October 19, 2011

Polly Has Zippers!

If you frequent my blog, then you probably know that Polly is my long arm. Recently I've been debating pins versus zippers for the leaders on the frame rollers. I really have never disliked pinning on quilt backings. I can do it quite fast, and seldom hit my fingers or hands with a pin.

However, there have been times I wished I could trade off a quilt for awhile, and load another one. Or---if I need to rip out some threads when I miss a line of stitching---like in the continuous curve on a 9 patch, or miss going up a feather stem. I could just un-zip and rip and fix things more easily. Unpinning or rolling and slacking the quilting, or reaching underneath with tweezers or your fingers to pull threads is not that comfortable.
Polly, 2009 Prodigy Quilter

Zipper on take up leader.
This is the first quilt backing I loaded onto the zippered leaders. I used pins this one time --- but now I'm taking the quilt backing and zippered section to the sewing machine. Setting the stitch length to 6.0 spi. and sewing the backing onto the zippered leader section. I clip, pull a bit and rip out the basting thread when I'm finished with the quilt.
Here is the quilt backing zipped on. I "float my quilts", so I use the zippers on the take up leader, and the front leader only. I don't use my middle leader but leave it on the frame for for the slight pressure it puts onto the quilt, and to keep it smooth when it rolls under the unused leader. I use the cardboard tubes for reference markers. One for the middle of the quilt top, and one on each end of the middle roller leader as edge guides along the quilt top. I can slide these cardboard markers back and forth on the leader fabric and adjust them for any size quilt I'm quilting.

Here is another view of the zippers. I purchased the Quick Zip sets at The Quilt Connection. I had read they have the best directions for attaching zippers. I am not good with putting zippers on clothing, so I figured this would be quite a challenge. However, I was pleasantly surprised! It went very well. Great directions, and everything is marked.

I did chose to buy some cotton duck cloth and attach one side of the zipper to the cloth. The part that would be normally pinned to the quilt backing fabric. I didn't want to continuously sew and rip out threads from the actual zipper fabric edge. I figured in no time I would have frayed zipper edges.

1 comment:

Purple Pam said...

What a great idea - zipping on your leaders! Do you have any trouble lining up the zippers so that you can run the zipper pull? I dislike the pins, too. I was always poking myself.