Tips, hints, and information for owners of Nolting longarm quilting machines and Quiltmagine computer guided quilting system from Nolting.
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Guide to Quilting with Your Nolting
Comprehensive guide for Nolting owners filled with information, many tips, resources and photos, including photos of correct timing.  Large trouble shooting guide (chart form) to diagnose and solve issues.  Need help with pantos?  Guide includes section with complete instructions for setting up and quilting pantos with perfect results.  Over 100 pages.
Only $29.95 plus S/H
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nolting factory open house
Nolting Factory Open House
July 16, 2016

June through July has been very busy with large shows in Vermont (VQF) and AQS Syracuse, NY.  We also drove to Iowa so that I could teach two Quiltmagine workshops the day before the Nolting Open House.  The Open House was exciting with several hundred attending, many coming to see the new NV machine, stock up on supplies, and enjoy the delicious "picnic" lunch under the tent.  Quilter's Rule (templates) and Delve MIY (awesome designer fabric) were there.  Yes, I did come home with some fabric, couldn't resist.  

It was exciting to meet Nolting owners from around the country at the QM workshop and Open House and to visit the factory to see production (read more).  I want to welcome those that provided their email at the workshops to the Nolting Club Newsletter.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Quilters are excited about the new NV from Nolting.  As a result of trades for the NV, there are a number of very nice used machines that have been traded in.  If you have been thinking of moving to a larger throat machine, now might be a very good time.  Give your dealer, Nolting, or me a call to see what is used or demo that might be a step up for you.  585-226-2577

We are glad that our schedule is slowing down now as we get back to a more normal summer.  Enjoy the rest of your summer.  Take a break, read this newsletter and Happy Quilting.


What Goes Into Making A Nolting?  
factoryOne of the great things about visiting the Nolting factory is that you can see all of the steps necessary in the manufacture of the machines and frames.  Because my husband, Ron, is a machinist and fabricator, and we have our own machine shop, I am quite familiar with many aspects of this type of manufacturing and the tooling needed.  Never the less, there are some things about making the machines that makes them both unique, and very sturdy and reliable.

nolting longarm cnc production
CNC Machining making PRO head (inside the window area)
There are no assembly lines at the Nolting factory, every machine is custom made and assembled by hand.  Nolting manufactures many of the parts and starts the machine with solid block aluminum, aluminum tubing, and sheeting.  The head of the machine is cut from a solid block of aluminum using a CNC machine (automated cutting machine) that is programmed to make all of the cuts inside, curves inside and outside, drills holes, makes slots, and even will inscribed PRO on the Pro head while still in the CNC. 

As you know, Nolting has a unique design, especially the commercial, Pro, CLX and new NV.  Some call it old fashioned, however, the design is on purpose, different, sleek, but also gives the machine strength and durability.  Although we don't recommend it, a Nolting machine could take a fall and be either undamaged, or able to be fixed simply because of the materials it is made of.  Other machines that are made of cast metal or plastic would break apart and not be able to be fixed.  Kudos to Nolting for thinking of this and making excellent, reliable, strong machines for us.

All machines with the curved back start with a flat piece of metal that is shaped with the curve, cut, then welded together.  Watch the video below where Dan T demonstrates this process. 
 Nolting's welders assemble and weld the head, upper arm, lower bed, and curved back or the tubing back found in the FQ.  Having inspected my husband's welding for many years, I was very impressed with their technique.  Aluminum is not easy to weld, but they do an excellent job creating strong, straight seams that you would not know exist.
Nolting factory
Jig for head assembly and welding

After the body is ready it goes on the shelf waiting for an order.  When an order is received it goes to the paint shop for one of the standard colors or one of the  seven custom colors based on the customer preference.  After painting the guys in the shop assemble the internal parts, drive rods, bearings, motor, needle bar, take-up lever assembly, hook assembly (M or L based on customer preference), fly wheel and belt, make all adjustments, and time the hook.

nolting factory
Assembly Shop - repairing a machine
The final step before the machine is cleared for shipment is testing.  All machines, both new, used refurbished, and machines that come in for repair go to the test area where they are put on a frame for test sewing by JoAnn.  JoAnn has been testing Nolting machines for over 14 years.  She really knows her stuff.  If it doesn't pass her scrutiny with perfect stitching and perfect adjustment, the machine goes back to the shop for more adjustments.  Nothing leaves without her stamp of approval.  After all, we all want it to sew top notch.  JoAnn also makes all of the leaders for the frames.  If you have leaders with a casing for leader grips, leaders with zippers, or have had special leader extensions made,  JoAnn made those.

There is one final step before crating and shipping.  The machine goes back to the fabrication shop to be set up on the carriage and frame it will ship with so that any axle adjustments can be made, if needed, before shipping.

Finally, out the door and on its way to a happy Nolting customer.  

Questions & Answers About Nolting Machines and Frames
Q.  Why is aluminum used for making the machine head.
A.  Aluminum is a strong, but light weight metal making the machine heads weigh from 40 to 50 pounds.  An equivalent machine made of cast or steel body would weigh up to twice as much as the Nolting.  The lighter weight Nolting machines are easier than a heavy machine.

Q.  Why does it take so long to get my Nolting machine and frame?
A. Every Nolting system is custom made according to the customer's preferences which include length of frame, leader and frame options, machine color, and size of hook.  Although frame bodies are on the shelf, once an order comes in, the body is sent to the paint shop, then back to Nolting for assembly.  Standard frames are available, but custom lengths and other options are custom made when an order is received.

Q.  What custom colors are available?
nolting paint colors
Custom Nolting Paint Colors

A. colorsSeven shiny custom colors are available at this time which include five gloss colors: red, black, white, blue, and a red-purple (P303) bottom left and two metal fleck colors: teal and grape purple (PP) top left.  Other custom colors may be available soon.

Q.  How much does it cost for a custom paint color?
A.  Only $350, a real bargain.  Why choose a custom color?  If you plan to be at your longarm quilting for hours on end, why not have a color you really love.

Q.  How are the frames made?
A.  Frame pieces are cut from stock steel tubing, round, and flat stock.  Pieces are placed in a jig and welded together.  After assembly and cleaning the steel framework is sent out for powder coating to protect the metal.  Once returned to Nolting and before shipping, the frame is completely assembled for any adjustments and the leaders (per customer preference) are applied to the rollers.  Custom frames are assembled in a similar way, but from custom cut lengths of steel material.  For all of the extra work it takes to make a custom frame, the additional $100 charge is a real bargain. 

Q.  Why does it cost so much for crating and shipping from Nolting factory?
A.  Although the machine can be shipped UPS for $100 to $125, the frame is heavy and bulky with pieces that are the full length of the frame (rollers, batting bar, and channels).  As a result, it can only be shipped by truck freight.  These parts must be packaged in long, large sturdy crates for transportation in a tractor trailer.  Because of the size and weight, it costs quite a lot to ship.

Q.  Is it possible to visit the Nolting factory?
A.  Yes, Nolting welcomes its customers and prospects to the factory to see their manufacturing facility.  It is a good idea, however, to give them a call ahead of time to schedule your visit.  319-378-0999

Three Tips to Prevent Puddles or Scoops in the Backing

There could be several reasons for puddles or scoops on the sides of the backing, all of which can easily be corrected.
  1. Make sure that the center of the the front backing roller and the center of the take-up roller are the same distance from the same end of the frame.  If the backing is tracking to one side, scoops can occur.
  2. Always roll all of the backing onto the take-up roller first, then transfer to the front backing roller keeping tension on both rollers during the transfer.  This will often straighten the backing and correct any scoops.  Do this regardless of pinning to canvas, zipping to canvas, or using leader grips.
  3. If the backing pieces must have a seam, use a horizontal seam.  Vertical seams almost always cause scoops on the side of the backing because the vertical seam piles up on itself lifting the backing off the roller.  See video for help on how to manage a vertical seam.
Detailed information on loading is found in the Guide to Quilting with Your Nolting.
Computer Guided Quilting with a Nolting   
Computer guided quilting is available and affordable for your Nolting Longarm.  Several computer guided systems, including Quiltmagine, work with the Nolting machine and frame.  Prices range from about $4500 (QBot) up to $12,500 (IQ).  It all depends on what you want to do with a computer guided system and what your budget is.  Nearly every system comes with a library of patterns.  Of course, you can always purchase more designs on line.  

If you are thinking about computer guided, give us a call.  We can help you make a decision that is best for what you want to do.  585-226-2577  Installation is available.