A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
For quite awhile now I’ve had the Circle Lord device with some of the smaller templates and I’ve had some of the giant templates. I found it difficult to go from using the movable device to using the giant templates. Too much time involved in setting up and taking apart as far as I was concerned. So sometimes the device collected dust. BUT not anymore!
I finally got around to setting up my machine table so I could quickly and easily remove the giant template guides and use the setup device. Now I’m a much happier machine quilter AND it saves me time! Time is just as precious to me as diamonds or gold.
It did require me to drill holes in the table. Yes, I know some people don’t want to put holes in their table. But, I figure, what the heck. I’m the one using MY table so it must work for ME. It is no different than doing any other alterations to the machine to allow me to do better quilting. Besides, IF I ever decide to sell my machine to get a newer model the CL things will be part of the deal. I will buy new ones to go with a newer machine. Though selling this machine is not likely to ever happen.
So…. what I did was buy some furring strips. These are the thin strips of wood used to hold paneling to walls. I bought two 12 foot lengths and had them cut in half. So I have 4 six foot lengths for my giant template guides as I have a 12 foot table.
For setting up the guide strips in the correct place I used the zigzag giant template. I used it because among the giant templates that I personally own it is the widest one front to back. No, they are not all the same size. This one is about a quarter of an inch larger than the others.
I lined the zigzag template up in the panto area of the table that works best for me. This area is just a little closer to the needle side on my table. Yours may be different. Once the giant template was in the correct position; I put double sided tape in several spots on the furring strips then lined it up along the sides of the template. This tape was only to hold the wood strips until the holes were drilled.
I put four holes in each strip going through wood and table at the same time. This way I can be sure the holes will all line up correctly each time.
I marked the wood strips with left front, left back, right front, right back so I know where each one goes when I’m ready to use them.
I use screws that are 1 inch long as the holding pins. These are not screwed in but just dropped into the hole to keep the furring strips in place. So now I can put the furring strips on when I want to use the giant templates and remove them when I want to use the set up device.
The zigzag giant template does have a pin plate to allow the user to move it back and forth. I did screw this pin plate to the table. I don’t need to remove this in order to use the other templates. If a person wants to remove it; then, holding pins would work on this too.
On my table you will notice that I have removed the plastic used for holding paper pantos in place. I removed it because the CL device was always catching on the dividing line of the plastic and preventing the device from moving from place to place smoothly. I plan to replace the divided plastic with one whole piece of plastic. When I do, I will drill holes in the plastic to match the pin holes of my holding strips.
There is one more thing I did. I hot glued my stylus holder so it will remain in the same position all the time. This prevents it from slipping out of position when I happen to bump the stylus along the path. I know…. we aren’t supposed to bump it; but, it does happen sometimes. If the stylus holder does not stay in the same position it will cause the patterns to line up wrong.
Well now, I believe my machine table is set up to use which ever panto device I choose to use; giant templates, paper panto, or CL smaller templates. So no more dust collecting on anything!
Hmm…. Now if only I can get Circle Lord Michael to make me a stylus with a shorter top on it so it doesn’t set so high in the holder. Yes, I’m sure he will help me with the stylus, Michael is always willing to listen to our ideas and create what we need.