How To Use: Hartley Fence

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While I am waiting for someone to talk to me abou the Pantographs, I have another question. I am trying to play with my Harley Fence for the first time....I should have taken more college classes I can tell already. While trying to put together the whole thing the instructions talk about an orbiter. What is an orbiter, and how do I know if I have one or not? The Hartley Fence looked like a hoot in the demos, please tell me that it is easier than it looks right now. Help!!

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Hey Tangled Threads,

I am thinking it is just you and me!! I know that you can use the circle on blocks - one I can think of off hand is the pinwheel - the circles will give the block movement. Also, you can use it on plain alternate blocks, that could spice it up a bit - you know do an echo type circle or graduating circles. See I have all these ideas and cannot use them. It is comforting to know that you are out there in cyber space with pretty much the same problem.

Thanks for responding!! And good luck back at ya!

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I have no idea what an 'orbiter' is but think it is the bar with the holes and numbers as it 'orbits' around the post it is attached to. I never saw one demonstrated (previously owned Ult) but figured it out finally. I have done big interlocking circles on a Log Cabin, alternating small/large circles on baby quilts, circles within circles randomly and best of all circles of all sizes to do feathers around. I find that using the bar to do straight lines is my best use of the fence. Diaganols, x-hatching, even some SID. I make what I want with the fence for as many passes as possible then go around to the front of the machine and sit down and add to it. I understand that now there are templates to use on it also, stars, hearts, etc., kinda like cookie cutters. Hardest part for me to learn was to NOT push the machine but let it gently glide around the mechanism, don't fight it, it knows where to go:-)

Mary & Big Girl

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Hi everyone

The orbiter is an accessory that is usually only used with the XX to allow the operator to move the head more easily. If you have a stitch regulated machine you will definitely not have one and it is unlikely if you have an Ultimate 1 that you would have one.

What to do with the Hartley Fence?

What about part circles behind a lone star. I know I am going to get tied in knots trying to describe this but here goes.

Say you have black background fabric and pink shades for the star pieces, looking at each of the four outer corners of the star you have black squares. Now look at the top right hand black fabric square. Using the bottom left corner of this square as the centre of your circle you can quilt part circles on the background fabric and repeat in the other three corners.

In the other black sections the centre is in the middle where the two points meet. Use this as the centre point of your circle and quilt part circles outwards on the black fabric.

This really brings the lone star forward and gives movement to the quilt. You would need to stitch inside the lone star to hold it down - maybe stitch in the ditch.

Card trick block is one I usually put two part circles into each ?ard. the centre where the three squares meet is the centre of the part circles and I quilt two part circles in each card. customers always comment on how nice this looks.

What about Baptist Fan all over. This is great on flannel quilts if the arcs are spaced 1 1/2 to 2"apart. Quilt 1"apart on traditional quilts with cotton batting for a vintage look.

I use my HF at least once a week on blocks where I want to quilt a feathered wreath. I like to do freehand feathers around the wreath because they are quick but being freehand, not perfect. Although each feather maybe a little irregular the centre circle is perfect and the eye is drawn to the centre of the design.

Try to remember when designing and quilting circle designs that the bolt that holds the circle arm into the base repesents the centre of the circle.

How to quilt a circle in the centre of a block - lower your needle in the centre of the block and bring the HF across to the machine until the pin that hangs down from the idler arm is resting on top of the bolt on the circle arm (the one with all the holes).

I hope this makes sense, its 3am as I am typing this so if I haven't made myself clear post to the list and later in the morning, after coffee I'll try to explain better.

Sue in Australia

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest Linda S

Hi. I'm fairly new here -- don't have my Liberty yet, so I can't give much help. However, I just bought a used Hartley Fence to go with my new Liberty and I am signed up for a class on how to use the Hartley Fence at MQInnovations in Tacoma in September. I bought one because it said it made it easier to do some shapes and straight lines (especially cross-hatching). I'm a big cross-hatching fan, and anything I can get to help me out would be a real plus. I hope it will be a very useful tool for me.


P.S. If you're still wondering come early October, I'll share what I learned with you! ;) Hopefully, someone will come up with some info before then!!

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The Fence is great and makes perfect circles. Lining up your circles just takes a little practice because your quilt will never be in a perfect line and I find I have to do a tiny adjustment as I go down a row and want them in the center of a block. The fence is very easy to use but to try and figure it out on your own without a demo would be frustrating. I do believe the attachment with the bar and holes in it is called the orbitor, which you need to make circles. Cross hatching is also a breeze with the diagonal attachment, I suggest you do one practice piece first, just so you know how to make your slight adjustment if you are trying to match a point at the opposite side of your quilt. That is unless you or your clients make perfect quilts, then no adjustments necessary. I have only had my Millie for about 3 yrs and don't really do quilts for hire, a few friends quilts now and then, and so I haven't really cranked out a lot on this machine, but I just won 1st place for my machine quilting at the Glendale, Ca quilt show in March and I had done a modified Baptist Fan using the circle attachement. So if I can do it, you can too. It's hard to explain in words, you just have to see it and it's very easy.:cool:

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  • 1 month later...

I made a sampler quilt of some of my quilting for my customer's to see and used the Hartly Fence to make circles on my Pinwheel block. I took my time, read, read, re-read - well, you get the idea - until I figured it out and my circles were right on the money.....I love my Hartly Fence. Everyone that has seen the sampler has been wowed by the circles.

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I'm not sure if you will be able to see this on the drawing that's attached. But I am planning to use the Hartley Fence for overlapping circles on my Christmas pickle quilt that is attached. I am using the lower corner of the New York Beauty block as the center of the circles and am hoping to have it look like overlapping ripples. I'll post a picture of the real quilt if it works.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 months later...

I am still a little confused about the hartley fence. Is the fence both the acrylic hand held straight edge thingy and the circular thingy? I got the circle thingy working pretty good, but there is a long bar that I haven't attached and I can't figure out what it is for. Are there any websites I can go to that have a demonstration of the hartley fence?

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, Sue, I'll bite! I bought my Hartley Fence for my Ult 1 about 6 years ago. I now have the Liberty. I would like to buy whatever I need to make the fence usable on this machine. Then I would like to have instructions as to how to load it on the table and begin using it.



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Hi Teri

I'm glad you asked. Here goes.

Well since you bought your HF there have been some modifications, namely the brake and the diagonal tool.

I would encourage you to purchase the new brake which is so much quicker to use than the original winding system. I believe the new brakes are around $80.

The new diagonal tool is made from metal and the hole is drilled in a different position to allow you to quilt longer diagonals. You might like to ring APQS if you want to drill a new hole to find out exactly where it should go and tell them you have a Liberty.

I don't have the wooden arm any longer but think it had a metal sheath in the hole where you screw the bolt to secure it to the HF. I guess if you drilled a new hole and didn't have something like that in there , with lots of use the hole could become larger and in time you would find you were not able to secure the arm properly to the HF - then you might want to buy the metal arm. I don't know the cost of a new arm.

When you ring APQS you should also ask if you need spacer washers to bring the Liberty and HF to the right height for each other.

I'm not sure if you have the instructions that came with the machine, if not I am sure Carla will run you off a set on Tuesday.

If you want to get going with your HF this weekend , let me know and I'll type up some "get you going" instructions as soon as I hear back from you.

Just quickly though - setting it up on the table.

The brake handle is on the backside of the table

The HF has wheels on adjustable/slotted brackets at the front

Put the HF back wheels on the back of the quilting machine table and holding them in place push the front wheels of the HF towards the front edge of the table.

Tighten the thumbscrews down onto the slotted bracket keeping the wheels firm against the front edge of the table. Slide the HF along the table. You should be able to move it across the table freely without it twisting diagonally. When you are happy tighten the thumbscrews well.

Attach the long metal bar (it is about 1/4" thick x 1 1/2" wide x 18" long to the front axle of your machine - there are 2 holes drilled in the axle and this is where you may need spacers (I think about 1/4" deep) to raise the bar so that it is the right height for the circle device. Make sure the bar is straight and tight. There should be no wobble sideways but when you touch the other end of the bar (with one hole in it) you should be able to lift it up and down a little.

In this hole you put the circle device pin with the wing nut on top.

Undo the wing-nut (or you may have a black knob) and put the threaded end of the pin up through the underside of the bar and tighten down well with the wing-nut or black knob.

Your fence is set up ready to go.

Get your circle device and firmly fix it to the HF base by putting a wing-nut or black threaded knob into the log slot - around the middle is good - and tighten it down firmly so there is no movement.

Put the pin into any hole and holding the machine at the back gently move in a circular motion!

Let me know if you have more specific questions.

Happy Easter


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