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Thread: Do I need zippered leaders, and what accessories to get

  1. #1
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    Do I need zippered leaders, and what accessories to get

    HI

    I am going to be getting the Gammill Vision 26" and I can get $1,000 of accessories. Do I need the Leaders with zipped edge ($300)??
    I am only quilting for myself and will not be taking the quilt off the frame until it is finished.

    Secondly, I do want to learn ruler work.

    Here is my other question, what accessories are the best for me to get ??

    Thanks for Any help and advice, as this is a really big (and last) purchase of this type for me.

    Karensue
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-22-2017 at 12:18 PM. Reason: shouting

  2. #2
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    Just my opinion, but I would not get the zippered leaders, I would instead spend that money on a larger extended base for ruler work, a set of circle rulers (from 2 inches up to 12 inches with a marked center and marked lines), a straight edge ruler (2 inch by 10 inch with 1/4 inch markings); a set of oval rulers. I wold also make sure that all rulers were Not nested but solid as the solid ones are much easier to hold in place.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-22-2017 at 12:19 PM. Reason: remove shouting

  3. #3
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    You will need leaders of some sort, but I wouldn't go with zippered ones personally. The longarm I rent time on uses Leadergrips, and I find them great for loading quilts quickly and easily.

    I would get the extended ruler base, and the micro stippling handles. Beyond that I will let more experienced people weigh in. Enjoy your new machine!

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I tried velcro leaders, which are the same idea as zippered leaders in that you attach the quilt edges to one side of the leader and can then take the quilt off the frame and replace it later. I didn't like those leaders at all, and wound up using Renae Haddadin's Red Snappers. I really love those, as well as the Red-E-Edge for the sides of the quilt.

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Can you provide a link as to what accessories you have to choose from?

    I would not get zippered leaders. If you want to do ruler work find out if your machine needs a special foot for that. And yes, definitely get an extended ruler base. And if rulers are in the mix I agree on a set of circle templates and definitely a straight ruler but I find a much smaller size easier to handle. My most favorite straight ruler is 2" x 6". I have another that is bigger and I find it unwieldy and hardly ever use it. I would also get an arc ruler commonly used for curved cross hatching but you may wish to wait on these because there are many suppliers of rulers and the prices vary so you may want to work with the basics (straight and circles) before expanding your ruler collection.

    Are there lighting accessories? What about an auto advance? Or even handle systems to make advancing easier.

    Micro handles are an awesome add on to have if you plan on doing dense micro quilting and backfills.

    If you need to use up the final couple of hundred, I would spend it on parts like an extra bobbin case, an open toe foot, a spare tension assembly and a couple of spare tension check springs. You will always need these things and it is nice to have them at the ready because needing to replace something always happens at the most inopportune time and you don't want to wait.

  6. #6
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    Here is the list of most of the options. I did find circle templates on the site. And below is what is in the maintenance and starter package, of which I am pretty clueless:

    Maintenance Kit – $99
    Includes: bobbin case, needle set screw, encoder “O” ring, tension check assembly, 2 anti-backlash springs, cone spring, bobbin winder “O” ring stand alone, 2 thread guides, 3-hole thread guide

    Start-Up Supply Kit – $499
    Includes: Roll 80/20 cotton/poly batting, Maintenance Ki, stand-alone bobbin winder, 13 cones of assorted thread, 10 extra bobbins, 100 extra needles, 1-quart oil, magnetic pin holder

  7. #7
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    I'd get the maintenance kit, stand along bobbin winder (thread, bobbins and needles are most likely cheaper to get somewhere else).

    I'd check out the optional light kit, I added lights to my HQ and really like them. I'd also check out what the cutting mat is. I put cutting mats all along the back edge of mine, and that gives me a 12' long cutting surface. I use it for trimming quilts after they are quilted so I can put on the binding.

    And the Micro handles, I leave mine on all the time, just rotate them out of the way.

    There are a lot of other items people have mentioned that I agree with - but they are not shown on your list of options. - extra feet, ruler base, front winder wheel (if your frame does not come with one), extra bobbin case (in case you drop one and knock it out of round).

    The other thing that HQ now has is a support so you can lift the top (quilt top) rail out of the way when positioning batting.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  8. #8
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    The extras I got with my HQ Avante are a ruler base, glide foot, bobbin winder, electric channel locks, casters, micro handles, and an extra rail winder so I'd have them at both ends of the frame. I bought all of my rulers from people selling them on the Yahoo group SewItsForSale so I saved quite a bit of money that way.

    Cari

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I agree with Macybaby on the maintenance kit and stand alone winder. You may end up liking prewound bobbins better but it is nice to have the winder. Lighting is always a major thing. On my LA my DH installed track lights over my LA and those work great but what I really love is a special LED/blacklight combo that is installed right around my needlebar. I LOVE it and now that I have it, can't do without it. So definitely see what that optional light kit is for $249.

    I understand Gammils are oil hogs. And I guess that must be so as the start up kit has a quart of oil Wow, they are oil hogs. I have had my LA (Innova) for 7 years and I am still on my first little 4 oz bottle of machine oil (zoom spout).

    But you can pick up gallon jugs of machine oil on line for $25 so like Macybaby, I would take a pass on the startup kit

    Also don't be afraid to negotiate with your dealer. Say you only like a few accessories, ask them instead to give you free setup and delivery or something. Many will negotiate on stuff like that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by karensue View Post
    HI

    I am going to be getting the Gammill Vision 26" and I can get $1,000 of accessories. Do I need the Leaders with zipped edge ($300)??
    I am only quilting for myself and will not be taking the quilt off the frame until it is finished.

    Secondly, I do want to learn ruler work.

    Here is my other question, what accessories are the best for me to get ??

    Thanks for ANY help and advice, as this is a really big (and last) purchase of this type for me.

    Karensue
    You don't need to spend that much to use zippered leaders. Here's a link to a company that sells the zippers:

    http://stores.longarmconnection.com/quick-zip-system/

    You need to add the zippers to your leaders yourself but it is easy to do. You need to get the "machine set" which includes the zippers for the leaders and a set for the quilt. Then you can get as many "renter sets"(only has quilt zippers) as you want so you can have more than one quilt on zippers at once.

    I've used zippers from the beginning. While waiting for my zippers to arrive I did do a quilt or two with the pin method and found it tedious and I didn't like the extra time spent standing. I switched to zippers and have never regretted it.
    You can sit anywhere to attach or remove the zippers(no standing at machine and no pins to stab you). I still use pins to start attaching batting and the top but the safety pins are great to work with(just never close them after using-much easier to use).
    Look into the zipper set and I think you will like it.

    Edited to add: I've never used a stand alone bobbin winder as you can wind a bobbin as you sew. Even if you find you need to wind a bobbin manually(run the machine to make bobbin wind) it only takes a few minutes. You definitely want the maintenance kit though. The other kit - I don't know you could probably get all that separately, although I don't know if it would cost more.
    Last edited by selm; 04-21-2017 at 10:25 AM.
    Sally

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I have a Gammill--welcome to the world of Long Arming! I have many add-ons (bought that way, but no hydraulics which is what I'd like to be able to afford). Here's what I'd suggest: maintenance kit; stand alone bobbin winder(and I buy 2 cones of almost every thread so I can leave one on the stand alone while quilting); extra bobbins; extended table; micro-stippling handles if you like the look of denser quilting; light bar on the machine (the overheads are nice, but where you put it may already have nice lighting so all you need is the intense light close to the needle); panto handles if you think you will do them--and most of us use pantos at times; you don't say what size table you are getting--but I would suggest a 12' if you have the space--that allows you to quilt most anything (I have a 14' and rarely need that lenght). And the laser light.

    What I'd not buy--the Gammill guide (I don't have and everyone I know that has it says it's hard to handle); casters (you likely aren't going to be moving it often enough to warrant them--mine came with them but never been moved--it's too heavy even with casters!); the start up kit--you can get all the supplies other sources and unless they are giving you a wide assortment of thread weights and needle sizes, you will want to do a little experimenting to see what you like best. Several on-line stores carry lots of Gammill stuff--Linda's Electric Quilts, Kingmen Quilting, etc. You can get a drafting stool for $99 at most office supply stores and you really don't need the guide for a stool as most have locking casters and you can lock a wheel and not worry about flying away. The Gammill Guide jr. is just a longer straight ruler with a handle on top--I like my Linda Taylor straight ruler much better. And Gammill's are thristy machines so you will need oil--but again, that's easy to get too.

    hold off on zipper leaders--I bought those and then decided I was still just pinning (I didn't like to sew the backing to the zipper leaders)so I ended up switching to Red Snappers--which I love.

  12. #12
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    No, you don't need zippered leaders. I prefer using just the one set of velcro leaders that came with my HQ. I use Red Snappers but had the top snapper pieces cut into 2-2 1/2" increments due to my arthritis.
    Ask for a written statement of when you need to spend the extra credit. That way you will have time to get together with other Gammill users and LA'ers.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  13. #13
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    This isn't an accessory, but wanted you to be aware of the new machine Gammill is about to launch. It is a mid sized computerized machine called Elegante. It isn't an addition to the existing machines, but rather a whole new one. So if you have a Vision 2 you can't upgrade. It requires a trade in.
    So if you ever entertained the notion of having a computerized machine, not like a Statler, you might consider checking into it before purchasing the Vision 2.
    Just a thought.
    I second the opinion of the Gam guide ruler. It isn't very user friendly. I had it a a conference of Gammill users recently. The concensus was the same. No good.
    Get lots of bobbins and a stand alone winder. The onboard one can only be successfully used while stitching in Constant mode.
    A lot of needles would come in handy as well.

  14. #14
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    Don't get the zippered leaders. I have Leadergrips instead and love them. Make sure you have the extended base, and buy some other high ticket items. Small ticket items like oil and needles are easier for you to afford to buy yourself later.

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    Thank you for all the wonderful comments and suggestions. I am so thankful and now will have to go over the list, as well as on the site to see what I would actually purchase with the $1,000 Gammill offer. These posts gave me a lot to think about and a few more sites to look at.

    Do you have any suggestions in getting batting. The store said it likes 80/20 cotton. I was thinking I should get a roll from them when they deliver the machine since it looks really expensive to order on line.

    As I am a complete novice in purchasing this long arm, was suppose to happen last year but house improvements got in the way. I am excited, but scared to death since I know nothing about the machine itself (or any other long arm), and am clueless as to adjusting tensions in something like this. The dealer is not close and not in an area that I can drive to myself. But hubby thought this was the best machine of all when we went to Expo in March, and I could handle it better than I ever imagined.

    Is there a way to find out about any long arm or Gammill clubs or people with advice in my area (Marietta, GA)??
    I could only find one yahoo group site which was for Statler only. I use the yahoo site for tips on my other embroidery/sewing machines, and learn a lot, as well as the wealth of information I get from reading the Quiltingboard every single day.
    karensue
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-22-2017 at 12:20 PM. Reason: remove shouting

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karensue View Post
    Thank you for all the wonderful comments and suggestions. I am so thankful and now will have to go over the list, as well as on the site to see what I would actually purchase with the $1,000 Gammill offer. These posts gave me a lot to think about and a few more sites to look at.

    Do you have any suggestions in getting batting. The store said it likes 80/20 cotton. I was thinking I should get a roll from them when they deliver the machine since it looks really expensive to order on line.

    As I am a complete novice in purchasing this long arm, was suppose to happen last year but house improvements got in the way. I am excited, but scared to death since I know nothing about the machine itself (or any other long arm), and am clueless as to adjusting tensions in something like this. The dealer is not close and not in an area that I can drive to myself. But hubby thought this was the best machine of all when we went to Expo in March, and I could handle it better than I ever imagined.

    Is there a way to find out about any long arm or Gammill clubs or people with advice in my area (Marietta, GA)??
    I could only find one yahoo group site which was for Statler only. I use the yahoo site for tips on my other embroidery/sewing machines, and learn a lot, as well as the wealth of information I get from reading the Quiltingboard every single day.
    karensue
    KarenSue--don't worry much about the tension. Go ahead and get a Towa gauge--I check each bobbin and adjust bobbin tension if needed--I rarely mess with the top tension and then only the intermediate tension (one in middle of arm, not the one closest to the needle). Adjusting bobbin seemed real foreign to me at first since I was always told not to touch the bobbin tension on my DSM, but you get used to it. If you have problems, make sure that it's threaded right, pull out the bobbin and reinsert into the case again, etc.
    Do check around to see if there's a machine quilting guild in your area--I'm not familiar with your area, but where I live there's a machine quilters guild that encompasses a 8 county area. We only meet every other month so the drive isn't too bad. We have a presenter about every other meeting. But the best meetings are really when we each bring a quilt and talk about how to quilt it; bring the ruler that we still can;t figure out how to use; use the dry erase board to demo a quick edge-to-edge, etc.
    I get my bat either at a dealer for Nolting that is fairly close, or I get my LQS to order me one and pick up at the store. I now have a roll of wool bat, but typically will keep a package of black bat, one of poly and used to keep a wool on hand. I order my needles & thread usually from Superior. Rulers I tend to indulge myself on at major quilt shows--and do go to major shows and take classes--you will be glad you did and gain so much confidence on your quilting. Keep us posted on your progress---there are many long arm quilters on this board and I've learned much from them too.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 07-22-2017 at 12:21 PM. Reason: to match quoted post edit

  17. #17
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Karensue, I just wanted to say congratulations on your new machine...(green with envy). I recently had the opportunity to take a FMQ class on a Gammill (a smaller one) and it stitched nicely. Once my new sewing room is finished I will then be faced with choosing a LA machine. Each brand has their pros and cons.

    If you know you're going to do ruler work, that's definitely where I'd use my accessory allowance. Where I rent a LA, we use the grippers and it's nice because you're paying by the hour...but if I had a machine at home, I would probably just pin especially since you do not need to take the quilt on and off until it's finished.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  18. #18
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    Do you know what kind of extra's you are going to get when they delivery your machine. I got a little box that had extra fuses, extra bobbin case some allen wrenches and various other tools.. If you do not have good lighting where you are going to put you machine, the light bar would be a plus as it is pricey.. But I would for sure get the extended base. If you plan to do ruler work it is a must. I also got the zippered leaders, but if you are only going to quilt for yourself I wouldn't see the need for them.

  19. #19
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your new LA. I have a Gammill Vision and love it. You might want to check and see if your machine already comes with any of those accessories before ordering them. Mine did come with zippered leaders (and an extra set that I've never taken out of the bag), the extended base (a must for ruler work) and GamGuide Jr. (hated it, found it hard to use). The maintenance kit sounds like a good idea. Have to admit that, in 5 years and 150 hours of use, I have never needed any of those items replaced but, if you need one on a Saturday night, it would save you tons of frustration. Castors only have come in handy when needing to move the table to replace the carpeting. I think the micro-drive handles would be great if you expect to do a lot of small background fillers. Not sure what panto handles are. Mine already has handles on both the front and the back of the machine - maybe that's not standard any more.
    People will see your quilts long after you're gone - NOT your housework!

  20. #20
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    Thanks again for information and suggestions.
    Apparently Gammill doesn't give anything free (a few machine basics) with the machine now. I saw flyers from a few years back and they gave the extended base, zippered leaders, and the work station for circles/ovals free with the machine. I am jealous of those who got those items. But after all your help I think I am satisfied with my selections, and I have added the pantograph handles to my list. It's hard to find specific information on options, but from what I have been able to find, those handles make it easier to follow the pantographs. And I am going for the red snappers, instead of the zippered leaders.

  21. #21
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karensue View Post
    Thanks again for information and suggestions.
    Apparently Gammill doesn't give anything free (a few machine basics) with the machine now.
    No they don't, and trying to get a straight answer from the rep was impossible, that's why I bought an HQ Avante. I tried three times to get the Gammill rep to give me a straight answer to pointed questions about costs and he just kept giving me run around, wouldn't answer my questions so I took my money elsewhere and have zero regrets.

    Cari

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    Can you please post a photo of the red snappers and the Red E Edge? I'm unfamiliar. Thank you.

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