What's your favorite tool to make free-motion quilting easier and less painful?
Love the Machingers gloves - and, of course - a glass of wine!
TADA / BC
"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage." - Georgia O'Keeffe
I like the Fons and Porter quilting gloves. They are fairly inexpensive and they last a long time. I cut off the tips of the fingers to I don't have to remove the gloves everytime I need to rethread or change a needle, etc. They also come in three sizes so they fit my hand size very well.
I use two small pieces of rubber shelf liner. I find my hands get too sweaty in the gloves and I can't thread the needle without taking them off
i have several things i like.
the first, is a clean surface that the quilt will slide over easily. i have not used the slider things you can buy. instead, when i get ready to quilt, i give my machinea thorough cleaning. and the last step is to clean the machine bed and extension table. i use pledge and scrap batt pieces. do NOT spray the machine. i spray the pledge onto the batt scraps, and use them to clean and polish the surface. then my quilt sandwich slides around easily without dragging. thoroughly dry the pledge before adding fabric.
the other important thing for me, make sure the quilt is entirely supported by the table, and is not falling off the side or back - or you will be constantly picking the quilt up and putting it back on the table - which is awfully hard on shoulders. and if the weight of the quilt pulls against the needle, you will have poor quality stitches and broken needles.
i also have the hoop like sliders - they don't work for regular quilting. but when doing tiny stippling - where you are heavily quilting an area, then they become useful - just remember to not push down on the table too hard, or you won't be able to move the quilt.
the third thing i need - is a good grip on the quilt to move it around easily. my hands are badly deformed from arthritis, and the gloves don't work for me.if they are big enough to go over the swollen joints, they are too long on my fingers - and would be in danger of getting caught under the needle. plus they make my hands too hot. i use the secretary finger cots. the package has assorted sizes, so one of the sizes will work. they are quick and easy to slide on and off. you don't need them on all fingers. i only wear them on the thumb and first finger of each hand. that is all i need to move the quilt easily. you should not be pressing down on the quilt with your whole hand - you want to guide the quilts movement - not be pressing it against the table. so finger cots on just 2 fingers of each hand reminds me to keep my hands light, and gives me enough grip on the quilt to move it easily.
but most of all, figure out what works for you !! ckquilter
I do like the gloves and the shelf liners but not together (just kidding). I also use a non name brand slider with a rectangle opening so I can use it for ALL sewing. I thought it might be a gimmick but for small to medium size pieces it works very well. Not great for twin-king size quilts though because that much fabric rolled or not doesn't play well with any surface.
Thank you for this tip. I have the same problems with sweaty hands in glove. Never thought to think "outside the gloves".
lol I get some one else to do it for me. I do try on my smaller things like wall hangings and then I use the quilting gloves they seem to work the best for me.
"The only dumb question is the unasked question"