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Does anyone else have difficulty using Red Snappers to load a quilt on the frame?

Does anyone else have difficulty using Red Snappers to load a quilt on the frame?

Old 10-26-2015, 01:06 PM
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Default Does anyone else have difficulty using Red Snappers to load a quilt on the frame?

Did they ever loosen up enough for you to use? I installed these thinking they would help me, but find I cannot force the clips over the rods. Aside from not having enough strength in my hands, my frame leaders are not long enough to allow me to do the clipping on the board in the back of the frame (plus that board is not really strong enough to take a lot of weight).

Right now I need to have my husband see if he can do it for me for each quilt (he is very strong, so likely will find it easy). This will work for awhile, but I prefer being entirely independent. If I won't eventually be able to use the Red Snappers by myself, I am thinking perhaps I should go back to using a zipper system or try a velcro system. I really do not want to pin. I liked my zipper system, but did not at all like having to baste the quilt top and backing to the zippers on my domestic machine. Aside from being directionally challenged (sewing a zipper tape to the wrong edge at times), I didn't like the way the fabric stretched while being sewn.

If you use velcro, do you have to sew the velcro to the quilt top and backing? I don't relish the idea of machine basting, but at least it would be less directionally challenging than zippers. Wondering though if the fabric stretches when sewn to velcro the way it stretched for me on the zipper tapes.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:00 PM
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I have the red snappers and like them. How thick is your leader fabric? I had them on my previous machine and the leaders were made of a very heavy fabric. Almost like canvas. It was difficult to put them on this system. My new machine came with leaders which are much thinner fabric and make the snappers easier to use. The other thing I noticed is that if your system is in a cold area and the clamp parts get cold they are stiffer. See if you can put them in a sunny location to warm them up a bit.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:04 PM
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I have never used the Red Snappers so I can't comment on them. I use these Leader Grips. I do not have a lot of strength in my hands either but I am usually able to install these easily.
I saw them at a quilt show in Syracuse and I asked several long arm quilters at the show and they all recommended these.

http://www.whateversquilted.com/leader-grips
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:08 PM
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I have the Red Snappers and I absolutely love them! They did loosen up a tad over time. I have strong hands so it isn't a problem for me. I find that what works for me is to put my fingers on top of the snapper and use my thumb to push the rod into the other part.

I don't understand the part about clipping on the board in the back of the frame. My rods all go on the cloth leaders through a casing on the edge of the leader. I'm not sure that makes sense. It's like a wide hem with openings on both sides so that the rod can slip through the hem.

I probably confused you more than I helped, but I hope it was of some help.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:28 PM
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If you find the Red Snappers are too tight, you can try clamping them onto a slightly larger diameter piece of dowelling - this will stretch them a little and make them easier to put on. I bought a 48 inch piece and left one piece of the snapper on it for a week or so to stretch it out a bit, switched to another piece etc until I had three or four stretched pieced. Then they were much easier to clamp on.
I did this with my Leadergrips - and it made a big difference, so it would likely work for the Red Snappers as I think they're similar.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:08 PM
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I use the Red Snappers, love them, and don't have a problem attaching them, but my hands are pretty strong. I do think my Snappers have loosened up over time. My leaders came with my machine, and I think they are cotton duck, pretty substantial fabric. I attach the top of the backing first, by extending the leader all the way to the table (which apparently you can't do because your leader is too short) and then I get "inside" the frame and snap the Snappers on. Renae's video show her just bending over the frame, which I have done occasionally, but I'm a bit rounder than Renae and I find it easier to get inside. I attach the bottom of the backing by rolling the leader so that the Snapper is on the top of the pole, and I can press against the pole with the top of my hand. I float the top, so don't use the Snappers for that. It is a lot easier to load the Snappers if you start at one end and work your way along, rather than trying to press down in the middle. Gemrm's advice to stretch your Snappers is worth a try.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:16 PM
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Wow! Thanks so much! I will bring one of the small clamps to the hardware store tomorrow and try the dowel for stretching.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:44 PM
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I have Red Snappers and yes they do loosen up over time. I think I also learned how to use them so it does not hurt my hands. I have had less and less strength in my hands and have noticed no problems with putting the snappers on. I use the heel of my hand to push them down....basically putting one hand under the belly bar with the snapper on the top of that bar and sandwiching it with the heel of my hand. I don't need to use my fingers at all. Hope this helps. If a video would be better, I can have my husband take a short one while I load.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:31 PM
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I use red snappers and found in the beginning when they were tighter but I use the method Renae shows in the video named New Red Snapper Clamps. If you go to the web site www.quiltsonthecorner.com then click on Training, then on Red Snappers. I think it is about the 5th one down on the page. Bending them really helped.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:35 PM
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I tried the method Renae shows in her video, but I still couldn't do it. Also tried using the heel of my hand. Guess I am just a weakling!!! I am hopeful that the dowels will loosen them up enough for me to master them. If there were a fingers-crossed emoticon, it would be placed right here.
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