Step one:It all begins by removing the quilt top and backing from packaging you sent it in. I open your box when it arrives and then contact you to help you choose thread and quilting design, I make a note of what you chose. I then place your quilt top back in the packaging it arrived in and place it in queue in the order received.
Step two:Once the quilt is out of the queue, next comes laying out your quilt top and backing. Your quilt may have been folded for a number of months waiting to be machine quilted. Creases and wrinkles should be removed prior to loading onto the longarm. This process varies by quilt. Some do not require pressing, while some others do.
Step three:Now comes a choice, to pin or snap?
Longarmers have to “load” the quilt top and backing onto canvas leaders. This can take a quite bit of time depending on the size of the quilt. Loading happens one of two ways. Longarmers either pin the quilt top and backing onto canvas leaders, which are attached to three separate rollers, or they use a snapping system to lock the fabric onto each of the canvas leaders. I use the Red Snapper system as I hate pin pricks and have found the red snappers to be wonderful!
Here’s a look at a product called Red Snappers. For those longarmers reading this post, I highly recommend using Red Snappers developed by Renea Haddadin. Pinning and unpinning takes a considerable amount of time and I find it hard on my back. Red Snappers are such a time saver! You can also check out Renea’s YouTube video here.
Step four:Batting is placed on top of the backing fabric. A horizontal line is stitched along the top of the layered batting and backing; the quilt top is then basted into place. Now the quilt is nice and straight.
Step five:Basting stitches hold the sides in place. Notice how the batting and backing extend beyond the quilt top. The extra batting and backing allows the longarmer to quilt beyond the quilt top ensuring consistent quilting. The clamps help keep the quilt back taut so no tucks occur underneath.
Now the quilt is securely fastened to the longarm and ready for quilting.