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floating quilt tops

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My version is more like a partial float...

1) I first load my backing fabric on the leader that is marked quilt back, rolling up the backing fabric until there is just enough to reach the take up bar when pulled towards it.

2) Then I load my quilt top to the leader which is marked quilt top and roll up the quilt top almost all the way.

3) Then I lay my batting over the quilt back bar so the one edge is even with the backing...then pull both the backing and batting together to the take up leader and attatch. Pull up the slack of backing and batting.

4) While the Horizontal channel locks are on I will stitch a line across the batting and backing about 3" down form the leader.

5) I then pull the quilt top edge to the line just stitched over lapping a 1/8"-1/4", & pin. While the channel lock is still activated I will stitch another line right over the one I already stitched.

6) Then I will deactivated the channel lock and quilt as normal, advancing the quilt as needed. When I reach the bottom of the quilt top I will detatch the bottom of the quilt top from the leader, pin the quilt top in place and baste stitch it in place, remove the pins and finish my last row of quilting.

This way when I get to the bottom of the quilt it is still square (this works the best for me). Now if I ever have to quilt a odd shape or round quilt top I would do a full float to avoid any unneccissary stretching of the bias.


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  • 3 years later...

Judy, I am very new with a friend's used Freedom SR and have played with machine 1 day. Did take a quick class on an HQ16 a few months ago, so kind of remember loading quilt tops. I am confused about how you float your quilt. You said

"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.."

When you pin the top to the feeder, does that mean the "roller" closest to your abdomen if standing at front of machine head, or what manual referred to as "#3, Quilt Back" or is it roller "#1, "Pick-Up roller" behind the machine head or farthest away from my abdomen? I am using a zipper system, so I would load backing, then take the top and pin it approx. 2 inches below zipper basted backing on the #1 roller, one that is farthest away from the abdomen? The roller #2, Quilt Top, is not used I am assuming when floating a quilt?

Thanks in advance and hope my question does not sound dumb!

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I hope I can explain it without adding to the confusion.

1. I load the quilt back to the take up roller and the quilt back roller. The take up roller is the roller on the back of the machine and the quilt back roller is the lower of the two on the front of the machine.

2. I place the batting on the backing with it hanging over the front between the two front rollers.

3. Using my channel lock, I run a row of stitching across the batting & backing about an inch or two down from the edge.

4. Next I align the edge of the quilt along the line stitched in step 3 and pin through all layers. The quilt top hangs over the front between the two front rollers just as the batting does.

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