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Loading a quilt

edited June 2011 in General
I've had my Fusion since the beginning of March. I've done near 20 quilts and am in love. :)

I've loaded by basting on my sewing machine and am not too fond of that. A lot to wrestle with and it didn't feed well even with my Bernina walking foot.

Anyway, I'm only 5' 2 1/2" and it is doable but a bit of a reach for the back leader. I don't want to buy another new longer leader.... I just bought the machine!! :\ I have started loading the back of the backing first and I stand between the rails to pin it on. Is this wrong or bad in some way? It seems pretty slick to me! :)

Any tips on pinning the backing to the belly bar in front? I've jammed pins in my fingers several times leaving blood on my leaders! :( Do you??? Or am I on this island alone? :lol:

Here's hoping this new forum picks up speed soon.....


  • I've thought about getting the Red Snappers or something along that line. But for now, I'll hold off and get more business going. :) Glad to know you like them.

    I just saw a hint of putting the last pin on the left (front bar for backing) in backwards so that the pin point isn't there where you'd rip up your hand. :) I just did one quilt that way so far. I've had to wipe out blood marks from my front leader! LOL!
  • And I have zippers and I love them... looked at the red snappers and just can't imagine leaning over the bars to get it done..
  • I stand at the back of my machine to pin on the backing, no stretching. You can always remove the leaders to pin and put them back on when you're done. No real need to stretch or contort to fit between the bars.
  • I am vertically challenged as well, but have no problem loading my Avante by doing the loading from both sides of the machine. I have the Leader Grips from Regina's Quilting Studio I purchased from the local HQ dealer and love them. No more blood on the leaders. The lady I sold my Hq16 to bought the Red Snappers, and doesn't care for them. They are much bulkier than the leader grips. I
  • Has anyone tried an electric stapler? I use one and love it.. the leaders stay in place and you just staple away.. works great for me
  • After 2 1/2 year with my Fusion, I am very happy using Velcro strips on my leaders and poles. I do all my leader pinning at my work table, where no stretching or bending is required. The centers of the leaders and the poles are marked so that I can carry the quilt layers to the frame and stick the leaders in place. When the quilt is completed, I reverse the process so that I can inspect both sides of the quilt before unpinning. If any issue, I simply take the quilt and leaders back to the frame. It is also much easier to work at my table if I find it necessary to pick out stitches.
  • Hear is another idea - attach/sew similar fabric to the take up bar leader. Now you have the extension needed without the struggle. Also, place/carry all markings on new attachment to eliminate guesswork for alignment.
  • I too have issues with loading my Fusion because I cannot get behind the table. I set my table up tall and it is easy to duck under the rails to thread the machine and to load the quilt backing. Then I use the LeaderMate loading system to attach the backing. I do not use the LeaderMate for the bottom of the Q top because it takes up too much fabric to load it, I pin it. These are my solutions. Hugs, Connie
  • I too have the zipper system and love it. I also have a low utility stool that I sit on if I need to pin at the table. I am short, 5'3" and a bad issues. I also have my table in the lowest position. I would say what works best for you is the right way to do it.
  • I am also short, 5 ft, and it seemed to take forever to pin a quilt on. But came across the Red Snappers and watched all the videos. And decided to give them a try. I absolutely love them. Like another lady said, I can load a queen in 15 min or less. They may be a bit bulky but if you float your top, it is not an issue. I love them, and have lots of woman in my quilting groups that have them. Good luck
  • I watched a trainer load 6 machines with practice fabric sandwiches using Leader Grips in 20 minutes. He had a lot of practice but slick. I ordered a set and I can do a queen size quilt in 15. If I remember to put the leader under the rollers not over!! then it takes me a day. Install, note I have the leaders going over not under, go to work, reinstall the quilt that night. Sigh.
  • I have the red snappers...easy peasy...
  • I just got my Fusion, and waiting for the red snappers, on order, but Jules, I'm with you, the first quilt I loaded, I went in between the bars and loaded the backing on the take up first It seemed to work, but I'm looking forward to the red snappers. I watched the video that handiquilter has on loading, and that helped. In fact, I have recently found tons of videos from handiquilter that I find very helpful. I've only done two quilts on my Fusion so far, and I love it! Also, I didn't understand why you would baste in on your domestic machine?
  • I've owned my Fusion for only 6 weeks now. Had the dealer set up frame and machine for me. So I had help loading on my first practice quilt. The dealer explained all the ways to attach your quilt, She used the Red Snappers and liked them so I did buy the Red Snappers from her that day.
    However, I didn't find it as easy to load my quilt as when I had help. So I found a tutorial with all the need to know info. Next time will be a snap :)
  • I'm curious, what are red snappers and where can I get them? What are leader grips? And one more question, where are you finding all the videos?
  • Check out Mondo Clips. They are cheaper than Red Snappers and work in the same manner. There is a good YouTube video about loading with the clips.
    I have the Red Snappers and a know several people that found Mondo clips and are using them with success.
  • I didn't find it quite as easy to load with Red Snappers as Renee Haddadin shows on the video. I added a strip of canvas to my take up roller, making the leader longer, which helped me in the loading process. I like the way loading is demonstrated in the Mondo Clip video; from the back of the machine and using the table as leverage. It's much easier than using the poles as leverage to clamp the layers. Although, an extension piece of canvas may need to be added to the backing roller to make it reach the table from the back.
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