Squaring up your quilt with the longarm.


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Has anyone ever used their channel locks to square up their quilts?

I just finished a wholecloth for a wedding gift. I used a feathered pantograph on raw silk.

For the first time I used the pink centering tape on my machine and I was real accurate about making sure the quilt rolled up straight following the markers.

After the quilt was finished I used my horizontal locks to give me a straight stitched line across the top and bottom of the quilt. This would be my cutting line.

The edge of my quilt top was at 48.50 inches from the center so I channel locked my hopping foot (horizontal and vertical) right in front of the pink tape at 47 inches at the front of my machine. I use my motorized advance feed foot pedal and my yellow button basting stitch to make about one inch basting stitches all the way down the quilt. Advance a little, stitch, advance and stitch.

I did the same procedure on the right side of the quilt.

After I took it off the machine and cut along these lines it was amazingly accurate and square.

It was a lot easier than doing it the old fashion way.

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Hay JoAnn

I square up all my quilts on the machine... I don't have a channel lock so I have to clamp the back of my machine base or rails with my quilt clamps but it works great and I know from start to finish that I am keeping my thread art quilts as straight as can be ... so I don't have to do the whole wetting and stretching thing when I'm done.:cool:

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Thanks Joann

I'd never thought of using a channel lock vertical and horizontal lines on the batting as a guide for trimming.

How did you use your pink centering tape? Where did you place/attach it? I have one but haven't used it yet.

I intend to completely longarm baste my next quilt using the channel locks, then use Bonnie's steam method to shrink the excess fabric. I have a large 109" applique, centre medallion onpoint, top that I bought on ebay last year that I haven't had time to quilt yet. It seems to have quite a bit of excess fabric through the centre. I'll attach it to zippers so I can take it off when I need to take a break during the real quilting. I think this one needs 1" cross-hatching. I promise to post pics when its finished - sometime late next year!

Off to check out Sue P's designs on your site!

Sue in Australia

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I have tried using my vertical channel locks as a guide on where to baste down the sides of quilts, but found after rolling it to the next spot, the place where I last basted it had moved from where the vertical channel lock spot was. I decided that it had to do with the fact that the quilt sandwich does drape a bit and after each roll the drape is not exactly the same as the previous drape. I will try the channel lock idea again, but if anyone has thoughts about this, I'd like to hear them. The other issue is that no quilt is square, being made from fabric, and I have decided to make the quilt generally square, rather than fussing with the pulling and tugging it takes to get an unsquare quilt square -- shouldn't that be the piecers responsibility?; otherwise, I would need to charge custom if I'm going to spend the time. My decision on how much time to put into doing this depends on the intended use of the quilt and the customer. Thoughts? Thanks!

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Originally posted by LadyLake

I have tried using my vertical channel locks as a guide on where to baste down the sides of quilts, but found after rolling it to the next spot, the place where I last basted it had moved from where the vertical channel lock spot was. I decided that it had to do with the fact that the quilt sandwich does drape a bit and after each roll the drape is not exactly the same as the previous drape. I will try the channel lock idea again, but if anyone has thoughts about this, I'd like to hear them. The other issue is that no quilt is square, being made from fabric, and I have decided to make the quilt generally square, rather than fussing with the pulling and tugging it takes to get an unsquare quilt square -- shouldn't that be the piecers responsibility?; otherwise, I would need to charge custom if I'm going to spend the time. My decision on how much time to put into doing this depends on the intended use of the quilt and the customer. Thoughts? Thanks!

I had this problem too and realized it was cause I was leaning on the back roller bar and moving the sandwich slightly. Now I'm very careful not to touch the rollers as I'm working my way down the machine.

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You have to find out where the center of the quilt is suppose to be to begin with. Then I put a mark on the pattern grid on the table and line up the machine each time I roll it. No quilt top is perfectly square before you quilt it, but if you figure out what it is supposed to be before hand you can do a pretty good job of easing fullness in, in some spots, and doing a little stretching in others. I have had quilts that were awful and I didn't worry too much since there is only so much a LA quilter can do. We have a saying around here--we can do miracles, but we can't raise the dead!!!

LOL!

Luv2kwilt

Millennium

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I have the pink centering tape and really like it. I have mine at the very edge of the velcro at the very front of the machine. I measure my quilt just like I would measure to put a border on, top, middle, and bottom to get an average width. I set my outside markers at that measurement and then put the little markers at different points on the quilt top that "should" line up all the way down the quilt, like the borders and block edges and, of course, the center. I do mostly pantos and they like to shift the quilt to the side, but the centering tape helps me keep the quilt straight. And, I do have to remind myself quite often that quilts are not perfect. Every piecer holds their mouth differently when sewing the quilt tops together...even me!

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I love painters tape - since I float my tops - I wrap a piece of painters tape around the front roller bar for the quilt top - with each advance I make sure that the quilt is square and the edges come to the pieces of tape. I also generally lightly press a fold down the center of the quilt. Have a piece of painters tape in the middle of the bar. Between the center mark on the bar and the outside edge marks it is easy to advance the quilt and keep square. I use the channel locks at the top and the bottom of the quilt. If I have to take a quilt off (have zippers) I can write on the tape the quilt name and then I know I will get everything back in its place when I reload. So far this has worked. I have my centering tape on the leveling bar.

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