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Using the Rear Handles

Using the Rear Handles
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This article explains the importance of rear handles and how to use them with your Block RockiT.

Using the Rear Handles

            People often ask us why they should buy rear handles when the Block Rockit already comes with front handles attached. First of all, rear handles are not necessary to using the Block Rockit, and that is why they do not come standard with the machine. However, they do present you with a wider range of quilting options.

            Rear handles are used primarily for following designs with a laser.  The design can be a pre-made pantograph, a design you drew, or something that caught your eye in a magazine. It is easier to follow these patterns with a laser using rear handles because you can place the design on the backside where it will rest on the table top of your frame.

            In using the rear handles, you should first line up the needle where you want to begin quilting. Next, after attaching the laser to your machine (you will first need to install the bracket onto the machine, then attach the laser to the bracket) match up your laser with the beginning of the design you wish to quilt. When quilting from the front side, you usually want to quilt from the left to the right of the frame. This means that when quilting from the backside, you will quilt from the right of the frame to the left. So you will want the design and laser to be on your left side when quilting with the rear handles. Stand slightly to the left of the rear handles when quilting so that you can see the design and laser. As you quilt, try to focus on making smooth, clean movements, even if you do not follow the design perfectly. Jerky, rigid quilting will be much more noticeable than not following the design exactly. Don’t worry about following the design exactly at first because it will make your design look choppy, focus on quilting with smooth consistency. And over time your quilting while following a pattern will get the nice, clean results you desire.

THIS WILL TAKE A LOT OF PRACTICE! So do not give up after one quilt! Keep practicing!

            We strongly suggest that before using rear handles, that you practice free motion quilting first and become comfortable with your machine. Even if you plan on doing most or all of your quilting with the rear handles, it’s important to know how your machine feels as you quilt. If you are having a hard time thinking of designs that will improve your free motion quilting, start by doing large loops with stars or hearts in between and build on this. This will make for a much smoother and successful transition in following patterns with the rear handles.

REMEMBER TO BREATHE!


About the Author

Rachel graduated from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a teaching degree in Family and Consumer Science. She went on to teach and train industrial sewing operators until 2012. She is now a stay at home mom and works part time from home for Kathy Quilts. She loves to travel, create things, watch movies, go to Disneyland, read, and spend time with her husband and kids.

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