Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Slippin' and a Slidin'

I can't say it enough.....a smooth slippery surface is your biggest asset when it comes to free motion quilting!

If you can't move your project smoothly, your quilting will have a jerky, uneven look and your stitch length will be inconsistent. Plus, you will be a tense and frustrated quilter!

Putting down a slippery mat of some sort is super seriously helpful! It not only does the obvious of being slippery, but it also covers any cracks between machine and table plus smooths out any bumps on the bed of the machine. These cracks, bumps, and grooves can catch basting pins, feel odd under your hands, cause friction, and cause rulers to rock.

Anytime I have been in a rush to go from regular sewing to free motion sewing and back, I've regretted it if I skip the step of putting down the slider.

For years I've used the Supreme Slider mat and I've loved it. It seems a bit pricey, especially if you get the queen sized mat for the bigger machines. But I've always felt it was worth the cost.

I've heard tell of quilters using some nonstick oven or pan liners for this purpose. I suspect my Goddess Sheet, bought for use with ironing fusible web that doesn't have a paper backing, can be used for the same purpose, but it is an ugly brown. I want a white mat. I've also heard of a similar product called the Sew Slip mat. For the last several days, I've been using the Sew Slip product. It's a smidge bigger than my queen sized Supreme Slider and about $5 cheaper.

It seems like it clings better to my table than my other slider but the other one has been used more and is a bit dusty. I'd have to compare the two products in their brand new condition to really say one way or the other.



The first thing that I noticed was the Sew Slip is slightly textured. This seems very counter to my expectations, but it's so slippery, that the texture doesn't seem to matter. Above is a close up of the sheet to show the slight texture. My Goddess Sheet mentioned above has a similar texture.

I haven't cut a rectangle around my drop-in bobbin case cover yet. I'm going to continue to test this product and see if it holds up well around the needle hole area. I have noticed some stretching of the Supreme Slider after a lot of use.

How about you? Are you using a Supreme Slider, Sew Slip, or teflon oven sheet? I really think something like this is necessary for free motion quilting, even if it's just a slick sheet of plastic, glossy paper, painter's tape or what have you to cover up cracks and bumps on and around the bed of the machine. Let me know what you use, if anything, on your machine?

22 comments:

  1. Here in the UK a Supreme Slider is horribly expensive (£53 - $76 for queen size) so I opted for the black teflon oven liner. I stick it down with masking tape which can rub loose and then stick to the quilt so I'm hoping someone has a better way of fixing the slider to the machine. It's also a bit of a nuisance having to take it off and restick each time the bobbin runs out. But, it works, it's a bit bigger than queen size and it was very cheap!

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  2. I don't use anything normally. I did get a Supreme Slider at one point, because of a sale or something. It's also super expensive here in Canada.

    However, I was disappointed.

    Maybe it's because my machine is not lowered into a crevice on my desk and just has the table attachment (which is a little small) so the edges of the slider flip up sometimes.

    But also - there's certain fabrics used on the backs of some of my quilts that don't slide at all. In fact, they dragged even worse with the Supreme Slider. I'm using up a lot of stash fabrics from my mom, so there's a but of poly cotton blends. Anything not 100% cotton is horrible with the Supreme Slider.

    Without the slider & my regular machine bed (Bernina QE440) I can't tell the difference.

    I've been working on a charity quilt with fleece on the back and have been considering testing the slider again. If anyone regular does fleece-backed quilts while using the supreme slider, I'd love to hear if you noticed a difference.

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    1. Follow-up: the fleece slid around just fine! Huh.

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  3. I use the Sew Slip and love it. I rinse it periodically per instructions and it stays firmly attached. I can not FMQ without my Sew Slip and my Machingers gloves.

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  4. I've used my Sew Slip II for years, and it's just as nice as when it was brand new! Mine came with a larger hole, so I can also use it with the feed dogs up when I need to stitch on vinyl from time to time. Just keep it clean, and it lasts for a very long time! :)

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  5. I have been using a silicone spray that I bought many years ago. It is a small spray type can and will last me forever. It is like waxing your table surface as well as your machine surface. Spray and rub and buff and every surface is slippery. I cannot tell you the brand name because I am wintering away from home but can picture it in my mind. Love the stuff and works great on plexiglass tables as well.

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  6. I have been using the supreme slider for years. I've had to replace it once because it got a tear that just got bigger. I may have to check out the sew slip. I have never heard of it. If it does the job, I'm all for it.

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  7. I use a mat called Slidex by Benartex. It's large and works fine. However, more than once after tacking it down with tape, it has come loose while sewing and I've sewn it onto my quilt! Hate that. I also dislike the fact that I have to undo everything that I have in place when the bobbin runs out. Why can't they figure out a way to use spools of thread to replace those little bobbins? Just thinking...

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    1. I agree Sandra. The same thing happened to me with my Supreme Slider, which stopped sticking and actually got sewn into my quilt. How annoying!!! Given the cost of the darn thing, a little dust seems to make it lose grip. Why shouldn't it stay sticky longer than just for 2 projects? Is there a way to get it to be sticky again?

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  8. I've had a little success using a Teflon sheet and attaching it to my machine's slide-on table with Clover clips. But of course the clips get knocked off. I'll probably try the Sew Slip or the silicone spray.

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  9. I also use the silicone spray...works wonderfully for me.

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    1. Where do you buy the silicone spray?

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  10. Since I live in Ireland, I have to import supremeslider which is not an easy option. I bought heavy duty oven liner for 2 euro which doesn't have sticky side. It revolutionized my fmq but ocationally slips off to be stitched despite the sticky tape holding it.

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  11. I made my own many years ago....although I actually rarely use it any more....my current machine has a lovely smooth bed and I don't really find I need it..,,but if you are interested in reading that old post, maybe make one ...you can find it here. http://thequiltrat.blogspot.ca/search/label/sew%20slip?m=1

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  12. I've used a Sew Slip for a couple of years with great success. When it starts to get dirty, I give it a quick rinse and then just wipe the lint off with my hand. That's all it takes to keep it sticky. It's also been very durable, with no stretching or tears, even with some accidental abuse.

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  13. I have both Sew Slip and Supreme Slider. Like them both and always use one when FMQing.

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  14. I agree , I have both the sew slip (for over 10 years) and the supreme slider ( for about 3 or 4 yrs) and both work equally as well. Do need to rinse back off from time to time and keep taped down. I've also stitched mine to the back of a quilt.....but that's another story that may have had to do more with a second glass of wine! Lol😀

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  15. My Apqs dealer says to put 3 to 4 coats of wax on the bed of the machine. And it works.

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  16. The manufacturer of my sewing table recommended using Turtle wax. I have been doing that for aboutyear and it works great.

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  17. The Sew Slip 2 is my favourite (different than the Sew Slip 1 in that it has a rectangular hole cut under the needle which allows you to pop your feed dogs up without removing the sheet.) I purchased it many years ago from the owner of the company, who told me she washes hers in the top rack of the dishwasher. It comes out just like brand new each time!

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  18. I built my own sewing table out of a sheet of 4X 8 OSB and sunk my machine flatbed style into it (I stand to sew). I had the tiny Supreme Slider and while it worked, I was disappointed in its durability (and the price!!!). I bought a Teflon sheet off Amazon ($2 for 16X20) and gave it a whirl. It worked GREAT. Very thin but incredibly durable. After this, I ordered a roll, big enough tomcover my entire table top. I taped it with masking tape by rolling the excess over to the bottom side of the table, cut holes where needed and taped that down. I used regular masking tape, not painters tape, and I've not had trouble with the edges rolling, though I do replace the tape every couple months or so (not at the edges of the underside of the table, just around the needle area)....but, I taped the SS down as well. I got the roll for $22, which is still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY less than the SS. The entire quilt just slides all around effortlessly on the huge slippery surface and I could not be happier! Might not be the conventional sewing room design, but it was cheap, works great and I have plenty of money left for buying fabric and other supplies that I cannot rig up.

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