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For those of you who don't float.....

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...your quilt tops........ what is the process? I have been floating my tops for a long time now. Today, I'm loading up a 90 x 109 top on my 12' table. I put my zipper on the bottom edge of the top, zipped it on and rolled it up. While doing this, the top was layed over the take up roller.

Then, I zipped on the backing fabric to the backing roller and layed the remaining part of the back over the take up roller.

I'm trying to roll up the backing fabric but the top is unrolling and getting in the way and getting all wonky.

What am I doing wrong? Is it because the top and back is so big?

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Laurie.....this is how I load my quilts.....pin the backing to the take up and backing roller, get them nice and smooth, then load the top to the top roller, laying the top over the takeup roller, then roll while smoothing the top to the top roller until it's all done.

I've done this for years now with much success....I hope I've described it so you can understand......good luck...:cool:

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I previously have used the zipper for the top, and found it easiest to load my back first, then use quilt clips to hold it in place. Then load just the bottom of the quilt top.

I too, found they shifted on large quilts and sometimes ended up not so square (longer sides-frown

shorter sides;longer middle - smile). It drove me crazy, wondering why that was. I re-did my leaders, re-marked them etc., but still not square. This was more noticeable on quilts where the patterns were more rowlike than interlocking.

But now, I float all my tops. I load the back and pull batting through, then add my top. I line up, then stitch to hold in place. I use those same quilt clips (they look like the ones we used to use on our ankles to stop our jeans from getting caught in the spokes). I use probably 6-8 on a large quilt. I find since I have been floating the tops entirely, I can visually line things up each row and ease where I need to if they have wonky borders. Go back to floating the top! i'll never pin them again...Hope this helps, Debra

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Laurie...I only do a partial float....I attach my backer to the roller and then to the take up roller, lay out my batting, and I have a batting bar (which I made myself) and attach the batting to that....then run the batting up and baste it to the backer....then I attach just the bottom of the topper to its roller and run that up and use the basting line of the backer and batting to get my straight line...pin and then baste again the topper to the rest.....

When I quilt I then baste each side down as I go down the edges. (some pin I baste)......and when I get to the last row or more (depending if I'm expecting trouble) I THEN let loose the topper from its roller...this will allow me to control the corners so I don't get rabbit ears....and out of wonk corners.

When I release the bottom I then pin and baste the bottom so its solid and doesn't get caught in the foot.

Hope this helps a bit...and if you have questions call me, I'm not that hard to reach.

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Sure you can come be a fly anytime you want.....here is a messy picture of my machine with the pole down... and doing a complete float....which I don't usually do, but this quilt had issues.....REMEMBER I have a different table than most, but would think you could do the same thing on any of the tables...

YEARS ago...I decided I needed to get the batting up off the floor:

1) I kept stepping and tearing it

2) I seemed to need to crawl up under the machine and clip threads....

so I had my DH make me two J hooks to screw into the bolts at the ends of my table...then I went and got a closet pole from the hardware store...put the sticky part of the velco on the pole, this keeps the batting stuck while roll it up onto the pole....this picture shows the pole in the down position. When its in use, I actually roll it as far as it will go and then it sets up on table just in front and between the two front poles....when the batting is to thick for it to just set there...I use two cable clamps...also gotten at the hardware store and clamp both ends...they have a quick release and the pole comes down for the next rolling...

p><p> <img src=[/img]

And of the two clamps I use...

<a  href=2338600020091819759S425x425Q85.jpg' alt=

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Thanks for all the great answers and Bonnie, thanks for the great photos!!!!

I ended up taking off the top, loading the backing fabric (which rolled on MUCH smoother!) and reloading the top by laying over the take up roller. It went on much easier too.

One thing I did notice though..... in twisting the seams in the top to get them tight and even my hands hurt like h*ll. I'm at the age where my knuckles get sore.... Now I remember why I began to float the tops.....less painful!

I'll see how this top quilts up being rolled.....it may decide my future for floating...... :D

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I quit floating because it wasn't working for me. I ended up with pleats on the back.

I now staple my quilt back to the leaders then sew on my batting and the top to the top leader. Roll all onto the top leader and then staple the top of the quilt to the bottom-top leader. I have a hammock for the batting (my dog like to chew it up) I use side leaders that are pinned. I have only incurred one pleat since I stopped floating.


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Originally posted by Laurie

One thing I did notice though..... in twisting the seams in the top to get them tight and even my hands hurt like h*ll. I'm at the age where my knuckles get sore....

Laura if the seams are twisting....maybe you are rolling to tight to the roller...the tension should be taut, but not tight...and the seams shouldn't be twisting out of shape unless there is bulk that shouldn't be there.... the topper whether its being pinned, stapled or hand sewing to the leader should be just giving you enough balance to keep things smooth...really shouldn't be cranked down tight.;);)

I have "Arthur" in my hands as well...and some days, I just don't want to grab the rollers and crank...so I do know your situation....work with what works for you, and don't think its wrong.... right is what works for you.

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