Leader Grips by Regina's Quilt Studio
I purchased this system at MQX in Providence. Gary, Regina's husband and inventor, was such a nice man and very helpful, and obviously knowledgable about his product. The short version ... a slim rod in the pocket on your leader, lay the edge of the quilt back on the leader (over the rod) and snap the plastic cover on ... easy, easy, easy ... but does it work? And at $89.00 is it worth it?
Short answer - I think so. That is ... I THINK so - emphasis on think ... This jury is still out but I'm using them - because I paid for them.
OK ... the longer version ...
Gary shipped me the leader grips because they wouldn't fit in my suitcase (they come just over 3' long). The shipping was FREE because I purchased on the spot ... and Gary is a nice guy.
The box arrived and everything in the box was wrapped together in tight plastic wrap ... and it wasn't easy to get that plastic off. I know, a small issue but I finally had to resort to heavy scissors and promptly cut through a plastic bag holding the "grip joiners."
Directions are sort of clear - slide the rod into the pocket (I had to turn up the edge of my leader and sew a pocket - no big deal), slide on a grip joiner and another rod and "heat shrink" them together. There is a small sample of 2 rods joined in the box ... really nice tight join. It very clearly says, "use a heat gun or you can use a hair dryer but it takes longer." MY question ... how long is "takes longer?"
Here's me and my hair dryer and after 4 minutes - I still didn't have a nice tight join like the sample. I could get a good join on the right but not the left of EACH join. There are 6 joins and it was a pain in the neck. I resorted to DUCT TAPE on top of the joins and it seems to have worked.
Not a great photo, but you can see the plastic gripper on the backing fabric. It took just a minute to load the quilt (a small baby quilt). This part did work just like Gary said (and his directions said) it would.
A side note ... in case you noticed and wondered ... yes, the backing is too short for this quilt. NOT Gary's fault. I loaded the back on sideways. And yes, I had to take it off, trim it, sew the extra to the back and then (horrors!) on my sewing machine, finished quilting the border.
The cons ... the heat shrink thing - how long is "longer?" Maybe I should have found, borrowed, bought a heat gun. However - there's no way to ship 9' 6" poles, economically.
Decision? ... I am glad I bought them.