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Thread: Long arm quilting machines

  1. #1

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    Which Long Arm Quilting Machine is the best and easiest to use for a beginner quilter? Is one brand/style easier to use or are they basically all the same? Thanks for the info!

    Drema

  2. #2
    Norah's Avatar
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    Also, if you know how much they sell for. I know they range in price by thousands of dollars. That would make a big difference to me.

  3. #3
    Boo
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    Senior Member Boo's Avatar
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    WOW, you ladies are ambitious. Just like there are many types and brands of sewing machines, there are similar for long arms. I hesitate to attempt to describe here, as there are so many. Therefore, I will direct you to do a google search of long arm quilting machines.

    The truth is a long arm quilting machine is a big ticket item. The ultimate best in the world quilting machine, is only as good as it's operator. Before you consider using your children or grands as collateral for a $15,000+ machine, you may want to look at frames that use home sewing machines. Be aware that even these can be pricey. The least expensive will cost a few hundred dollars, while some are over $1,000.

    Some areas have quilt shops that will rent time on their long arm. Usually you will be required to take a class in it's operation, but believe me you will be glad you did. This will allow you to decide if this is something you want to persue. A long arm machine takes a lot of space, and alot of practice. Do your homework. This is not the sort of purchase one should make without first actually using one.

  4. #4
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Boo, Have you used any of the quilting frames that allow you to use your own sewing machine? If so, which ones do you recommend?

  5. #5
    Boo
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    No I haven't. I do use a long arm at the quilt shop, though. When the handiquilter came out, I was interested, but realized that it wasn't big enough to do large bed quilts. They may be bigger now. Grace has a standing frame that I saw demonstrated at a quilt show. The only problem I see with these is the keyhole size of a regular sewing machine. There are some machines called short arms, that have a larger throat so you can do more than one or two inches once the quilt is rolled.
    Bottom line, there are too many variables for me or anyone to recommend any particular frame. It will depend what you can afford, how you plan to use it, and what sort of machine you have. My suggestion would be to see some of these in action. There is never a substitution for doing your own research. The minute you make a purchase on someone's recommendation, you will discover another product better suited to your needs. It's called Murphy's Law. :lol:

  6. #6
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    aw a long arm machine on the quilting net......wow what a fun thing........

  7. #7

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    I have a little gracie. It quilts up to a queen size quilt. I have a Janome 6600 sewing machine on it. This machine has a 9 inch neck. Grace company also has a rack that goes to king size. I love it. I'm still learning quilting as well as other activitys on it.

  8. #8
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    I joined several quilt forums to gain information about home quilting equipment. About the time I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, I found something else. Unfortunately they are not created equal. There will be one feature you like on one and 2 on another, but hate something else.

    I am getting down to the wire. Completion of our finished basement it scheduled for early August. I am spending time every day trying to sort out what I want and what will work for me.

    Then, at some point I feel like throwing up my hands and just saying "I don't want to have the problems other people have." I don't want to invest in this equipment to find it too frustrating to use. I want to think I can quilt my own quilts and be happy with the results. Now I question whether anyone gets what they were hoping for.

    More discussion on this subject would make me happy! What do you use and how easy was it to learn, and do you like it?

    June

  9. #9
    Boo
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    June, I am concerned that you are considering such a large investment without actually knowing how to use a long arm. I recommend you find a place where you can rent time on the machine and learn to use it first. You really can't expect to know what you want in a machine if you don't know how to use one.

  10. #10
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    I am sorry if I was not clear in saying I was looking for. I am NOT considering a long arm quilting machine. There are many other machine and frames (smaller than long arms) available and I am trying to view and consider all options.

    I have looked at Grace frames and Janome and Juki (quilting) machines:

    http://www.sewvacdirect.com/grace_combos.html

    The super quilter: http://www.superquilter.com/

    and the Bailey (most recently suggested by a friend who is considering an upgrade) http://www.baileyssewingcenter.com/homequilter.html

    If anyone has other options that would like to suggest, I am open. I have at least a month to make a decison.

    June



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