How to Adjust the Ratchet System on the Phoenix Frame
It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
There really are only three parts to this ratchet adjustment. This is the order they should be installed. Take notice of the direction the ratchets go. The rotation on the top roller is different than on the backing roller.
This is the order they are to be installed. These are the two ratchets on the Phoenix frame. Notice that top roller rotates opposite of the backing roller. If you do not get this direction the correct way these rollers will not properly snap and stay tight when you are rolling your quilt.
I know you can put these on the other way, but we like the top roller to feed the top fabric off of the bottom of the roller and the backing fabric to come off of the backing roller from the top, so that the two pieces of fabric come together as soon as they can. The union of the fabrics helps to stop any bounce the fabric might have during quilting.
This Allen hex key is the tool that is needed for adjustment of the spring tension that makes the ratchet snap down and stay in the teeth of the gear.
This is the place that the Allen key fits into to tighten (righty tighty) or loosen (lefty loosey).
The snap on the ratchet has to be just right. If the tension is too loose the ratchet will not snap down and hold onto the gears. If the tension on the spring is too tight the ratchet will be stubborn and not respond well and you might find that you have to put the ratchet into the teeth by hand. You might have to adjust and check several times to find that sweet spot where the ratchet is the most responsive and still holds tight into the teeth. You can do this!
Top Roller Teeth
Backing Roller Teeth
- This is the direction the ratchets should be.
Which Ruler Should I Try First with my Long arm?
There are so many long arm rulers on the market now that it is hard to decide what you should acquire for tools. You probably should start with something simple.
We believe that the simplest rulers are the straight edge, the wavy edge and the arc. Small rulers fewer than 10 inches are the easiest to control.
The rulers below are the ones that we have chosen to use first in this beginner class.
The wide variety of designs that can be made from the arc ruler will amaze you. The trick is to learn to hold the ruler with slight pressure down and into and toward the quilting foot. As you hold onto the handle bar on the quilting machine also place a little pressure toward the ruler. Some quilters glue small button shaped pieces of sand paper onto the rulers to help reduce the slipping of the ruler on the fabric.
The wiggle ruler will help guide you through small scallops, shells, arc, and apple slices. If you want to add a busy look to the quilt you might use smaller wiggles or waves. If you wish to have a more relaxed look to your work you might use the larger wave or wiggle side of the ruler.
The straight edge acrylic ruler is ¼ inch thick. One end of the ruler has a 45 degree angle on it and the other end has an arc on it. This ruler is sometimes called the ‘stitch in the ditch’ ruler. The long sides of the ruler are notched to help hold tight the front or the back of the quilting machine foot. When you begin or end a straight line, you do not want any wiggle in the end of the line so the notch helps to steady your line. Long engraved lines appear on the ruler and these lines can be placed on the seams of the patchwork to measure the stitching distance from the seam.