During your Rental Certification Class you’ll be taught how to use our zipper system on our machines which will greatly speed up your loading time. You will have the option to purchase a zipper set from the shop that you’ll reuse every time you rent.  If you’d rather not get some zippers, you can always just pin your backing to our leaders on the machines during your rental time. The reason you’d want to get some zippers is so you can load your back to the zippers at home and just zip on your back when you get to the shop rather than using up your rental time pinning. Plus, if you don’t get finished you can unzip your quilt and bring it back a different day to get going again.

Don’t forget that we also offer a concierge service if you’d rather have us load your quilt to the frame so it is all set up and ready for you to just come in and start quilting. That service is $25 and you’d need to drop everything off at least 24 hours prior to your rental.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use our zippers.  Click here for printer-friendly instructions.


1) Prepare Backing Fabric For Zippers:

-Make the backing fabric 6″- 8″larger than the quilt top. For example, if your quilt is 50×50, you need a backing at least 56″ x 56″

-Square up backing fabric on all sides. The best way to do this is snip a little cut in the fabric and rip it. That is the best way you know you’ve got the fabric on grain and square.

-Identify which side of your backing is going to be pinned to zippers. If your pattern and/or quilt are not directional, it is always preferable to load your quilt longways against the zippers to minimize the number of fabric advances you must take while quilting.

-Fold top and bottom edge of backing in half with wrong sides together and mark the center of both top and bottom edges, using a non-bleeding fabric marking pen or chalk. 

2) Pin Zippers to Backing Fabric:

     Bottom Edge of Backing Fabric:

-Lay backing fabric flat on table, with wrong side face-up, and bottom edge closest to you.


-Take the zipper marked “Bottom Left Corner” and place zipper under backing fabric so the backing fabric’s “right” side is against the side of the zipper flange that has the writing.

-Line up the center mark of the backing fabric with the black center mark of the zipper, and pin together, leaving fabric approx. 1/8″ from zipper teeth. We recommend using safety pins. Please use the 12′ center mark on your zipper. Instead of pinning with safety pins, you could also use your domestic sewing machine and run a line of big basting stitches. Use a 5.0 size stitch length and you’ll be able to just snip and pull the zippers off when you are done.


– The side of the zipper with the Dark center mark should be facing up towards the backing fabric, and the zipper teeth should be facing away from the fabric edge.

-Place one pin in the center, then pin the zipper to the fabric, placing pins 1” to 1-1/2” apart. Pin from the center out in one direction until entire side is pinned to zipper.


-Make sure to keep fabric an even 1/8″ away from teeth as you pin, to maintain a straight edge.

Please note that the writing for this zipper “Backing Bottom Left Corner”,should be on your LEFT side as you pin this zipper to the backing bottom edge.

-After pinning from the center out on one side, move back to the center and repeat.

Top Edge of Backing Fabric:

-Once the zipper is pinned to the bottom edge, turn the backing fabric so that the top edge is nearest to you.

-Backing fabric should still be flat on the table with the wrong side face-up, and now the top edge is closest to you.

-Take the zipper marked “Backing Top Right Corner”. In same manner as above for bottom edge of backing, pin zipper to top edge.


Please note that you are working kind of upside down for this side to make it easier to reach.

-Remember to have the Dark center mark of the zipper facing up towards the backing fabric, and the zipper teeth should still be facing away from the fabric edge.

-Place one pin in the center, then move out to one side at a time in the same manner as for the backing bottom edge, being sure to maintain 1/8″ inch distance from zipper teeth.


-We sell around 10 different kinds of batting and would prefer you purchase your batting at the shop. There are some battings that are too fragile to use on the frame- Mountain Mist brand, Fairfield brand and the house generic brand at JoAnn’s. You are welcome to bring batting in for your rental but it needs to be good quality to put up with the shifting and straightening we must do on the frame.

-If using packaged batting, remove batting from package and open up, spreading out to remove any deep folds. Lay out on a bed or flat surface overnight to allow folds to relax. Batting may also be placed in dryer with a damp washcloth on low to help remove creases.

-If using packaged batting, cut batting so that it is approximately the same size as your backing fabric-6 inches larger than the quilt top on all sides. Removing any excess batting over the 6 inches on the side edges will allow easier loading with the side clamps. Please note that it’s ok to have excess batting from top to bottom, because the extra can just hang on the bottom when we load it on to the machine frame, and will be trimmed off later.

-If you are going to purchase your batting at the shop when you come in, we sell it off the bolt by the 1/4 yard.

We offer the following batting choices off the roll sold by the 1/4 yard:

Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend 96″ width

Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend BLACK  108″ width

Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton/Poly blend 120″ width

Hobbs 100% Cotton with Scrim 96″ width

Hobbs 100% Poly 108″ width

Hobbs 100% wool 108″ width

Quilter’s Dream 100% Cotton Deluxe Loft 93″ width

Packaged Battings:

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Premium Polyester Crib 45″ x 60″

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Premium Polyester Throw 60″ x 60″

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Premium Polyester Twin 72″ x 96″

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Premium Polyester Full 81″ x 96″

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Premium Polyester Queen 96″ x 108″

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Premium Polyester King 120″ x 120″

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