Bonnie asked me to post some pictures of my Leadergrips. Here they are.
The above picture is of the leadergrip dowel inserted into the casing I've sewn on the new leaders. You may note that I have straight stitching until about the last 5 inches, and then it is wobbly. That's because the Nolting machine doesn't reach to the end of the leaders, so you have to loosen them and "fudge" to finish the casing. This works fine.
This second picture shows the leadergrips in place (I took these pictures when removing a quilt). It doesn't always work out exact like it did in the picture. For a 12' table, I have 3 lengths of the plastic things, 2"starters, 6 mid-size and 6 long ones.
I left extra space at the top when loading this backing so I could just turn the backing of outing flannel over for the binding of this polyester double-knit "quilt". This project is for me to practice line dancing on something that doesn't matter. I bought the quilt off ebay for a pittance, and it will make great dog beds for DD's 2 black labs. They will be washed to death - I cut the quilt in two and will make 2 of them.
The leader grips just pull off. I pull on the backing to start it, then just go down to the other end.
This shows the imprint over the dowel - this takes up about 1/2" of fabric.
I just store the leadergrips in their mailing tube that sits in the corner of the room next to the long-arm.
The dowels for the leadergrips come in 3 sections and are put together with this shrink wrap tubing. Others have noted that they had difficulty heating the tubing high enough for the shrink to actually grab. You can see from the picture how close my long-arm is to the desk my DH uses for building model trains and such.
In the drawer of that desk is this hot air gun. It shrinks the tubing easily, but keep your hand out of the way! If you are wondering, yes, I share worn out cutting mats with DH. I introduced him to rotary cutters, rulers, and mats (he already had a 6" square one), on our first "date". I visited him in LA after not seeing him for 35 years, and he took me to 2 quilt shops. When my quilting friends were debating his pros and cons, one said "But he took her to quilt shops!" They decided he might be a keeper (he is).