Thursday, September 29, 2022

Loading -

A quilt backing on a longarm - 
For the first time - 
Is an adventure! - LOL -
And that's as far as I got today - 

We did a "quick and dirty" attachment of the leader cloths and the backing - 

Last night before the dealer left - 

So today I tweaked it a little - 

Starting with re-centering the leader cloths with the center of the frame - 

Since the frame can be configured in either the Crib size or Queen size - 
Both rails connect in the middle - 
So I used the space/gap between the two rails as my center marking - 

And tried to line up the center-most straight line of the leader cloth with it - 
(BOB thinks that would be easier to do -
If the line extended to the edge of the leader cloth - 
and if it matched up to one of the dots -
but then again - it's probably just me - LOL - ;))

I re-attached the leader cloths to the rails using the velcro that came with it - 
(BOB thinks that the velcro on the leader cloths AND on the rails - 
Is an AWESOME feature -
And it beats trying to stick some tubing in a groove - just sayin' - ;))

Starting in the center and working my way out to the end on each side - 
Pressing down as I went - SO EASY!! - 
If it got a little crooked - I peeled it off - and stuck it down straighter - LOL - 
I had already zippered the backing in place last night - 
But I didn't get a chance to take photos - 
So here is the LEFT end - of the TOP of my BACKING - 
I was going to link to the videos on how to use the zippers - 
But then I realized that you could find those on your own - 
And that they would just be confusing anyway - 
Because I did mine BACKWARDS - 
I had a hard time wrapping my head around which half went where - 
So I had to sketch it out - 
Then I had my "DUH" moment - 
I put the sketch at the bottom of this post -
And will explain it there - if you're interested - 
If not - you can skip that part - 
Basically I did not want to pay for the expensive "stamped" zippers - 
Or pay the price for "longarm" zippers - HERE -
So I got some separating "tent" zippers instead - HERE
And I got two for the price of one -
Then I basted one half to the leader -
And the other half to the top of the backing - wrong side up - 
With the zipper pull at the LEFT end -
And the zipper STOP at the RIGHT end - 
Which is the BACKWARDS part - 
To zip it ON -
I run the zipper pull all the way to the RIGHT end - stick in the end -
And zip it up with my LEFT hand - pulling to the LEFT - 
I figured I needed more control zipping it ON -
Than I did zipping it OFF - that I can do RIGHT-handed -
Anyway -
This is what it looks like from the backside - 
As it gets rolled up on the take-up bar - 

I also had basted one half to the leader on the front rail -
And the other half to the bottom of the backing - wrong side up - 
With the zipper pull at the LEFT end -
And the zipper STOP at the RIGHT end - 

Then I rolled my first backing on a longarm - YAY!! - 

Mostly I rolled it all onto the take-up rail first - 
To try to get it semi-straight - 

Because I knew that I had stitched a vertical panel in -
A little off-center - 
To see if I could get it straight when I loaded it sideways - 
As sort of a "newbie" challenge to myself - 

Then I rolled it all onto the "backing bar" in the front -
And I think - for a newbie - that I got it pretty straight -

Now here's the part about the zippers that you can skip - 
If you're not interested - 
You can watch the videos - 
And buy the fancy "stamped" zippers that tell you where to sew what - 
Or you can follow my little sketch - 
It doesn't really matter - 
Whether you have the zipper pulls on the LEFT or on the RIGHT - 
You just have to be consistent - or they won't work - 
Anyway -
You need "separating" zippers - like these - HERE -
#5 - Molded Plastic Zippers - Separating - Tent in-Outside Reversible Slide -
The "Tent" ones are cheaper than the "Longarm" ones -
And they look the same to me - 
You need TWO zippers - 
Mark the CENTER on each one - both sides of the "teeth" - 
Matching the "STOP" with the end of the "PULL" on each - 
So the center is in the same spot on both zippers -
Separate them - into 4 halves -
2 WITHOUT pulls - let's call them "A" - the TOP half -
2 WITH pulls - let's call them "B" - the BOTTOM half -
Baste an "A" to the bottom of the top leader -
Baste a "B" to the top of the backing - wrong side up - 
Baste an "A" to the bottom of the backing - wrong side up - 
Baste a "B" to the top of the bottom leader -

I basted mine to the leaders - for the time being - 
Later I may actually SEW them on - to make them permanent -
If I like them - and so far - I DO - 
You want zippers as long as your leader cloths -
I got mine 2" longer - accidentally - but it worked out for me - 
Because they were still shorter than my rails - 

And you want to BASTE them in place -
Starting at the CENTER of the zipper - 
Matching the CENTER of the leaders and backing - 
And stitching to each end -
That way the centers will line up -
No matter what size backing you have - 
The excess will just hang off the end -
But be careful that it doesn't get in your way - 
Or interfere with your machine quilt "space" - 
I BASTED mine to the backing - temporarily -
In a color that I can SEE -  

Because - when I'm done -
I want to take them OFF - 
And use them again on another backing -
And removing basting stitches - 
Is a whole lot easier than UNSEWING the dang things - ;))

Talk to you later - gotta go - gotta sew - 


Gene Black said...

Yay! I am glad you got if figured out and have the first backing loaded. Since you did others using the snap frame, you should be in pretty good FMQ practice for this one. Just keep going and it will get better as you go.

Nice tutorial on the zippers too.

Sue said...

Super tutorial for the zippers. This is going to be great!

Jeanna said...

Good for you! What a process. I'm sure it will get easier the more you do it....not that I'll ever know LOL.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Get a centering measuring tape that you stretch across the front bar. I have mine attached with velcro. I always know center without measuring and constantly check when basting down the top sides. Let me know if you need a link. I could never master zippers. Like my leader grips, work for non math me.

Katie said...

Hooray! Could you just take a sharpie marker and extend that line yourself? Maybe use a ruler to get it perfectly straight, but I agree having it not printed to the edge was silly. I'm excited you're figuring out how to load in a way that works for you (if the quilt comes out fine, I'm a big believer that how you got there isn't terribly important - just don't break anything along the way!) and even more excited for you to get quilting!


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