Get Cruise Control for Your Sewing Machine
|June 20, 2005||in Product Reviews|
A review of
from Grace Company
Reviewed by Sharon Darling
The Grace Company, maker of both hand and machine quilting frames, offers a Speed Control Box for machine quilting frames that operates a sewing machine at a steady speed at the touch of a button. The Speed Control Box replaces any machine quilting frame’s foot pedal drive that must be operated by squeezing the handles together by hand.
The Speed Control Box plugs into the foot pedal receptacle on a sewing machine and straps to the frame on or near the carriage handles so it’s easy to reach. You don’t have to have a Grace Machine Quilting System to use the Speed Control Box because it attaches to any short-arm frame and will run any sewing machine that has a separate plug for the foot pedal.
I couldn’t wait to try it! I had just finished quilting a 50 x 50 wall quilt using the squeeze mechanism on the handles on a Hinterberg Frame. I found I had to stop after a few rows to give my hands a rest.
Once I installed the Speed Control Box on the frame and plugged it into my Janome 6500, I quilted at a much faster speed with little stopping – just long enough to roll the quilt for the next row of quilting. Within 20 seconds of using the Speed Control Box, I loved it!
On the Hinterberg frame, I can move the handles from the needle end of the machine, where I do free motion quilting, to the plug end of the machine, where I use pantographs. I can easily reach the Speed Control Box no matter which side of the frame I’m working on.
Three Buttons and a Knob
In addition to the knob that controls the sewing machine’s speed, there are three buttons on the Speed Control Box. One is for ON/OFF, which I use all the time. The second is for PULSE, which moves the needle down at one touch and up at another so I can easily draw up my thread to the top of the quilt before I start quilting to avoid thread nests. I also use this PULSE button by holding it down for a few tiny stitches to lock the threads before I start each row.
The third button on the Speed Control Box is for use with machines that have a separate button on the foot pedal for the thread cutter. If the foot pedal doesn’t have the extra button, this button on the Speed Control Box doesn’t operate the thread cutter. Juki machines have this feature and can take advantage of this third button.
No Turning Back
Using the Grace Company Speed Control Box, I finish my machine quilting faster with less stress on my hands and arms. After finishing my last project, a 40 x 60 lap quilt, I completely removed the foot pedal control system to make the machine more streamlined. I know I won’t go back to the hand drive option. The Speed Control Box is worth every penny of the MSRP price of $59.95.