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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
    Power Poster 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
    Power Poster 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.

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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
    Power Poster 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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    Ok - for those of you who pin your backing to the leaders, what type of pins do you use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    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 have actually quilted two queen size quilts, one oversized throw and six or so baby quilts on this machine. With all these one of worst struggles has been basting the backing to the leaders and then getting the quilt off the leaders after it is quilted.

    I just am trying to figure out if the best option is to purchase a machine with a longer stitch length or to find a better method of attaching the backing to the leaders.

    Thanks to all of you who have commented. I do truly appreciate all the help.

    Thanks!!!!

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    The problem I have is basting the sides of the quilt.
    I have a 9 in throat machine on a long arm table and when I try to do pantographs my needle gets stuck on the sides.
    Its impossible to sew down the sides with a 9 in throat and you cannot see the quilt when you do pantos so have given up on pantos.
    Attaching the quilt to the leader is simple with pins, no problem there.

  14. #14
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    I baste mine to my leaders using a 6mm stitch and have no problems. Just tug on them when done and it comes right off

  15. #15
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberts35 View Post
    I have actually quilted two queen size quilts, one oversized throw and six or so baby quilts on this machine. With all these one of worst struggles has been basting the backing to the leaders and then getting the quilt off the leaders after it is quilted.

    I just am trying to figure out if the best option is to purchase a machine with a longer stitch length or to find a better method of attaching the backing to the leaders.

    Thanks to all of you who have commented. I do truly appreciate all the help.

    Thanks!!!!
    I use T-pins. I bought them strictly for this purpose & leave them in the leaders 6" apart. My leaders are also marked every 6 inches to make it easier to center and square the quilt while loading.

    First, while standing in front of or at the needle end of the frame, I find the center of the backing & pin it to the center of my take-up leader. Then I pin all down to the left every 6 inches. Then I walk around to the back of the frame to pin down the other side.

    Then I do the same for the pay-out leader. Find the center of the backing fabric and pin it to the center of the pay-out leader. Pin all to the left and then all to the right.
    Beverly

  16. #16
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie View Post
    The problem I have is basting the sides of the quilt.
    I have a 9 in throat machine on a long arm table and when I try to do pantographs my needle gets stuck on the sides.
    Its impossible to sew down the sides with a 9 in throat and you cannot see the quilt when you do pantos so have given up on pantos.
    Attaching the quilt to the leader is simple with pins, no problem there.
    You might want to try Press 'n' Seal to baste down the edges. I use pins myself but I rarely do pantographs. When I have basted the edges, I had better luck just manually tacking them down by taking a couple stitches a couple inches apart. I have accidentally run into the pin-basted sides but it is rare as I try to remove them as I get close. I can see how it would happen more often while doing pantographs, though.
    Beverly

  17. #17
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Did not think about Press n Seal, thanks.

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    I love pantographs. Each time I advance my quilt on the frame I sew a basting stitch down the edges of the quilt so that the machine doesn't get caught while doing the pantograph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    I baste mine to my leaders using a 6mm stitch and have no problems. Just tug on them when done and it comes right off
    My machine only has a 4 mm max stitch length - after quilting it can sometimes be a pain to get the stitching out of the leaders.

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    Ok - I purchased the red snappers but have yet to use them. I haven't finished any tops to quilt since my purchase.

    Now I am curious, has anyone used the red snappers with heavy canvas leaders? I am now concerned that my current leaders are not going to work with my current leaders because they are made of such heavy canvas. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  21. #21
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    I rent a long arm and use zippers to attach to the leaders. Works great and takes minutes to load a quilt. Of course the zippers are attached to the quilt at home, so no rental time is used loading the quilt. I read a funny the other day and all the advise about water soluble thread reminded me. I was reserching thread and it said not to use water soluble thread on swim suits. I keep picturing someone coming out of the water without a suit. Too funny.
    Sue

  22. #22
    Junior Member Baby Catcher's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=BKrenning;5347359] Then I lock the quilting machine into a straight horizontal line and use it to attach the batting to the backing fabric.

    Beverly, How do you lock the machine. I have a Voyager on a Hinterberg stretch frame and when I try to baste horizontaly its crooked.

    Cindy

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberts35 View Post
    Now I am curious, has anyone used the red snappers with heavy canvas leaders? I am now concerned that my current leaders are not going to work with my current leaders because they are made of such heavy canvas.
    You should be fine. It's only a single layer of canvas you're working with so it's really not that thick. I don't know what your machine is but mine is a Gammill and it's a breeze to load with the Red Snappers.

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