Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tech Sunday - Zipper Leader Trick

Early this summer I had a friend come over to help me demo my longarm to a potential customer.  At that point I was on my Doctor enforced no longarming for six weeks vacation.  So my dear friend came from 2 hours west of here just to be in my studio with me so that I didn't do anything stupid.  And yes, I do know that I owe her big.

She made a comment about the fact that there was a quilt on my take-up roller, but practice cloth loaded for the customer to play on.  She was really surprised at how I had loaded the practice cloth.  I have zippers on my leaders.  Here is how the leader looks when I get to the bottom of a quilt.  Notice the blue ribbon.  I sew a length of blue grosgrain ribbon to the backing bottom zipper and green to the backing top zipper.  That way I can tell immediately which is which when I start pinning.  I have 6 sets of backing zippers, but only one zipper for the quilt top.  I need to order a second quilt top zipper, but so far it has not been an issue.

In the next picture the quilt with the black backing has been rolled onto the take-up roller and I have added another backing which is bright orange.  Notice that there are two ribbon colors because all you have to do is zip an new top backing zipper onto the bottom backing zipper that is already on the frame.    Normally when I do this the second quilt is smaller then the first one.  But it can also be done if you have enough backing on the second quilt to be able to tape the zippers to the take-up roller.
 I use a lot of tape in my studio.  I have multiple rolls of orange masking tape which is low tack.  You could also use painter's tape.  You will notice in the picture below that do tape the zippers to roller so that they do not flap around.  I also put some on the backing of the first quilt so that it is out of the way.

Yes, that is a third backing that you are seeing.   In this case the second and third backing were seamed together.  If I still have the quilt top zipper pinned on the first quilt, I just fold the zippers in as it is rolling onto the take-up roller.  I normally try to stabilize to the bottom of the first quilt if it is custom.  

Every time I have bought a backing set of zippers they have come zipped together.  I tried loading this way right after I bought the zippers for my longarm and have been doing it for four years. 

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