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Thread: Good machine for basting quilts to leaders

  1. #1
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    Question Good machine for basting quilts to leaders

    I am fairly new to quilting in any respect. My mom and I have purchased a queen quilter 18 quilting machine. Currently neither one of has a machine that has a very long stitch length. I am curious to know if anyone is aware of a sewing machine with a stitch length of over 6 mm. We are just looking for a machine to do this one function, if there is a reasonable option for this. We both have other machines that will be used for piecing, etc.

    Any insight into this situation would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Probably any newer machine that has a basting stitch. My almost 20yo Bernina 1230 has this. The max regular stitch length is 5mm; however, by hitting the basting stitch button the machine skips every other stitch. To get 6mm I would place it on a 3mm stitch and engage the basting stitch option. It even has an option to skip every 2 stitches in a row; however, I have never found a good use for that one!

  3. #3
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    doesn't the frame baste your quilts or is it a sit down

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I pin my tops to the leaders. Would that work for you?

  5. #5
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I've actually never heard of basting the quilt back to the leader using a sewing machine. (but there's lots of things I've never heard of...) I pin my quilts to the leaders. There are lots of youtube videos demonstrating this.
    You can also look into 'Red Snappers' a channel and tube system. Here's a demo:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdESb8_p5ec
    Also, you can use zippers. You get pairs of long separating zippers. Sew one side permanently to the leader, then pin or use your 6mm basting stitch to afix your backing to the other zipper tape and zip them on.
    Any of these methods are lots cheaper than getting another machine.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
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    Some of the older Singer machines do a chain stitch. You can chain stitch the backing to your leaders and when finished just pull on one thread and the whole chain seam comes out. The babylock serger (Evolve) also does a chain stitch.

  7. #7
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    My leaders are heavy canvas and Velcro to the frame - the backing is sewn to the leaders prior to loading the quilt on the frame, the top is pinned to the leader at the bottom, then sewn to the batting & quilt back at the top. This is the way that we were taught when we attended the two day class that came with our machine and frame.

    I am new and have no clue if there are better ways to do this. The quilting machine lives at my mom's house so when I come up here I use it. I am currently hauling my sewing machine up here to use it baste the quilt. I am interested in seeing what other options I might have.

    i have a bernette machine but it doesn't have a basting stitch or a chain stitch option, it is fairly simple. I will look into machines with one of these options.

    Thanks everyone for all your help.

    Kendra

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I tried the velcro and sewing technique and didn't like it so I went back to pins, then tried the Red Snappers and I do like them, although I'm concerned that I am not getting as much accuracy in positioning the fabric with the Snappers as I did with pinning, and Snappers do use up some of the available fabric so you need to have the backing cut a bit longer. There are several different options for loading a quilt, and most of us try several before finding the one (or more) right for us.

    One option is to use water soluble thread for the sewing. Then you just spritz it with water and the stitches dissolve. I investigated the chain stitch machine option, but couldn't find an inexpensive machine that would do it. (The vintage ones are hard to find, and the sergers that do this tend to be higher end, meaning expensive.)

    I just re-read your explanation above. I float the top of the quilt top rather than secure it, and sometimes float the bottom as well. I don't quite understand why the bottom of the quilt top would be pinned when everything else is sewn, but as I said, there are lots of different options for loading a quilt!
    Last edited by dunster; 07-07-2012 at 07:53 AM.

  9. #9
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Roberta, I have the same leaders, velcro-ed to my rollers. I've never taken them off. I just pin the backing to the take up and backing rollers' leaders. I pin right into the canvas. I float the batting and top.

    Since you and your mom are just starting out, you will probably be most comfortable following the instructions from the class for the first couple of quilts. Once you gain some experience, I would take a few minutes and look at some of the 'how to load a quilt' videos on you tube and try just pinning. everyone has their favorite technique or tool to do this.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  10. #10
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    My leaders are stuck on the poles and I pin the backing to them. Then I lock the quilting machine into a straight horizontal line and use it to attach the batting to the backing fabric. Then I pin my top--matching it up to the straight line.

    I know others use zippers, water soluble thread & hand baste and there is a hand-held chain stitch machine that Walgreen's used to carry that one lady I know of used to attach the backing to her leaders.

    You can manually baste with your quilt machine by tacking or setting the speed very slow and moving it quickly across.
    Beverly

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