Ruler Quilting with Texas Hold Em Bracket - How do you keep your ruler base from hitting your side clamps?


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When I first got my new-to-me 2013 Millennium, I also got these metal curtain rod-type aluminum bars from my APQS dealer that can be threaded under the Velcro cords of the side clamps, resting on the quilt top roller in front and the leveling bar in the back, to lift the clamps just slightly at the sides of the quilt so the clamps don't hit the ruler base on my machine when I'm doing ruler work.  Brilliant, simple solution.  I have since learned that others do the same thing with actual curtain rods, yard sticks, etc.  

However, after trying full float versus partial float on several quilts, I decided that fully floating works best for me.  And the quilt top roller bar with no quilt top ever pinned to it was really in my way, especially when quilting with rulers, because that bar requires you to lift your wrist at an awkward angle when holding a ruler near the bottom of your work area (closest to your tummy).  So I ordered the Texas Hold Em bracket from APQS, took off the top roller bar and stored it, and I'm loving everything about it except ONE thing -- Without that quilt top roller that's the same height as the leveling bar, what do quilters use to keep their ruler base from hitting the side clamps?  Does anyone have a solution for that, or do I just have to make the quilt backing that much wider so the clamps are farther away from the edges of the actual quilt?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Rebecca Grace

2013 Millennium, 12' frame, no computer

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To make-do until a more elegant solution comes along, elevate the front part of the rod/yardstick by the width of your roller, which is 2". Glue up layers of cardboard or cut a piece of wood into a block that is 2" high.  Make two and fasten them (glue, tape, whatever) to the underside of the front part of the rod. Position so the blocks sit right on top of the front roller. If you want to get fancy, line them with rubberized shelf liner or a cut-up rubber glove so they are less likely to slip. Good luck! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Linda.  I cut up a pool noodle to elevate the front end of the rods, and that works as long as I don't knock into it with my arm.  However, on the current quilt I happened to have a much wider backing than normal, about 8-9" on either side of my quilt top, and I'm finding that keeps the clamps far enough away from my ruler base that I don't need to use any rods or yard sticks to elevate the clamps.  Problem solved... :-)

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  • 10 months later...

I have to update because, although I was happy with my Texas Hold 'Em bracket when I was floating my tops and doing hand guided ruler work with my Millie, I've since taken it off my machine and put the quilt top roller back on.  I added IntelliQuilter to my machine and have been experimenting with pinning my tops again (partial float method) because it seems like that helps with E2E designs that are scaled densely and need precise alignment between rows.  But I'm keeping my Hold 'Em Bracket -- it only takes a few minutes (and an extra pair of hands) to take the bar on or off the frame.  I like having the flexibility to change up my frame setup depending on what I'm doing.

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I don't have a computer, I'm freehand only, and have floated all the tops so far. I just bought the ruler table, and hope to try it out on (my own) quilts sometime soon, so may consider the Texas bracket for future purchase. I've been reading a lot about pinning vs. floating though, and may have to peel the masking tape off the quilt top roller to try it sometime. :D

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