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Thread: L/armers...how do you see underneath your quilt?

  1. #1
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    I'm looking for a good tip to be able to see underneath you quilt while it is on your longarm frame. As a 69 yr old, my knees are not the best in the world, and crawling under the quilt to check the stitching is hard on an old lady. :) I did get a hand mirror to put under the quilt while standing up to check with a flashlight, but still sometimes I can't get a good look at the tension, stitches, etc. Just wondering how some of you do this???? Thanks, as always for your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Yes, this is a problem - I do the old-fashioned crawl underneath with a flashlight -not the best method but the only one that works for now. Ihope someone here has a better way.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    My friend has a shelf under her's and a long mirror on the shelf with some lighting.

  4. #4
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Sorry, can't offer any advice as I crawl under to look. In addition, I always start a new quilt with a scrap of fabric on the side and test my tension there. Because it is on the edge I can easily flip that bit over to look closely at the underside. After that I just take the occasional look underneath and I always carefully inspect the back with each advance of the take up roller.

  5. #5
    grandbysquilts's Avatar
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    I used to be on MY hands and knees, then I got a flashlight and a mirror. My newest Gammill has a built in camera underneath the backing so I can watch it. Thank goodness!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Melrose R's Avatar
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    Wow, a built in camera? That is super fancy!

    Quote Originally Posted by grandbysquilts
    I used to be on MY hands and knees, then I got a flashlight and a mirror. My newest Gammill has a built in camera underneath the backing so I can watch it. Thank goodness!

  7. #7
    grandbysquilts's Avatar
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    The camera was one of the reasons I bought that model. This is my 4th long arm. It's the Gammill Vision. Another reason was the diagnostics on board to tell me where something may be going wrong. When you get to be our age, the bells and whistles help. Wish I could have afforded the computer guided at the time, but alas, I still do the same hand guiding I've done for so long.

  8. #8
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    In addition, I always start a new quilt with a scrap of fabric on the side and test my tension there. Because it is on the edge I can easily flip that bit over to look closely at the underside. After that I just take the occasional look underneath and I always carefully inspect the back with each advance of the take up roller.[/quote]

    Yes, I do the extra fabric on the side, also, to check it out when I start, but sometimes, that just doesn't seem to be enough space...if I'm having real tension problems.

  9. #9
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    I start with the scrap piece to the side of my quilts also to adjust the tension if it needs it. I then look underneath with a flashlight, but mainly just feel under as it's quilting as I can tell by feel if there are issues.

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Someone on here bought a lighted makeup mirror to see the under side of her quilts :D:D:D

  11. #11
    Super Member DeeBooper's Avatar
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    Ditto, for having a camera on my gammill, but once in a while I use a mirror on the ends.

  12. #12
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i have 12x12 mirror tiles from home depot on the shelf on the front side of my frame and i just look in the mirror.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cosy's Avatar
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    A full length mirror on the table underneath works very well

  14. #14

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    A good buddy of mine longarms. She placed 2 long mirrors end to end under the machine. Tells me it works just fine for her.

    Gues it would be a problem if you could tell what was happening on the bottom side!

    Julie

  15. #15
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    The lighted makeup mirror sounds like a good idea and especially if it was a magnified mirror. Maybe I wouldn't have so much trouble getting my bifocals just right under there!! :)

  16. #16
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0tis
    Yes, this is a problem - I do the old-fashioned crawl underneath with a flashlight -not the best method but the only one that works for now. Ihope someone here has a better way.
    This is exactly what I do....LOL. When a kid takes off with my flashlight....Well the hollering begins..LOL

  17. #17
    Senior Member sgardner's Avatar
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    When I was at the SLC Quilt show, there was a gentleman selling (for nearly $500!) a camera mount and screen system to be able to see the stitches on the bottom. Let me know if you want me to post the information from that company.

    My husband and I are looking at various cameras/monitors on the market to make one of our own, since we could most likely do it for around $100, or much less, ourselves.

  18. #18
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    I look it over good as I'm rolling it. I also use extra or add on a piece on the side if the back is not large enough so that I have room to test stitches with every bobbin change. I stitch then loosen the quilt enough to that I can turn the edge to see the back stitches. Usually if something is wrong I can feel or hear something different happening. Same with a panto, I'm looking at the panto not the quilt so I've gotten used to a change in the feel or sound to tell me something is not right.

  19. #19
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I use a mirror and a flashlight. I am also bending impaired and came up with this idea to save my knees. Feeling is a good way to tell if your stitches are not right on the back. If you run your fingernail along a line of quilting and can hear it popping your stitches are loose on the back
    peace :D

  20. #20
    Super Member quilttiludrop's Avatar
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    Rolling to the point where you can check your stitching works the best. My DH set me up with lights and a mirror, but it didn't work that well.

  21. #21
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    would a mirror on a pole like mechanics work? I'm not a LAer, but I would think that would work.

  22. #22
    Super Member Janetlmt's Avatar
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    I have a little low to the floor mechanics stool on wheels. I can creep along without breaking my back and knees. I use a large hand mirror to check out the stitches. For lighting underneath I use a work light, the yellow and black kind that guys use in the garage. I turn that on and wow...you can see everything.

  23. #23
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    I lay a mirror on the frame and slide it along to see the underside. Works for me!

  24. #24
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
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    I have a shelf on mine, originally for placing pantograms. i bought a full lentgh cheap mirror at the Reuse store. It works perfectly.
    MK

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by erstan947
    My friend has a shelf under her's and a long mirror on the shelf with some lighting.
    I love this idea! I still get on the floor and crawl underneath with a light. This would be so cool! :D

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