Loading a Quilt Square

I've taken some photos of my steps on a recent quilt.  This is the method I use most often, and that works best for me.  This is NOT the only way to do this, and not even the only way I do it, just my 'go to' method.

Before loading, I measure the quilt across in at least 3 places (just like applying a border) to find the smallest measurement.  That is the 'width' of the quilt and I will adjust it all to that.

 To make sure the top is square to the leaders, I measure down from the edge of the leader (in this case my red snapper clamp) to the first border seam...here it's 7 1/2".  I had already pinned this before I thought to take photo, but usually I'd measure (both  'width' and distance from top) and then pin.  You can nudge or tug the fabric up and down a little to make that seam line up. 
 and check all along that top seam.
 And then I make sure the inner border lines are square--first border.
 2nd border--wasn't square, so I nudged it in
 and the right side

 now it's square
 Then baste the top and remove pins.
 Make sure the width of the quilt is right along the edges--in  this case the quilt was 44 1/2", so I'm using a zero center tape and measuring out 22 1/4" (1/2 of 44 1/2")

 Once the width measurements check out, baste the sides of the quilt in the quilting area and then apply side clamps--not to stretch, but just to being taut, so no puckering occurs on the back
Quilt in the available quilting area, release side clamps and advance the quilt.  Remeasure width, baste, clamp and quilt.
You can see in this photo above that I 'floated' the top, which means I didn't attach the bottom of the top to a roller.  The decision to float or load onto a roller depends on the quilt...often on a baby quilt I'll float, on a larger quilt I'll load it to the top leaders...

 At the bottom of the quilt, I once again check that the border lines are square.

because I floated this top, I don't have photos of what I do at the bottom of quilt that's loaded...as I get to the bottom, I'll put pins across just above the red snappers, so that will hold the tension on the quilt when I release the snappers, I pull off the snappers, check the width, and baste down the bottom edge, and the remaining side edges.  Then I can quilt.  

And here's the quilt, finished and washed. 

1 comment:

  1. In the 3rd picture from the bottom what do you do when the borders are a little fuller and sort of puckering like that?