Since I last wrote, I have been busy learning about new tools and techniques with my longarm. Two of my quilting friends swear by a product called "Red Snappers". This is a product that allows you to load your quilt quickly onto the leaders for quilting. I have been using zippers to pin to the back of the quilt and zip it on to a zipper I have added to my leader. So I decided to try the "Red Snapper". My conundrum was that to use the "Red Snapper" I needed to sew a "pocket" or "channel" on my leader as there is a small pole you place in the "channel" and then use a "u-shaped" clamp to "snap" onto the "channel" to hold the backing in place. I have a few pictures above. Well to use the "Red Snapper" I would have to "un-sew" the zipper from my leaders and create a channel for the "Red Snapper". This made me nervous as I knew my zipper systems worked well and I was not familiar with the new product. I solved my conundrum by creating a "Cheater Leader". I purchased "Duck" fabric, which is the same fabric as my Leader fabric and created an 8 inch panel. On one side, I sewed a zipper (to zip to my existing system) and on the other edge I created my channel for my "Red Snapper". This allows me to either use "Red Snappers" with my "Cheater Leader" or a zipper system by removing the "Cheater Leader". You can see a quilt loaded up with Red Snappers above in the center top picture. So far, I do like the "Red Snappers" and I have quilted about 4 charity quilts using this method with absolutely no issues. I also like the fact I can use my zipper system for larger quilts.
On another fun quilting note, I finished my "Farm Girl Cover Quilt". HOORAY! I had so much fun creating all the block last year in a local club. I used a "Chicken Wire" design on the outside border, small circles on the inner border, and an open flowing flower pattern in the middle of the quilt. It's now bound and in my Living room and can be seen in a photo with my son :)
I hope all is well with you and I hope you have an excellent week. I'll write more about my quilting adventures in the coming weeks.....