How to Build a Quilting Frame for a Sewing Machine

Written by jennifer terry
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How to Build a Quilting Frame for a Sewing Machine
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

Machine quilting frames allow a quilt to be stretched tight while the machine moves along the length of the frame. The table cross member support will vary according to the measurements of your specific machine. All instructions remain the same. These support measurements are based on the length of your machine and can be increased up to 30 inches. An experienced woodworker is needed to make this complicated piece of equipment.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 2 boards, 2-by-6 inches by 12-feet
  • 2 boards, 1-by-4 inches by 12-feet
  • 4 boards, 1-by-4-inches by 2-feet
  • Set of table legs
  • Drill
  • 1 1/2-inch drill bit
  • 2 boards, 1-by-4-inch by 25 ½ inches
  • Pack of #8 deck screws, 1 ½ inches long
  • Machine carriage and frame track kit

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  1. 1

    Lay the two 2-by-6 inch boards on the floor about 18 inches apart. Measure 12 inches from one end and mark. Measure 20 1/2 inches from the same end, and place a mark. Repeat both measurements from the other end.

  2. 2

    Place one 2-foot board with its side edge at the 12-inch mark. Fasten with one deck screw at each end. Adjust the frame until it is square. Add one more screw at the other two corners. Install the remaining three 2-foot boards at the 20 1/2-inch marks and other 12-inch marks. These are your cross members.

  3. 3

    Attach the table leg assemblies, according to the manufacturer's instructions, to the cross members at the 20 1/2-inch placements. Turn the table on its side.

  4. 4

    Mount one of the 1-by-4 by 12-foot boards to the side with screws.

    Mount the 1-by-4 by 25 1/2-inch board on each end of the table with screws.

  5. 5

    Cut two 10-inch and two 12-inch pieces from the 1-by-8 inch board. These are the brackets.

  6. 6

    Cut two pieces of the 1-by-4-inch boards 24 inches long. Mark three holes down the vertical centre of the lumber. Measure from the end and mark it at 2 inches, 15 inches and 22 inches. Drill the marks with a 1 1/2-inch bit. Cut slots from each circle out to one side. This creates the support arms.

  7. 7

    Measure from the end of the bracket board more than 7 inches and 11 1/4 inches and mark. Drill marks to make 3/8-inch holes. Measure from the same end and measure horizontally 5 ¾ inches. Drill this mark to 3/8-inch depth. Measure horizontally 1 1/2-inches. Cut a 1-inch slot lengthwise in the board at this mark. Repeat for other bracket.

  8. 8

    Attach the support arms to the brackets with bolts and washers. Attach the brackets to the table ends with three deck screws. Position the brackets so the bolt ends point outward. Lock in place with metal angle plates screwed to the inside corners.

  9. 9

    Attach the frame track to the table, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Attach the machine carriage kit to the track, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • If your machine arm is longer than 9 inches, adjust the support arms farther to the front of the table (away from the machine).
  • Use canvas or ticking to make the leader fabric on the rollers, before attempting to mount a quilt.

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