Submitted by Dianne McD.
You know how, sometimes, when you’re browsing through quilting YouTube videos and you see something that looks like a fantastic idea? So you watch the whole thing and then implement the idea. After you’re done, you wonder what you missed that could have clued you to the fact that it’s probably not the greatest idea ever. No one? Just me?
Here’s what happened. A couple of years ago, I saw a video from Sew Very Easy by Laura Ann Coia. She had a great idea for making a smooth surface for free-motion quilting on a domestic sewing machine. She uses snow carpets. I’d never heard of snow carpets, but they do exist and you can find them on Amazon. I call them toboggin thingys. It takes two of them. You tape them together, cut out a hole for the needle, and attach it to your sewing machine. It’s like a giant Supreme Slider!
I ordered mine and two for my sister-in-law for her birthday. Instead of duct tape, like Laura suggested, I used clear packing tape because I didn’t have pretty duct tape like she did. Cutting the hole was kind of a challenge; but I have a razor hobby knife, so it wasn’t impossible. When it was time to quilt, I used binder clips to attach it to my Sew Steady table and then taped it down to the work table using blue tape. This picture shows the set-up.
My granddaughter needed two new school dresses this month, so I took the set-up all apart to sew the dresses. Because I had one more quilt that I wanted to quilt myself, I set up the snow carpets again. But this time, I left out the Sew Steady table, used packing tape to secure it to the work table, and then folded the snow carpet in the front and secured it with binder clips. Here’s how it looks now. You can see it’s a little flatter without the Sew Steady.
Does it work? Well, I’m underwhelmed. The first time I used it, my quilts would catch on the binder clips and the blue tape didn’t hold as well as I thought it would. By the time I was finished, the blue tape had tons of wool batting fibers on the sticky side. And let’s not talk about how hard it was to change the bobbin! With the new set-up, it’s working better and the bobbin is easier to change.
It still seems like a good idea. It’s just not as fantastic as I thought it would be. The surface is slippery, and the quilt seems to move on it pretty easily. You need to keep the surface clean. I don’t catch the quilt on the binder clips as much, and the packing tape is doing it’s job. But I think this would work better for someone who can drop their sewing machine into a sewing table or desk. That provides a flatter surface to begin with and makes taping the snow carpets down easier.
So I’m going to share the link to the video with you. Maybe you can make it work for you in a better way than I could. Feel free to share your insights below in the comments. Or even your own fantastic plans that went slightly south on you.Using Snow Carpets for Free-Motion Quilting