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Please tell me about a laser pointer on a machine quilt frame

Please tell me about a laser pointer on a machine quilt frame

Old 06-17-2012, 04:32 PM
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Default Please tell me about a laser pointer on a machine quilt frame

I am thinking about building a machine quilt frame from plans available on ebay. I have some woodworking experience so I am ok with the build itself. What I don't understand is about using a pattern or pantograph (?) to transfer a design from a pattern onto the quilt. I know about free motion quilting, but I am talking about quilting specific designs onto the quilt. I believe it is done with either a stylus or a laser that is attached to the machine carriage and then using some type of stencil. Is that correct? Can my regular plastic quilting stencils be used or are these special stencils of some type? Can someone explain to me how this works and what equipment will I need and who sells these lasers and quilt designs. I just purchased the Brother PQ1500s machine but it's going to be a while before I can purchase a Grace frame. I would greatly appreciate all the help you can give me on this. Thanks so much, Barb
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:43 PM
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Can you go to a quilt shop that sells quilting machines and watch someone using one? Or perhaps you know somebody that has one in their home that would let you come and look around?
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:46 PM
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I have a laser like you describe on my machine. You can take any design --- let's say for a motif (12" square) and lay it on the quilt on either side of your machine. I hook the laser up to a spindle on the top, plug it into the machine in the back, then I line the laser up with the pattern -- making sure the design will be sewn exactly where I want it. I can then start the machine and watching the laser light on the pattern, quilt that design.

If you have the ability to quilt from the back of your machine, you can lay multiple designs down on the table and do the same thing......helpful with edge to edge designs or borders.

That being said --- I've only used mine once.....I'm just not that steady with it. I know there are some people that use theirs a LOT.

Mine came with my machine....I can't help you with locating them. I have the Handiquilter Avante.

I hope that answeres your question.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:48 PM
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I have a laser on my Gammill. It is used to follow the pattern (pantograph, stencil, hand-drawn, whatever you want),"tracing" it with the laser light. Can't tell youmuch more than that except I know that an after-market is out there...maybe google it and see what the response is? Good luck!
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:53 PM
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I wanted to try a laser pointer on my new-to-me Little Gracie frame which has a Janome 1600 mounted on it. My husband found a laser pointer attachment at Harbour Freight for $5. which I plan to try mounting on the carriage (it has sticky tape or small screws) to trial following a stencil or quilt motif. For that small amount, it's worth a try, and I can always buy more batteries if it works as planned. It's meant for attaching to a circular saw or such.


Forgot to add - I have yet to try this out, time has not let me near my sewing room for awhile!
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Old 06-17-2012, 09:06 PM
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To use the laser light once mounted on your machine that is mounted on a frame: First put your needle down where you want to start the pattern and then adjust your laser light to point to where you want to start on your pattern (the laser light dot is your needle position). Then trace the pattern with your laser light. You can use any type of pattern you like. You can purchase pantographs, you can use stensils, or you can even draw your own designs. Lots of options. Not sure if this answers your question or not.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:24 AM
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Thank you so much for all your help, I do understand this all a little bit better now. I have seen what is called stencil boards that are used with a stylus but boy are they expensive and take up a lot of space on the frame. I have also found a laser pointer that mounts to the machine or carriage and are battery operated. Grace Company makes one that looks like what I would want. I wasn't sure if you had to buy special stencils or not. I will get the frame and carriage built and then this will probably make perfect sense. As I have never seen a machine frame in person it was kind of hard for me to get my head around all of this. I also have a habit of over thinking things some time but I have a lot better handle on this now. Thanks again!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:32 AM
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I have the one from thr Grace frame company and it is a very good one, the boards that are meant for the stylus are grooved because the stylus actually sits down in the groove, for me it was VERY hard and the are expensive. You can buy or draw patterns on paper tp follow(trace) with the laser light, like all the rest it takes practice but it's what I'm best at.I can't get the hang of free motion other than simple meandering.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by barbo117 View Post
Thank you so much for all your help, I do understand this all a little bit better now. I have seen what is called stencil boards that are used with a stylus but boy are they expensive and take up a lot of space on the frame. I have also found a laser pointer that mounts to the machine or carriage and are battery operated. Grace Company makes one that looks like what I would want. I wasn't sure if you had to buy special stencils or not. I will get the frame and carriage built and then this will probably make perfect sense. As I have never seen a machine frame in person it was kind of hard for me to get my head around all of this. I also have a habit of over thinking things some time but I have a lot better handle on this now. Thanks again!!
you can also go to youtube and search for videos on using a laser with a panto and see it in use-a big help
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:34 AM
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All I can tell you is that I removed mine when the grandchildren were coming and put it somewhere safe. Does anyone remember where I put it?
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