This week we're preparing our Mix n' Match Pantograph rows and learning how to quilt a partial first row! Learn how to begin pantograph quilting in this video tutorial:
Check out the tools and supplies I used in this quilting tutorial:
How to Create Your Pantograph Design
All of our Mix n' Match Pantographs available here at LeahDay.com come with two sizes of each design - 3 1/2 and 7 1/2.
These pantographs also all digital downloads, so you just need to download the PDF to your computer, open the document, and print multiple copies of either Page 2 or Page 3.
If you're quilting on a home sewing machine, you'll need to use the 3 1/2 inch version of the design.
This size worked for my home sewing machines that had an 8-inch harp space or larger. Remember, even if you have an 11 inch harp, that doesn't mean you will have 11 inches of vertical quilting space.
Your space is reduced by the rails on the frame AND the quilted quilt as it rolls up in your machine. If you try to quilt a design too big for your machine, you will run out of space before you finish your quilt and end up with a very... creative design!
If you are quilting on a longarm, you can use the 7 1/2 inch pantograph design.
You can also combine multiple rows of the 7 1/2 and 3 1/2 sizes to create a totally unique pantograph for your quilt!
Each pantograph PDF includes instructions and charts to help you print the correct number of pages for your machine. I've estimated the sizes for our Qnique 15, 19, and 21 inch longarms.
My Mix n' Match Pantograph Design
I combined a row of Heart Paisley and Paisley together to create an 11 inch pantograph design. This might sound pretty small for my Qnique 21 longarm.
Keep in mind, my space has been slightly reduced by using an Idler Rail on my frame. I love having this rail, which makes for faster advancing between rows, so in my opinion it's worth having a little less quilting space because I have a faster overall quilting experience.
Preparing Your Frame for Pantograph Quilting
We've already loaded our frame for pantograph quilting. Now we just need to prep our back table with guidelines.
Pull your machine as far back as it can go and turn on your laser light. For a home sewing machine, you'll need a Gracie Laser. For any Qnique Longarm machine, you'll need a Qnique Laser.
With the machine pulled back as far as it can go, use the laser light to help you place a line of tape along your back table. This indicates the lower limit of your quilting space.
Now repeat this step with your machine rolled as far forward as it can go. Your back table should have two pieces of tape that clearly indicate your maximum quilting space.
Place your prepared pantograph design in the center of the two lines:
I know it's tempting to place the pantograph as close to the bottom edge of the back table as possible. This will not work because as your quilt is quilted, it builds up in the arm of the machine and will reduce your quilting space.
If you place the pantograph too close to your taped lines, you'll probably run out of quilting space before you reach the end of your quilt. Again, this will result in a very creative quilting design, but probably not the goal you're after.
Follow the instructions in the video to tape you Pantograph design in place using tape, your laser light and the channel locks on your frame.
How to Quilt a Partial First Row
Now that the Pantograph is in position, roll your longarm to the upper left corner of your quilt and drop the needle down. This locks the machine and laser light to the quilt.
Now unlock your frame rails. If needed, also remove the side clamps so you can freely move your quilt.
Roll the rails (or shift your quilt if you’re on a hoop frame) until the laser light lines up with the middle of your pantograph design.
If you’re using a multi-row Mix n' Match Pantograph like I am, align the laser with the middle of the first row.
I use a long cutting ruler as a guideline when quilting a partial first row. I don't have to quilt the entire row, but it's easy to forget that when quilting across.
With the ruler in place, I know when I hit the edge I need to stitch over and hit the next design line. This reduces the amount of quilting and time taken on this partial first row.
Begin Actually Pantograph Quilting
Lock your rails, reset your side clamps and take a minute to test your stitches and check your tension off the quilt in the batting area.
When you're ready, pull up your bobbin thread in the upper corner of your quilt so it doesn’t make a mess on the back of the quilt. See how I begin and end every line of quilting on my longarm and home machines in this tutorial.
I know we've done a lot of prep up to this point, but now that we're actually quilting, all that preparation will pay off big. You can trust that the quilt is stable and the edges will not pleat as you stitch across with your design.
Keep your eyes on the pantograph and move your machine slowly and steadily. If you feel out of control as you move the machine, consider sewing a frame weight to give you a bit more stability.
Join in the fun quilting with pantographs!
With our partial first row knocked out, all of the tedious parts of pantograph quilting have been knocked out. Next week we'll see just how fast and easy this style of quilting can be as we quilt and advance multiple rows together.
Join in the fun anytime begin pantograph quilting with our Mix n' Match Pantograph Designs:
huguette et yvon caron - September 12, 2022
is it possible that we can buy a book for all the design.