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Replacing Canvas Leaders

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I just bought some new leaders but have been a little afraid of replacing them just yet, even though I've studied the procedure through various threads and online videos. Nobody has showed how to actually attach them to your rollers though. they are mostly about squaring them up. I think I may need a friend to help hold them up and I guess double sided tape?

Would have been nice if APQS had sent some instructions for putting them on along with the leaders. All I got was the fabric.

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The actual canvas fabric is all I received as well.

Maybe they do have instructions and will send them once they return from the quilt show this week.

I did send an email asking if they had instructions. If I get something through email, I'll let you know.

P.S. I do recall someone from APQS telling me you could use Duct Tape to secure them to the rollers. But I think you're right in needing some helping hands to keep them straight across the rollers while you tape.

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Do you have your old leaders off the rollers?

Are your present leaders "glued" to the rollers? I remember that was challenging to remove all that old glue when I redid my Ultimate II leaders. My husband used some type of scraper to remove the glue residue and then we wiped them down with some type of cleaner---sorry I don't have the name of cleaner.

I just this past week installed Zippers on my Prodigy leaders and one of the leaders on the take up roller was not straight I discovered when I zipped the take up leader to the front zippered leaders. So, I ripped that one off, and re taped it.

I have taped leaders onto rollers (Super Quilter, Hinterberg, Ultimate II and now the Prodigy) using Scotch Clear Duct Tape. Scotch makes the very best adhesive tapes. Once you use their tapes compared to others ---well, lets just say there is a big difference in how well they adhere, and how long their tapes stay put.

You need to find some form of seam line on your rollers, use the previous line or create one with a chalk line.

If you have no one to help you, this is the method I have used in the past to attach cloth leaders to conduit or metal rollers.

Buy several rolls of regular "double sided" (sticky on both sides) Scotch brand tape. It is about 3/4" inches wide. Apply this double sided tape to your metal conduit roller FIRST with one edge right on your reference line. Now, press the edge of your cloth leader to this sticky double sided tape. It will hold the leader in place just long enough for you to apply the Scotch 2" Clear Duct tape onto the leader fabric. Overlap half of the duct tape onto the leader cloth edge, and the other half onto the metal. The double sided sticky tape is left under the edge of the leader fabric. You may also do another length of the Scotch Clear Duct tape just overlapping the first if you wish, but one length seems to be strong enough.

Hope this helps---

PS. I found Karen's instructions for leaders and zippers a bit confusing. But, it could be me----I used The Quilt Connections marked zippers set, and their instructions were great for installing the zippers. I can post pictures of the zippered leaders if you want.

I don't know why it has taken me years of pinning to finally decide to try zippers. Loving them!

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I replaced mine a couple of years ago. I did pretty much what Angie did, except I used Carpet tape. This was recommended by Amy at APQS. Once I had the old leaders removed and any excess adhesive on the conduit pipe removed, then I placed my double sided carpet tape. I lightly pressed this on the pipe, just in case I need to straighten it out. Once the tape was on, then I lined up the canvas leaders on the carpet tape, just pressing lightly again until the leader on was on the length of the pipe. Then pressed down securely with my hands.

Before you take off your old leaders, make sure you know which way your leaders roll on to the pipes. I marked the end of my pipes with blue painters tape and an arrow.

It really is pretty easy to replace your old leaders, just take your time.

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Yes I recently had to put new ones on two machines. EASY EASY.

First I purchased Carpet tape two sided. I used the WElding line on my APQS Rollers to line it up properly. I was then able to carefully stick the canvas to the double sticky tape all the way across which hold really well. Didn't need another pair of hands.

After the canvas was attached I used the BLACK KONG tape over the edge. Blends welll with the Black Roller. Roll it up and your off.

The double sided Sticky carpet tape stays like a rubber tape so I found it just rolls off when you want to put another NEW set.

It WORKED GREAT. All my leaders were PURFECTLY lined up with each other.

Choose a side as the leaders are sometimes not the exact length. I chose to line my up to the RIGHT of the Roller and not worry about the left. NO MARKING NEEDED. USE THE WELD LINE ON THE ROLLER TO LAY THE FIRST CARPET TAPE STRIP. The selvage side of new CANVAS will line up beautifully along the tape.

As far as the OLD they just Came off with little to no residue.

Busy weekend but I will make a quick video on it monday to demonstrate how easy it is to do if I can remember. lol

Good luck

Grammie Tammie

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I used Elmer's glue and Duct tape. If you attach your zippers first you will need to be very careful to have your zippers line up on both take-up and backing rollers. Lets do a couple of classes in your fabulous new studio and I will help you change your leader. Actually that could be one of the classes . What a great idea!!:P

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anyone interested??? Lets talk. Curved crosshatch class, changing leaders, borders, turning a quilt. Open to other suggestions. Drawing /Demo or can do hands on with 2 heads on the table. And If I remember correctly Georgene has the new bliss table you can try out. Would like to have 6 per class for a couple of days. 3 0r 4 hour classes twice a day. Email or call me

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I've posted instructions on my website on how to attach the zippers from The Quilting Connection. There are a few steps I added to their instructions to make the job very easy! I'm pretty sure this would work no matter which zippers you use.

This file is a rich text Word document with colored pictures, so give it time to download. Save it to your Documents folder, then Open & Print for future reference.


I've looked at all the other systems for attaching a quilt to the leaders and haven't seen ANYthing that would even tempt me to change from the zipper system. I LOVE it!

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My Lenni leaders are attached with Velcro!!! The fuzzy side of the Velcro is attached to the poles with some kind of glue. The loopy part of the Velcro is on the leader. How easy it will be when I need to replace them!!! A little pricey for the first time, but, especially with a Demo Machine (which mine is), it's nice to have an easy way to put nice clean leaders on my machine!!

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Thank you Darlene, I will print your instructions. I appreciate your making it available.

I recall seeing your instructions a few years ago and thought it was great how you folded the edges to make them stronger. And that's what I want to do.

Now to understand the best way to remove and add new canvas leaders.

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I thought I needed new canvas, but ended up turning the distorted edge under, sewing a hem with my LA and the help of my son and they are as good as new!

The double thickness of canvas is not a problem with the big pins we use.

There is a lot of canvas on our poles, so I would not hesitate to turn them again if needed.

Just an idea.

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  • 2 years later...

I don't know how long the Millie leaders are.  I made a set for my Ult 2 from cotton duck I bought at Hancock's.  I made the take-up roller leader from 48" wide material, and the top and back roller leaders 36" by buying 72" fabric and cutting it in half.  I then sewed a 1" pocket on the cut edge of the back and top leaders, and on one of the selvege edged o the 48" piece.  I also serged both cut ends of each leader.


Why so long, you ask.  Partly because it was simple to size them that way.  No cutting on the take up, and a single cut down the middle for the top and back.  But mostly, I did it that way because I wanted long leaders.  I sit and pin my quilts from the front of the machine. It was a bit of a struggle with the original short leaders.  With a long take-up leader, I can roll out as much leader as I need to comfortably pin.  The excess leader fabric takes up almost no space on my rollers.


I used double sided tape to attach my leaders to the rollers.  It allowed me to carefully lay down a straight line of tape - I think I used the seam in the roller as a guide to keep the tape line parrallel to the roller.  After the tape was set on the roller, I removed the tape covering, and carefully stuck the selvege edge of the leader fabric to the tape.  After that was done, I put masking tape down the entire length of the attachment -half on the fabric, half on the roller.  I also put about six or eight strips of masking tape perpendicular to the roller, about 3/4 of the length around the roller.  I did both ends, and several pieces throughout the length.  I added the masking tape to provide additional strength to the joint.  After a while, the masking tape becomes almost permenent, and won't come loose.  Pay attention to the direction the roller turns the leader on so that you don't fold the fabric back over itself when it's rolled, thus putting more stress on the joint.  They've been on nearly 4 years now, and have performed to my satisfaction.  Hope this helps.  Jim

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