Thursday, February 6, 2014

A quilting light bulb

A few months ago, I bought a mid arm quilter.  More exactly, a Pfaff Grand Quilter 1200 on an Inspira frame.   I've made several quilts on it and love using it. 

Except for loading a quilt on this beast!  Oh my, whatta pain in the tookus!   Seriously, pinning on what feels like miles of backing to two different rails, then pinning on the quilt top?  UGH!  I HATE that part!

So I started exploring things like Red Snappers or zippers or other things to make this easier.  But I didn't really feel like shelling out $75 plus dollars for a tool to make loading a quilt on a quilt frame easier.   And thanks to Google and hours of research, I came up with a cheaper way....

Enter these three things:
Yep, that's a 1/4 inch flexible water line, clear plastic tube lighting rail and a 1/4 inch screw (that doesn't have a screw head on it).  These things are about to change how I view loading a quilt on my frame!!  And....they cost less than $25 to do three rails on my frame!   YES!!
 
First off, I enlisted some muscle to cut these things to the length of my leaders.  He also cut the tube lighting rail to 3 foot, 1 foot and 2 inch pieces.  I don't remember how many exactly, but since it came in like 8 foot? sections from Home Depot, he cut a couple of each size from one rail.
 
 
He also had to cut the water line to the right length.  Then we used a screw that was 1/4 inch that he'd cut to 2 inches in length to join the two sections of the water line together.

See?  You can barely see the seam!

 
Next, I removed the muslin leaders from my frame and sewed a skinny casing in the end of them, just the right size to slide my flexible water line in.   Slide in the looooong piece of water line and you're ready to load a quilt! 
 
Which somehow I don't have pictures of!  Those will be coming!  I promise.... maybe even yet tonight.....