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Quilt edge embroidery frame

We had a customer request embroidery for text using only a running stitch to outline the edge of a quilt she had sewn. Rather than rehooping numerous times I elected to build a proto-type frame to meet the challenge at hand. Linda has the larger moving frame for sewing on her Bernina home machine. Using it for ideas I headed to the wood shop. The end result was simply using parts and pieces on hand so may appear to be crude, however, it does serve the purpose.

We will start with a couple of photos of the frame mounted on our SWF.
long_hoop2%20on%20machine.jpg long_hoop4%20on%20machine.jpg  
A short explanation to assist in understanding the frame. The frame mounts to the machine using the same hardware as the largest hoop that comes with the SWF 1501C. Most of the material used in this construction is oak scraps left over from cabinet making. The dark colored straps are 1/8" by 1 1/4" aluminum strap and the gray colored parts are 3/4" by 3/4" aluminum angles. The actual embroidery area for this frame is approximately 4" by 50". It was built to embroider the edge of handmade quilts as the main use thus the small 4" height. It would not be a problem to increase the height to 12". The photo under this text is of the frame as it lays on the floor.

The top and bottom of the fixed portion of the frame (that which hooks to the pantograph hardware on the machine) are made of 5/8" by 1 3/4" by 24" pieces of oak. Again that is what I had on hand when the project came to be. Prior to attaching the black straps I used a table saw to make room for the angle to slide. The two photos below show the frame up-side-down looking from the end. Notice the edge of the angle is no longer a smooth mill edge. This is due to the fact the 3/4" dimension was too long so a belt sander was used to reduce it to the same dimension as the width of the wood.  

long_hoop11-back%20side.jpg  long_hoop1a-end%20close-bottom.jpg

 The sliding portion of the frame moves easily when changing working areas of the hoop yet is firm enough that it does not move when doing the embroidery work. As a precaution I cut a couple of wooded spacers which fit tightly with in the work area but only the tension kept them in place. One of the spacers may be seen on the very right side of the photo showing the frame on the machine at the start of this blog.

If you have questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to call or drop me an email.

Hoop arm extensions

Our SWF compact embroidery machines came with 2 widths of hoop frame arms. The smaller width of approximately 13 7/8" for the circular hoops and 15 1/4 for the larger 12" square hoop. This difference in widths necessitated changing the pantograph arms to accommodate the respective hoops. When running both large and smaller items this was not practical so an extension adapter was created. As with the hoop shown above the parts were aluminum pieces laying around the shop, thus there may be holes where not needed. It is very simple to make as the only material needed are 2 pieces of 1/8" thick by 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". One plate will need to be narrowed to custom fit your hoops.

Start with the wider pantograph arm on the machine. This will provide you a stable work station and allow you to use both hands on the extension itself. You will notice there is an alignment pin on the pantograph arm to correctly position and hold the hoops. We will need to drill a hole in one of the plates to accommodate that pin. Measure the distance from the side of the arm to the center of the pin (approx 3/8") and mark this same distance from the edge of one of the plates. Now measure the distance from the stop on the arm to the center of the pin and transfer this distance to the same plate you just marked. To insure you are accurate slide the plate along the edge of the alignment pin to the stop and visually check you mark with the pin. Drill a hole (approx 1/4) at this point to just fit over the pin.  Now taper the front edge of this piece where is slides under the spring material on the arm. This will make loading the frame a little easier. The last step is to narrow the plate you are working with to fit with the hoop into the pantograph arm. Position the plate in position as it will be when the hoop is attached. The pin should be in the hole you drilled and the front edge tight against the plastic spring spacer on the arm. Insert the hoop arm into the opposite side as you are working on with the frame arm on top of your new plate. There will be a slight overlap. Mark this distance and cut the excess width off. Try to remove only what is needed to result in a snug fit. Sand the edge to remove an burs.
 With the plate custom fit so the hoop arm butts against the plate we now need to secure the second plate to the first. Remove the hoop but leave the first plate in the pantograph arm. Slide the second plate under the first and butt it against the pantograph arm and align the 2 plates front and back. Mark where they overlap or better yet is to clamp them securely. Drill small holes through both plates while they are still clamped. Clean the holes and secure the two plates together. For aluminum we used pop rivets. The last step is to install a 1/4" bolt through the second plate to align the hoop arm. With the 2 plates secured together, insert it in the pantograph arm and then insert the hoop. Position the loose arm of the frame so the space between the hoop arm and the pantograph arm is the same in the front as it is in the back. Make where the center of the hole is on the hoop arm on the extension and drill. Insert a bolt by taping the metal for threads. Insert a nut on the bottom of the extension to keep the bolt from vibrating out.

ext-panto-fronttop.jpg   ext-in-panta-arm-&-hoop-frame1.jpgext-side_view-in-panto1.jpg