Skip Navigation Website Accessibility
  • Follow us...

Quilt Suspension System #2, by Patsy Thompson Designs, LTD




"Hi, Patsy & Ernie, it's CK here. I am trying out your suspension system now (fmq a queen size quilt.) I am loving it  Thanks so so so....... much!"  CK - Feb 6, 2022


"Hi. Just a quick thumbs up to let you know how pleased I am with the quilt suspension system I purchased. It is quite amazing how much just those two bungees and clamps help reduce the drag. Have been spreading the good word to ladies in my sewing group. Thanks! -T. April 2021

"Just wanted to let you know that I was finally able to use your suspension system while doing FMQ on my home machine and I’m a big fan. When I was placing my order a friend asked me about the system and I ordered hers and mine together and we are both very happy!! Thought you’d like to know!!"  JF, April 2021

"I just bought the double clamp system. Perfection. Everyone who quilts on their DSM or sit-down long arm, needs to get these. They are adjustable, rotate and clamp on almost any desk or table. Getting rid of the drag works magic on your quilting. I use them when quilting on my Bernina 740 and my Janome 8900. Thank you, Patsy Thompson." DB

"I used my Quilt Suspension System 2 for the first time today and I LOVE IT!!! No more quilt drag! No more tugging which means more even stitches. It was easy to get used to and easy to assemble. Thank you!" DL, June 2020

"A thousand “thank yous” for designing this system. The quilting difference is remarkable. I quilted a large section yesterday in less than half the time of other sections when I spent so much time moving and tugging the quilt bulk. So much easier!" JK, April 2019

"This past April I bought your quilt suspension system and that has been a great help!  I have a sweet sixteen handiquilter sit down machine and it has made a big improvement in handling my quilts and getting much better results. I just had to let you know.  Great job!'' HN, May 2018


"I just wanted to let you know I just finished a quilt using your system.  It was easily adaptable to my set up and did everything you said it would.  I love it.  Thank you again for your quick responses and shipping. I would recommend this to anyone."  MT, Sept. 2020


This easy-to-assemble quilt suspension system is designed to make free motion quilting easier by lifting a PORTION of the quilt off the table and rendering it virtually "weightless."  Because it is suspended, the quilt does not exert any drag or gravity pull against you as you quilt.  Even king size quilts are essentially weightless with this system!  Learn to free motion quilt with ease once the weight of the quilt is no longer working against you!


These are some questions you may have regarding System 2:

1.    What is in the Box?

   You will be sent the system as pictured above with two metal table clamps which attach the two upright steel arms to your sewing table.  On each projecting arm, there is ONE eye bolt from which dangles a short bungee cord with an attached nylon spring clamp.  Altogether, the assembly weighs about 5 pounds.  We are showing the assembly with 2 eye bolts in each overhead arm, just to illustrate that you can move the eye bolt from one position to the other, but it is unlikely you will ever need to do this.

2.  How big is the system?

The arms are about 24” tall and at the top they project about 14” forward.


 3. Will the system fit my sewing table?


The table clamp jaws open to 1-5/8”, so your table needs to be this thickness or less.  Also, the jaw of the clamp can “bite” into 3 inches of tabletop, but really only needs about 1-1/2” of a bite to be secure.  If your tabletop is thicker, or the clamp cannot take the 1-1/2” bite, there may be a “work-around”, but email us first. We will likely ask you to send us a picture of your setup.  See the picture of the table clamp below:

One workaround that Patsy used for a thicker table top is to purchase a piece of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) from a Hardware or Lumber Store where it could be cut to size.  We recommend a 3/4 inch thick piece.  The piece would be placed atop your working table with the edges of the board extending about 3 to 4 inches beyond each side and back of the table, while remaining flush with the front edge of the table.  In a sense, you are just making a larger table top for your table, that the clamp can clamp to.  For example, if you had a 24 X 48 inch table, you would cut the board to about 28 by 56 inches.  Then you would have 3 sides of the table to clamp the uprights wherever you wish. This board is VERY heavy and will not slide around on your original table top.  And you could slide the uprights into the clamp opening and direct the overhead extension into any one of four directions in the clamp opening.  And you can angle the clamps themselves by adjusting the clamp to more or less than a 90 degree angle to the board.

How should I set up the system?


The positioning of the clamps will be determined by your machine set up.  This system is ideal for The Handiquilter Sweet 16; Babylock Tiara; Pfaff Powerquilter 16.0; Bernina Q20; and for traditional domestic home sewing machines that are on or in a cabinet that has no place for a clamp to attach directly behind the machine.  The video below shows various machine setups using this system.

You can adjust the height of the uprights by raising or lowering them using the small adjusting knob in the clamp, and/or by shortening the bungee cord by tying a knot in it.  The quilt does not need to be suspended high up in the air, rather just above the table surface for the desired “weightlessness” to work.


5.   What is the color choice?


The arms and clamps are available in dark blue  



6.   What about shipping costs and options?


We mainly ship by USPS, which allows us to mail anywhere in the world, including PO Boxes, APO addresses, and internationally.  Even though this is an overall lightweight system, shipping weight is 6.5 pounds, and therefore must ship by Priority Mail.  Shipping  costs within the US are about $10 to $32, depending how far it has to travel from North Carolina.  Those orders traveling west of the Rockies, especially to the Pacific states, will be paying the highest shipping rates. UPS is another option that will appear during checkout.  UPS Ground is the slowest (typically a week to western states), and least expensive option, even over USPS for west coast customers.  UPS Select 3 day service is usually about the same price as USPS Priority.  So, overall, UPS Ground is the least expensive, but the slowest, so if you are not in a hurry, that is likely your best option.  But do look at the options during check-out.  Another issue is if you live within about 400-500 miles of Western NC; the slowest UPS Ground will likely get to you in 3 days or so, just like the more expensive options.  Also realize that "days" means business days.

International shipping also must be by USPS Priority Mail. For Canada, that means around $69 and for Europe/Australia/South America, about $90.  UPS is an option in most countries, and will show up as an option if your country contracts with UPS.  UPS can be less or more expensive than USPS, depending on the country.  In general, we have seen quicker deliveries with UPS, and they have their own customs service that takes care of any fees needed to be paid before the item arrives in the destination country, thereby bypassing customs offices that can slow down delivery.


If you would like to know the shipping cost to your address, click on the green button "Add to Cart" above, and then click on "Proceed to Checkout".  There you will be asked for your State (or country, if outside the US), and your zip or postal code.  It will then show you the shipping charges.

7.   What is the advantage of your system over other “suspension systems”?


The system can quickly and easily be set up or dismantled allowing you to move it to another machine you have set up to FMQ, or take it to a class, or to a quilting retreat, or if you move.  Many other systems are semi-permanently installed or too wieldy to easily move.


We are less expensive than the alternatives available.


Our system does not require drilling holes into ceilings for mounting, or for assembling large frameworks that loom over your sewing table.



8.    You used to have a System 1 and System 2...what happened?


We first released System 1, then System 2 a year later.  It became obvious quickly, that System 2 was the better option, though a bit more expensive.  The popularity and versatility of 2 over 1 lead us to the decision to stop selling System 1 in 2021.


9.    Should I buy one or two System 2’s?


In most cases, one System 2 is adequate.  There are situations where a second System 2 would be beneficial. For example, if you do in-the-hoop quilting with an embroidery module, you would benefit from buying two systems. We don’t recommend purchasing more than one system unless you contact us first, and if you purchase two systems, we will email or call you to make sure you really need two.  Some customers have bought 2 Systems thinking they only got one arm assembly per order, and that becomes an expensive return!!


10.   I would like 4 eye bolts, instead of 2, for the System 2.  And can I get more bungee cords/spring clamps?


Each arm has TWO holes and ONE 10 mm eye bolt that comes from the manufacturer.  There is little likelihood you would ever need 4 eye bolts.  And you can always move the bolts from one hole to the other, though this would rarely, if ever, need to be done. You can purchase eye bolts at hardware stores for about $5-6/pair. 

You can purchase additional bungee/clamp units from us for $5/pair plus shipping by emailing us the request.  If purchased at the time of buying a System #2, there is no additional shipping charge. These units are not available for purchase from our online store, so please contact us by email or phone.  You could also get bungees and spring clamps at most auto parts stores and hardware stores, like Harbor Freight Tools (our source).


11.  The orange tip on the spring clamp came off.  Can I get a new clamp?


Honestly, the spring clamps are of modest quality. The orange tips are actually more of a nuisance than they are worth and provide no extra grip on the quilt. In fact, Patsy looks forward to when they pop off!!  So, your clamps will work just as well without the orange tips, and feel free to pop them off if you wish.  We won't be replacing clamps for that reason, but if the clamp were to crack or break within a year of purchase, we would be glad to replace it.  After that, they, or similar ones, can be found in most department stores, hardware and auto stores for under $2.00.  Ours come from Harbor Freight Tools.  


12.  Where should I position the 2 arms?

 For myself, my most common positions are:
1.  1 table clamp on the left side of my table, and I place this clamp "diagonally" into the table such that the arm is directed toward the back and center of table.
2. 2nd clamp on the back of the table.  Depending on where I place it on the back of the table, I may place it perpendicular to the table or on the diagonal.

13.  Where do I place the 2 spring clamps on the quilt project?

When I started using a suspension system, the most challenging thing for me was determining where to place my quilt clamps.  I have found that the best thing to do is lay my quilt across the machine bed so the area I want to quilt is ready to go.  I pierce the needle where I want to start quilting, then clamp my quilt in 2 places that give me enough slack that I can work for awhile but not have to stop and alter my quilt clamp positions.  This may take you a little while to get comfortable with these decisions because you want enough slack to be able to work in one spot for awhile but you don't want too much slack as this could cause pull against you if you create too much slack.  You will pick this up quickly and it will become second nature to you.

Watch our short video below that shows you how the quilt suspension system works!  Note that the System 2 in the photos and video is shown with two eyebolts in each arm...this is for demonstration purposes only to show that the ONE eyebolt that comes with each arm can be repositioned if needed.  For more info, read item #1 above.