Let's cut to the chase: Shelly Moore of Ma Tante Quilting recorded the following extremely helpful video. I'd definitely recommend watching it if you are considering investing in SewTites Magnums.
One of the first and most important decisions that a longarm quilter needs to make is how they're going to load a quilt to their frame.
Pinning is how a lot of us first learn, but it's time consuming, may cause you to snag/tear clothing, and can be painful if you catch your skin, and might even cause you to bleed on a quilt. Other systems like a dowel-and-clamp system are faster, but can be bulky and affect the precision of tricky or dense pantographs when you're a computerized quilter like me. Some quilters lack the hand strength they need to do the clamping, and when working with bulky fabrics like Minky, clamping becomes that much more difficult. Some clamping systems that aren't necessarily heavy or high-profile are not very durable and need to be replaced frequently.
One newer product that solves the ease of use, precision, and durability problems are SewTites Magnums.
SewTites have been producing magnets for hand sewing, bag making, garment making, and embroidery projects for several years. All of those sound great and useful - but I'm a longarm quilter, so I wasn't really intrigued until they introduced their SewTites Magnums in the fall of 2020.
Magnums are long, thin, magnetic bars that you would use for attaching a quilt back to the canvas on your leader bars. By the time they hit the market, I had stopped quilting for customers to focus 100% on the Longarm League so I wasn't really looking to make major changes to my processes or equipment.
When the first person (who I really trusted) told me she completely switched from Red Snappers to Magnums, I was extremely intrigued! This surprising news was coming from League Member and friend Sarah Campbell of Stitch Mode Quilts; it was early 2021.
I wanted to know EVERYTHING right away so I asked Sarah if she'd let me interview her for the League to watch. She was kind enough to talk with me about her experience as well as record a video of her at the machine to give an idea of what to expect when using them. Longarm League members who want to refresh themselves on those two videos (or newer members that missed them the first time around) can see them in the Quilting Techniques section of the membership.
From our conversation, Sarah said that one of the highlights of the Magnums was that they have such a low profile against the bar. Sometimes she would experience alignment issues on dense quilting patterns using other products and she was pleased to report that this did not happen using her Magnums. She was also particularly impressed with how they worked when using woven backings. Since our conversation and her demo took place just over a year ago, I followed up to ask if there was anything else that she wanted to add or amend to her original thoughts. She said that she still likes and uses them and that she had never done a Minky backing before, and she was happy with how the SewTites performed. Thanks again to Sarah for her time last year and for answering my followup questions. To check out what else she's been up to, you can find Sarah at her Instagram account.
And now, SewTites Magnums seem to be snowballing in popularity. After Sarah's glowing review last year, we updated our Rookie Season recommended product list to include them as an option to our newbies as they are deciding which system to invest in.
Then, earlier this year at QuiltCon, I got a chance to stop by the SewTites booth at QuiltCon to talk with Jessica, who is one of the owners of SewTites. I was really impressed with what they have to offer as a company and what she's building in the quilting community. I was also impressed with how strong these magnets are.
At the same time we were at the SewTites booth, Shelly Moore of Ma Tante Quilting was also there looking for and picked up her own set of Magnums. When she got home and tried them out, she liked them so much that she made a series of Instagram stories to share with her followers. She's also recently partnered up with SewTites to do a review and instructional video on how to use them for their YouTube channel (above). She does a VERY thorough job of showing a couple of ways to use the magnets and why she likes them. It's well worth your time to check it out.
From all of the positive response about SewTites Magnums, I would absolutely recommend that any longarm quilter look into investing in a set for themselves. I don't typically make a point of reviewing or endorsing products in this space, and I want to point out that I'm not an affiliate for SewTites or being paid by SewTites to write this. From the enthusiasm I've heard about this product recently, I wanted to pass along the word for those that may not be aware. Thanks to Shelly, Sarah, and other members of the Longarm League who gave their opinions and answered questions for me.
We'd love to share a little bit about how we support longarm quilters through education and community. Updates typically go out on Wednesdays - we'd love to stay in touch with you!