I have an opportunity to purchase the Gracie Frame II for $300(she paid $700) and 2 plastic patterns for $100(paid $240)--would $400 be a decent price for a set up like this or should I expect to get a better price?
I would be using a Juki 98Q for this frame which I already have. I know some of you already have this system or have had it in the past and would be interested in hearing the pros and cons/hints of what you have learned. I have read from many of you on this board and others that it is a pain to stop and roll every 4-5 inches. So---here are some questions and thoughts that have been going through my mind.
1. I've never done machine frame quilting before and don't know if I would enjoy it. Have done some FMQ, but I am far from being an expert and don't really enjoy wrestling with the quilt but that has been on a regular DSM, not the Juki.
2.Most of the quilts would be baby to queen size(up to 82-88" wide to 104-106" long). I would be interested in exploring pantograph edge to edge quilting. Has anybody ever done pantograph overall on their DSM? I've looked at the Golden Threads video on Youtube.
3. I do not have as of yet the grace speed control or stitch regulator. Is this something that would be helpful since I would just be starting out with frame quilting?
4. The quilts I would be making would be for charity/personal use/friends family. I have no interest in quilting for others.
I've thought maybe buying it at least for the baby size/lap/twin and continue to send out the larger size quilts--that way if I decide I don't like frame quilting, I can always try and resell it. I've also thought about saving pennies instead of purchasing this frame and try and get a longer harp(16-18") machine and getting a whole new or different system(probably used).
Any thoughts from users or previous users? Do you like the frame or is there another frame you like better from Grace or another brand? Is the upgraded carriage that much better?
If money was not an issue, I would probably try for the innova or the new juki longarm, but I can't justify spending $8000 for something that I don't know whether I would enjoy plus that's alot of large quilts sent out before I would even break even. If I do find I yearn for a bigger system, I will most likely try and find something used. I have read posts about the less expensive systems--Tin Lizzie, Bailey, Homesteader, voyager, etc. But again, I don't feel that I am up to that kind of expense as of yet.
In the end, I might find that FMQ really isn't that bad, and I just need to practice more and have a little patience and give it a whirl with the juki instead of my DSM.
Thanks in advance for any hints/ideas/etc--I'm to go and look at it this week and it always takes me forever to decide on any purchase of more than a couple of hundred dollars.