How to Use This Blog

Since we have lots and lots of videos here, you will need to know the best way of finding what you are looking for. Each post has the video(s) of the topic it is about. Sometimes there will be more than one video that is a continuation of the previous one. These videos will be posted together within the same post. To find what you are looking for, either use the search box or the list of categories posted in the right column.

The IQ system is constantly evolving, so please keep in mind that some of the older videos may show features that have been replaced by newer ones, or buttons that have changed position or names. However, the videos have not been removed because the methods demonstrated are still valid.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Troubleshooting tips #2.

The following is offered as helpful hints to get the best and quickest support when using our ticket system at the iQ web site.
Please save and send your logs with your ticket. This will save a few back and forth communications and lots of time.
Please update to the latest version of the software to continue troubleshooting.
Please fill in all of the identifying information at the top of the ticket. Please describe the issue you are having as completely as possible. "machine going crazy" or "not working" isn't enough information. The more information we have at the outset, the fewer questions we have to ask, and the narrower the focus of the ones we do. Feel free to attach pictures of anything that will help us understand the issue.
If you are having obstructions (with no error messages) this is what I tell everyone as a starting point: The very first thing for you to do is clean your wheels and rails until they are squeaky clean. Please use the Clean Rollers utility with 91% alcohol and QTips until there is no gray remaining on the cotton swabs. This may take a while. Use Windex and paper towels on your rails also until there is no trace of gray. Inspect your machine wheels to clean the grooves very well also. I use both QTips and paper towels with Windex to clean the Edgerider wheels. Examine carefully for imperfections in the rubber on the drive rollers, and look for any threads on the shafts of the rollers, thread sensor, or Edgerider wheels.
Glazing on the drive rollers is the number one cause of obstructions, imagine driving your car on a thin sheet of ice...
After you are certain everything is as clean as possible, run a panto row in Demo Mode. If you experience an obstruction, go to Utilities > Configuration > Motor Control Setup/Test and perform the Auto Setup on both motors. Try again to run a row in panto mode. Repeat above.
If your motors fail to engage - remove a cover of a motor and feel free to include a picture of the top of your motor on your ticket. If you have clear O-rings, and they are yellowed, they are worn and stretched. You can order new ones here, please specify 5" OC: -- they will be shipped quickly, and replacement is similar to replacing a vacuum cleaner belt, which I'm pretty sure most of you have done at some point in your life.
If your machine stops moving, but continues to stitch in place, and the iQ buttons don't work, your tablet has likely lost connection with the dock. This can happen over time due to vibration or long-term movement. Simply remove and redock your tablet, making sure the contacts are making a good connection with their mates on the dock. Inspect the padding on the dock clamps, if worn or peeling, it can be replaced with Mole Skin from the pharmacy. Take steps to reduce the vibration of your machine head, experimenting until you find the "sweet spot" of needle speed, then of course adjust your iQ motor speed/details to get the stitch length you like. If the dock/tablet is tipping forward at the top, adjust it using the yellow thumb screws on the dock bracket so it is tipping toward the back at the top.
I'm sure there are many more things I could include here, but following these few steps may help you get going again on your own, saving you time and frustration. Of course never hesitate to start a ticket to start or continue troubleshooting any problems or issues you may have. Take a moment to check out all of the information here: as well. Lots of good stuff to help you.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Piano Keys Plus

In this video Sonya Chinn shows how to create and save a piano key border, and how to use that pattern both in a border and as a fill for a motif. At the end of the video she shows how to create a bead board border pattern.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Simple Piano Key Border.

How to create and use a simple piano key border.

First the simple piano key pattern has to be created.
Follow these steps.
Design/Sew Quilt > Start New. (If you see pop up questions, answer them appropriately)
Block Pattern > Enter Rectangle Manually (this can be any size. I used the default 10” by 10”)
Continue > Finished.
Choose Line from the Geometric catalog. Continue.
Turn on the 1” grid. Turn Snap on.
Rotate or move the line until one end snaps to a grid intersection. If the other end isn’t also snapped to the grid, use stretch to anchor the snapped end, then move the other end until it snaps to the grid. This line needs to be absolutely vertical. It doesn’t matter how long it is. Mine happens to fill my 10” block from top to bottom.
Finished > Copy Pattern.  Touch the line. Continue. 
Rotate that line 90ยบ.
Move it so that the Start of that line snaps to the end of the vertical line.
Select Stretch and anchor the S. Touch the E of that line and move it until it snaps to the grid one inch away from the S.
Finished > Combine Patterns.
Touch the vertical line > Continue > touch the horizontal line > Continue > Finished.

Copy Pattern > Touch the pattern > Continue.
Flip Y.
Move the flipped copy so The Start of the copy snaps to the end of the original. Finished.
Combine patterns. Touch the first pattern, > Continue > touch the second pattern > Continue > Finished.
Finished > Save Quilt/Pattern > Save a Pattern from the Quilt. Touch the pattern. Continue .
Name you pattern piano Key. And place it in a catalog that makes sense to you. (I put mine in Geometric)

Now on to create a border on a quilt using that simple piano key pattern.

This assuming a quilt is loaded, so get to the step that says Add Block > Mark On Quilt.
Here’s my marked border. It has straight ends because I am going to put a motif in each corner and not take the piano keys around the corner.


Add/Edit Pattern > Add Pattern > Pantograph > Use Current Block
Find the Piano Key pattern and select it for both rows.

This is how my border looked. My border is not 12” wide on its short side, so only one row of the panto shows. 
The spacing between the lines is half an inch. I used my measure tool to find that out.

If I want the lines spaced closer together or further apart, I use Skew and either tap the side facing arrows, or sweep the screen sideways.
If I want them spaced further apart than Skew will allow, I use Row Height and sweep the screen top to bottom until I get the spacing I want. I use the measure tool to check the spacing. (Making a note of this spacing helps so I can replicate it for the other borders. I cannot simply copy this pattern because look at my border block – it is far from straight! )
Also I pay attention to each end of the border – do the piano keys look the same at both ends, or is the spacing unequal? I use skew or row height to get them looking the same as possible. 
Finished .
Choose Continuous for the transition > Accept.
Notice how the top and bottom edge of the pattern follows my block. If the block is marked accurately, the small straight lines joining the vertical piano keys will run right along the ditch and right at the outer edge of the border.  Using this method, I’d turn my quilt to do the side borders.
Ofcourse, piano keys can also be set in place using line pattern as long as you have a nice straight line to follow, and then the quilt wouldn’t need to be turned because you could just come down the sides with each advance. In my example, if I followed the seam line when placing the repeats of the piano keys using line pattern, the piano keys would not be parallel or perfectly vertical, they’d tilt as I followed the seam line up and down. In the end which method you use, is determined by the quilt.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Self Installation Tips and Tests.

This document may help those doing self installations of iQ.  Some of these tests should also be run when the motors have been removed then replaced, or adjusted.
In this post is referred to, but ofcourse this is so look at the side menu to find the appropriate video demonstrations.


Before installing IQ.
Make sure your machine is balanced correctly on the carriage. Each wheel should be making good contact with the tracks. Check that the carriage is perfectly square and that the machine is sitting straight on the carriage.
Also make sure your table is level.

After installing IQ.
1.  Clean off the surface of your rails where the drive wheels will run first with rubbing alcohol then with Windex, or something similar.  Wipe the rails a couple of times with the Windex and let it air-dry.

2.  Plug in the power cord for the motors and the power cord for the tablet.  The ac adaptor for the tablet connects to the small jack at the motor power supply (the silver box).  When you use the tablet off the machine, this small jack plugs directly into the tablet.
Put the tablet on the machine and start up.
When IQ starts up, you will see a message telling you to move your machine to the front center of the table. You will see this message every time you start up IQ and it’s important to do this.
You’ll also see a message telling you that your IQ isn’t calibrated. For now you can touch the button ‘ignore’. You will be calibrating the machine a little later.

3.  Connections Test. 
These tests tell you that all the connections are correct. Make sure your machine is powered up before doing these tests.
On the main menu touch Utilities, then Configuration, then Interface Setup/Test.
Touch Communication Test and you should see a row of messages that all say ok.
Touch 'Single Stitch' and your machine should take a single stitch.
Touch 'Start Switch' and the machine should start stitching.  NOTE: The speed setting on your machine needs to be higher than 0 for this test to work. If you hear a click but the machine does not start stitching, increase the speed setting and repeat the test. Your machine should not be set for regulated stitching.
Touch Finished.

4.  Touch Motor Control Setup/Test. 
Go to and watch the video that demonstrates the Motor Auto Setup. Look in the side menu for that title and to find the blog post.
If the X motor is mounted at the front of the carriage, push the machine as far back as possible when you set the engagement strength for the X motor.
If the X motor is mounted at the back of your carriage, pull the machine as far forward as possible when setting the engagement strength for the X motor.

5.  Once you have the motor engagement strengths set, touch finished, then finished again, and then the back arrow to return to the main menu.
Now you need to check that the settings are good for the whole length of the table by running a line pattern in preview.  You do not need a quilt on the machine to do this and your machine does not need to be threaded.
Here are the steps you need to follow: 
On the main menu, touch Design/Sew Quilt, Start New, then Line Pattern.
Move your machine to one end of your table and touch ok.  Move the machine straight to the other end of your table and touch ok.  Now move your machine towards the take up bar at a slight angle, when it's as far back as it can go, touch ok.  Move your machine towards the front of the table, again at an angle, and when it's as far forwards as possible, touch ok.  
Continue in this zigzag fashion back to the end of the table. When you get to the end, touch ok then finished.
Touch Sew Quilt, then follow the instructions and touch the image of the pattern on the screen.
Touch Continue,  then touch Preview.  The machine will move to the start of the pattern.  Touch start and the machine will follow the line pattern but it will not stitch.  It should not stop until it gets to the end of the pattern. 
If it stops anywhere with an obstruction detected signal you need to check the motor engagement strength at that place.  You can simply back out from the preview to the page where you see Utilities as a choice.  (You do not need to save the needle position or stitching sequence) Then you can change the engagement strengths.
Return to Sew Quilt and run the line pattern in preview again to make sure that there are no obstruction stops.

For these next tests you need to have a quilt mounted even though you will not be stitching.

6.  Calibrate your machine.  
Touch Utilities at the main menu, then Measure/Calibrate.  Touch the Calibrate button and follow the instructions. There is a video at showing how to do the calibration.  Look for calibration in the side menu at  This process ensures that IQ measures correctly.
Touch Finished.

7.   Change the date and time.  
On the page titled Utilities (you should be on that page now having touched finished after calibrating), touch Configuration then Preferences, and touch Date/Time at the top of the list and correct it for your time zone.
When you have set it, touch Finished, then Finished again, then the back button to return to the main menu.

8.   Run the drift test pattern
At the main menu, touch Design/Sew Quilt then Edit/Sew Existing.
Touch the catalog named 'TEST' and touch Drift Test. Do not touch the Supermotor Drift Test
Touch Continue. You may see some pop up windows with question, just answer to no to those questions.
This test is a 12" square.  The message says ‘Touch a reference point on the screen'. Touch the small green square at the top left where there is an S and E.  It's not right at the corner. Touch Continue and read the on screen directions.
Move your machine to place where you want the S and E to be on your quilt. (S is start and E is end) Make sure the machine will be able to move 12 inches forward without obstruction. Touch OK.
Now touch Sew Quilt and then touch the image of the pattern.  It will turn green. Touch Continue.
Touch Preview
Your machine will move to the start of this pattern.  Place a piece of masking tape carefully under the needle and drop the needle to make a hole in the tape.  Raise the needle.  Do not move the machine when you do this.
The Speed setting on the screen should be 1.8 and the Details setting should be 1.4.
Touch the Button showing a gear (Configuration) , next to the button with a ? (Help).
Look at End Point Overlap. It should read 0.00". If it doesn't, touch the button next to End Point Overlap - the words will turn red. Now touch the key pad that has appeared in the ribbon below the image and change the setting to 0.00".
Touch Finished. 
Touch Start and the machine will begin to move. It will not stitch because it is in preview.  
Do not touch the table or machine whilst the test is running.

We do not stitch this pattern because it is designed to check that the motors are aligned correctly.  It will run for just over 8 minutes and when it finishes the needle should be right over the original hole in the tape.  If it is more than a sixteenth of an inch away from the hole, you need to check that the motors are perfectly straight.
If the needle ends either to the left or right of the original hole, the X motor needs adjusting. If it ends above or below the original hole, the Y motor needs adjusting.  (The X motor runs along the length of the table, the Y motor runs along the carriage)
If this pattern was sewn, the fabric would be drawn up and the needle would not return exactly to the start point.
NOTE: You would not stitch this pattern at this small scale at these speeds.

The Speed and Details settings on the Sew Quilt page determine how fast your machine will move - speed is the general speed and is measured in inches per second.  When the machine turns a corner, it needs to slow down slightly and that is what the details setting is for.  I generally have the details setting about  .2 less than the speed.  If you have the difference between the two more than .5, you'll see the red message  'stitch regulation required'. We recommend never using IQ with stitch regulation - this is just a reminder to increase the details setting until the red message disappears.
The stitch length will be determined by how fast you set the needle speed on your machine.
You’ll find a video all about speed and how these settings affect the stitch out quality at

I recommend that you explore IQ in demo mode or off the machine for a couple of hours. Plug the ac adaptor into the tablet, set up the little easel and just touch buttons and explore.  
Follow the directions and make choices.  Always ask your self, “What do I want to do?” then find the answer to that question on the page you are on. Think in small steps. If you can’t see the answer, either touch the finished button or the back arrow to get to another page. If you are puzzled by some of the choices, touch the ‘?’ button for a brief explanation. 

Don’t be afraid – there is no place you can get to that you can’t get out of. Simply keep touching the back arrow or finished button and you will end up right back at the main menu.

When you are ready to stitch but don’t know what to do first, try setting up a pantograph and stitch a few rows. There are directions in the ‘How To use Your IQ’ document that is on the thumb drive that came with your iQ if you are unsure, but really all you need to do is read what it says on the screen, follow directions and make choices. I think you’ll be surprised at how easy IQ is to use. If you are puzzled by what you need to do when you advance your quilt, follow the step by step directions in ‘How to use your IQ’.
Don’t forget to watch the relevant videos at for help too.

Remember, IQ is like a tool box full of tools – some you will use everyday, others you may use only once in a while and that’s o.k. I don’t expect you to use everything  - use the tools you need and have fun!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

iQ motor pulley and belt upgrade.

Tracey Browning shows how to upgrade your super motors with the notched belts and pulleys in this video. After putting your motors back onto your machine, you should run the motor auto-adjustment, calibration, and drift test. Even though you won't have altered the motor brackets, it's best to run the drift test just to make sure they haven't been accidentally knocked out of position.

This is the link to watch the video on Youtube.

And this is the link to Tracey's web site, Constantine Quilts.

Dream Big Panel

In this video, Patty Butcher is showing how to use Wasatch Quilting's Dream Big panel patterns. The Dream Big panel is by Hoffman.

This is the link if you prefer to watch this on Youtube.