Sunday 26 February 2012

I like to be up front!

The front of my longarm that is!

My first machine had a panto shelf so I was used to the front of the machine right from the start.
Usually if you are quilting following a pantograph (paper pattern) you have to be at the back of the machine, that's why longarms usually have another set of handles with controls at the back so when you are quilting a pantograph you watch the lazer and not the machine. I have always hated being at the back of my machine! In my room with low coombed ceilings it's awkward and claustrophobic, I have to pull my machine and frame out from the wall, having a slipped disk problem that is sometimes impossible, that frame is big and heavy and can't stay out in the room permanently!

Now that I am doing some quilting for customers I am doing a few pantographs rather than all custom work. I was not a happy quilter, I like to be up front where you can see what is happening with the fabric and thread.

So, with the encouragement of my friend Kath this is what I came up with, a Panto Cam/Tension other words two mini surveillance cameras connected to a monitor so I can do a panto from the front and check on my tension right from the monitor....don't be fooled it's not a computer system but will be a great help until I win the lottery and can afford!

There's a bit of a learning curve hand and eye co-ordination wise so I had a practice on some fleece before going for the real thing on a customer quilt.

I am not the first to do this there are a few different systems out there in longarm land but none designed for our power supply here in the UK so I just collected up one or two things and put it together!



  1. Kay, I feel famous. :) . Thank you for the mention. Your fleece looks great. I am going to order my stuff tomorrow. Got to stop dithering LOL

  2. Very clever - well done to both of you - great team work. My quilting frame (short arm) has a panto shelf so we always stand in front. The first quilt is still on there - we loaded it incorrectly and now have some unpicking to do, then we need to re-roll it the correct way before we continue.

  3. Well done to the two of you. Looks very cool :)

  4. fantastic....Kath told me about it last week when I was discussing get the other one!!

  5. Do I recognise that green fabric?

  6. You have done a great job, getting that eye and hand coordination thing with the pantograph camera! I have tried and tried and just can't get the hang of it. And my poor knees would really like me to quilt from the front. If you have any tips, I'm all ears :)

  7. Bonnie, the first time I tried this, I could have sworn I had the camera in a backwards orientation and it would take forever to master quilting from the monitor. Just put on a practice piece or panel and give it another try, don't worry about being too precise to start with, by the time I got to the end of that fleece blanket there was a vast improvement in how my brain was working!

    Anne, Yes,that fabric is strangely familiar isn't

  8. Cool idea!! I am going to remember this! I don't like the back either!

  9. I too hate to quilt from the back of my machine. I bought the security camera setup but the screen is a bit small perhaps because I have found it quite difficult to get a good result. However, I have never been much chop at pantographs, I prefer to custom quilt. Any tips to getting a better result with pantos?
    I would be greatly appreciative!!! BTW I love your quilting, you are one talented lady!


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