Schmeiden in Wisconsin was to use the channel locks when floating tops. You can use widely spaced pins across the top to aproximate by eye where the top should be, but using the channel locks insures that the top is square with the frame. You can remove the pins as you stitch across the top.

Sue also uses the vertical channel locks basting the sides of the quilt as she quilts down the quilt. She uses a dry erase marker to mark on the plastic where the quilt machine head is located (both rt and lt) and then "fits" the sides of the quilt each time she advances the quilt. This really does insure a square quilt.

There are times that I don't stitch the sides of the quilt as I go. Some of the outside borders need more "goof room" than that. It really depends on how the borders have been attached to the quilt. But, I almost always mark where the head of the machine is to keep things running vertically straight and pin the edges with 3-4 pins each side. I find that as the quilt is advanced onto the take up roller, it tends to pull toward the middle. I actually go around and smooth from the middle out on each side to keep things rolling straight. The lines on the plastic give you the reference needed.

I have been floating quilt tops for over four years now and still find I can refine the process as other people share what they do. I really like using the channel locks. Boosts my confidence.

Vicki

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I float a top, I use the channel locks to stitch down the batting across the top. I then use that straight line to line up the top. Instead of using the edge of the top to line up, I use the seam of the first border. That way, if the border is wavy or stretched, you have a better chance of getting things straight from the seam line. After I lay the top on, I mark on the back lower roller with blue painters tape where the sides end. Then when I advance, I can smooth as I go to try to keep things square. The idea of marking on the plastic is a better idea. What a lot of great information and sharing goes on here!!Thanks!

Linda Rech

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

I'm not sure what Paigeamber is asking...

But I added a 4th pole to my ULT II which is the batting pole.....so when I float a top the backing and batting are attached to each of their tension poles and they go though and are pinned to the take-up leader....then I baste or pin the top down the 3 or 4 inchs from the pole that is needed to center the top and off we go.

I sometimes baste the sides depending on how wavy they are or how the design is sitting on the outside borders if the quilting goes to the very edge I don't bother, but if there is a space and there is a chance the binding will ripple I always baste the sides.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Bonnie, for your answer. I know I didn't explain myself well, but you figured it out. I wanted to know if either the top and/or the batting were attached to the other rail. According to your explanation, the batting is attached to the take up and fourth pole, but the top is left loose on the other end, except where it's pinned on the side area you're working on. Clear as mud? Paigeamber

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paigeamber,

Well, that's how I do it....I know that some pin only the backing to the takeup leader and they then baste the batting to the backing....I personally don't feel I get a even enough tension on the batting when doing it that way so that's why I pin both.

However, I didn't tell you that I also pin the top to its tension pole as well.....I use that to keep the correct tension on the top until the last wrap and then I release it from the pole...that way the sides and the bottom corners don't get pulled out of shape, and I don't have to square up the bottom corners as much.

When quilting the material shrinks some and if I don't release the bottom of the top its further out than the rest, so I release it on the last wrap or maybe the second to last depending on how much shrinkage I get.

hope I didn't confuse you more. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pageiamber...

Here is a site hosted by A-1 Quilting Machines....its step by step instructions by Elaine Gilmore on how to float a quilt top. Her method is the way most of the girls do it....including me, but I have tweeked it a bit to make things easier for me. Good Luck

http://www.a1dealers.net/dealer_tip.cfm?ID=23&lesson_id=41

Bonnie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...