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Thread: Leaders for mid arm machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member kittykatz2001's Avatar
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    I have an unusual mid arm 17" made by a very brilliant man that can do anything. He makes these to help us quilters that cannot afford the name brand ones. His wife is a teacher, book writer, quilt designer, you name it. He says this is his way of giving back. Anyway, I have back problems and have to get DH to help me load a quilt. Would making leaders make it easier to load and how would I go about making them. You guys are wonderful and I know someone has an answer. katie

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    I would love to see the mid arm he made you... Does he sell them? I've wanted one for years and just can't spend the money.

    I'm sure someone will help you figure out how to make leaders, all I know is that I've been told to install zippers to make loading easier.

  3. #3
    Super Member CoyoteQuilts's Avatar
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    Here is Sharon Schamber's youtube on her leaders. I put my velcro right on my bars instead of on a piece of fabric. It saves on space in the machine when I am quilting the sandwich.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I use the ticking fabric to make it easier to line up the backing, batting & top. Find a seam line in your poles or use a laser and tape each leader along the line. I used pillow ticking but any heavier weight, non-stretch material will work--canvas, duck cloth, denim, etc. I have my leaders marked in 6" increments to to make it easier to load the backing & top and keep it square.

    Your takeup leader (the bar/pole inside the throat of the machine) should be 5-7" long. Depending on how your frame is, the next closest leader should be about 10-12" by may be more or less depending on your frame setup. The final leader is long longest and again, will depend on how far away it is from the needle but it will probably be at least 10" and maybe as much as 20". These really don't matter if they're too long because they don't add to the bulk in the throat but who wants to buy unneeded or waste fabric?

  5. #5
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    What size are your poles? length?

    I just got new leaders because I got a bigger frame if thee are compatible I can give you my old ones. How do you load a quilt without leaders?

    Although I don't know you may have to trim mine down and re-serge them as I have 26 inch arm on my machine.

  6. #6
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    If you have issues with loading the quilt on to leaders, you might want to look at the actual way you load.
    Red Snappers are very popular right now. I just got a set and they'll be going on my leaders this weekend.

    http://quiltsonthecorner.com/red_snappers

    Out of curiosity - does that gentleman normally sell the machines he makes? I might want to upsize to an 17" in the future - I have a 15 right now.

  7. #7
    Junior Member kittykatz2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charismah
    What size are your poles? length?

    I just got new leaders because I got a bigger frame if thee are compatible I can give you my old ones. How do you load a quilt without leaders?

    Although I don't know you may have to trim mine down and re-serge them as I have 26 inch arm on my machine.
    My table is 12 ft. I have 3 poles that has about 12 inches of heavy cloth taped to the metal poles and I pin to that. It must be some kind of industrial tape cause it's never moved.

    Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about when I say leaders. I meant the kind that is zipped or velcroed to keep from pinning so much. Hate to sound so stupid.

  8. #8
    Junior Member kittykatz2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarn or Fabric
    If you have issues with loading the quilt on to leaders, you might want to look at the actual way you load.
    Red Snappers are very popular right now. I just got a set and they'll be going on my leaders this weekend.

    http://quiltsonthecorner.com/red_snappers

    Out of curiosity - does that gentleman normally sell the machines he makes? I might want to upsize to an 17" in the future - I have a 15 right now.
    It takes him awhile to build the machine and table. I live in the east Texas area. He only sells locally. It's mainly a hobby for him. He does set up a machine and demo's it at the Heritage Quilt Show in Canton, Texas which is usually around the third weekend of October. He takes orders for them there. Delivery would be the problem.

    I went to the website you gave me. Wow looks easy and not too bad a price. Please let me know how they work out for you. katie

  9. #9
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    I sure will.
    I actually got them in a little over a week ago but was came down with a nasty bug and am just getting over it enough to start crafting again.

    I'm hoping to get them installed this weekend and start working on some practice pieces on the frame :)

  10. #10
    Junior Member kittykatz2001's Avatar
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    If they work like they look like they would, it sure would be a blessing for me. Usually takes me 2 days to load a large quilt. I get so worn out!!

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