Pantograph Quilting Around Embellishments

I was quilting a quilt last night using a pantograph and when it came to quilting around embellishments, I realized that some newbies might not know how to do this.  Well, if you know how to quilt pantographs, it’s quite easy.

Simply set up your pantograph as usual–moving the head of your machine to determine where your row falls.  If no embellishment falls within the row, quilt your pantograph as usual.  In my case, there was a button in one block.  When I came to the row that contained that button, I set up my pantograph row, checking the four corners of the pantograph.  Then I moved the head and put my needle centered over the button.  On my pantograph, I placed a bobbin with the laser light centered in the bobbin.  Now if your embellishment is bigger, you might use a piece of paper cut out (I like index cards as they are a better weight) to use as a “placeholder” for your embellishment.

When the bobbin was in place, I then moved the head to see how close I could move to the button without striking it–and watched the laser position on the pantograph.  In my case, since I had a single embellishment I eye-balled where I would move the lines to accommodate my button.  In the picture of my pantograph, there are some light red lines showing approximately where I decided to sew.  If you’re not familiar with this method, I recommend taking a pencil and lightly marking.  Test it with your machine off, but your laser on.  If you tend to be a little off when following your panto lines, you may want to draw your lines a little further away from your marker.

Of course, if your quilt has many embellishments, you’ll need many markers and will spend much more time marking than I did.  However, this is preferable to hitting an embellishment that will damage your machine.  Here is the finished block–you can see the “hook” around the bottom and right of the button.  No fuss, no muss.  You can still use your favorite pantos with embellishments, you just need to take care.


4 thoughts on “Pantograph Quilting Around Embellishments

  1. What a great idea. One thing I do with my pantos is use a clear plastic overlay on top. I use an erasable pen and draw lines if I don’t like the what the panto has. I mark the beginning and the end of the quilt right on the panto. When done, I use an old piece of batting to erase the lines. Thanks for sharing this tip.

  2. Thta’s a great tip too, Bonnie. I have the clear plastic overlay, but as this was a small quilt, I just tossed the panto on top of it, because I am somewhat lazy. 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for this posting! I’m new to longarming (not a word) and this will come in handy…so far all I have done is pantos and happy with that.

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