That being said, there are a lot of gizmos and gadgets in the market targeted to quilters to make free motion quilting easier - there are clips and gloves and ointments and brackets and the list goes on. You know me...the apple doesn't fall far from the gizmo-hating tree. I was brought up by a gizmo hating quilter, so I too am a gizmo hating quilter.
A while back one of our quilting buddies told us about a free motion quilting class she took in which the teacher had the Supreme Slider by Pat LaPierre on the list as a recommended supply. She absolutely raved about how wonderful it was, and considering who was doing the raving, I conceded to giving it a try.
So it came in this little folded pack, and it is just an 8.5" x 11" piece of slick teflon-esque material with a sticky bottom side that adheres to your machine like so:
It's not too difficult to get on there, but it does want to stick before you're ready for it to, so it takes a little finagling. But one it's on, so long as your feed dogs are dropped and the hole is centered over the hole on your machine's throat plate, you're ready to rock.
I should have taken a picture of the project I was quilting while I was using this thing, but to he honest, I didn't think about it. Oops! But the Supreme Slider is WONDERFUL. It really does reduce the friction like it claims to, and it is quite noticeable. With my machine, there is an issue where, in heavily quilted areas, the threads want to catch on the open feed dog area. I have NO idea why this happens, since the threads aren't loose, but it does. Using the Supreme Slider seems to eliminate the issue in addition to eliminating the drag. And, even though the backside gets linty after a while, it is very easy to clean and reuse. For a gizmo...this thing is pretty sweet.
So what would I say are the pros and cons?
- If you have top loading bobbin case as I do, it's a pain to change the bobbin when it runs out. If you aren't cautious to thread the bobbin thread up through the mat, it will get stuck on the sticky side and cause real issues if you don't notice and go to start sewing again.
- For a one trick pony, it's spendy. I had the advantage of being able to buy it wholesale, but it retails for just shy of $30.
- Keep the packaging! It doesn't come with anything to protect the sticky side from getting linty or dusty while you're not using it, other than the packaging it came in.
- It really, really does reduce drag.
- It fits your machine even if you have an extension table. My extension table likes to move while I'm quilting, and this helps keep that sucker from shifting.
- It is reusable. I was able to get three quilts done before it was linty enough to affect its ability to adhere to my machine.
- Speaking of washing, just some warm water and hand soap is all it takes to get the lint off. Washing it with warm soapy water did not reduce its stickiness.
All in all, I give the Supreme Slider 4 out of 5 stars. The cost and the bobbin issue are both enough to knock it out of 5 star status.
You can find the Supreme Slider online here directly from the website.