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PLEASE READ THROUGH ALL THE INFORMATION BELOW AS IT WILL HELP YOU DECIDE IF THIS SYSTEM WILL WORK FOR YOU. IT WILL ALSO GIVE YOU IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ASSEMBLING THE SYSTEM AND ITS COMPATIBILITY FOR YOUR SET-UP AT HOME. THERE IS ALSO SHIPPING INFORMATION FOR U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL ORDERS. KNOW THAT IF YOU PURCHASE THIS SYSTEM, AND IT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU, YOU WILL NEED TO PAY THE POSTAGE IF YOU WISH TO RETURN THE SYSTEM TO US. SO, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT THIS SYSTEM FOR YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION, PLEASE EMAIL OR CALL US PRIOR TO ORDERING.
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.
Just to advise, these arms and clamps are shipped from China to the US west coast, then from there to NC. During all that travel, most sustain some superficial dents, dings, scuffs and scratches. These do not interfere with their function, and any items that are significantly damaged are set aside. If we rejected each item that had any surface defects, we would not be able to sell any of them! But these systems were meant to be functional, not pretty, so just to make everyone aware, the minor dings are basically badges of honor! We will not be exchanging any of the items that we send out because of superficial injuries.
2. How big is the system?
The uprights are about 24” tall and the top arms project about 14” forward.
3. Will the system fit my sewing table?
The table clamps 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:
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 are the color choices?
The backbone/clamp assemblies are available in deep blue or lavender-purple
6. What about shipping costs and options?
We do most all our shipping 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 around $ 9 to $ 30, 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. If UPS rates are less for your order, we will exercise that option. We will then credit you with any savings in postage you were charged.
BUT we have priced System 2 at an affordable cost, there is no tax to pay (except in Ohio), so that helps some! and no driving....it comes right to your door!!
International shipping also must be by Priority Mail. For Canada, that means around $ 69 and for Europe/Australia/South America, about $ 86. We must warn our international customers that because of our store's integration with the postal service, there have been some strange effects on shipping costs. Don't be surprised if you see a cost of $ 100 or more. You can still place the order, and we will issue a refund to your account. Sorry for this inconvenience that no technical party involved can seem to fix.
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 charge. Remember this may not be totally accurate, and the exact amount won't be known until we go to post it. If if is much more expensive than you were charged, we will send an invoice you can pay online, and if cheaper, we will issue a refund.
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. Should I buy a System 1 or 2?
See answer #4 above. Also:
The size of your project has NO bearing on whether you choose a system 1 or 2. The system you choose is dependent on the set up of your machine and table.
If you have a machine set up in the traditional orientation, where you can clamp directly behind the sewing machine, and the front to back distance of the table is under 28”, then a System 1 would work for you. System 1 is more of a "fixed" option since it's 2 arms are fixed in place while System 2 is a bit more versatile since you can put the two arms anywhere on your table. The overhead reach of the arms of System 2 are longer, 14” vs 7”, which is ideal for tables over 28” deep, front to back. Know that system 2 can work fine on narrower tables, say 20 inches front to back, and you can clamp them along the sides of the table at an angle if they are projecting too far over the machine. And any given project may require the versatility of positioning two separate arms, rather than the fixed nature of system 1.
Patsy has a 28 inch front to back table with the machine's back edge 20 inches from the table's back edge, and either system would work for her. She prefers system 2 as it is more versatile for positioning the 2 clamp-arm assemblies anywhere around the table's edge. She spreads the quilt out on her machine bed and pierces the needle exactly where she will begin quilting. Then she adjusts the positions of the clamp-arms on the table so she can attach the spring clamps to the quilt to create enough slack in her system that she'll be able to quilt for a while before needing to alter the clamp positions again.
Typically she has one clamp-arm assembly on the left side of her table, at an angle, and one behind the machine, but can reposition either or both depending on the project.
9. Should I buy one or two System 2’s?
In most cases, one System 2 is adequate. There are rare situations where a second System 2, a second System 1, or a System 2 plus a System 1 would be beneficial. For example, if you use an embroidery attachment/module on your machine to do machine embroidery, you would benefit from buying two systems. We don’t recommend purchasing more than one system unless you contact us, in fact, the store will not let more than one System 2 to be purchased at a time.
10. I would like 4 eye bolts, instead of 2, for the System 2. And can I get more bungee cord/spring clamp assemblies?
The arms each have TWO holes and ONE eye bolt comes to us with each arm. 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. If we have extra eye bolts in stock, we will offer them at the time of purchase as an option in the drop down menu (e.g. blue with 4 eyebolts) at the time of ordering; it will add $ 6 to the cost of a regular system 2 that has just two eye bolts. If we don't have them, that option will not be available, but you can purchase them at hardware stores for about $ 5-6/pair. If you already own a system 2 with 2 bolts, and would like an additional 2 bolts, please email us, and if we have them, we will send them to you for $ 6 plus shipping (about $ 3.35). You can also purchase additional bungee/clamp setups for $ 5/pair plus shipping by emailing us the request. These "extras" are not available for purchase in the online store, so contact us by email or phone.
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?