First, I want to say that we are on a senior citizen budget and cannot afford one of the beautiful "fancy" long arm set ups we see on this board. We also have some difficulty paying to have my quilts quilted by you very talented ladies. My desire was to be able to quilt some of my own quilts. Not fancy, just quilted. I had never been talented enough to do anything more than small projects on my domestic. My DH has a brillant mind when it comes to creating ways to make my quilt projects easier and more enjoyable. Here is what he came up with.
One of the QB members (don't remember her board name but her first name is Susan) advertised a Lil Gracie frame on the board. She was located in Tennessee (about 2 hours away from us). I looked at the ad and said "Oh well, it would be nice but I could't afford a machine for it. Meanwhile, my DH was on Craigs List and saw an ad for a Lil Gracie located in Tennessee. He mentioned it to me and it turned out to be the same frame as was on the board. I was to get a small bonus at work and it would cover the cost of the frame which was $250. We called and decided to go look at it. I was real excited when we got there and I saw the frame. Susan was very gracious and we did buy the frame. Now to get it set up and locate a machine that would work on the frame. DH came up with a great idea. We had an old 1926 Singer model 66 that was in great condition mechanically but well worn appearance wise. It had a throat which was almost 9", which is good for quilting. And, like he said, what do we have to lose. He stripped it down to the bare metal and sprayed it lavender. He put new decals on and sprayed a clear finish on it. Then came the mounting process.
He added a bicycle brake lever on the right handle and the cable is attached to an old foot pedal mounted on top of the carriage frame so I can control the speed with my right hand. He also added miniature flood lights on goose neck adapters to give me more lighting. He replaced the ball bearings with percision ones to make the movement smoother.
This is what the finished machine looks like. I have been practicing for about a week to 10 days (not as frequently as I want to) and this is some of what I have done. I don't have any pantos yet but he is working on a set up for me to use one. This is done free hand and I now have a greater appreciation of the gorgeous work some of you ladies do free hand. Far from perfect but I am making progress and I am SEW excited.
Not a Gammill or an Innova, but it is ours and I love it. We probably have about $400 invested in it. Thanks for looking