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Thread: Long Arm Quilting Machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member johnnietate1225's Avatar
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    I am looking at machines and have only about $1,000 to spend. Please tell me what your experiences have been with the lower end machines.

    I am looking at the Juki TL-98Q Mechanical Sewing Machine. Any thoughts on this machine? Pros/Cons

    I have never quilted a quilt before, if that gives you an idea as to my experience.

    Thanks in advance for your advise.

  2. #2
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Sorry I can't help point you towards a specific machine. The best thing to do is test drive as many as you can until you find one that "fits" you. There are so many different ones out there and it also depends on what you want it to do. For piecing I use vintage Singer machines, but for FMQing I use a Viking Mega Quilter. Many machines do both. Go to local dealers and try them out, decide what features you really want and what you don't like or can live without. Don't overlook the gently used machines, often you can get a good price on one. Good luck in your search.

  3. #3
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    If I were you, I know I am a snob with sewing machines, I would look at the Bernina. They have a couple of models that are priced reasonably that do a real nice job quilting. You will want a walking foot with any of your sewing machines you buy. THis will help you quilt better. I have owned a few other kinds of machines, but find this one to be the best for me. Also, I understand that the Elnas are nice. A friend of mine owns one of those. Pfaff are higher priced and I do not like how they are made but they do have the built in walking foot. A service repairman I spoke with about machines a year ago said that Juki is a nice machine, but be sure there is a local repair person who can work on them around otherwise could be a bugger if something happens. I still prefer the Bernina. I have not had any issues with mine for 10 years now.

  4. #4
    MTS
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnietate1225
    I have never quilted a quilt before, if that gives you an idea as to my experience.
    Not for nothing, but can I point out that that having a long arm machine - even one at the lower end of the price range - or a mid arm or a fancy BSR attachment - won't make you an accomplished machine quilter.

    Now, if you had money to burn and wanted one, might as well go for the largest and most expensive Gammill out there.

    But since you don't, perhaps you should try out your skills on a regular domestic sewing machine to see what you can and can not do.

    Practice, and more practice, and even more practice, is the only way you're ever going to become good at it.

    The machine is almost irrelevant.

    Some people are doing gorgeous work on 50 year old non-computerized machines where they have to manually cover the feed dogs.
    And some of the most-UNinspired, boring work is being done by those with Gammill/Statler on 14 ft tables costing $30K.

    Leah Day, one of the most well-known quilters on the internet - yeah, even longarmers have visited her blog - recently had a rant about the "need" and "push" to buy a long arm.

    You might want to read it first:
    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...t-or-need.html

    And here's her wonderful website with a TON of information on machine quilting - designs, tips, setups, thread, notions, etc. - and making it work at home with the barest of necessities - if that's all you have.
    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/index.htm


    Here's are another award winning quilters/authors with very helpful and informative blogs"
    Diane Gaudynski http://dianegaudynski.blogspot.com/
    Patsy Thompson http://www.patsythompsondesigns.com/blog/

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The machine you are looking at is not a longarm. It does have a longer arm than many DSM's, however. If it's possible for you to change the title of your post it might get more answers. I'm sorry I don't have any experience with the Juki TL-98Q Mechanical Sewing Machine.

    Edit - I just read Leah Day's post, and apparently she is using the Juki TL-98Q for quilting, so it must be pretty good!

    Edited again - I use the Bernina 440QE for piecing and used it for quilting until I got a longarm. It does offer the advantage of the stitch regulator (the only DSM to have one) and I thought that was a great option, but the price tag is beyond your budget. You might see if a used one is available, since I understand the 440 line is being discontinued.

  6. #6
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Long arm machines are way out of my budget.
    I have tried to machine quilt with my 10 inch troat machine but just hate pushing the quilt thru it. Have been trying to do a good job for about 5 yrs, no luck.
    So bought a frame with a 9 inch throat domestic strait stitch machine and added a stitch regulator for $500. The stitch regulator is wonderful. The area for quilting is very small, only about 4 inchs but someday hope to find a long arm machine at a good price.
    My frame will hold a long arm machine and is metal and can be set up for crib or full size quilts. It takes up my whole dining room area.
    So far Ive just been practicing as it has a learning curve but love it. I want to learn to do pantograms but so far since you cannot watch where you are going on the quilt, Im having a problem with the edges of the quilt getting caught under the foot.
    So just doing free motion from the front of the machine.
    This setup is a lot cheaper than a long arm but is harder to use.

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    Long arm machines are way out of my budget.
    I have tried to machine quilt with my 10 inch troat machine but just hate pushing the quilt thru it. Have been trying to do a good job for about 5 yrs, no luck.
    So bought a frame with a 9 inch throat domestic strait stitch machine and added a stitch regulator for $500. The stitch regulator is wonderful. The area for quilting is very small, only about 4 inchs but someday hope to find a long arm machine at a good price.
    My frame will hold a long arm machine and is metal and can be set up for crib or full size quilts. It takes up my whole dining room area.
    So far Ive just been practicing as it has a learning curve but love it. I want to learn to do pantograms but so far since you cannot watch where you are going on the quilt, Im having a problem with the edges of the quilt getting caught under the foot.
    So just doing free motion from the front of the machine.
    This setup is a lot cheaper than a long arm but is harder to use.
    Before I got a longarm, I quilted huge quilts on my DSM by quilting in sections. I read Marti Michell's book, Machine Quilting in Sections, and tried several of the different methods. It works! I love having the longarm, but if I couldn't have it I would definitely go back to quilting in sections.

  8. #8
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    start with visiting dealerships/ quilt shops, quilt shows that have machines you can (test drive) try out as many as you can- take some quilting classes at a lqs-
    then you will have a better idea what you need- what you will feel comfortable with and feel you could work with.
    any machine with a nice, even straight stitch can be used to machine quilt a quilt- it takes practice- and motivation to learn the (art)--not a specific machine. even $40,000 computerized machines still take some work-and a degree of expertise--and practice.

  9. #9
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Have you looked at baileys, they are reasonable priced. More than your budget, but you could save up a little longer, and I think they have a wider throat

    http://www.baileyssewingcenter.com/homequilter.html

  10. #10
    Junior Member peggymunday's Avatar
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    If you want a true "long arm" and have limited funds, I would suggest scouring Craigslist for awhile. I found several around $1000, though the first 2 I contacted were gone by the time I found them. The 3rd was the charm apparently, and the right one for me. It's a starter machine, no bells and whistles, but just what I wanted. It's a WOW Quilting machine, made in Oklahoma, and they take old Singer 201 machines and stretch them into long arms. Good ol' workhorses of machines. Here's a link to explain more. http://www.wowquilts.com/page_one.htm If you can find a used one of these, or perhaps a Homesteader (which is a stretched Singer 15 from another company, here's their link -http://www.candlewoodquilts.com/content/12-homesteader ), it's a great start. Have fun in your search, and luck in finding the perfect machine....
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