Longarm Lesson – Backing Too Short

Stuck with a quilt back that is too short? This is how I solved the quilt backing too small but already mostly quilted on my longarm problem.

One late afternoon, the machine was humming along and everything was going really well. I’d already finished two charity quilts. Everything was perfect, I had enough backing provided in the quilt packages and I was racing through the third charity quilt I’d promised to do. Suddenly, disaster struck!

Oh NO!

Always measure your backing or you will be sorry.
Moral of this photo: Measure your backing even if a customer has always given you enough. Always measure!

Oh NO! NO! NO! NO! The quilt backing provided was too short! I literally slapped myself up side the head. How many times had I admonished new longarmers to measure everything provided before you even put a quilt on your machine?! How many times!?!


I called my friend Carol and put on my thinking cap. After sitting and pondering together for a bit and after a refreshing glass of _______. (iced tea?) I had an epiphany. I could solve this without taking the quilt off the machine, without having to go through the agony of getting it straight again, without having to take the several hours it seemed this disaster would need.

The solution turned out to be hilarious and my friend Carol took a video. The simple solution was to take off just the bottom of the quilt and leave the top attached.

I had a tea cart that set a small sewing machine on and just sewed a strip onto the bottom of the backing. It was a quick and easy matter to just re-attach the bottom and quilt on. Watch how I did it.

I lost my hair, stubbed my toe and decided to write a letter to Santa… and Neal of Innova Longarm.

Oh Santa! Did you know shouting curse words is very difficult while pouring anesthetizing agents down your throat? I actually choked. Yes, Santa, I CHOKED! Please give me an undo.

Dear Santa,

Since my younger cousins are feverishly writing to you, I thought that possibly you wouldn’t mind if I wrote you a short letter too. I know it’s been years since I sat on your lap. Well there was that one time at that party last year… and you suspiciously looked like that guy I sleep with every night.

Please Santa the one thing I really wish I could have for Christmas this year is …


The reason I really need UNDO is to save my hair. And my marriage. Probably in that order. My husband really likes my hair. I like it too.

Last night was I working on this crazy wonderful project that I have maybe 150 hours into already. Being the geek that I am, I decided to use the masking feature to mask out my appliques from a stellar cloud pattern background. I plan doing some awesome freehand work in the spaces. So I set about 1250 push pins around this shape. It’s curved, thus it requires more pins. I saved my project, thinking it would save my pins too. Then I joined the pushpins to create a shape for masking. It’s a really cool Innova thing. I messed up and lost my push pins and had to do it all over. No problem. It only took me and hour the first time. The push pins weren’t saved by the software. So I did it again… ALL of it… All … over … again. ALL OF IT! Have you ever been so frustrated you pulled on your own hair? ARGHHH!!!

Oh Santa! An UNDO would be a really really awesome thing for Innova Autopilot and Navigator to have. It also would mean I would stop stomping through the house flinging open the bar cupboard and pouring gallons of anesthetizing agent into my stomach while gurgling unintelligible curse words. Did you know shouting curse words is very difficult while pouring anesthetizing agents down your throat? I actually choked. Yes, Santa, I CHOKED! Or maybe it was the hopping up and down while doing all the above. Anyway… if I had an undo after I accidentally clear 1250 push pins while I was joining them to make a pattern on my Innova Autopilot… then I wouldn’t tear all my hair out. And a bewildered husband wouldn’t come up on a gurgling choking wife with frazzled hair and a bleeding scalp in a heap on the floor whispering repeatedly, “if only I had an undo… if only.. undo….”

Please Neal, Please Mike, I’m sure Santa wouldn’t mind if you delivered this early so he wouldn’t have to go to all the work with his elves.

The girl who stubbed her toe when she fell in a heap while gurgling, “if only I had an undo”.

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