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Thread: Long Arm Suggestions

  1. #1
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    Hi! I need help with finding the right long arm for me. I do not do bed-sized quilts and don't believe I need a large long arm. What would be the best for someone who only does the smaller (below 70" ) quilts. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
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    I'm looking for a longarm machine also. I've been researching for months - you might want to look at the Juki and the Homesteader. The Juki has a 9 inch throat and the Homesteader has a choice of 17 or 22 inch throats. Both are moderately priced. There are yahoo chat groups for longarm quilters and Homesteader owners - probably have them for the other machines also. I got lots of good info there.

  3. #3
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    Are you considering the Juki? There is so much to consider and this is such an investment for me. I have not done FMQ and I was hoping the have patterns to follow, but that does not seem available unless you go into the thousands.

  4. #4
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    Check out Pennywinkle Valley ranch. Their systems are very reasonable. I think they have 16 and 24 inch.

  5. #5
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I have a Juki 98Q and a Grace GMQ frame. And I totally love them. However, I want a long arm now. It will be a few years before I get it, but the Juki will stay forever. It's a workhorse, and I use it both on and off the frame, which you can't easily do with many of the long arms.

    The downside of the Juki is that by the end of the quilt, you only have about 4 inches of space to quilt in, which limits what you can do for designs.

    You might also check out Nolting machines, which is what I am leaning toward when I get a longarm. Good prices and simple machines.

  6. #6
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    How do you handle the last 4" and do you do full-sized quilts? Is that the reason for wanting to go to a long arm? So many questions!

  7. #7
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    After extensive looking we are pretty sure we are going to get an Innova. It's a great machine, comes with a very nice sturdy frame which is important. Now, just have to pay off some bills.....

  8. #8
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I do all sizes. The way it works is that the quilt rolls onto a roller as you quilt- You quilt all the way across- and at the beginning, there is less on the roll, which is in the throat of the machine. So you have about 6 inches deep, across the whole quilt, to work in. You quilt that, and then roll that portion up and the next area comes up. You quilt that area, etc... But by the time you get to the end of the quilt, most of the quilt is rolled tightly on the roller, which is taking up more space in the throat of the machine.

    Don't get me wrong- I love my machine, and being able to quilt on the frame. I also use that machine to make bags, piece, etc. If you have a machine that you love to piece with, I would probably suggest that you buy a long arm. If you think you are going to really like machine quilting and are going to use it alot.

    Go to your local shops, or to a quilt show, and play with the set-ups, so you can see what we are talking about. This is the best way.

  9. #9
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtxpeach
    How do you handle the last 4" and do you do full-sized quilts? Is that the reason for wanting to go to a long arm? So many questions!
    Just a thought... Why not take off and flip on frame? May take time and practice, but seems to make sense in theory.

  10. #10
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    you need to go out and find dealers and try out as many different machines and systems you can find, then decide what works for you...the machine i own and love may be the one you hate! everyone is different...and the machines all have their own (quirks)
    a couple things i think should be kept in mind for consideration is location of service/tech support. it makes a difference in success when you are close enough to take a couple owners classes and have someone to turn to when you have a problem...no machine is totally problem free...stuff happens. that was the mistake i made when i bought mine. i bought it while on vacation...and after getting it set up and ready to go found out there was NO WHERE within 200 miles of me to turn to for help...i live in Northern Michigan and have to call Utah and trouble shoot over the phone when i have problems. the company is very good, and has helped me numerous times over the phone, but geez, it would sure be nice to have someone in town to go to.
    also there are so many different frame systems..you could do a sit down system or a stand up...long-arm, mid-arm...prices from a few hundred to as much as a new car!
    time to start doing some research :thumbup:

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