Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Red Snappers and Gammill Machines

There has been much discussion on machine quilting lists about a new product called “Red Snappers”.  This product was invented by Renae Haddadin, and you can purchase them at Quilts On The Corner.  It is a much quicker and easier way to attach your quilt and backing to the leaders on your quilting machine.  Before the purchase I had been pinning quilts onto the leaders using corsage pins… OUCH!!  I know I have stuck myself about a thousand times, and all of the shirts I work in have tears on the sides where I accidentally bumped into a pin while walking past the machine.

SO… this post is mostly for machine quilters, but if you are interested in such things, read on.

The discussion has been about tips to use the Red Snappers on a Gammill quilting machine.  Renae has a wonderful video showing their use, but it is done on another brand machine and the leader poles have a different set-up.  Here is what I have found works best for me…


When attaching the QUILT to the quilt pole…  Use the side clamps to hold the leader at the top of the BELLY BAR (1 clamp on each side).  This keeps the leader in place while you…


Place a few small clamps (being careful not to stretch the quilt),


then I start on the right-hand end and work my way down with the long snapper.  I have found the best way for me to securely clamp them down is to grab the belly bar with my thumb and pull down with my fingers.  This gives more leverage than using the palm of my hand.

Follow the same procedure for attaching the backing to the backing pole.  THEN…

To attach the backing to the pick-up leader, loosen the latch and pull the leader out towards the BACK of the table almost to the edge, then fold several inches forward toward the roller.


You can see in this photo the leader is folded over on top of itself.  Pull the backing up to the rod, snap on a few small clamps, and…


this time I DO use the palm of my hand to press down.  Since you have the table underneath this works fine and is quickly done.  Tighten up the quilt backing by rolling the backing bar, pull up your batting, pull up the quilt top, and you are ready to go.

One note to new Red Snapper owners… be patient.  The first quilt I attached using the snappers took me a long time.  You will get much faster after just a few quilts and after discovering what technique works best for you.  THEY ARE WELL WORTH THIS LEARNING CURVE!

I hope this helps, and thanks for looking!  NOW…. WHAT will I do with those 600 corsage pins I just purchased a few months ago??



  1. Thanks for the Red Snapper pictures and tutorial. I thought it was more comprehensive than Renae's and I have the Innova.

  2. Red Snappers are on my list to order. Its time to give up the pins too..thanks for the tutorial :)

  3. I have purchased the red snappers and have found them to almost impossible to get the rods together. Are there tricks to doing this or I am going to have to return them? Very frustrating after making the casings and watching the video. She makes it look very easy and I have not found this to be true.

  4. I not have great trouble putting them together, but I have very strong hands. Once suggestion that might help is placing some scrap batting around the end of the screw and then gripping it with pliers to help you turn the screw. The batting will keep the ends of the screws from getting messed up by the pliers. Also, you might try holding onto the rod and screw using some of that grippy stuff made for lining shelves. I find this often helps me grip and turn things. If all else fails, find a guy to do this for you. They have much stronger grip than we do! Hope these ideas help.


  5. I, too, have the Red Snappers. I have a Nolting machine. What I've not seen addressed is how to get the cut edge of the backing fabric to be evenly rolled over the rod (inside the casing). I attempt to line it up with the stitching line of the casing, but sure as shootin' the fabric moves before I get it snapped in place! I've not seen close-ups of what the raw edge looks like loaded.

  6. Thank you - as a new Gammill owner and Red Snapper owner I found this VERY helpful. Tried following the tutorial by Renae but she was focused on speed and believe me.....I am not there yet

  7. hello Kathy--I found your site while researching the red snapper. Right away the picture at the top of your page caught my eye. I have a question for you-how did you do the pink and white contrast? The trapunto shows nicely and the texture of the quilting helps the contrast. But I just don't know how you did this. I am fairly new to long arm quilting. Did you fabric paint it?

    Thank you-Nena

  8. Hi Nena,

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I do LOVE my Red Snappers, and trust you will, also.

    You can find out more about “Peach Smoothie” at the link below. If was lots of fun (and stress) to make, but it was so worth it! Unfortunately I don’t have time for that kind of quilting any more. Perhaps one day I will get back to quilting “fancy” but right now I’ll just keep putting pantos on my customer quilts.


  9. Did you create a 3/4" casing for the snapper to go trhough the leader?

    1. My Gammill leaders already had a pocket in them and it was the perfect fit for the Red Snapper rods. Hope this helps!


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