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Thread: zippered leaders - I don't get it

  1. #1
    a regular here Demshine's Avatar
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    :x

    I have a little gracie 2 and have heard about using zippered leaders instead of cloth leaders on long arm machines. Mine has a Juki attached, so technically not a long arm, but still ....

    What I don't get is you still have to either pin or baste the quilt top to the leaders on the frame....so isn't this doing double work? And an added expense?

  2. #2
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    instead of unpinning a quilt to take it off, it can be zipped off. say, for instance, you want to put a different quilt on the frame while the one on there is not yet done, you can just zip it off. or, say a friend wants to come over and quilt for a spell, you can just unzip yours. later, you can just zip yours back on without all that pinning.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    the zippers come all the way off so that you can pin quilt on the zippers while watching tv or just sitting in lazy boy then you zip them on the leaders. I have also heard of people basting the top to zippers but i have not done that

  4. #4
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    I didn't get the zippers with my LA, just decided I could stand for 1/2 hour to pin on a quilt and have only 1 time taken a quilt off and later put it back on. I also prefer having the quilt spread out across the poles rather than in my lap to pin. Decide whether you will be taking off and on and how you prefer to pin and go from there--consider the expense of the zippers too.

  5. #5
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    Don't feel bad demshine neither do I.Maybe because I have been doing it the "old school way" since 1990.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    When I first bought my longarm I absolutely hated pinning the quilt on. I stuck myself countless times. I decided to make a second set of leaders with velcro, much like the zippered leaders but with the added capability that you could adjust them side to side if they weren't quite straight. I used the velcro leaders a time or two, then went back to pinning, and now I don't mind the pins so much (though I still get stuck occasionally). Different ways work better for some people than for others. I still think the velcro or zippers is a great idea, and may use it for my next large quilt, or if I think there's a possibility I will want to take the quilt off the frame before it's finished.

  7. #7
    Super Member cjtinkle's Avatar
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    I love my zippers. I always keep a practice sandwich on a spare set of zippered leaders. Everytime I load a new quilt, I put on the practice piece first and make sure my tension is perfect.

    You don't have to pin to the zippers. You can sew a top onto them in a flash using the basting stitch on your sewing machine.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dollysquiltingmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjtinkle
    I love my zippers. I always keep a practice sandwich on a spare set of zippered leaders. Everytime I load a new quilt, I put on the practice piece first and make sure my tension is perfect.

    You don't have to pin to the zippers. You can sew a top onto them in a flash using the basting stitch on your sewing machine.
    DITTO

  9. #9
    Senior Member gellybean402's Avatar
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    Zippers came with my Voyager 17 machine and I pin my quilts to them. I like them because if I am having tension issues and need to look at the back of my quilt, I can unzip them quicker to see how it looks instead of using a mirror or climbing under the machine. I haven't tried basting them on yet because I wasn't sure if it would wear them down faster.

  10. #10
    Super Member CoyoteQuilts's Avatar
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    One thing that isn't mentioned here is that you put 1/2 of your leader onto the roller on your machine with 1/2 of the zipper parts on that (this stays on your rollers). The other 1/2 of the leader has the other 1/2 of the zipper (the zipper is like a jacket zipper---it comes completely apart) so when you put your backing or top on this leader by pinning or baste stitching you only have to zip the 2 parts together.

    I don't use zippers, I have velcro hook on my poles and the leaders have velcro loop on my leaders and I baste stitch my backing to the leader with my machine.

    Lot's of different ways of loading a quilt on your frame.

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