Finished up the binding on this month’s challenge quilt … another one of Kathy Tracy’s fun little challenge quilts from her Yahoo! group, SmallQuiltTalk. It’s a little quilt, only about 17” square. The original pattern was in her American Doll Quilts book.
This is the first quilt that was loaded onto my HQ-16 with the magnets that I had hubby get me Saturday at Harbor Freight. I do NOT KNOW WHY ON EARTH I WAITED SO LONG TO DO THIS!!!! With the magnets, I had this little quilt loaded in under 5 minutes. It would have been a shorter time if I hadn’t dropped the backing fabric on the floor and had to figure out how to bend down to get it without hurting my knee! If you have a longarm machine, and are unfamiliar with using the 18” long magnets from Harbor Freight, check out a couple of YouTube videos … http://youtu.be/28pS90e2-jI shows how to load the quilt using small round magnets. And this link, http://youtu.be/E9h3_PpIskk, shows the longer 18” magnets used to float a top (although they can be used to load the backing, quilt top, etc.) I had hubby purchase 9 magnets for me. They were on sale for $4.99/each (regularly $9.99/each). Yes it was $45 for the magnets (plus tax of course), but I’ll tell you … loading that quilt so quickly today was one of the best experiences that I’ve had since owning that machine. So the $45 was WELL worth it!
Another “gadget” that changed my quilting life with my longarm was the TOWA Bobbin Tension gauge. It’s a pricey little gadget, but like I just said – it TOTALLY CHANGED my quilting life. I had already owned my HQ-16 for a couple of years before getting the TOWA, opting to spend that money on fabric, thread, etc. etc. But boy did I suffer through lots of frustration in the meantime … what a waste. Superior Threads (a very reputable company) now sells them (check out https://www.superiorthreads.com/shop/category/?q=towa). They make them for regular machines and longarms … be sure to order the right one!