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How To Assemble Longarm Quilting Machine

How To Assemble Longarm Quilting Machine
Credit: Sewing Machine Gallery / Shanta Roy

Longarm quilting machines, as the name suggests, are sewing machines with longarm for sewing quilts.

A sewist is sewing three layers together with these machines- the quilt top, quilt batting, and quilt backing.

And the longarm quilting machine sews all these three layers together at the same time.

Thus, using a quilting machine ensures precise manufacturing in less time and less hard work, way less compared to handmade quilts or other sewing machines.

A long-arm quilting machine is a very different beast and needs a very distinct assembly. Right below, we will explain how to assemble a quintessential longarm quilting machine step-by-step. 

Step One – Read The User Manual Thoroughly

There is no alternative to it, and none should skip this step and randomly start assembling a longarm quilting machine. The user manual will have clear instructions on how that specific machine needs to be assembled.

So, have a thorough read, know about the various components of that very machine, check whether all those parts are in the box or not, and then start assembling the long arm quilting machine.

Step Two – Set The Table Up According To The Suggested Table Height

The legs of the frame will indicate which sides need to be on the floor. Place it on the spot you have decided to set the machine up. You will have to set up and screw two sides and the tabletop of the frame. Now use the tool that will be very much available with the machine itself to set up the frame.

Adjust and change the height of the table through it. The height will be suggested and written on the manual. If not, or if you are not comfortable with the recommended height, you can experiment according to your comfort.

Depending on whether your quilting machine is Standard loading or Clearview loading, you will have to set up the frame above or below your waist level. Heads up, you will have to contort multiple screws and continue tightening them while setting up the frame. So be patient and start the procedure with ample time in your hand. Also, make sure to make it a team effort.

Step Three – Set Up The Tracks And The Carriage

The carriage is the component that ensures the smooth movement of your longarm quilting machine. It’s base where the heavy-duty machine is placed and tackled. To set up the carriage on the table, the package comes with two tracks.

Those tracks will need the insertion of rubber tracks for comfortable placement and friction-free movement of the machine. Insert the plastic or rubber track in the sturdy track pieces, and then screw the two tracks on the quilting table.

While setting up the carriage, make sure the locks beneath are open. Then place the carriage on the tracks. Slowly move the carriage on the plastic tracks and keenly notice whether the movement is smooth or not and once you are sure it is moving effortlessly from left to right and right to left, just tighten up the screw and lock the carriage on the track.

Step Four – Install the Longarm Quilting Machine On The Carriage

You are going to do it with the channel lock. Congregate and screw all the gear of the channel lock and install it to the quilting machine. Then place it on the carriage. Make sure the channel lock is open while doing it.

Step Five – Set Up The Multiple Poles

Now you have four poles in total to set up the frame. Right in front of you, you will have to keep the backing pole and quilt top pole. And at the back, you will have the leveler pole and take-up pole. Keep in mind that you will have to assemble the pole or poles on the back after taking them through the throat of the quilting machine only. So, once again, thoroughly assess your quilting machine.

Step Six – Set Up The Layers

Start with the backing fabric and pin it to the backing pull leader edge keeping the former’s right side facing down. After you are done pinning the two edges properly with large pins starting from the center to both sides, roll the backing poll towards you to smooth out the backing.

Take the fabric further towards the back by taking it beneath the backing pole, quilt top pole, and leveler pole. Now it’s time to pin the backing fabric with the take-up pole’s leader fabric. The pinning process is just the same as the other one, from the center to either side with large thick pins.

Now take up the batting fabric and place it right above the pinned backing. Lastly, place the quilt top pole on the lower notch after placing the quilt top right on the batting and pinning, just following the earlier steps, and you have successfully set up all the layers on the poles and frame.

Step Seven – Prepare The Machine

Before preparing the machine for quilting, adjust the pole tension accordingly, and hold the fabric layers properly through the clamps. Now take your favorite thread spool and place it on the spool pin.

Hold the thread edge and take it through the thread mast and guide hook and then through the three-hole thread guide by taking it from the back to the front, then again from the back to the front, till you reach the third hole and then take it through the guide right beneath, just above the tension disc knob and up and over its tension spring.

Then take the thread underneath the metal bar present right beside the disc knob and take it up through the thread take-up lever.

Lastly, you will reach the needle clamp hole. Insert the thread edge through it and then through the needle eye hole.

Clean the bobbin slot, oil it, and place your bobbin in the case and then in the bobbin casing area. Now combine the top and bottom thread and get ready for smooth stitching of your king-size quilts.

Most of the longarm quilting machines are pretty similar in construction. So barring minute parts, assembling them will be pretty much the same. Therefore, hopefully, our attempt will prove to be a great help in assembling your longarm quilting machine more quicker.

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