The Weightless Quilter – the tool for machine quilting success!

Forum: Weightless Quilter

Weightless Quilter at quilt show

I am delighted to introduce you to the Weightless Quilter, (and offer a $pecial price) a wonderful quilting tool that will assist so many quilters in becoming a successful machine quilter on a domestic or sit-down long arm machine. I know many of you have a desire to complete your own quilts but have struggled with the weight of the quilt bundle. After 17 years of experience with my own machine quilting and from teaching hundreds of students in the classroom, (plus designing patterns and quilting design collections, writing how–to books and DVDs), I have to admit that there is nothing that I can teach that will eliminate that battle! So I have teamed with the professionals at Weightless Quilter, to bring you this tool that will assist you in completing wonderful quilts by yourself with equipment you already own!

Anyone who knows me or has attended the Machine Quilting workshops knows I am not a Gadget Girl. I teach students to first perform each step of my machine quilting process manually and then add any accessories they want to get the job done. In my own work, I keep my experience really “free” by using very few “add on” accessories. With years of day-in-and-day-out practice plus the experience of assisting my students at various skill levels, I have learned what the important factors of my success really are. I have honed in on perfecting the machine quilting process and suggest supplies to reduce weight, but until now there was no way to eliminate the struggle to maneuver a large bundle.

In early 2016, I was asked to test the Weightless Quilter, a new apparatus invented to lift the weight of the quilt off the work surface for machine quilters who use a domestic or sit down longarm. I surely was intrigued by the premise, but I was not convinced that it would be helpful enough to be worth the time to set it up or the expense (MSRP $399.00). I was skeptical, having been the pretty much a naked quilter, no frame, not stitch regulator, not even gloves. As I waited for the Weightless Quilter to arrive I compiled a list of reasons why I might not like it, probably the same apprehension you have right now. I was concerned about the inconvenience of having to move the quilt as I completed a section, that it would interrupt my stitching rhythm,etc. etc… (Read my report below)

What I learned in the first 15 minutes I had the Weightless Quilter in my house was it did what the manufacturer claimed it would do; it actually did set up in minutes without any trouble, lifted the weight of the bundle off the work table and took no time to get used to using it. After only the first hour my husband asked if I wanted any help setting it up and I said “No, I am already working and I feel like I have a girlfriend on each corner supporting the quilt and moving it where I command!”

After traveling across the country to demonstrate the Weightless Quilter at shows and classes, I have assembled the most frequently asked questions for this Forum. Here I will provide answers and information for you. I realize this is an investment and that you may not have seen a Weightless Quilter in action, so email me at joanie@heirloomquiltingdesigns.com to ask anything you would like to know and I will do my best to provide useful information.

Weightless Quilter, machine QuiltingWhat is it?

The Weightless Quilter is a floor rack system designed to eliminate your battle with the weight of a quilt bundle by lifting it off the work surface and off your body.

How does it work

Flexible poles with clamps attach to a basted quilt bundle. As you quilt the poles sway, mimicking the movement of your hands. When an area is complete, the bundle is adjusted to expose an unquilted area.

 

How to get a Weightless Quilter for a great price?

For a limited time I am offering the Weightless Quilter for $285.00 WITH NO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING COST in the Continental US. Simply click here to visit my SHOP! or http://heirloomquiltingdesigns.com/product/weightless-quilter/, to use a credit card to pay PAYPAL and have a Weightless Quilter delivered to your door in about 2 weeks. WI sales tax applies for WI residents.

What parts come with the system?

Weightless Quilter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Four 36” long Floor Frame Bars slide into the side or end of corner brackets.
  • Four Corner Brackets connect the Bars and support the poles. Rotate the bracket to adjust the orientation of the poles to fit the size of the quilt.
  • Eight Flex poles provide 3 levels of lift capacity: low (thinner poles); medium (thicker poles); heavy (both poles fit into the brackets at once).
    o Four High tension Flex Poles – thicker to provide support for heavier quilts, three are 60“ long and one is 39.5″
    o Four Low tension Flex Poles – thinner to provide more flexibility for lighter quilts, three are 60“ long and one is 39.5″
  • Black sticky-backed felt strips to wrap around both ends of the poles so that they stay securely into the hole of the corner brackets as well as the clamps.
  • Four Clamps – slide on the top end of the Flex Poles to hold the quilt bundle; easy to open, grip securely
  • Eight Set Screws – hold the floor frame bars in the corner brackets.
  • The storage box is: 5.5” wide, 4” deep and 59” high

How do I set up the Weightless Quilter?

The Weightless Quilter sets up in minutes without any tools. Choose as few or as many pieces of the system you will need to adapt to the size and weight of the project and the size of the work space.

Place the floor bars on the floor, slide them into the corner brackets and secure with the set screw if desired.

The corner brackets can be rotated 90 degrees so that the pole orientation is adjusted to the size of each project.

For a limited time I am offering the Weightless Quilter for $285.00 WITH NO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING COST in the Continental US. Simply click here to visit my SHOP! to http://heirloomquiltingdesigns.com/product/weightless-quilter/, use a credit card to pay PAYPAL and have a Weightless Quilter delivered to your door in about 2 weeks. WI sales tax applies for WI residents.  

Weightless Quilter Clamp

Choose the light, heavy or both poles depending on the weight of the quilt.

After attaching the self-stick felt griper pads, insert the poles into the corner brackets and add the clamps.

How does the set-up differ for a machine with the head on the right or when the head of the machine is at the rear?

Weightless Quilter from above

If the head of the machine is on the right, set up the Weightless Quilter for movement of the quilt to be north and south.
If the head of the machine is to the back of the table, set up the Weightless Quilter for movement of the quilt to be east and west.

That is as simple as it is to set up the Weightless Quilter! You are ready to attach the quilt and get it finished!

 


 

How much space do the Floor Frame Bars need to fit under my table or cabinet?

The four heavy-duty coated metal Floor Frame Bars are 36″ long, are 1/2″ thick and 1″ wide, so they will slide easily under most sewing cabinets.

How big of a quilt will it hold?

The system offers the versatility of positioning the parts to fit your space, and/or to the size of the quilt and the weight of the quilt bundle. Attach the corner brackets to direct the poles to the back or side to adapt to your work space to hold any quilt from a twin to a king.

How heavy of a quilt will it hold?

Weightless Quilter Clamp Insert both poles at the same time to support the weight of a heavy quilt. The Weightless Quilter will hold the weight of king size quilt with heavy batting.

Speaking of heavy projects, is the Weightless Quilter useful for other large, heavy or bulky projects?

Use it to support the weight of any large project
o Seam large backing fabrics
o Add the binding to a quilt
o Make draperies
o Use it for Bridal gown with long train, heavy costumes, pageant gowns 

What do I do if I don’t have space to expand for a really big quilt?

It is not necessary to have a large space to work in with the Weightless Quilter. You don’t have to spread out the entire quilt and clamp the corners as if the quilt was attached to the rollers of a longarm. On the contrary, the Weightless Quilter can do a big job in a small space by clamping a section of the quilt and readjusting the clamps as you work. Or, consider moving your machine to a larger room for the anchoring process (learn more about anchoring in my book Joanie’s Quilting Elements and move back after the work zones have been established. Set it up anywhere you have space, work in the dining room, family room, on a covered patio or take it to retreat.

What do I do if my machine is up against the wall?

The Weightless Quilter works with as much or as little space that you have, even if your machine is against a wall. My friend, LuAnn Tippets of Sew Very Smooth uses a Weightless Quilter to quilt while she is on the road in a camping trailer (traveling to quilt shows selling her wonderful quilting tools). LuAnn clamps just the section of the quilt she needs access to by attaching the clamp to a folded quilt bundle. She said: “After the bundle is meticulously pin basted, I temporarily set up the Weightless Quilter in any large space and follow the Divide and Conquer method of anchoring that I learned in Joanie’s class (and book) to secure the layers into work zones. When the first anchoring stitches are complete, I can safely clamp a smaller area of the quilt and move from section to section anywhere on the quilt top without the worry of puckers on the back“. While not optimal, if your work space is against a wall, the poles take the length of the quilt up and gently sway from side to side as you work.

What types of machines does the Weightless Quilter work with?

The Weightless Quilter works with any equipment you already own; whatever techniques, skills or attachments you are currently using will only be enhanced when the quilt bundle moves freely.

  • Use it for straight line quilting when a walking foot or even-feed feature is used. 
  • Use it for free-motion techniques with the fee-dogs lowered.
  • Use it with an extension table, a slide on tray, and with a stitch length regulator.
 

Do I need to temporarily baste the layer of the bundle?

safety pinsYes, just like any time you are quilting with either of these machines,
you must baste the quilt bundle. Use your favorite method to pin-baste
or spray baste.
I pin baste on a basting rack, placing small brass safety pins every 4″ .

 

Watch this video of me stitching with the Weightless Quilter.

What do I do with the Weightless Quilter when I am not in the quilting phase of my project?

  • When the quilt is complete, put the Weightless Quilter away in the box.
  • Set it up anywhere you have space, work in the dining room, family room or on a covered patio.
  • Take it to retreats
  • Let a friend borrow it,
  • Take it to quilt guild, etc. etc…

Report on product testing the Weightless Quilter

My thoughts before testing the product:

  • I was concerned that the system will pull on the bundle when reaching the place where the tension of the system pulls back.
  • I worried that the WQ would restrict or resists my movement, resulting in distortion of my stitch consistency or breakage of a needle.

Response: This was not a problem. There was a different feeling of tension on the bundle, but it seemed to allow me to control the bundle just fine and at times, possibly even better than I had without the Weightless Quilter.

I couldn’t imagine how I would work the edge of the quilt or stitch close to where the bundle attached to the clamp?

Response: This was not a problem. When the stitching occurred starting at the north edge of the quilt all the way to the south edge, I simply released or attached the north and south clamps along the edge as needed.

Setting up the Weightless Quilter for the test quilt, size 51” x 64”.

  • Because used my lightweight, recommended batting, only the lightweight poles were necessary. They allowed the maximum flexibility and freedom to access larger areas of the bundle before reclamping was necessary.
  • I used 3 poles in 3  corner brackets, a short pole to my left side, and a long one in each corner to my north. I did not use a pole on my right.
  • Since the floor brackets had the option of sliding into the floor bar from the front or side, I turned the left floor bracket so that the pole pointed left rather than pointing behind me.

My Process: I anchored with the waking foot on straight lines, using only the back left corner attached to the lightweight pole. I could bend the pole enough to start at the north edge of the quilt. I stitched the straight lines anchoring on the right side of the quilt. Next I switched to the free-motion foot for anchoring.

I stitched from North to South, starting with the first seam line closest to the quilt center, then moved east toward the right side edge.  Next, I rotated the bundle, started back in the center and added the anchoring lines in the empty side. I was able to stitch the entire length of the quilt using or releasing the clamps as needed.

Rotating the quilt WAS NOT the problem that I anticipated. It was simple to squeeze the clamp open, rotate the quilt and reattach the clamp. I would also like to stress how it is good for the body to get up and move.

How to get a Weightless Quilter for a great price?

For a limited time I am offering the Weightless Quilter for $285.00 WITH NO ADDITIONAL SHIPPING COST in the Continental US. Simply click here to visit my SHOP! to http://heirloomquiltingdesigns.com/product/weightless-quilter/, use a credit card to pay PAYPAL and have a Weightless Quilter delivered to your door in about 2 weeks. WI sales tax applies for WI residents.

I hope that this answers some questions you may have and opens a dialog foe uses of the Weightless Quilter. Remember you can email me at joanie@heirloomquiltingdesigns.com to ask anything you would like to know and I will do my best to provide useful information so everyone can make an informed decision.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would to pass this information on to anyone you may think is interested.

Give it your BEST! Joanie