Float A Quilt Top

I love to float a quilt top on my frame. There are several ways to load your quilt onto your quilting frame. My favorite way to load a quilt on a frame is to float a quilt top. I have found this method to be quick and easy. Make sure to watch the video at the end of this article as well!

Start with your Backing

First we will start with our backing. For this Quilt, I am using only solid fabrics from PaintBrush Studio. This line of fabric is called painters palette at and it is my favorite solid fabric because of the quality, color consistency and the high thread count.

I highly recommend you try this brand of solid fabrics. The color I’m using is called Honey and it’s really going to complement the front of the Quilt.

About my Quilting System

My quilting frame is Juki J350 Miyabi QVP. I can create beautiful stitches on my quilt with plenty of space. I have 18 inches of horizontal throat space between the arm of the machine and the needle and 10-inch height, unlike most long arm quilting machines, which only provide an 8-inch height or less.

All these amazing capabilities come mounted on a deluxe quilting frame of up to 12 feet. I have a 10 foot quilting frame, which fits perfectly in my home sewing studio. There are two (5 foot) rails that create this frame, so the center line is easy to find. I also have markings on my leaders which I intentionally aligned with my center marking of the top rail.

Loading the Backing

In a previous video, I shared how I use the red snapper system to load my quilt. This system is quick and easy and that is what I’m using here. I snap the top, center, of my backing onto the top rail. I pull the rest of my quilt through so that it goes underneath the dead bar.

The first thing we’re going to do is locate the center of the top of the backing. I’m just folding the backing in half to identify the center and then marking it with a sewing pin. Next, I am locating the center of my quilt frame. Using the turning wheel on the frame, I advance my quilt so that the bottom of my backing is easily accessible to my backing rail. Again, locate the center of my backing, this time, on the bottom. I repeat the same process by aligning and snapping the bottom of the backing to the backing rail. Once I get the top of the backing and the bottom of the backing attached to the rails, I move the backing back to its starting position.

Float your Batting

Now it’s time to load the batting. This particular batting is called Elegant Blend, by Stitch N Time. Stitch in Time Elegant Blend 80/20 (which is 80% cotton and 20% Polyester) is a premium blend batting designed by quilters for quilters. This batting is needle-punched into a very fine scrim providing a stable and tug-gable batting for frame quilting but still wonderful for hand or domestic quilting. I used the twin sized package, which is the perfect width for this quilt.

I’m just aligning the top of my batting against the top of my backing. I’ll let the remainder of the batting float over the edge of the rails. There are rails at the bottom of my frame that I could attach this batting to, but I like to float my quilts so I just let it drape over the edge. I’m using my side clamps to attach each side of my quilt. This helps to create an even quilting surface. These can easily adjusted to fit your quilt.

Float a Quilt Top

I’m also going to float my quilt top. This is just a personal preference. Many people like to attach the bottom of the top to the rail system, but I just like to float my tops. The quilt that I am loading is the Turntables Quilt. I have this pattern available in both paper or PDF format!

Once I align my batting and my quilt top, I’m going to do some large basting stitches with my long arm.

Baste Your Quilt

My Juki J-350 QVP has a basting function which helps me make sure that my Quilt stays put during the entire Quilting process. I’m simply basting and advancing the quilt until I get to the end. Each time I advance my Quilt, I make sure that the Quilting surface is taunt, but not super tight. It’s a delicate balance that you’ll learn over time. With each quilt advancement, I am applying another row of basting stitches.

My Juki J-350 QVP lets me choose how large I want my basting stitches to be. I usually choose the largest stitch, since these will eventually be taken out either as I am quilting or after I am done quilting. It’s helpful to use a contrasting thread for basting. This makes it really easy to identify what needs to be removed. I like to trim off the excess batting. I don’t trim it too close to the edge of the quilt because you might need a little extra room when you finally get to the end of the quilt. I just don’t want all of the excess rolled up on my rail, so I just trim it off.

Ready for Quilting

Once I have the quilt basted then I will move the quilt back to the starting point and prepare my machine for the edge to edge design I have chosen.

I also have the quilting automation package on my my machine. This package is called Quilters Creative Touch 5 or QCT5. Look for more articles and lessons on this quilting automation.

WATCH THE VIDEO

I would love to hear from you about how you load your quilts! Do you like to float your tops?

Be sure to share your makes in my Community Group and don’t forget to join my Newsletter, where I share all the best tips, techniques, specials and events!

Happy Stitching!

Nicole Moore Blog Post Signature
Juki J-350 Quilting System

Juki J350 QVP Miyabi on a frame

I am super excited to announce that Juki has sent me a frame (and lots of other goodies) for my Juki J-350 Miyabi Longarm!  If you recall – I already owned the machine, but mine was on a table with extension leaves.  This new setup is the same model machine, but now on a 10′ frame!  I can’t wait to share more about this, so let’s dive right in!

Juki J350 LongArm Table

Juki J-350 Package Details

Not all Juki J-350 packages are created equal. In fact, there are several different ways you can build your own long arm. For the past five years, I’ve had my J-350 on a table and that has served me very well. Until just recently, I’ve expanded my sewing space to accommodate a larger Quilting system. Juki sent me an entirely new system. I have a new J-350 head, they sent me a 10 foot frame, they even sent me the Quilting automation system. I’ll be sharing more about the automation system after I receive training and obtain an interface for the software. Click HERE If you want to see all the frame options, for this system.

You’ll notice a large black frame above the machine head. This is where a tablet will go so I can stitch out computerized designs with a software package called Quilter’s Creative Touch. More about that – once I receive my training next month!

Look at the size of this frame

I knew that I needed a bigger space to accommodate a system like this, so we recently knocked out a wall in our house and created a new studio for my home based business. This was a long time coming and I can’t wait to share more about my new space in an upcoming article. The frame that I knew would fit nicely in my new space is ten feet long. You have to figure a few more additional feet on each side to accommodate the side pieces and general maneuverability around the system. I could’ve probably fit the largest frame, which is a 12 foot frame, but I knew I needed to be able to maneuver comfortably and so I opted for the 10 foot frame. Just take a look at the entire system from this Birdseye view.

This view is a little tricky to comprehend, but when I share more about my studio renovation – this will make more sense. The system spans across the back wall, but is still leaving me room to maneuver on either side and even behind the machine. You have to leave a little bit of room behind the machine so that the head can travel behind the frame to make the most use of the 18 inch throat space on the Juki J-350. To learn all about the features of this amazing machine, check out my first article HERE.

The best service and install!

I feel really lucky to have some fantastic local dealers. Joan and Robert with Quilters HQ have been my friends for the past several years. I’ve purchased all of my Juki machines through them and they have been so great and easy to deal with. This power couple personally set up my machine and even stayed to help me test it out and showed me some tips and tricks along the way. I reordered the entire installation, so stay tuned for that video coming soon!

If you are in the Kansas City area, I highly encourage you to stop by one of their shops and say hello.

If you are looking for a Juki dealer in your area, click HERE and see where you can test drive a J-350 yourself! I know you will love it! If you want to test drive a machine at a show or an event, click HERE to see all the places that Juki plans to be with this amazing machine!

Watch the Installation Video!

More quilting goodness to come. Keep up with me daily on Instagram!

Happy Quilting!

Nicole Moore Blog Post Signature