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Thread: Tried my first pantograph

  1. #1
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    I made a small quilt of scrap squares just to practice on and tried a pantograph. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I was sort of like a drunken sailor. And I had to keep reminding myself to not let my mind wander...that's hard for me...ha. But, I stuck with it and got a bit better by the end of the quilt. Is there a book about DSM & frame quilting or using pantographs that anyone can suggest? Dee suggested an on-line machine quilters quilting forum. It's nice, but way out of my league. Although, I do like looking at their pictures.

  2. #2
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    If you are struggling, try this: Before you begin to stitch the pantograph pattern trace it with your pointer finger a few times then once or twice with your stylus or laser without turning the machine on. I know it sounds silly but it will put the "path of the pattern" in your brain. It will also help you establish a rhythm.

  3. #3
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    I find I'm more steady when I sit on a stool while working at the frame. I'm teaching myself so I just keep playing around until I find a way. Practice, practice, practice!! And enjoy the journey.

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    congrats on your first panto. it does get easier with practice.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    congrats. remember to watch where you are going not where you are at. You know look ahead

  6. #6
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Don't worry too much about trying to stay exactly on the line. That makes you go too slowly and 'jiggly'. Instead strive for smooth movements, even if they're off the line a bit - after all, no one will ever know as that line is not marked on the quilt!

    And the suggestion to try it a few times without turning the machine on is a good one. The more you do it, the more your muscles remember the movements and the more automatic it becomes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member kat112000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    Don't worry too much about trying to stay exactly on the line. That makes you go too slowly and 'jiggly'. Instead strive for smooth movements, even if they're off the line a bit - after all, no one will ever know as that line is not marked on the quilt!

    And the suggestion to try it a few times without turning the machine on is a good one. The more you do it, the more your muscles remember the movements and the more automatic it becomes.
    Great tips!!

  8. #8
    Jim
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    Super Member Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose L
    I find I'm more steady when I sit on a stool while working at the frame. I'm teaching myself so I just keep playing around until I find a way. Practice, practice, practice!! And enjoy the journey.
    AND THEN...practice some more.....................

  9. #9
    Super Member dmyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR
    Don't worry too much about trying to stay exactly on the line. That makes you go too slowly and 'jiggly'. Instead strive for smooth movements, even if they're off the line a bit - after all, no one will ever know as that line is not marked on the quilt!

    And the suggestion to try it a few times without turning the machine on is a good one. The more you do it, the more your muscles remember the movements and the more automatic it becomes.
    AndiR has great advice! Also look ahead of where you're going and not that where you're at. Kinda like driving a car! You'll get better as you do more.

  10. #10
    Member abbynjack's Avatar
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    Great advice!
    I too have just started using a laser with pantographs and have just kept practising.
    I wondered if the stylus (Pattern Perfect)would be easier and whether the product is still sold as the Qbot is nearly AU$7,000 here and way out of my league.
    I also practised a bit on free motion and tended to find that a little easier on the frame.
    Not perfect yet and no expert but noticed that I am getting better at it.
    Keep practising (I felt it was a lost cause and disheartened but didnt give up) and am getting better with each practise run.

  11. #11
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Thank you for the tips. I was trying to look at exactly where I was sewing instead of ahead and I was trying to stay exactly on the line. It resulted in a "jiggly" line at times. Also, I will do the suggestion of going over the panto with the machine off first. After getting the quilt off the frame it didn't look as bad as I thought it would, but this is going to take a lot of practice :).

  12. #12
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    The quilters here have given you some great pointers. A few more tips that might help -- speed up your movements a little bit. The slower you go, the more jiggly your movements will be. And don't look at the needle or the hopping foot. Look at the line ahead. It is sort of like driving a car - you look ahead at the road not at the steering wheel. Your hands follow your eyes.
    Don't be hard on yourself. You are the only one who sees the line of the panto. Everyone else only sees the quilting.

  13. #13
    Member abbynjack's Avatar
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    Great advice I will also 'take on board'.

  14. #14
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    and remember, only you know where you colored outside the lines, if you will. the recipient has no clue. and no one will see the errors. That's our job (or the quilt police's job). They only see the good, at least that's been my experience.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cmrenno's Avatar
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    I make my own pantographs (from ideas I find in my quilting books.) I know that I could copy them with my printer but I prefer to trace them myself. Let me tell you after to trace the pattern many times it gets LOCKED into your brain.
    And remember you are your own worst critic. Relax and enjoy the process!

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