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Tips for quilting with unique MeadowLyon patterns by Angela (the Quilter)

I welcome your own ideas, and will post them here. You may want to print these up and keep them handy, until you get the hang of working with these patterns.

Lining Up MeadowLyon Patterns on Intelliquilter

I do not have IQ so I can’t tell you in Intelliquilter terms, but Linda Lawson has a video about lining up my Pictogram Patterns and you will find some excellent tips in that video. You can see it on Longarm Chat.  http://longarmchat.com/index.cfm/event/Video.Home

Click on the title to read some  “nitty gritty” information that may help as you plan the layout on your screen.

Background information for Pictograms:
1.  Each panel was originally drawn at 11″ x 36.”  Depending on what size you are going to make it, you’ll need to adjust the following information accordingly.

2.  All our patterns have a 3″ registration system. That means, if you had the hard copy, you could slide each ensuing paper panel to the right or left in increments of 3″ ( eg. 6″, 9″, 12″ etc.) and they will still “fit” together.

3.  With this registration system the stitching line reaches up to the top line every 3 inches. (If it isn’t visible, imagine a line across the top).

4.  The stitching line reaches down to the bottom line every other 3 inches. (Imagine a line across the bottom.)

5.  MeadowLyon Pictograms are not designed to interlock, they just come up or down to the line.  It gives the effect of interlocking, but does not cross the line!

6.  Yes, you can put each panel right on top of itself and it will work.  But, you probably won’t want the panel to be placed exactly above itself or the animals and other motifs will be on top of themselves.

7.  I recommend choosing the second or third panel to begin the second row.  Make sure the “up” points fall between the “down” points. (You’ll probably put the second row on the    screen and simply move it to where it looks good and nothing touches where it shouldn’t.)

As you look at previews of our Pictograms on this website, you will see the ups and downs clearly. For example,  in the “Backwoods” pattern you’ll notice some mountain peaks, etc. that go up to the top line and see the spaces above them.  Then you’ll see feet of animals or etc. coming down to the bottom line and notice space beneath them on the next panel.  With each row simply slide the panels to where the peaks come up under a space or etc. But do not try to interlock, or cross the line.  It’s not necessary and may cause overlapping.

“Double Row” INTERLOCKING PATTERN ALIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

A.  2 ROWS INTERLOCKING WITH STRAIGHT ROLL as printed on paper rolls

Alignment instructions:  IT’S AS EASY AS “1 – 2 – 3”

1. After completing the first two rows across, lower your needle into any “dot” #1.

Leaving the needle down, Advance (roll) the quilt into position for the next two rows across.

2. With the needle still down, adjust the laser light or stylus to the closest “dot” #2.

The light is now correctly placed.

3. Lift the needle and move the machine to a starting position of your choice at the edge of the quilt.

Begin quilting.

B.  2 ROWS WITH SOME LASER MOVEMENT as p[rinted or paper rolls such as El Dorado 4.5″, and El Dorado 8″

Alignment instructions:  IT’S AS EASY AS “1 – 2 – 3”

1. After completing the first two rows across, lower your needle into any “dot” #1.

Leaving the needle down, Advance (roll) the quilt into position for the next two rows across.

2. With the needle still down, adjust the laser light or stylus to the closest “dot” #2 towards the “left.”

The light is now correctly placed.  (For alternate rows move the laser to the #2 towards the right.

3. Lift the needle and move the machine to a starting position of your choice at the edge of the quilt.

Begin quilting.

Some laser lights have limited adjustment capabilities.  Some patterns may require shifting the paper pattern for proper alignment.

“Single Row” INTERLOCKING ALIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

A.  ONE ROW INTERLOCKING WITH STRAIGHT ROLL as printed on paper rolls for patterns  Grapes of Moldova, Russian Gold, etc.

Alignment instructions:  IT’S AS EASY AS “1 – 2 – 3”

1. After completing the first row across, lower your needle into any “dot” #1.

Leaving the needle down, Advance (roll) the quilt into position for the next row across.

2. With the needle still down, adjust the laser light or stylus to the closest “dot” #2.

The light is now correctly placed.

3. Lift the needle and move the machine to a starting position of your choice at the edge of the quilt.

Begin quilting.

B.   ONE ROW INTERLOCKING WITH SOME LASER MOVEMENT as printed on patterns such as Frothy Seas, El Dorado, etc.

Alignment instructions:  IT’S AS EASY AS “1 – 2 – 3”

1. After completing the first row across, lower your needle into any “dot” #1.

Leaving the needle down, Advance (roll) the quilt into position for the next row across.

2. With the needle still down, adjust the laser light or stylus to the closest “dot” #2 towards the “left.”

The light is now correctly placed.  (For alternate rows move the laser to the  #3 towards the right.

3. Lift needle and move machine to a starting position of your choice at the edge of the  quilt.

Begin quilting.

Some laser lights have limited adjustment capabilities.  Some patterns may require shifting the paper pattern for proper alignment.

PICTOGRAM ALIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

PICTOGRAM ALIGNMENT as printed on paper rolls

Aligning MeadowLyon Pictograms:

Congratulations!  You’ve purchased a “Pictogram” – MeadowLyon’s unique 12 ft. non-repeating roll.  You’ll have lots of pictorial material from which to choose.  Its four panels can be arranged to create a scene, of sorts, on a wall hanging or small quilt.  Also, extended rows can be repeated above or below to cover a quilt with Edge-to-Edge quilting.

We recommend starting alternate rows at the beginning of a different panel each time.  This will prevent the motifs from standing on top of themselves.  Of course you can start alternate rows wherever you like. Our registration system prevents upper and lower rows from touching when you slide the pattern in increments of 3 inches;  eg. 3”, 6”, 12” etc.

For accurate placement, align the bottom line* (or dots or corner points) to the previous top line.  You might do this by lowering the needle at the exact top right hand corner of the panel recently completed, then inserting a pin at that point.  Roll the quilt and after shifting the pattern and replacing the clamps, move your needle once again to that point and adjust the laser to the lower right corner of the new panel.

Caution: if you leave a space there will be a space – it’s best to match the lines with your laser, then slide the machine across the quilt to see if any stitching falls above the line and adjust slightly if needed.

* Note: If your pattern does not have a bottom and top line, you can draw it in by laying a yardstick along the lowest points (or highest) on the paper pattern and drawing a line to intersect with the dashed line at the end of the pattern.

Edge to Edge PANTOGRAPH ALIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS

1.  EDGE TO EDGE PANTOGRAPH ALIGNMENT as printed on paper rolls

Aligning MeadowLyon Patterns:

This MeadowLyon continuous-line pattern can be repeated above or below itself to cover a quilt with Edge-to-Edge quilting.  We recommend starting alternate rows in a different spot and on many patterns have indicated the place we recommend on the bottom edge of the pattern.  This will prevent the animals (or motifs) from standing on top of themselves.  Of course you can start alternate rows wherever you like. Our registration system prevents upper and lower rows from touching when you slide the pattern in increments of 3 inches;  eg. 3”, 6”, 12” etc.

For accurate placement, align the bottom line* (or dots or corner points) to the previous top line.  You might do this by lowering the needle at the exact top right hand corner of the panel recently completed, then inserting a pin at that point.  Roll the quilt and after shifting the pattern and replacing the clamps, move your needle once again to that point and adjust the laser to the point recommended for alternate rows.

Caution: if you leave a space there will be a space – it’s best to match the lines with your laser, then slide the machine across the quilt to see if any stitching falls above the line and adjust slightly if needed.

* Note: If your pattern does not have a bottom and top line, you can draw it in by laying a yardstick along the lowest points (or highest) on the paper pattern and drawing a line to intersect with the dashed line at the end of the pattern.


Tips for setting up a Floral Wholecloth Quilt…

…using Wedding Bell Swag, Floral Medallion, Rosebud Striped border. etc.  I’ve posted a Floral Wholecloth Layout with many of the floral patterns.  Reading through the following  directions (although specific for the three listed) will be helpful in planning your individualized quilt layout.

The following instructions come with the Floral Medallion pattern but they may be useful for setting up quilting for the Wedding Bell Swag with other combinations.

So you want to make a whole cloth quilt?

There are many options, so have fun mixing and matching.

Here are some pointers for completing an 80” sq. Wedding Bell Quilt as pictured on the Wedding Bell Swag posting.

Patterns needed:       Wedding Bell Swag Border

Rosebud Striped Border

Floral Medallion

You can make a 108” quilt by following the included diagram. The Additional Tips for quilting the swag will be helpful.

1.  The Wedding Bell Swag pattern prefers a 30” throat space.

(I have a 24” and although I finally got everything

joined-up piecemeal, it took time!  If you decide to try it,

be sure to quilt AROUND the corner’s edge as far as you can.)

2.  If necessary you can make the quilt slightly smaller or a few inches

larger by changing the length of the outer stripes.

3.  After loading the quilt start at either the top or the bottom.

I recommend Quilting across the entire end including both complete

corners.  The following method will maintain the “fit” of the stripes.

(You’ll need to cut the corner from the main pattern so you can

“attach” it to both ends.)

Additional Tips

A. First, starting at the corner, quilt the flowery, be-ribboned

Wedding Bell Swag halfway across.

B. Go back and quilt the stripes around the corner and under the swag

half-way across. (If you don’t want the stripes you could use

stippling.)

C.  Move the corner into position at the other end.

D. Quilt the flowery swag the rest of the way including the corner.

E. Now quilt the stripes the rest of the way and around the corner.

F. Place your needle at the inside corner of the swag and with a

wet-erase marker or a pin, put a dot on the quilt at that

point.

Repeat at the other end.

4.  Align and stitch the Rosebud Border ¼” inside the swag. (Measure this

from the points that you marked.  The ¼” may vary with the stretch

of your fabric so adjust the Rosebud stripes so they come out even.

Move the corners in and tape or paper-clip in place.)

When stitching, I apply clamps on the track to stop the stripes evenly

at both the top and bottom, but it’s not necessary.  Machines love to

go straight!

5. Center the lower portion of the Floral Medallion with the inside of the

Rosebud Border.  (The pattern between corners should be

approx. 37 ¾”.)

It’s likely to have shrunk to about 37”.  The Floral Medallion

measures 36” square.  You’ll need to allow ½ ” all around it.

Therefore start ½ ” inside the inner corner of the Rosebud border.)

6.  Stitch across the first panel, then align the top corner point with the

lower corner of the next panel. Do not leave a space, but do move

the machine across and make sure high points do not extend

beyond the line of the pattern and adjust slightly if necessary.

7.  Continue by stitching center and upper panels.

8.  Allowing ½ ” space – align, center, and stitch the opposite Rosebud

Border (upside down).

9.  Allowing ¼” align, center and stitch the opposite Wedding Bell Swag

border, upside down, with corners attached.

You may find it necessary to reload the quilt and quilt it from the

opposite end if your batting is thick and minimizes the throat space.

As before, stitch half-way across, then go back and do the stripes.

Repeat the rest of the way across.

10.  Remove quilt and re-load to stitch the two sides.  You’ll have to

pull the clamps very tightly.

11. Align and stitch the Rosebud border.  (This will help to evenly

distribute the fullness which is inevitable.)

12. Align and stitch the Wedding Bell Swag pattern between the corners.

Again go half-way and then do the stripes, repeat.

13. Turn the quilt and repeat steps 11 and 12 for the borders on the

opposite side.

14. Finally roll the quilt to the middle section and, IF DESIRED,  apply a

fine stippling style of your choice between the flowers and ribbons of

the center medallion to create a “faux trapunto.”  You may also

apply the same stippling around the ribbons of the swag borders

rather than the stripes, if desired.

Tips for Using MeadowLyon Block Designs

If you are transferring the designs to stitch on a home sewing machine or to embroider by hand you may find these methods helpful:

CENTERING - MeadowLyon Block Patterns have  “centering lines”  for easy placement.    I think the easiest way to find the center of a square is to draw lines with a disappearing marker or simply a length of thread, diagonally both ways,  from corner to corner.  Poke a pin through the center of the pattern into the center indicated on the fabric.  Using the “centering lines”,  measure* to assure they are parallel to the outer lines of the fabric “block.” ( * Of course I  “eyeball” it and you probably will too!)

TRACING - Place the paper pattern on a light box, an empty picture frame with glass, or a window.  Tape in place.  Next place the fabric over it and center it using the convenient centering cross-lines.  Tape in place.  Trace the design onto the fabric with  a.) a washable marker or washable fabric marker;  b.) a disappearing marker;  c.) tailor’s chalk pencil;  d.) a carbon leaded pencil that will wash out.  There are lots of great products on the market! You can even get a white Clover marker to use on dark fabrics.

TRANSFERRING BY CARBON – On a hard surface, place a transferring medium such as dressmaker’s carbon* or “Saral” carbons over the fabric.  Next place the paper pattern on top and trace over it with a ball point pen or stylus.  (* Personally I do not like the carbon that is purple.  It’s wet and smears all over!)

CREATE A STENCILOption A – Stitch through the paper pattern and after placing it on the fabric use a pounce pad to make through the “stencil.”  This is convenient if you need to transfer the same design many times.  Option B – Lay :” Bridal Tulle” over the pattern and trace with a fine line, permanent marker.  When you want to transfer the pattern, lay the Tulle over the fabric, pin in place,  and draw over the line with a chalk pencil.  The chalk line will go through the holes of the Tulle to the fabric.

TRANSFER PENCILS – The latest tool is a great one. The transfer pencil (made by Fons and Porters and other brands too) create an iron-on stencil just like the old embroidery transfers.  Simply turn the block pattern over, place it on a light box or window, and draw the line on the back of the block.  When you’ve finished you’ll be able the place the block (right side up) over your fabric and “iron on” the stitching line.

TEAR AWAY –  Option A – Trace the design from the pattern onto a tear away paper such as that sold through Golden Threads.  Adhere the tissue to your fabric with pins or spray adhesive.  Sew through the paper and tear away.  Option B - Lay “Press n’ Seal” plastic wrap over the paper pattern.  Trace the design onto the film with a washable marker*.  Stick the film to your fabric and stitch through it.  Tear away.  ( * Always test the marker in a trial run first.  Vis-a-vis markers for transparencies, Dry erase markers and permanent markers work well on the film, BUT, if you are using a long-arm machine, the heat of the needle may “set” vestiges of marker in your fabric.)

 

LONG-ARM MACHINE QUILTING - Of course you can place the pattern on the bed of your quilting machine table and follow the line with your laser or pointer.  If you’re working from the front of the machine, DeLoa Jones suggests you place the pattern on a cookie sheet and adjust the laser to the page.   You’ll still need to find the center of the block and direct your laser to that point.  Then you can move to one of the starting points on the continuous-line block pattern and begin stitching.

A 4-Panel Wall-Hanging

These instructions are for the 4 cut-up panels, put into a wall-hanging.

I would suggest using a light colored fabric with as dark a thread as possible.

Cutting:

The pattern covers 36″ x 44″, so I cut the center area 37″ x 45″, and I use a 1/4″ seam allowance. I cut the borders 4 1/2″ wide.

Loading the quilt top:

I load the top right side up facing the pantograph side, so I’m quilting the bottom of the wall hanging first (4th panel). Before you load the quilt top onto the frame, it is wise to fold the right edge into fourths, and put a pin in the border at these 3 points. This is a reference to where the top of each panel should be.

Lining up the first panel:

1. For the first panel, put the needle at the lower right corner of the quilt, and put on the channel lock. Move the machine up and down the quilt, making sure needle will hit the center portion of the quilt, and not go back and forth onto the border. Adjust the channel lock, if needed. When it’s locked where you want it, place the needle back at the lower right corner of the quilt.

2. Place the pattern on the table, with the bottom reference line and right edge at the point where the stylus is. Put a little piece of tape there. Move the machine over 8″-12″ and with you left hand, move the pattern so that the reference line stays in line with the stylus. Hold the pattern down, move the machine back out of the way, and put a piece of tape at the top right edge of the pattern. I also like to put another piece in the center of the edge.

3. Now move the machine all the way down to the other edge, adjusting the pattern so the bottom reference line stays in line with the stylus. Put 3 pieces of tape at the left end. Then go back to the right end, and re-tape those pieces so it’s all flat.

4. Now take off the channel lock, and move the machine up to where the stylus meets the top reference line. Is the needle right next to the first pin in the border of the quilt? It should be. If it’s beyond that point, then your pattern will run into the border at the very top of the quilt. To fix it, you can try tightening the top a little. Another thing you can do is, as you quilt, don’t go clear to the top of the reference line each time it’s supposed to touch it. After 4 panels of this, you should be okay. The trick is to cut the inside of the quilt the right size, to use 1/4″ seam allowance, and to not use too fat of batting. If the needle falls short, and there’s extra space, you can do a couple of things. 1. move the stylus so there’s a little space at the bottom, and not so much at the top (of this one panel), and 2. As you quilt, exaggerate the top points that touch the reference line along the top, going beyond it. Then when you line up the next panel, it will up a little farther.

5. There’s one more thing to look at. Move the machine all the way down and put the stylus at the end of the pattern. Look at where the needle falls on the quilt. It should be near the seam. You can adjust the edges just like you did the top. If there’s a bunch of space there, you don’t want your whole quilt to be leaning near the right, with an un-quilted space along the left. In this case, I usually just move the machine to where the needle is at the edge of the quilt. Looking at the pattern, if the stylus has gone 1/2″ beyond the edge of the pattern, I move it back towards the patterns by 1/4″. So the compromise will cause it to be more centered. If it goes beyond the edge of the quilt, you can tighten your clamps to stretch it a little, or remember to fall short when you get to that end as you’re quilting.

6. This step is EXTREMELY important. Before you begin sewing, following the pattern with you finger, from start to finish, so you’ll be a little familiar with it before you actually quilt it. DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP. Trust me, I know.

Lining up successive panels:

1. Put the needle at the top edge of the area that’s already quilted and put on the channel lock. If you move the machine up and down the rails, the stylus should hit all the uppermost spots you’ve already quilted. You can adjust the channel lock until it does this.

2. With the channel lock on, move the machine down to the right end and put it at the far most right point (that’s already quilted). Now you have located the top and the right of the already-quilted section (panel 4).

3. Take your pattern and line up the reference line at the bottom, and the right edge with where the stylus is pointing. Put a little piece of tape here. Do not tape the rest of the right edge yet.

4. Move the machine (channel lock is still on) about 8″-12″ to the left, moving the pattern so that the reference line stays in line with the stylus. Move the machine back, and now you can tape the top right edge. I also put a little piece of tape in the middle.

5. Move the machine to the other end of the pattern, making sure the reference line stays in line with the stylus. When you get to the end, tape the top, bottom, and center of the left edge.

6. Now go back and re-adjust the 3 tapes on the other end. You should be ready to quilt.

7. When I’m all done quilting the inside of the quilt, I go back and stitch-in-the-ditch all around the edge of the inside. This gives it a nice, clean finish.

Clear as mud? If you need more help, give me a yell.

Loading the APQS Ultimate I Quilting Machine

This method is a compilation of things I have learned from others, adapted to my own style for what works for me. I hope it will work for you too. I am not associated in any way with APQS (American Professional Quilting Systems) except that I bought my machine from them, and I like it.

You may want to print this and have it next to the machine while you work. Just out of curiosity, I’d like to know if it has helped you, so if you get time, I’d love it if you’d shoot off a quick e-mail to let me know if this has been any help. Thanks. angela@meadowlyon.com

Lining

Measure the lining, top, and batting, and decide which way you want each to go with each one. Write these numbers down!

You need at least one straight edge on the lining. You can find out how to do this by asking other quilters, writing me, or at the beginning or end of some magazines, they have pictures and show how to do it. Also quilting books can show this.

On the freehand side of the machine, if you lean against it, is the lining roller; the one above and behind it is the top roller, and the take-up roller is under the machine head.

Roll down the leader of the lining roller about 2-3 feet. Then whip it backwards and up over the top roller and drape it back down on top of the lining roller. Roll it until the edge comes to the edge of the roller. The top roller should be covered.

At this point, my personal favorite is using the selvedge edge of the lining. It’s usually straight, with no bias. While pinning, I pull it a LITTLE tight, as it tends to be tighter than the rest of the fabric and should be stretched out a little. You can also use the one straight edge that I mentioned before. Pinning instructions are next.

Take the lining and drape it over the take-up roller. Lay the whole straight edge smooth, matching centers if you’d like (I never do this anymore), and even with the edge of the leader. Lift both up, and holding them together in front of you, pin the center of the lining to the center of the quilt, about 1/8 to ¼ inch away from the edge. Your pins should be going into the leader first, the fabric behind it. Pin every 3” or so, down to the end, and then come back to the center, pinning the spots in between. Then do the same towards the other end. Your pins should be head-to-head.

Unroll the leader on the take-up roller until it is 1” or so above the table (I do this before I begin pinning the lining at all.) Go to the panto side, and pull the lining clear down to the floor, making it taut. Smooth it out. Then go back to the other side and slowly roll it, keeping it as straight and smooth as possible. Sometimes the take-up roller will move as well. Just do the best you can. I lean down and look under there, and when it the first spot of the lining becomes even with the take-up leader, stop rolling. Then UNroll it a little to give some slack, about 6 inches or so. You will see at this point, places where it’s not even with the leader. It’s okay. It may be because: 1. The edge of the leader(s) are not straight (if you need help with this, write me), or 2. The lining isn’t square. It’s better to have it a little long, than short. The shortest edge of the lining should be even with the leader, or a tiny bit longer.

Stand on the panto side, and with your left hand (if you are right handed, opposite if you’re left) hold the 2 edges together where they meet. Then bring them up in front of you, holding them in place, and pin. Go down about a foot and do the same, etc. all up and down the edge. Then every 6” or so. The lining edge may be jagged and askew, hanging over the edge of the leader too much. This is why you keep the 2 together when you pin, so you’ll create an even edge. Pin the whole edge, head to head.

Batting

Tighten the lining roller, then loosen 1 notch. Lay the batting (hopefully it has a straight edge) on top, touching the pinned edge. Smooth it out real nice. Using the channel lock, run a basting stitch about 1″ from the edge, all the way across the batting and lining, creating a straight edge. (This will also show you if your leader edge is straight.) It depends on how much lining you have to play with (here’s where you check your measurements), and if you (or your customer) are going to use the lining for the binding. You can baste as far from the edge as you want. Then loosen up the lining bar some more, and gently pull the batting under there. Tighten up lining bar and batting, smoothing it all out.

Quilt Top

Give the lining bar a little slack. Unroll the top bar and lay the leader over the edge of the lining bar (it will be laying on top of the batting). Drape the quilt top over the take-up bar, and lay the edge of it along the edge of the leader. Find the center and pin to the center of the leader (I also don’t do this anymore. I put it a few inches from the edge. That way you don’t have 1 foot on both sides of wasted fabric, you have 2 feet on one side that can be re-used). Measure down both sides and mark the edges, where the top should end up, with pins, into the leaders. Smooth it all down, and lay it even with the edge. Then pin the edges down, and follow the same procedure as with the lining. I begin at the center and go out. You may have to ease it in, and sometimes when I get to the end, I have to move the pin out a little, if the border is too wavy.

After it’s all pinned on, go to the panto side and drape it the same as you did the lining. Back to the freehand side. Roll it carefully. Loosen up where seams are by putting your thumb under the bar, and fingers on top (“C” shaped) and grabbing hard and pulling downwards. ( If there’s a seam in the middle of the lining going down the quilt, when you put on the lining you may have to do the same thing.) Watch the wavy edges, and try to keep the edges even. Sometimes you’ll have to “tuck” them under. When you go to quilt it, you can stretch the quilt a little to ease this in. Also as you roll it up, watch the lines on the quilt, making sure as they go under the rollers, that they’re parallel to them. Here’s where I also squeeze some down if it’s going under too fast. It takes lots of tugging and pulling here and there. I wish I could show it.

Roll it until the other edge comes over the take-up roller, and ends up at the basted edge. If you keep the top smooth as you go along, it should be easy to see where the center ends up. Unroll it, more than just a little, to give some slack, about 4 notches. Pin the center down where it falls. I don’t match it to the center of the leader. (Put all these pins in perpendicular.) Measure down both ends and see where the top should end up, marking as before. (Nowadays I don’t do any of this measuring, I just eye-ball it.) Pin the ends. Matching the edge of the top to the basting, pin as before. A little trickier here. You may have to tug in some places to get the top where you need it to be. That’s why you give some slack on the top roller. And other places you’ll have to pull back on excess fabric. This will all work out. When you’re done pinning, roll the top roller and take up the slack. Do not make it taut. Don’t worry about all the waves on the top of the quilt at this point.

Take another basting stitch, beginning at the right end, and about 1/8 from the edge. I go a little ways, then put a clamp on the edge to make it a little taut. I go over the pins, but slowly. Or you can stop at each one and move the machine over them. When you get to the end, leave the machine there, don’t cut threads. Take out the pins. Roll up the bottom and top rollers to where you like to quilt. Now that the edge is basted down, you can pull it to where you want it. Smooth it out as best you can. I put one hand under the whole quilt (it’s hard when there’s a lot of batting to deal with) and the other on top, pressing them gently together and smoothing from the center to the edge. Keep the smoothing even, you don’t want more top on the edge than lining, and visa versa. Now finish basting up the edge of the quilt, towards you, until you can’t go any further. Then baste the other end. If the edge is too far from me (I’m short), I begin at the freehand side and go backwards. Either way works (the Ult. I can quilt backwards, not all brands can do this). I don’t do this edge at the beginning because I haven’t basted the long edge and smoothed the whole quilt out yet. I trim the edges to about 3”. Put the clamps on. And begin quilting. Each time you roll it, baste the edges before trimming and clamping. With this method, you never worry about running into clamps or pins.

Basting the 4th edge

Here’s what you do when you get to the end of the quilt. If you SID (stitch-in-the-ditch), then SID around that far border. If you don’t, and your border pattern doesn’t go to the edge, go ahead and do the border. Take out some of the pins: Beginning at the right end, leave one pin, take out 2, leave 1, take out 2, etc. At the left end, take out the last pin, leaving in the second to last. Loosen the rollers just a bit, or you won’t have equal amounts of lining and top. Begin the basting stitch at the left, where you left off from basting the edge. Come up to the end, take out the pin, go down a little, then put on the clamp, real snug. Baste along there, pulling back the leader, and unpinning each pin as you get to them. Watch that the batting doesn’t bunch up (poly batt. is a little trickier all the way around) inside the 2 layers. And if you gently push down on the fabric with your left hand, on the left side of the machine, it should stay even. This especially helps when you have a wavy border. (You can also do this as you baste the other 3 sides; you’ll see what I mean when you do it.) You may want to clamp the other end to give a little tension, as well.

When you are quilting, and have a spot that’s tighter and a little skewed from the parts around it, just squeeze the bar and tug like you did before. It’s loosens it up a little and makes it more even. This is sometimes difficult at the ends where it’s pinned in. But it works well in the body of the quilt.

That’s all there is to it. I hope I didn’t leave anything out. Let me know if you want more details explained, or have any questions. I hope this is all clear to you. It’s difficult without being able to show you.