My Sister’s Invention

My sister is an inventor!!

It’s not a pattened invention but it’s a good one regardless!!  When I was delivering generators to her house when the terrible storm went through she had to pull me into her dark basement with no lights to show me!!  It was so fun.  We’re a family like that…we all are creative and we all show off our “inventions” when we’re together.  Seriously when we get together there is ALWAYS a show and tell…even when a historic storm hits your home.  HA!!

Anyway…I did my best to take some pictures in the dark.  This is Judy.  She machine quilts on her domestic machine.  When she machine quilting she completely clears off the table she is standing at and has only one domestic machine there…the one closest to her.

She had made the complaint that so many who quilt on domestic machines make..the quilt is so heavy to move and her arms start to hurt.  That’s when she tried to think of a way to take off some of the weight…but the quilt still needed to move freely.  That’s when she talked to her husband and together they came up with this idea.

See the pipe above Judy’s head?  There is a cord running through it and the cord is on a pulley.  You can see in the picture below that the pipe can be lowered.  If you look at the pipe in the picture above, it has the round cafe curtain hooks with the clips on it.

Here it is in action….
The pipe and pulley system is lifting the weight of the quilt.  The clips are allowing the quilt to freely move as she sits at the machine and manipulates it to do the machine quilting.

After pinning the quilt together, clipped one side of the quilt and lifted it at a lower height.  Then she started working at the center of the quilt-then moved to one side.  She lifted it higher as she moved closer to the edge.

After she finished one side she lowered the pulley, unhooked the quilt, turned it, clipped it and started in on the other side.

I think the idea is genius!!

George, Judy’s husband, came downstairs as we were talking about it.  I told George if I post this on the blog, he better be ready to make some as I was almost certain some of you might be interested.  George laughed and said, “Well I have time now being I’m retired.”

In all seriousness, if I didn’t have a longarm, I’d want this.  I remember pre-longarm days.  My upper arms hurt so bad after doing a whole quilt.  Judy said this worked great!!  I got so I only made lap quilts so it wouldn’t be so taxing on my arms to machine quilt them.

So that was a peek of Judy’s invention from her basement in the dark just after the terrible storm.  I was very impressed!!

Let me know if you want more info on how George put this together or if you want him to make one for you….like I said, “It’s genius!”

27 thoughts on “My Sister’s Invention”

  1. Wow! That is an amazing idea. The best ideas are so simple after someone else works out how it works. George and Judy should patent this idea.

  2. Such a great invention! Quilts are very heavy and getting the support from that would be a charm. I would be unable to utilize something that because of not being able to hang it – my husband won’t even let me hang my track light since we moved. You and your family are smartly clever!! So glad you shared this.

  3. Very cool idea. I’m not too bothered yet by the weight of quilts, but I do see that day coming! Great plan for a basement where the rafters are exposed.

  4. Allison C Bayer

    Genius Judy at work!! I’m impressed and can see how well it works for her. Thank you for sharing. Keeping you in my prayers during the storm clean up.

  5. Judith Fairchild

    If I had room and a place to hang it. I would order one In a New York minute how much easier quilting would be.

  6. I am very interested I more details. I need something like this. Maybe George can share more details? Thanks, love your blog, all of it family, food , cross stitching and quilting.

  7. George is a genius! Do you think he would share info that you could post on your blog. My husband poo-poo’s when I try to tell him something I would like him to make for me. If I have it in writing/ pictures he will listen and make what I want. I think he can’t picture how something would work or be helpful based on his assumption that I should quit like his mom did.

  8. I’m agree with Gayle. Would love more details on the hanger. And also whether George (my father was also George) thinks it could be adapted to a stand. Not sure my husband would want to hunt for rafters above the sheet rock.

  9. Leah Day (Free Motion Quilting Project) showed a similar system on her blog in 2011 (Quilt too heavy? Hang it up!). Don’t know that she ever patented the system, but it’s still on the blog. Of course, more than one person can have the same ingenious idea … just passing along what I remember seeing. Hope your sister has power again so she can quilt!

  10. Paula Nordt, I was thinking the same thing! A freestanding quilt hanger would appeal to more people, as they could adapt it to their space/situation. And Candy, I checked on the hanger you referenced from the Free Motion Quilting Project. George’s invention is very different and gives more even support, with mobility and flexibility! Jo, he’s on to something!

  11. Patricia Boelens

    Your sister and her husband are truly innovators! I don’t have space to do that in my sewing room, but I have dog grooming poles with clamps on each end. They are L shaped and one end clamps to the machine table and the other has a hanging cord with a clamp to hold the quilt. I use 2, one on each side of my machine and they are so uselful. I have a sitdown long arm machine so it is just like free motion quilting on a regular machine as far as moving the quilt around. Any full sized quilt is a handful. Congrats to your sister for coming up with a cool solution that works for her! And thank you for sharing it with us!

  12. What a wonderful system George and Judy have created. One sided control of the height, the spaced out hooks to hold the rope, the sliding curtain rings and clips , the sturdy pole, …all just genius! It is a great invention!

  13. So ingenious! I recall using the dining room table to quilt a quilt before I got my long arm. But even with the space, a large quilt gets so heavy to manhandle around.

  14. Fauntie Phillips

    Jo, I wonder if you could tell me about the quilt in your header that has stars made with navy blue and white and the rest of the quilt looks like scraps? Did you have a pattern for it? I think that I saw it in a magazine? If so, can you tell me when that was published and if you are going to get the rights to it back soon. I have a wedding quilt to make and I think that would be perfect.
    Thanks so much,
    Fauntie Phillips

  15. I am not a quilter but this would be great for sewing large curtains. If it could be moved, I would use it while pressing them, too. I’m always trying to rig something up to keep them from puddling on the floor. This is the most promising thing I’ve seen

  16. For those who don’t have 3xposed raters could you use a movable garment rack? Add the pulley and clips to the rack,it could sit at the side or back of your table whichever worked for you.

  17. Lorie S Atkinson

    Oh, what a great idea. Your brother-in-law is a true team mate. Judy is lucky and a great inventor. You have got me staring at my ceilings here in my sewing room.

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