Hey, fellow quilters, I need some advice. I have just set up a Grace Sturdy Lite frame (I've had it in a box for 3 years) and am seeking your advice on the leader cloths that attach to the rails. The directions for the frame describe how to make them from muslin, but they also say it should be "good quality." I know the leader cloths will take some abuse as that's what the top, backing & batting are attached to with pins, so is muslin really strong enough for this?
I think what I really want to know from those of you with frames is:
1) Have you made your own leader cloths? If yes, what fabric did you use & has it held up well?
2) Have you purchased ready-made leader cloths? If so, what brand, was the price reasonable & would you buy them again?
Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. I'm looking forward to using my frame but want to start off with the right supplies.
If I was making my own leaders I would use a sturdy duck cloth. The leaders take lots of abuse and really needs to be a fabric that will resist stretching. One of the shops on FabShopHop sells fabric to make leaders but I don't remember the name. I do know that it is in CA and maybe has Bay in the name. They even had one with lines on it to help keep your quilt straight when you pin it.
Thanks, Nana :-) Duck cloth sounds good & more sturdy than muslin.
The Grace company sells leader cloth by the yard (approx $15/yard) but the web site doesn't say how wide it is, so I'm guessing I'd have to buy maybe 8 yards for all three rails. I have found premade cloths online, too, but I've never seen any in person so I'm curious about quality, etc.
The place that I saw it sold it so much per inch and you bought enough to make the length of your pole. The width was sufficient to do 3 poles. The price was really good. I will see if I can find it for you.
Bayside quilting sells the leader cloth. I have a grace pinnicle frame. I bought ity used and it came with the grace leaders and I really like them. They come in 12 foot length and you cut them to fit your poles. They are also marked to make keeping your backing straight. They had them on ebay for 8u9.00 or something close. I was going to buy a second pair but bougt some groovy boards instead
Thanks, Nana!!! I'll check back. I appreciate your help :-) If you can't find it, it's fine - I bet there will be some other place that sells something like it, too.
When I had my smaller frame, I used a striped ticking fabric. I liked having the stripe to help line up the quilts.
If this doesn't bring up the page for leader fabric. Click on shop online, fabric and kits, shop4leader fabric. It is really a good price.
Thanks, Elizabeth. Yeah, some of the premade leaders are not cheap, so I want to get one others have tried & like if I'm spending that kind of money. What's a groovy board?
Jeanine, I like the stripes idea - makes sense & sure would help. The instructions for my frame said to stitch or draw a line 1" from the edge of the leader fabric to use as a pinning guide, but striped fabric would do the trick, too.
Nana, no kidding! That's even cheaper than the least expensive premade leaders I saw! Thanks for finding the link & posting it :-)
You've all been a big help - I know I can count on my fellow QCAers :-) Hugs to you all!
I have the premade ones and I think I bought them through the grace company. They came with peel'n'stick velcro to apply to the rollers. The leaders have velcro sewed on them, so you can just velcro them to the rollers. This allows you to pull off the leader to do your pinning if you so desire. They were not cheap, about $89 I think. They have lines on them to keep everything straight.
Premade leaders came with my Grace frame, but if I had to start without those, I would make them from a duck type fabric to give a little more strength than muslin. I never pin to the leaders that stay on the frame. I have zippers in two sizes on all three leaders that stay on the machine. The part of the leader with the other side of the zippers, I made those leaders from a sheet. It was a brand new sheet. I know zippers sound crazy unless you have seen them in use. Once I saw how they worked I had to have my machine set up with them and as far as I am concerned it would make no difference which machine I had, I would have my leaders set up with zippers.
Eileen:What's a groovy board?
Groovy Board are plastic boards with the patttern insized in them. You attach a stylus to your machine and the stylus goers in the GROOVE, hence groovy boards. Check them out at Handiquilter. they are not cheap but I have been able to find used ones on ebay and Bayside quilting also has them cheaper than most sites. I find them much easier than pantos. Kind of like quilting with training wheels.
You are very welcome. They have a pretty neat site.