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Thread: Brand new long arm owner-need Advice

  1. #11
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    You can buy any heavy fabric, like canvas, to use as leaders. I have leaders that came with my frame and are already marked. I have loaded my quilt by pinning it to the leader with straight pins and I have red snappers too. Both work well and depending on the thickness of the quilt I will use one or the other. One 'trick' I have learned was to purchase a long tape measure - 120" and fasten it to one of the take up roller to help center your quilt. You might want to check out nancysnotions.com or ericas.com for leader cloths and tape measure as well as other tools to help you. I think they are less expensive than Grace Co.
    Proud grandma of Coast Guard grandson and Air Force granddaughter!

  2. #12
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    you can make your own leaders and yours would probably be straight. I have clamps with velcrow attached works fine for me I either baste or pin. My machine is old so it does not have needle down needle up so mine is just stitching and I find that to be a little difficult to keep straight. I have had mine for only a couple months and I have alot to learn.

  3. #13
    Junior Member
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    I have a 10' Grace Pinnacle frame that I bought used and came with cloth leaders that looked like they were made from bed sheet material, I didn't like them, they were wayy too flexible and flimsy and I had to pin to use them in which when I would get to the bottom of my quilt there were always the tiny little waves of material in between the pins, I didn't like that. Needless to say it takes forever to pin a queen size quilt on the frame! I had taken a long arm class and they had canvas leaders and I love how straight they laid and how they were more firm and help fabric nicely. I put them on my Christmas list along with Red Snappers, they are a dream! no more pinning! they are fast just like the videos show! I can load my quilts in less then 10min! I am 27 and have been quilting for a year now. The only thing I need now is a long arm machine, I have a mid arm Janome 1600P on my frame now but dream of having something with a longer throat one day. I have attached the links to check out the canvas leaders & red snappers they really speed loading & unloading quilts up!

    http://quiltsonthecorner.3dcartstore...ers_ep_42.html

    http://quiltsonthecorner.3dcartstore...-10_p_550.html
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  4. #14
    Junior Member
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    Also something that just happened to me,
    Make sure your backing is always at least 6inchs extra on all sizes of your top, the fabric moves as you quilt. My customer had made a quilt back in the 90's and had the backing fabric from back then and there was only like 3inches extra on the backing all the way around. Needless to say we tried to make it work due to not being able to buy anymore of that fabric...well, by the end of the quilt it had shrunk up and we were 4 inches too short on the bottom....we had to trim off the extra on the sides and sew that onto the bottom to finish it out. So always make sure you have lots of extra backing because it isn't worth the stress and frustration if it happens to you...though I am told it happens to every long armer once but I wish it would have never happened to me :/ oh well.
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  5. #15
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I started out pinning, switched to velcro, then switched to red snappers. I love the red snappers! And the side pieces, red-e-edge, are even better for tensioning the sides of the quilt.

  6. #16
    Senior Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    My frame (Little Gracie II) came with canvas type leaders the original owner made. They seem pretty good, quite firm and not stretchy. They are varying lengths. I need to check paperwork that came with the frame to see if they are recommended sizes but I think they are ok.
    I did buy a set of "Leader Grips" after seeing them demonstrated at Lancaster AQS. I really like how simple they are to attach, and I will have enough pieces left over to make the side grippers too as the retail store near me only had one size set in stock, for a frame larger than mine. I didn't buy them at the show because I needed to take some measurements from my frame. They are really easy to attach, yet hold firmly.
    As I also bought the Sure Stitch stitch regulator, I am closer to getting my set up ready for me to get practicing on! Good thing as I will be out of work in a few weeks.

  7. #17
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    Where do you get red snappers?

  8. #18
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    oh I want to follow this thread as I got my machine a year ago and have not used it yet, have so much to learn, thank you!
    dare to dream

  9. #19
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Here's a video of the Red Snappers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdESb8_p5ec . They are available several places online, including NancysNotions and http://www.quiltsonthecorner.com/ .

    Just be aware that they can be difficult to snap on if you don't have good hand strength or have arthritis. I decided to use zippered leaders.

  10. #20
    Senior Member
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    When I had my shortarm on a SuperQuilter frame, I chose to attach the leaders (pillow ticking fabrics) by Velcro because I could make them any width I wanted...I used 36, 45, 64, 80 inches etc. The original leaders were to be made wiht casings so they could be slipped on and off. That was a pain since it involved taking the bars off the frame to slide the leaders on. Also, the leaders would not stay in place when it came time to roll them up. I didn't bother to use middle leaders. No matter how wide the leaders were, the short leader was 12 inches long while the long leader was 22 inches long. For example, if I was doing a baby quilt, I might use the 45 inch wide leaders and have another project, say, a large lap quilt, on a different sized set of leaders in case I wanted to switch them back and forth. It is far cheaper to make your own leaders than to buy premade leaders.

    Now with my Bailey on Gracie Majestic frame, the leaders are a dream to put on the machine. Again, I have made different sized leaders.

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