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Can anyone out there tell how (and why) to float a quilt. I bought Linda Taylor's book and she has pictures, but I am still a little confused. I'm a newbie, what can I say?!

I did try this method and I had difficulty basting the top and sides down. I think part of the problem was the material, it was somewhat stretchy. The other problem I have is basting close to the edge - I keep going off. I also have some fear of getting my fingers too close and I know that doesn't help.

Thanks in advance for any advise you can give me.

Ema, APQS Ultimate I

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Ema: If you will search our past conversations, you'll find quite a few of them with some good discussion on floating. Go up to the blue bar near the top and you'll see "search" on the left. I just did it, putting in simply "float" and came up with lots of posts.

If you still have questions after reading those, post again and I'm sure you'll get plenty of help.

I do the partial float method where I pin the bottom of the top to the leader, then run a straight line across the batting/backing and pin the top to that line.

Good luck!

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Ema, I just posted some pretty detailed photos and notes on my webshots page for partially floating a quilt. I'm hoping this will help some of my customers understand why they need backings and battings larger than their tops!! I also have a few friends who are new quilters who have asked me how I load a quilt. Go to the loading a quilt album jeri

www.community.webshots.com/user/jerisstitchesintime

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Jeri--

How thoughtful of you to post current pictures. I will take a look tonight when I get home.

I did try my hand at floating a top - didn't do to bad. One thing that seemed hard (and it could be because I'm getting used to working with my Ultimate I) is basting the top to the batt and back. I had difficulty staying so close to the edge and also with sewing in little pleats on the edge. I do have an Extended Base on my machine. Do you think this is a problem? I pinned and would stop to take those out when I reached them. I was thinking perhaps some spray basting would have helped.

Thanks again Jeri for taking the time to update the pics. :D

Very grateful to have you,

Ema

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Ema, you might try using your ruler while sewing the top onto the backing & batting. That will help keep the top in place and your stitching stable and not weaving around, getting to close or too far from the edge. Pinning is good, I usually pin my tops down before I sew them. Just pin parallel to the edge, far enough away from your stitching line that you don't have to stop and remove them. Just a thought...

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Hi Emma,

I've posted pictures of how to load a quilt by "floating the top" on my website. It's under the Tips 'n Tricks page. Here's a direct link.

http://www.longarmsupplies.com/float_the_top.htm

One thing I now do differently is how I pin the top edge of the quilt top before basting. I now place the pins about an inch down from the edge and run them horizontally, instead of vertically. I used to just stitch over them. I never hit a pin, but there's always a chance I guess. This is a safer way for beginners to do it.

You can take lessons from 10 different teachers and get 10 different ways to load the quilt! Find what works best for you.

I load everything from the front of the machine instead of walking around to the back and partially loading from there. It just makes more sense to me, AND I'm facing the TV that way. :D

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Thanks Lynn and Darlene.

I will try the ruler and I think a little spray baste too. Also working from the front sounds like it might be easier. It doesn't feel comforable when I sew freehand (basting) from the back. But then again, lots of new things feel awkward on these big machines.

Darlene, I bought your 3 pocket guides and love them. I have been using paper and pen to practice like you suggested and it did seem to help once I tried the design (fractured feather) on my quilt.

I love women like you, who put out products that help us newbies. :D

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Hi everyone,

I just finished my first "floating Quilt" and it went pretty good. I knew the top I was working on wasn't square so I did the floating thing and the puckers and pleats seemed to float away!! I really enjoyed doing this so I am sure I will try it again. Thanks for all the great help this chat room has to offer!

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Thanks Noresce for your kind words. The quilt photos aren't even close to the quilting on some of those I often see here. They are customer quilts and are done with what they want, not geared for big shows. I guess most are what you might call bread and butter quilts. My quilting has been geared to what my customers have asked for rather than trying for the gold. It always makes me feel good when a friend of theirs calls and says so and so recommened you and I saw one of the quilts you quilted for them.

I loved what Darlene said about ten teachers and you will get ten different ways to load a quilt. Darlene always has good advice, I've had many a conversation with her about threads, I love Aurifil.

I also tend to combine info from different quilters after trying things and finding pieces that work for me. I haven't looked at her quilt loading info for a long time. I do go back over her CD from the class I took with her on Pantographs at MQS last year and I do love her pocket books. I'll be using some of her designs again on some baby quilts I have waiting for me.

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Darlene, this is off topic somewhat. I loved your answer to Mark on that other list. I had an injury that left me with most of my neck fused and have permanent nerve damage that affects my arms, upper back, neck, and daily headaches. I took the insurance settlement and invested in my machine and getting my business off the ground. I spent 2 years researching and trying various machines. My husband knew by watching my face when I tried the Mille that was the machine I would get. I still try the others out at MQS and I now have friends who have other brands. It's the best, I couldn't quilt without the adjustable handles and the lightness fo the machine. Gammils are torture quilting for me.

jeri

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