I hope my regular pals on here aren't getting sick of my long arm/mid arm posts! I'm just trying to research a purchase we are planning in the spring and I want to make the best decision for myself. I am a stay at home Mother of three and I make a small side income selling quilts, crafts, patterns, and doing custom sewing from home. I don't want to start a big huge long arm business, we have a plethora of great reputable long arm quilters in the area who have huge top of the line set ups. However, my passion is quilting and I have set some goals for myself - to achieve them I need moolah!! I could upgrade to a bigger domestic, but I can piece on just about any machine so I thought upgrading to a mid or long arm would allow me to earn a little extra side income to pay for some of the big projects I'd like to do for myself and give me the upgrade I need for the free motion work I love.
My budget is really small - I'd really like to be around $3000. I REALLY don't want to finance anything unless the difference is small, like $2000 and I could pay it off quickly. I don't want to feel pressured to make money before the ability to provide a quality service is there.
What I really want in a machine and frame are the ability to quilt a king (120") quilt, an 18-20" throat space (limiting me to 14-16" sewing space), a laser light for pantographs and stitch regulation.
I've thought about an older used high end set up or getting something like a Bailey's Home Quilter 17" - can some of you tell me what you have and about your experiences with them? I just cannot afford to compete with these 26" Gammil set ups the ladies around here have, but if I could generate some income just doing basic all over designs and panto work that would tickle me pink. I'd even consider a Juki on a frame but I just think after a while I'm going to want extra throat space because I'll want to get some quilts finished fast.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice? Thank you!!! You guys are seriously the best!!!