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QUESTIONS RE: ZIP ON/OFF LEADERS


CaliMom

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I bought them recently and have been using them for about a week, on 8 quilts so far. I followed instructions and sewed them on with my Millie. They look even and no puckers. But I immediately noticed that every quilt top and bottom look puckered or pulled and uneven after pinning, no matter how well I try to keep pins smooth and even without grabbing or tugging fabric. I am wondering now if I had been better off to remove canvas leaders and sew on home machine.

I kinda feel like just taking the zipper system off. I never had this much trouble pinning before I got them...

Any help or advise from someone successfully using them please advise me...

I DO love their convenience I am just sorta confused.

Thanks in advance for your help ladies!!!

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I'm a little confused. If you have the zippers, what are you still pinning? I baste my backing and the bottom of the quilt top to the zippers, starting at the center and working out to each edge, being careful not to stretch the fabric. I haven't had any problems with puckers. My zippers were the very first thing that I sewed on my longarm. Put them on before even the first practice piece. Can you tell I hate to pin? ;)

Linda

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After I get an average measurement for my top, with the quilt top zipper zipped on the leader I measure out from the center and pin where the edges should be. Then I unzip and pin the quilt to the zipper. I think that the zippers themselves have some stretch in them and doing the measurement while zipped better simulates where the quilt will end up once zipped. Clear as mud?

Donna

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I'm the one who bastes, I use my domestic sewing machine. I have the middle of my zippers marked, and fold my quilt in half so I know where the center of it is. Then I baste, starting at the center and working out to the edges. I am very careful NOT TO STRETCH the quilt or the zippers. I have the zero center measuring tape on my leaders, so I can check to see if things have gotten out of hand. ;) If you set your thread tension on your DSM to be a bit wonky and loose, it makes it pretty easy to unstitch the quilt from the zippers when you are finished. Just call me the Queen of Lazy!

Linda

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Judy - you're probably not as lazy as I am!! ;) I've never liked to pin anything. I rarely pin as I'm piecing either, unless I've got something that I'm having trouble matching up my points.

Barb - I got my zippers at Columbia River Quilting - they are the ones designed by APQS's own Sue Schmeiden. They are all labeled and have instructions so you know exactly which one goes on which leader. The other half of the zipper is also labeled so you know which does on the top and bottom of the backing and the bottom of the quilt top. Very easy to use. As I say, they were the very first thing I stitched on my machine.

Linda

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I also don't use zippers. I thought about getting them when I first got my machine, never did, and I don't really see any advantage to them. You have to attach the quilt to something, no matter how you do it. I just sit at my machine and pin the parts on. Actually, although I have never tried the zippers, in my mind it seems that it is easier to do the pinning on the machine, as you can spread things out and theoretically keep it straighter and squarer (??). Anyway, that's how it seems to me!

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Lynn, I'm with you. Even when I'm making a quilt, adding the borders is my least favorite part because I hate dealing with the "bigness" of the top. Seems to me that adding the zippers is almost like adding two skinny borders. Guess that's why the zippers never interested me. I could see the benefit if I switched between quilts before I finished them but I surely don't need to start doing that!

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I'm with Jean, I like the pinning time to "communicate" with the quilt. Sometimes it tells me things while pinning that I hadn't thought of before.

There is almost a Zen thing going on while doing a mundane task. I use the flat flower head pins and it goes pretty fast.

G

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Heidi,

I don't understand how your quilt would be pulled or puckered. I love having my zippers. I attached them to my canvas with my Millie. I still pin a quilt on the same way I did without them, nothing has changed. I find the center and pin from there as always. It's just like pinning to the canvas. If I need to take the quilt off for what ever reason it's done in a zip. When I finish a quilt I unzip it and lay it out to make sure Ibhaven't missed anything or nothing needs to be touched up. It saves me a lot of time not having to repin.

I can't figure out where you are getting this problem. Is your backng square? I drop down an inch or so when I pin or baste the top of the quilt to the backing.

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Hi Heidi,

I just thought of something. Perhaps the problem is in the measurments on your zippers. Do you pin onto a canvas attatched to your zippers or straight to your zipper?

I have canvas leaders on my zippers. This helps keep things from catching on the bottom as I near the zippers. I have a tape measure sewn onto one side and used a sharpie to mark the other side to match. I don't measure as I load but pin from the center out on each side.

It sounds like you are having to "ease" in too much fabric and that is causing the puckering.

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I think the difference for me may be damage to my spine from car accidents. I spend enough time slightly bent over actually quilting the quilt and, if I don't have to spend extra time bent over pinning, it makes a big difference to my back. ;)

Linda

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I, too, have the zippers. I attached a leader to the one that comes off. But I still pin the quilt on:D. I just like the comfort of knowing that if I make a boo-boo I can unzip the quilt and correct my mistake, then zip the quilt back on and go. I kinda like the pinning process. Phyllis

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Phyllis brings up probably the best point to the zippers. Last night my machine went south on me... I worked literally half the night trying to find the problem. I had a beautiful quilt on when this happened. I just zipped off the quilt and zipped on my extra set with my test fabric and made the adjustments right there. When I was finally done I zipped the quilt on in less than 2 minutes.

To me that was worth it.

Also, I had a problem once where I needed to seam rip a big section and I just zipped it off and back on in no time.

There are definitely good reasons to own em. I got mine a few weeks ago from Sue Schmeiden. APQS sells them for her here too on this site I think. Sue was very nice and helpful.

Was a solid investment though I was whining until told by Linda that I was not using them right. Once I started basting them on it was a whole other world.

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Heidi - you weren't wrong - you were just a bit more industrious than I was! ;) I thought originally about sitting and pinning to the zippers, but then I end up sticking myself! I'd rather baste. Glad you like the basting method!

Linda

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There is another reason why I like the zippers. I can zip them to each other and easily straighten out my leaders.

It's one more way to keep things squared neatly.

I also like the convenience of sitting in front of tv to attach the zippers to the quilts. I can do this at night or the weekend before and have one less thing to do when I am ready to quilt.

Patty

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  • 2 months later...

Hi All,

I have had my zippers (10) for over a year, and I pin in front of the TV or at my quilt guild meetings if I have one ready to do and need to take something to work on. I too zip them off and on if there is a problem which needs riping. I don't know if there is a right or wrong way to install them on the machine. I put mine on and it works for me. I mark the center of the zippers and the center of the top/back of the quilt pieces, I apply the pieces w/ 2 pins each in the center pull it off the machine and will sit w/1 to 10 quits at a time where ever convient to pin on. I love the convience of them, I have not had (knok on wood) a pucker problem.

Hope I could help.

Mary

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