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Thread: Long Arm Questions

  1. #1
    Carol Carter's Avatar
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    Where is the best place to purchase supplies on line like threads, templates, quilting pantograms?

    Is it better to start learning to FMQ or to quilt with some pantograms first? I am pretty good at stippling but have not done much other than that on a gracie frame and a bailey machine. I am going to purchase a LA and I want to learn to do more. I have never quilted using a pantogram.

    If there is any interest in purchasing my gracie frame and Bailey machine, let me know.

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I am new at LA too but will try to offer some suggestions on your questions. I have found Pantos are priced the same across the board with very little pricing difference no matter where you buy. They all seem to be between $17 and $20. Thread is also very compartitively priced. I have only seen a few dollar variation on the big spools. The few places I have ordered on line I have been satisfied with the service.

    I have a few pantos but have not yet used them. I like to practice FMQ by making a sandwich of a yard of inexpensive solid colored fabric. Solid so I can better see the stitches. I will put different color thread in bobbin from top so I can easily spot tension issues and like to use a high contrast thread from the practice sandwich, again so I can really see what is happening. Then I just doodle away. I look through books to get ideas for motifs. I like doing stencils then freehand echos around them. I doodle with pencil and paper ALOT to get that muscle memory thing going.

  3. #3
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    I got a LA in March 2010. I love using Pantos and am just starting with rulers and FM. Their is a place called UrbanElementz. They ar having a blow out sale right now, so there are some pantos at a slighty lower price than already mentioned, though in general I agree with her. Also, if you haven't already look at Constantine quilts, just put it in google. They ar from Austrailia but have great rulers and I think pretty good prices. Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Here is one place that I have used for supplies:
    http://kmquiltingsupply.com/

    As to FMQ vs. Pantos, everyone is different. Some people like one and hate the other. I know people who have NEVER FMQ, others who NEVER use pantos, or a combination of both.

    FMQ requires you to think more - so that you don't end up in a corner, so that you keep the pattern and spacing consistent, etc. But when it all 'clicks', it's a blast.

    I think pantos are a good thing in the beginning, as they free you up from the spacing and "where do I go next" issues. That lets you concentrate on learning to move the machine smoothly and work on even stitch length. I even found it helped me learn the movement of certain patterns, so then when I did do FMQ, it was easier to do certain designs.

    One secret to FMQ is to spend a lot of time drawing designs. It helps train your brain to know the right way to go when you go to do it on the machine. I keep a Magnadoodle (child's toy) in my studio and warm up on that before I start on a quilt. Plus it comes in handy when a customer comes in with their child and we need a way to keep them occupied ;-)

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I think that we all use our longarms differently. I got mine in December of 2009, and I have not done a single panto. I think I would probably be using pantos if I were quilting for customers though. If you go to a quilt show you can buy Superior thread at a big discount, and the discount is even bigger if it's a longarm show. I use their Bottomline and Vanish threads. I also buy thread at great prices from Connecting Threads and from Metro Embroidery. You need to check that the thread works well in your machine before buying a lot of it, and always buy on the cones. Good luck with your longarm.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    So far, I enjoy free motion quilting.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    How much do you want for the baileyand frame

  8. #8
    Carol Carter's Avatar
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    Thanks all.

    AndiR I love your idea with the magnadoodle. I will definitely give that a shot.

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