Monday, December 6th, 2021

Items for Sale by Fred's Creative Woodworking


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Cellphone Holder / Business Card Cozy

Longarm Side Clamps

These are the real deal. My Longarm Side Clamps work extremely well and are made to last! They should never wear out or need to be replaced!

Each clamp (in the set of two clamps) consists of two wood strips with VERY POWERFUL embedded magnets. The powerful magnets and a friction strip on each wood piece assure that the quilt will be tightly held between them. The clamps are constructed of Black Walnut. Each of the clamps has two 6’ long loop (Velcro-like) straps to hold it to the longarm machine.  You need to supply the hook fabric for your machine where you want to attach the clamp if it doesn’t come with this already. Each wood piece of the clamp is very thin and will normally allow the machine to pass unimpeded. The piece that doesn’t have the loop fabric attached is slightly longer than the other piece so that you can easily grab it and pull the two pieces apart.

I currently am making three sizes of Longarm Side Clamps. My Small (approximately 10" long) clamp is good for machines that have up to 16” throat space. The Medium (approximately 12 1/2”) clamp is for machines that have from over 16” throat space up to about 22” throat space. The Large (approximately 17”) clamp is for throat spaces greater than 22”. That being said, if your backing is too small you can extend your sides by attaching an approximately 6” extension piece of fabric to the top on each side (staple or pin it on) or being sure that the quilt top is wide enough to accommodate your clamp. These lengths will vary a bit. I hand-make each item I sell and, because of the way in which I must make them, there will be a bit of variability in measurement. The length variation within a category (Large, Medium, Small) is not an issue as all of the clamps within a category have the same holding power. If, for some reason, you feel that this may be an issue, let me know before you purchase so I can fill your needs.

Contact me if you need another size and I’ll quote a price for them.

This is by far the most expensive (to me) item that I make and they are also very technical, time consuming, and difficult to construct and this is reflected in the price I have to charge for them. However, you will quickly realize upon using them that they are a bargain! You will never have to replace them and they work much better than any of the other clamps out there on the market.

I also offer a refurbishing service for the cost of return postage to you. To use this service, contact me by e-mail and I’ll tell you what you need to do to take advantage of this service. When you send your LSC to me for refurbishing, I’ll make any repairs necessary and refinish the wood to make them as if they were new again.

This is a very well-made set and should last way longer than you will be quilting! I spent several months developing this item and offered it for the first time at MQS 2016. They created lots of buzz at my booth and sold out the first day of the show and I had to take orders for the remainder of the show. This has already become my most successful product yet! These are very functional, well-made,  designed to last and will be a beautiful addition to your quilting studio!

CAUTION: The unit uses magnets for holding power. I can't make them without magnets. Consequently, if you have a pacemaker or any other medical device that may be affected by magnets, please consult your physician and don't use these unless you get an ok from your physician as it may adversely affect the device.

A word about the Black Walnut I use in these clamps. Back Walnut has a magnificent chocolate-brown color that makes it so attractive. It also has light streaks throughout it that add to its interest. Expect both in your clamps! If you simply MUST have a specific appearance to the wood, let me know when you place your order (send me an e-mail with the information) and I'll do my best to accommodate you!

Set of two Large (approximately 17”) Black Walnut Longarm Side Clamps with straps: $98 per set.
Set of two Medium (approximately 12 1/2") Black Walnut Longarm Side Clamps with straps: $94 per set.
Set of two Small (approximately 10”) Black Walnut Longarm Side Clamps with straps: $90 per set.


If we look at my large clamps and compare them with those of another brand (Brand B) over the long haul the picture becomes clear. Brand B is one that my wife, Val used to use. She would have to replace them every 8 months or so. You will NEVER have to replace mine!

Brand B clamps cost a bit over $40 per set. If we add a conservative cost for shipping of $6, that's $46 each for 8 months. To make the math easier, let's assume that we only have to purchase them every year. In 5 years we would have at least $230 tied up in Brand B side clamps and, for each year thereafter, another $46.

If instead, you purchase a set of my Large Longarm Side Clamps at $98 plus $10 shipping, you have $108 invested. In 5 years, you still only have $108 invested. My clamps are meant to last through your lifetime and that of whomever gets them from you when you pass them on.

So, in 5 years you would have spent $230 for the Brand B clamps and $108 for mine and in 10 years you would have spent $460 for the competition and $108 for mine. In 5, 10, or 20 years you will only have the initial investment ($108) in mine. That's $46 a year for the Brand B clamps and $10.80 for mine over a ten-year span.

Which one is the better price?


Your machine table needs to have hook fabric attached on the side bars in order to attach your clamps to your table. If yours doesn’t, you can get glue-backed hook fabric (under the brand name of Velcro or others) from a number of places including good hardware stores, JoAnn’s Fabric, Michaels, etc.

The purpose of the clamps is to tighten but not stretch the backing fabric of the quilt (a quilt consists of top, batting and backing) so you get a flat surface on which to sew. Your rollers on your table tighten the fabric top to bottom, my Longarm Side Clamps tighten it side to side. My Longarm Side Clamps have strong magnets that will clamp the backing fabric and hold it tightly when you put tension on the clamps with the loop fabric attached to the machine.

The Longarm Quilt Clamps you purchased from me consist of two sets (of two) of magnetic bars. Each set of two magnetic bars has a pair of approximately 6' long loop-fabric (like the loop fabric of Velcro) attached to what will be the bottom piece of each set. The other piece (top piece) of your set doesn’t have the loop fabric. Both pieces have a rough friction-piece attached at the clamping surface to assure that the clamps will hold the fabric. You attach the clamps to the backing fabric (only), not the batting or quilt top. Your backing fabric will be held by the clamp when you put the fabric between the top and bottom piece of each set.

Here is how to prepare your quilt for using the Longarm Side Clamps. Start with the backing fabric. It should ideally be an extra 5 or 6 inches larger on all four sides than you quilt top (if you receive one from a customer and they haven't adhered to this, follow the guidelines below under Problem Solving). Next, the batting should be approximately 4 extra inches larger than your topo on both the left and right sides.  It should be 2 inches longer at the top and, depending on the quilt top, should be up to 10 inches longer at the bottom. The extra at the bottom will depend on how large the quilt top is and how densely quilted it will be when finished. The bigger and more densely quilted the quilt is, the more batting you will need at the bottom. This is something you learn as you do more and more quilts and, as a beginner, you are better off giving yourself extra batting at the bottom.

Before applying side clamps to your quilt top sandwich, your quilt top should be basted to your backing and batting. Attach the quilt to the quilting machine and get ready to baste the edges. The sides of the quilt top should be secured to all layers with an approximate 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch basting stitch. The top of the quilt top can have a closer stitch but your sides should not as this allows for adjustments of the sides whenever necessary, especially if the quilt top has additional fabric flare related to less than superior piecing. Your side clamps can now be applied to the backing only since all 3 layers are securely attached to each other. The purpose of your clamps is to make sure the backing does not pleat and to minimize any top bounce. Be sure to not stretch your top as this can have a negative effect on your top appearance and make it appear drawn in when finished and removed from the quilt table.

Your side clamps are not meant to make your top stretch as tight as a trampoline. If your clamps are slipping when you pull on the loop fabric, you are pulling it way too much. My clamps are extremely powerful and are designed to grip the backing fabric ONLY. You should be able to tap your quilt sandwich with your hand and have it bounce.

                                                         PROBLEM SOLVING

If you  have a customer who neglects to give you the proper allotment of extra backing fabric requested (5 or 6 inches on each side), or if you  have an extended throat plate on your machine that runs into the clamp set, there are a couple of simple solutions.

One is to elevate the clamp set with a yard stick or sturdy piece of wood such as a thick dowel. See photo below. This usually lifts your clamp set up high enough so as to have the machine miss them. Test it out prior to starting and running your machine to make sure this is a fix that works for you.

The second method (photo below) is to make  5 or 6-inch-wide extensions (one for each side of the quilt and covering the length of the side of the quilt) of fabric that you simply pin onto your backing to give you additional and sufficient inches to avoid running into your clamps. You could also use a light-duty paper stapler to attach the piece. This is not time consuming and saves you the headache of hoping that your machine will clear the clamps.

The internet is alive with information about longarm side clamps. Google “Longarm Side Clamps” and watch some of the videos associated with them.

Be kind to your quilt sandwich and do not stretch it! Let the clamps do their work properly by not stretching the fabric!!


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Large Longarm Side Clamps

Medium Longarm Side Clamps

Small Longarm Side Clamps