Whole Cloth Practice Quilts

Talk about DAUNTING!  This whole longarm-quilting-on-a-frame-thing is something else!  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve loaded the leaders, thought they were backwards, taken them off, turned them around, and then reloaded…only to realize I had them right the first time.  There is not a video out there at all telling you how to put the darn things on.   I get which one to put where, but do they roll this way or that?

So after weeks of fooling around with backwards rolling, I attempted a computerized pattern with my new Quilt Butler from QuiltEZ.  The success of longarming (or not, as I have discovered) is directly related to how the quilt is rolled on the frame.  My first attempts suffered skipped stitches, having the needle snag and drag in the fabric, and I’m now 100% efficient at fixing thread breaks.  Sometimes it works great.  Other times, it’s a disaster.  I’ve discovered that my issues always happen on the left side of the frame.  Odd.  Here’s a video of one of my successes.

I decided there’s no way on earth I’m going to put one of my beautiful quilt tops on that I spent weeks putting together and Lord knows how much I spent on the fabric.  I’m not there yet.  So I decided to attempt some whole cloth quilts to practice on.  I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and picked up some 1.5 yard fabric cuts and some batting.


I didn’t get a photo of the backing once I had it attached to the frame and before I added the batting and cloth top, but it was the best installation of a backing yet.  I’ve learned to be on the lookout for droopy sides.  Once the quilt is quilted, the back of the quilt can tell me a lot.  It tells me I have work to do on spacing and nesting between pattern repeats but that I’m getting the hang of it.


I was happy enough with the final product that I went ahead and decided to bind it.  I have no idea what this will be used for.  Maybe I’ll add some slots in it for a car seat cover.  The top is so busy you can’t see the quilting but that wasn’t the point on this one.



This is definitely a challenge but I’m having a great time learning this new facet of the quilting craft!


3 thoughts on “Whole Cloth Practice Quilts

  1. Sounds like the frame could not be level.
    The leaders are critical. The leader for the back has to go under the two back leaders. Look for a handi quilter video I mark the top of each leader with a large pin so I know which side is the top part to pin.

    I had all the same issues when I first started using my Handi Quilter. Hubby all but remade the frame.

    Welcome to come see how I do mine when we get home next week.


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