QUILTING ZEN MOMENTS Posted on 30 Mar 18:35 , 1 comment

Are you pinner or a stapler or a tacker or a stitcher?

The question on the table this morning is ... the topic at hand is ... "how you attach your quilt back to the leaders." The innovation of quilters never ceases to amaze me. If there is a different way to accomplish said goal, if there is a better way to get the desired results some quilter some where out in the world will figure it out. And when he/she does there is much celebrations and rejoicing in the world as we all want to try the latests and greatest new method or process which will help us

  • work more efficiently
  • work more creatively
  • work with less pain
  • multitask with ease
  • reduce studio stress

A Pinner uses long strong quilting pins to attach the quilt back to the leaders. The most often heard complaints with this method includes:

  • pricked fingers
  • time consuming
  • stabbed bellies
  • ruined clothes
  • sore knees and tired feet

A Stapler uses an electric stapler t0 attach the quilt back to the leaders. Hazards with this method include:

  • litter of removed staples when detaching the quilt from the leaders
  • possible need for protective eye gear ... beware the errant flying staple
  • increased wear and tear on the leaders
  • budgetary increases with purchase of staples

but ... you can sit, you can delegate an intern to do the loading job if you have zippered leaders, and no more worry about pin pricks and ruined clothing.Janice Bahrt has added a wonderful tutorial on the Statler Sib yahoo group if you're interested in learning more about this method.

A Tacker uses a tacking machine and the plastic tacks you find on purchased clothing and goods. I must confess, I've not tried this method but it seems to me I would not be making my life easier or faster.

  • I would be able to "sit and tack."
  • I wouldn't be worrying about pin pricks and ruined clothing.
  • I would have to purchase the equiipment and keep a supply of the little plastic tack on hand.
  • I'm would have to work out an efficient system for detaching the backing from the leaders after the quilt was finished.

and ... again, I could delegate the task allowing me to be working on something more creative.

A Stitcher uses the longarm quilting machine head to attach the quilt back to the leaders. You can also delegate this task and use a domestic sewing machine if your longarm is being used on another quilt. I have done this method and it has it's pluses and minuses. It is really easy to get the zippered leaders on backwards; it does involve some tricky thinking and eye-hand coordination if you're using the machine head. Seriously, I think I just needed more practice. If I couldn't even pin again I would definitely be going this route. But there is something I learned over the last year as I go back and forth between pinning or stitching.

When I am stitching I'm worrying about am Ii getting it on right or am I going to have to redo the load; I'm fussing over getting the edges even while I'm moving the machine head; I'm worrying about stretching the edge of the quilt backing. In other words, I'm thinking and worrying about a million different things and just a little bit stressed.

When I'm pinning I am in what I call my QUILTING ZEN MODE. I use my pinning time to relax. As I'm handling the backing I'm thinking about the quilter that pieced the top. I'm using my pin time to quilt the quilt virtually in my head. I'm think about my design choices and am quilt design plan following each step and quilting group through from beginning to end looking for or rying to anticipate possible hiccups or problems I might encounter. I'm a very intuitive quilter and this pinning time gives me a chance to make sure everything "feels" right.

I love my pinning time for connections, for one last final check, and for slowing down. Too much of our world is in hurry-up mode ... and testing the fates here... I seem to have worked out a system over the years for I've not ruined a sweater or pricked a finger in a long time.

Take time to leave a comment today ... just a quick response to an informal poll ...

Which are you? .... pinner ... stapler ... tacker ... stitcher ...

... be bold ... be brave ...
... make and share the music of your soul ...