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The Other Half of Your Quilting System
By Dan Novak

One major part of any quilting system that is often overlooked is the table or frame. The table or frame is half of your system. If the frame is not working properly, then your machine can not possibly work correctly.
A frame that is in bad condition or improperly assembled can make quilting a very frustrating project.
Some frames are set up for you when the system is delivered. Be sure to watch this process and take notes and pictures. Donít be shy about asking questions and getting involved. This is important in case you ever want to move your quilting system. Most of the people installing and delivering these systems are very experienced and may know some tricks and short cuts to make the job easier.
You will notice that the installer has leveled the frame. It is very important that the frame is kept level. If the frame is not kept level, the machine will move by itself or it will move easier in one direction than the other. This can cause imperfections on your quilting. I would recommend that you recheck your frame for level every three to six months. Houses seem to expand and contract with the changes in the weather, causing the floors to move slightly. When you check for level, be sure that you check the rails on the carriage and the long rails on the table because the machine doesnít ride on the tabletop itself.
You have probably noticed that your machine moves easier from front to back than it does from side to side. You will mostly notice this when moving very slow. It is not a flaw, just simply the way it has to be. The reason for this is that when you move the machine from front to back, you are only moving the machine. When you move the machine from side to side, you are moving the machine and the carriage. This adds a little more weight and will take a bit more effort to move.
Keep the wheels and track clean and dry. Never oil the track system. This will only draw in dirt and dust. The oil would also get on your quilt. Try cleaning the wheels and track with alcohol. Alcohol will evaporate and not leave an oily film. Also pick out any thread that has been caught in the wheels and track. Thread caught in the wheels and track could bind the machine movement, making it harder to move the machine. Call your manufacturer to find out what they recommend you use to clean the wheels and track.
It is a good idea to check the condition of the electrical cords occasionally for bare spots or frays.
Be sure to talk to your manufacturer before making any modifications to the system as this may void your warranty.
There are many new accessories for the tables such as hydraulic lifts to raise and lower the table to different heights for any of your special needs. And light bars to add more light to your quilting areas and remove shadows. Call your manufacturer and see what they have to offer.
If for some reason you decide to move your quilting system to a different location, it would be a good idea to remove the machine head from the frame. This will help prevent any damage.