Sunday, April 27, 2014

GOAL SETTING. One: Quilt Frame prep

I have had one goal lately: get the Bailey set up and stitching.  What is the Bailey?  It is a mid arm quilting machine created by Chuck Bailey of The Bailey Sewing Center in Leicester, NY.

I bought my 17Pro in 2010.  Just before I went wacko with SMAD.  It has been sitting and waiting for me to start my recovery.  I think I may be ready. 
Setting this up is a process.  I started by sewing zippers to the pink cloth leaders that you see in the photo.  This will enable me to more easily attach the quilt back and top to the frame.  The original design calls for pinning the back and top to these leaders.  Let me tell you.  That is a PITA.  I have done it and I don't want to do it again.  EVER.

Supposedly you can sew one side of the  zipper to the cloth leader and baste  the other side to the edge of the quilt, thus allowing you to zip the quilt on quickly to set up for machine quilting.  I thought about that and decided that I did not want to fragment the cloth of the zipper each time I removed the zipper from a quilt.  So I sewed the other side of the zipper to some narrower cloth leaders on Friday so that I could accomplish my goal for that day: get the practice quilt set up on the frame.

There are four rails.  Rail One accepts the quilt top, batting, and quilt back.  Rail Two holds the quilt back.  Rail three holds the quilt top.   In order to keep it orderly, I basted the top and back together in the sewing loft BEFORE I basted on the zipper.  Then I basted one zipper each  to the opposite edges of the quilt top and the quilt back.  I did this all in the sewing loft.  Far away from the quilt frame which is in the guest apartment over the shop (It's the only place the sucker will fit).

I traipsed out to the apartment just before dinner on Friday.   Steven was OOT so I did not have to worry about time.  The dogs could certainly wait.  I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had sewn the zippers to the quilt backwards.  Luckily, I had basted them on. 

The dogs got their supper, but not until I had removed the zippers from the quilt top and back.  Then I got a bright idea.  Take a machine out to the GA (Guest Apartment) and make sure you do it right this time, Lizzy.  So I did.  I took Duane with me.  That's how I knew he had a dead spot in his motor.

OK.  Once I got the zip leaders all set up correctly I zipped the quilt on.  Worked great !  But something was wrong  It just didn't look right.  Something was backwards.   Intuitively I thought that the back should attach  to rail number three, one edge of the top to rail two and both back and top, with batting in between should attach to rail number one.  I was 33% correct. 

I got out the instructions and discovered my error.  It is counter intuitive, but the back attaches to number two, the top to number three and both attach to number one.  Surprisingly,  I did not swear.  I just ripped the zippers out and attached them correctly.
Rail number four (I bet you can figure out which one that is) will hold a roll of batting.  This is practice and there isn't much fabric so there isn't much batting.  Also, I would pay much more attention to getting out  those wrinkles a real quilt. 

I accomplished that goal with three hours to spare.  I celebrated.  Yessir I did.

Next goal: Service the Bailey.


  1. I am glad I don't have a frame, because I don't understand the zippers. It doesn't seem from the videos that there is a lot to service. So proud you kept persevering. Sometime, this week, I will fetch the new Bailey and try it with the sew mates plexi table. Can't wait to see your quilting!!!

  2. Hi, I don't understand the zippers either. I use a product similar to red snappers -- I hope this helps.