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Me again...  I had a few quilts waiting in the wings for Lenni's arrival, so here is the latest. This is a quilt from our local Quilts 4 Kids group that I volunteer quilting to. For such a simple little quilt, the fabrics make it beautiful.  It's about 45" square.   I thought I'd try my hand at clamshell quilting so dug out my Handi Quilter Versa tool template and sure enough the open curve on one end was just the right size!  So I used it to stitch the clam shell shape then free handed the fills. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  I feel like I'm getting the hang of this new machine but it still takes me forever to load a quilt, and these are just little. Heaven help me when I try anything bigger!  Plus I'm never quite sure if I've got the tension right, or the best.   Oh well. Thanks for looking. 

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8 minutes ago, Anne from Guam said:

wow! Fantastic job for a beginner. Where did you get your clamshell tool?

Great idea to do your own free hand in the shells.

Hi Anne,

Thank you for your comments!  Here is a link for the tool I used.  http://www.handiquilter.com/shop/product/ruler-handi-versatool/. It's one of the first ones I bought when I bought my Sweet Sixteen Sitdown machine 3 years ago. I've never really used it much until yesterday, but it was just the right size to make the curves in the clamshell. The squares in the quilt were 2.5" finished size and the versa tool curve was just long enough.  I didn't mark it at all, just used the piecing seams to line it up.  I stitched the top of the shell curve first across the top two rows, then dropped down to the pointy part and traveled back across the quilt filling as I went. Only stopped for bobbin changes!  It worked well!

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  • 2 weeks later...

It looks like you're having as much fun as I am just playing with freeforms!  

If you're having a long time to load a quilt, then look into the "Leader Grips" tools.  I discovered those this past year, and loading a quilt is now a breeze.  They completely eliminate pins, replacing them with long plastic snap-on clamps.  (I also bought the Leader Grip "side grips," but don't find them as useful.)

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3 hours ago, EHonour said:

It looks like you're having as much fun as I am just playing with freeforms!  

If you're having a long time to load a quilt, then look into the "Leader Grips" tools.  I discovered those this past year, and loading a quilt is now a breeze.  They completely eliminate pins, replacing them with long plastic snap-on clamps.  (I also bought the Leader Grip "side grips," but don't find them as useful.)

Your right!  It is so much fun free handing it!  I do have the leader grips installed, but have struggled with them.  However, they are getting easier at times, now that they've been used a bit.  I also had my husband cut a couple of the larger ones into 3 pieces as I find they are easier to handle than the long ones, especially since I haven't done anything bigger than a lap sized quilt and don't need the really long ones for those.  I am also just using the side clamps that came with the machine.  I still have a bit of difficulty loading the quilt and being confident and consistent with the evenness I get it loaded at, but I'm persevering and don't seem to have any big fallout problems yet as a result of my method...fingers crossed!  Thank you for your comments!  Happy quilting!

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Beautiful quilting, Kathy!

loading will become easier with time. I used to struggle at first as well. I have Red Snappers (similar to leader grips) and it does make it easier. I had zippers before and may go back to them. It seems like it was easier to get the backing square and straight with zippers. But keep practicing and soon it will be no big deal to load even the largest quilts!

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3 hours ago, lisae said:

Beautiful quilting, Kathy!

loading will become easier with time. I used to struggle at first as well. I have Red Snappers (similar to leader grips) and it does make it easier. I had zippers before and may go back to them. It seems like it was easier to get the backing square and straight with zippers. But keep practicing and soon it will be no big deal to load even the largest quilts!

Thanks for the encouraging comments Lisa. With all the struggling I've done loading the small quilts, the big ones have been looking pretty scary!  I've heard that about zippers, but I thought I should give the leader grips and fair trial before jumping ship.  

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