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Quilting assistance--magnetic bars

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I took in a re-quilting job this month. This 13 year old Irish Chain had serious problems with popped stitches. The bobbin thread had snapped on the back all along the diagonals. None of the horizontal or vertical stitched lines were broken. I was told in a class years ago that long lines of diagonal stitching are prone to more stress because of the bias fabric. But I'd never seen it before. This quilt was hung about 90% of its life and the breaks were densest near the hanging sleeve. I re-stitched lots of lines, but my customer didn't want to pay for a full re-quilt from scratch so I did my best to strengthen what was there. She'll have continuing breakage but now plans to keep it folded for display.

That's not the topic of this post, though!
Needing to load the quilt to the leaders for the repairs, I pinned one edge to the back leader. I let the rest of the quilt hang down in the front like a float. I then remembered my magnetic bars which were a birthday gift from Den. These are magnetic tool holders for in the shop or wall-mounted knife holders in the kitchen--available at Harbor Freight. I saw them again at Barb's QuiltPath demo at Bekah's Moxie meeting. Barb used them to do a finer control of the tightness of the top for use with the computer system. They lay on the top roller and really suck that fabric and batting to the roller. Fine adjustments can be made by just tweaking the roller back a bit. It was perfect for the repair since I didn't need to pin to the front roller and could get it nice and tight where it needed it. I hope a photo attaches--first time since they added capacity.

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Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Suggested magnets someetime ago to my DH. He seemed to think that I am a "little" gadget happy and suggested that I wait and see if someone on this site tried them. Thanks, Linda and now for a trip to Harbor Freight. Checked their site and they didn't show them; but maybe they will have them at the store.

Rec'd your book beefore Christmas and am just now finding time to quilt again. Took the book with me in the car yesterday and am excited about all of the ideas and how to attain them.

We spent all day today making bird cakes (I know, but we are retired and retired people find stange thngs to do to fill their time.)

My DH is a bird watcher and feeder. Some of them become quite tame and he really enjoys watching them.

Marilyn

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I so love it when everyday tools are re-purposed for long arm quilting! I had never heard of this, Linda, thanks for posting.

Marilyn I chuckled over you DH calling you gadget happy! At least he trusts this forum to set you straight!

Linda, I am trying to find your book- where can I get a copy?


Cathy Hamilton - M&M'ed 2008 Millennium - Part-time Quilter, Full-time Lover of Quilts

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I so love it when everyday tools are re-purposed for long arm quilting! I had never heard of this, Linda, thanks for posting.

Marilyn I chuckled over you DH calling you gadget happy! At least he trusts this forum to set you straight!

Linda, I am trying to find your book- where can I get a copy?

Hi Cathy. Please email me at lindarech@comcast.net and I'll send you some information. I can't seem to nail down my admin (our son) to get the book added to our web site. Thanks for your interest!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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The first part of the post really intrigues me. I wonder if it's something that we will need to be on the look out for. Had you done the quilt originally and if so, did you re-charge? Was it densely quilted or on the looser side. Janette's question about the thread type is interesting too. And...why by the hanging sleeve?? They are supposed to distribute the weight. A great topic!!

The magnets look awesome too. Thanks for that tip.


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The first part of the post really intrigues me. I wonder if it's something that we will need to be on the look out for. Had you done the quilt originally and if so, did you re-charge? Was it densely quilted or on the looser side. Janette's question about the thread type is interesting too. And...why by the hanging sleeve?? They are supposed to distribute the weight. A great topic!!

The magnets look awesome too. Thanks for that tip.

I didn't quilt it the first time. It was finished in 2000 and spent a small bit of time on the bed. It originally was destined for the makers DD who, after it was finished "didn't like it very much." Those ungrateful kids!! ;) After putting it in a quilt show, necessitating a sleeve, the maker hung it. Twelve years later the same daughter notices it in the guest room and decides she wants it now.

The damage was discovered when the customer wanted to launder it.

It was very nicely longarmed using all cotton thread and without a stitch regulator. Some of the stitches were long but nothing unacceptable.

My thought on why this happened--

Cheap cotton thread--only the bobbin thread had snapped. The top thread stayed intact, even though that's where sunlight would weaken the thread.

Stress on the diagonal--if you sit on a diagonally stitched quilt on a bed, the fabric will naturally stretch on the bias and weak thread will eventually snap. If your hubby sits on the bed in the same place every day to put on his socks and shoes, get him a bench or rotate that quilt regularly if you can.

This might be the key--the quilt was stitched very far apart. If I was planning diagonals on an Irish Chain, I would plan to stitch through every corner, making the lines of stitching fairly close together. This one had every-other square stitched through. About 3 1/2" apart. Lots of spaces unquilted. I think the lines of stitching so far apart contributed to the stress and breakage.

If you're interested, the other problems I ran into--no color thread I had matched the two green original threads. My stitches, even set at 10 spi, were obviously smaller than the original. I didn't take time to remove all the problem top thread that I stitched over. Her budget was tiny and I did much of it as a favor to this great regular customer and friend. I showed her the threads which she is happy clipping--both front and back. I had to remove the hanging sleeve to get to the problem areas and she'll need to stitch it back. I recommended that she tell her DD to fold it at the end of the bed or use it folded only for display. I can't imagine it has a lot of hard use left it it. :(

It was quite an education for both of us!


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Linda, using those magnetic bars is brilliant....I need to go to the hardware store tonight, I think I will pick up a set.....:)


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Quilting from the Heart

APQS Millenium, Circle Lord equipped, hand guided and lov'n it!!!

http://rosecityquilter.wordpress.com/

http://qfth.ca

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I'm at a loss as to who first found these--I "borrowed" the idea from Barb Mayfield and Bekah. They're priceless when you find that small spot you forgot to quilt and need to re-load. I just accordion-fold the back of the quilt onto the back take-up roller and hold in place with the magnetic bar. Then hold the front tight with another on the front roller. I think it's even faster than using zippers!

I have three. Caution--don't stack all three together or you'll need two people to get them apart. When not in use they live on three separate horizontal sections of the frame legs. :)


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Linda, you are so darned smart! i actually bought 2 bars last year to hang my scissors on. I have used it on my bars from time to time but didn't realize it was a "tool!" Ha!


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Could you use the magnetic bars instead of pins or red snappers to load your quilt backing?

Probably not possible since the magnetic bars attach to the rollers and not the leaders. If you tried this you'd need enough backer at both ends so the top area and bottom area of the floated top could be accessible to quilt. I also think the thickness of the bars when rolled up with the backer might cause some problems.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Am I the only one who found that the magnetic bars fell off very close to my toes? I have an APQS Freedom and attach the back top & bottom with red snappers. I stitch across the batting & then line up & stitch the top along that line. My thought was that the denim leaders are too thick as I've seen other longarms with muslin-like leaders. I have be able to use them for touch ups if I just drape the quilt over the belly bar after I've unrolled completely, the leader on the bottom of the backing. Am I doing something wrong?

Buttonflower

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The magnetic bars I use are so strong they attach through all layers of my canvas leaders and I have to carefully pry them off with both hands. We must have different types. When I use them on top of the front roller, it has fabric, batting, backer, and all layers of the leader canvas to attach through and they would never fall off.

I bet they would do some damage to toes if they did, though! :blink:

What kind do you use? Mine are from Harbor Freight and super strong. If you accidentally stack three together you need two people to pry them apart....


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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I got my bars from Sears on a clearance table. They were intended for auto work, I think. anyway, mine aren't as long and all as Linda's but they are so strong that I sometimes have trouble getting them off and if I walk past metal things they attach as I walk so I then have a mess on my hands. Eek!


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Am I the only one who found that the magnetic bars fell off very close to my toes? I have an APQS Freedom and attach the back top & bottom with red snappers. I stitch across the batting & then line up & stitch the top along that line. My thought was that the denim leaders are too thick as I've seen other longarms with muslin-like leaders. I have be able to use them for touch ups if I just drape the quilt over the belly bar after I've unrolled completely, the leader on the bottom of the backing. Am I doing something wrong?

Buttonflower

Mine are from FH or HF, too, and when I use the combo of Minky backing and hobbs 80/20, they don't do the best job at staying stuck on the belly bar with my canvas leaders and have fallen off a couple of times. Maybe in your situation the denim is the culprit? Do they stick to the bars strongly where there is no denim? Mine are really difficult to pull off when they are metal to metal and DH has to help me on occasion when they get stuck to each other, they definitely have a strong magnetic attraction! I keep meaning to put a little pull rope on them as I saw someone suggest on another list but I haven't gotten around to it. No black toenails yet, but my fingers have been smashed good a few times.

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Linda, thanks so much for posting this! I just saw the magnetic bars in use on a video last week.....here's the link. It doesn't come up until the last few minutes, so zip thru if you can.

http://www.thequiltshow.com/os/gammill_videos_view.php/gammill_videos_id/101

Can't wait to try them out!


68580D71558C5CD4FA14E80CBBEC4870.png  Millenium with Circle Lord, Bliss and IQ

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I would like to clarify a few points. I use these to keep a floated top tight when necessary. So far I've been careful to only use them right on top of the front take-up roller. I never advance without removing the bars first.

I'm sorry people have been injured with these. I don't know if mine are stronger, but tonight I was able to advance the quilt forward with the bars in place and they sucked right on the roller in the upside down position and never budged. I suspect I could have rolled them up in the quilt.

They are invaluable for a quick re-load to catch a missed spot in the quilting. I accordion folded the rear part of the quilted quilt on top of the rear take-up roller--I put the bar on one layer of quilt and folded the rest on top. Then I used one on the front roller to make the quilt tight--hanging down "float" style. Much quicker than re-pinning.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Went to Harbor Freight today and bought some of these wonderful bars. They are on sale $4.99 each and ordering on the internet, the shipping is not prohibitive. Good time to buy and I'm not even a Sales Rep for Harbor Freight.

Marilyn

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I am heading to harbor freight tomorrow! It is one chain that we have here, and hopefully they will have some of these.


Cathy Hamilton - M&M'ed 2008 Millennium - Part-time Quilter, Full-time Lover of Quilts

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