Pattern Management with the Quilt Magician Android

Posted by on August 28, 2017

Here’s a quick tutorial on adding patterns to the Android Quilt Magician.

  • Place the USB with the patterns into the ports next to the Android.
  • NOTE: You may import patterns from your Android ONLY if they are unzipped.
  • When the Quilt Magician recognizes the USB, there will be a window showing a folder (to open if you wish to see the files on the USB) and a check mark to say okay.  Touch the check mark.
  • Touch the Pattern Icon on the left.
  • Touch the Import/Export tabs on the left.
  • Choose a TAG for the pattern(s).  A TAG is a category for the search engine to use when you are searching for a pattern.  The default TAG is Imported.  Choose another TAG by touching the top white field where it says “Imported” and a new window will open with a list of existing TAGs.  Touch the desired TAG or you may create a new TAB by touching the field at the top right that says “ADD NEW TAG” you are able to type the name of a new TAG.
  • Next, choose the USB option at the right. (It is a very tiny box.)
  • Touch the grey tab that says “Import”.  A window will open that shows the files on the USB.
  • Touch the files you want to import.  You may select multiple files.
  • Touch the check mark to say okay when the files are Imported.
  • To find the patterns you may scroll the pattern preview, search by TAGs or by pattern names.


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Loading the Quilt onto the Phoenix Frame

Posted by on August 23, 2017


We will be using three of the rails.  Each rail has a ratchet-type action that keeps the quilt taut.  The rail at the back of the table is called the Take up Rail.  Eventually, most of the quilt will be rolled up onto this rail as it is finished.  There are two rails in the front of the machine.  The rail closest to you is called the lower rail or “Belly Bar” because it is at your belly.  The quilt back will be pinned to both the Take up rail and the Belly bar.   The bottom of the quilt top is pinned to the other rail or upper rail. Mark the Centers of your rails and the centers of your leaders. I use a Sharpie and mark the center on the full length of the leader so the center can be seen no matter how far the leader is rolled.  (The lowest rail is used to keep the batting off of the ground and doesn’t have any tension to it.)

Leaders are pieces of fabric that are attached to the ends of the quilt to enable the machine to reach the entire quilt.  The quilt may be basted, pinned or zipped onto the leaders.  Leaders are attached to the rails in various manners.  At Tin Lizzie’s we attach them with Velcro. The leaders should hang off of the rail in the opposite direction than the rail rolls when the ratchets are engaged.

After assuring that the quilt back and batting are at least 6-inches longer and 6-inches wider than the quilt top, mark the center of both the quilt back top and bottom.

Phoenix Frame by TinLizzie18

Phoenix Frame by TinLizzie18

Mark the Center of both the top and bottom of your quit top.  Mark the center of the batting top.

  1. Load the quilt back first.  We will begin with the bottom of the quilt back.  Lay the quilt back across the Longarm table with the right side of the fabric facing the floor and the top draped over the take up rail.  Match the center of the quilt back to the center of the leader on the Belly Bar.  (Remember: Quilt Back Bottom on the Belly Bar.)  Using T-pins  and beginning in the center, pin the quilt to the leader with the pins on the canvas side.  The sharp end of the pins should point out towards the outside of the table.  Carefully, roll the quilt back onto the rail, smoothing out any wrinkles and keeping it straight.   Continue until the top of the Quilt back is touching the take up rail.  Starting at the center, pin the top of the quilt back onto the take up rail leader.  (Make sure that the quit back is under the third or upper rail, not over it.)   Always pin from the center out.  The Quilt Bottom should be coming off of the bottom of the Take up rail and over the top of the Belly Bar.
  2. Next the quilt top will be pinned to the remaining leader.  Lay the quilt top (right side up) over the table with the majority of the top towards the back of the table.  Starting in the center pin the bottom of the Quilt Top to the remaining leader.  (This rail rolls in the opposite direction from the others and is able to be raised out of the way.)  Carefully roll the quilt top onto the upper rail, smoothing and making sure it is going on straight.  Roll it until the top edge of the quilt falls off of the Take up bar.
  3. Drape the unpinned edge of the quilt over the rail you just pinned the top onto.  This rail is able to be lifted out of the way to place the batting.  Lift it now.
  4. Mark the center of the batting and lay it over the quilt back and placing the top of the batting just along the take up railing and even with the pinned edge of the quilt backing.  Place the rest of the batting between the rails in the front of the machine using the lowest rail to keep the batting off of the floor.   Make sure the batting lays flat and smoothly across the quilt back.
  5. Baste the “quilt sandwich” at the top of the quilt just below the take up rail starting at the center marking.   Using the Longarm machine baste from the center marking to the right edge of the quilt, then down along the right side of the quilt.  Go back to the center mark and baste towards the left side of the quilt and down the left side of the quilt.  It may be necessary to smooth the quilt with your free hand as you stitch.  Baste as close to the edge of the fabric as possible or about ¼ inch.  Every time the quilt is rolled baste the edge before quilting.
  6. Tighten all of the rails for a taut quilt.  Remember, rolling too tight will misshape the quilt and causes thread to break.  Taut, not tight.
  7. You are ready to quilt.  The batting and backing of the quilt are cut larger than the top because quilting takes up more of the backing than the top.  You may take advantage of the larger backing to use as a test area to assure that the tensions are correct.
  8. When you need to roll the quilt, release the rails in the front of the machine and carefully roll the take up rail until it is positioned correctly for your next quilting area.  Replace the ratchets on the rails and roll the rails for a taut quilt.  Each time you roll check the layers of the quilt to ensure the wrinkles are smoothed and the batting is flat.
  9. The Take up rail is able to be raised as the quilt becomes more bulky on the rail.  Keep enough room for your finger tips under the quilt.  If the rail is too low the quilt will drag on the machine bed.  If it is too high there may be thread breakage or skipped stitches.
  10. When the quilting is finished, carefully remove the quilt from the leaders.


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How to Best Maintain My Longarm

Posted by on August 16, 2017


Needles:  Your needle should be changed every sewing day and even twice a day if you are sewing heavily.  Keep in mind that artificial fibers are harder on needles than natural fibers.  Needles develop burrs and the tips become dull.  The quality of your quilting will depend on using a fresh and sharp needle.  Always insure that your needle is all of the way up in the needle bar and is inserted with the scarf in the back.

Rails and Carriage:  Rails where encoders run need to kept clear of lint and threads.  Do not oil them or use any dusting product like Pledge.  This will cause the encoders to slip rather than roll.  Also make sure the tracks where the wheels roll are free of dust, lint or thread so the machine will move smoothly.

Bobbin and Hook Assembly: Clean the bobbin and hook area.  Turn the hand wheel and check for lint and other debris.  It takes only a small piece of thread to completely bind up a hook assembly.  Remove the needle plate between projects and clean the hook area thoroughly.

Tension Discs:  Check for lint and thread fragments in the tension discs.  Raise the presser foot lifter and clean in between the discs to ensure there is nothing caught there.

Oil:  Machines vary a bit in oil requirements.  Some, like the Tin Lizzies, have oil wells that distribute oil with a wicking method.  These wells don’t require frequent oiling because they hold more oil.  However, machines must remain lubricated to function well without damage.  Check the dip stick on the bed of the TinLizzie18.  If there is no oil on the dip stick place four to five drops of oil in both the bed oiling area and at the top of the machine.


Anti-Backlash Spring:  Bobbin cases contain a flat metal disc which applies even pressure on the bobbin preventing backlash and assisting in achieving good tensions.  This spring will eventually become worn and cracked.  It can become bent or even dislodged while cleaning.  Check that it is whole and present, but do not be concerned if the color has worn away.

Bobbin Case Tension Strap: Your machine’s bobbin case has a tension spring where the thread slides out of the bobbin case.  This spring applies pressure and is the primary contributor to bobbin case tension.  If the tension spring becomes bent outwards, or unable to apply pressure to the thread, replace it.

Check Spring:  All sewing machines have a paper-clip type spring on or near the main tension assemble.  The top thread grabs this spring during threading and the spring applies pressure while the take-up lever moves up and down.  Thread friction can break the loop portion off, so first check to see that the spring is still there.  Also, be sure it has adequate pressure to pull on the top thread.  It should be at 11 o’clock.

Oil at the back of the Machine: Just above the handwheel is a rubber plug.  Remove this plug and place a few drops of oil on occasion when a squeaking or grinding sound may occur.

Twice a Year

Cone Springs:  Any tensions device with a knob uses a cone spring to apply pressure which creates tension on the thread. Typically, these springs will last a very long time, unless the tension devices have been over-tightened.  Unscrew the tension knobs and check to see that the cone spring completely resumes its original size.  One way to check is to screw the tension knob on until the outside of the knob is just flush with the threaded shaft.  Look to see if the cone spring is loose or if pressure is being applied.  If the spring is loose, replace it.  Also, if you find your cone springs are over compressed and need to be replaced often, reconsider your method for achieving top tension.  You may need to adjust for looser tension all around.  Remember that tension is a tug of war.  The top tension needs to be equal to the bobbin tension.

Drive Belts: If the motor is adjusted to be overly tight, it can destroy the belt and the motor and machine bearings and gears can be put under undue stress.  Check that the eternal belt has about ¼ inch of play.  Also check that the edges of the belt are not shredding into strips.  Some machines only have internal belts and the technicians can check those for you.

O-Rings: Several machines contain rubber o-rings in bobbin winders and regulator encoders.  These o-rings are under pressure and eventually crack especially in dry environments.  If the o-rings are used as a brake they can develop flat sides during use.  Inspect each o-ring, looking for cracks or wear.

Thread Guides: When monofilament thread is used, it can create enough friction to carve into the machine body and cut off thread guides.  Some other threads and conditions can also damage the guides.  Any cuts create rough surfaces and burrs that can affect your thread.  Check them visually and by rubbing them with your finger.  If you do find wear marks, you may need to reconsider the amount of tension you apply to your top tension devices and the type of thread you are using.

Wheels: The tracking system on your machine can become damaged  by running over thread and other objects.  This may leave dents and marks in the wheels, which then cause bumps in the tracking.  Some wheels have also been known to develop a flat side if the machine is left in one place for an extended period of time.  Check the wheels by rolling your machine forward and back, and then side to side.  It is important to move one direction at a time to help isolate any bumps.   If your wheels are not adjusted correctly, they can rub against the track on the sides, causing a groove to be cut around the wheel.  This is a sign that you may need to adjust the wheels properly and get them centered.


These are items that seldom need attention and may be too difficult for the owner to check and service.
Being aware of them and checking them annually can avoid large repair expenses and long down times.  Have a tech check them when your machine is serviced.  Not all machines have all of these items.  Newer motors and models of machine have different technology.

Bearings, Bushing, Gears and motor brushes.

Sewing Hook Assembly:  This assembly holds the bobbin case. The hook is what forms the stitch. It is made of probably the hardest metal in your machine. If it is oiled every time you use the machine it is likely to last as long as the machine itself. If it is not oiled or cleaned regularly l it can fail in five years or less.  To check it, remove your bobbin case and take hold of the inner pin in the center of the bobbin basket.  If it has wiggled room, it may need to be replace.


Filed under: Blog,Lizzie Support,TinLizzie18 Quilting Tips

Free Motion Option of the Original Linux Quilt Magician

Posted by on August 7, 2017



Using the Free Motion Option on the Quilt Magician you can create and save your own original designs.  These designs can then be edited in the same ways that other patterns are edited.

While in the Quilt Magician Mode:

Touch the House > then Free Motion

You will see a field with crosshairs indicating where the needle is positioned.

On the right-hand side is START.  As soon as you touch START the recording begins.  It does not record time, but movement.  You may record while stitching or not depending on your preference.  The Quilt Magician will record until you touch STOP.

When STOP is touched, a SAVE option appears on the screen.  If you are happy with the result touch SAVE.  A New screen opens with a key pad to name the pattern.

If you are not satisfied with the result, simply touch START again and when you begin moving the new recording will appear.

When you are ready to save touch the SAVE option and then key in the name you prefer and touch the check mark to save.

To retrieve the pattern is it as with other patterns.

Touch the House > Add Pattern.  You will find the new saved pattern at the end of the pattern list.  You are able to move your pattern to your preferred folder by the following procedure.

Touch House > File Manager

You will see a window with SPOURCE at the top left.  Choose INTERNAL since that is where the pattern is.  Then touch the blue search sphere at the right to find the pattern you want to move.  A window with the list of patterns will open.  Locate your new pattern at the end of the list and touch it. Touch the check mark for okay.

Now Touch the DESTINATION option in the lower left of the screen.  Make sure the INTERNAL option is chosen because you are saving it to an internal folder.   Touch the blue search sphere to find the folder where you would like the pattern to go.  Notice you have an option to create a new folder.  You may want to create a folder of your own patterns rather than placing the pattern in an existing folder.  Choose the folder to place your pattern and touch the check mark for okay.  You now have the options at the bottom of the screen to save or delete.  Touch save and you should have a message saying SAVED.

If you would like to move the pattern to a USB stick, just choose USB instead of internal in the DESTINATION option.


If you are tracing a printed pattern that has repeats in it to convert it to a .qcc file in the Quilt Magician it is advisable to trace only one repeat and then add as many of the repeats you need on the quilt in the EDIT option.


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