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Thread: Machine advice needed now - so confused

  1. #11
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    If you've only done one quilt, I'd wait on a long arm decision. I started quilting in 2004, and have quilted all of my own quilts - even 3 queen size quilts - on my regular domestic machine. It is possible, and if your "usual" quilt is likely to be on the smaller side probably a good way to start. Make sure you really love the process, before you fork out the thousands of dollars for a long or mid arm machine.

    For my piecing, I have never used anything other than straight stitch and the occasional zig-zag. I bought an embroidery machine at the behest of my husband, and I regret the extra money. I have never used the embroidery, and probably never will. It's not what I enjoy doing. So for me, a simple straight stitch machine - with a wider throat - would have been the perfect purchase 7 years ago. And until about 2 years ago I was perfectly happy quilting on it. Then, as I graduated to big and better- and wanted to do more with my quilting, I started thinking about a long arm machine. I just bought one last month - 8 1/2 years after I started quilting.

    And note that long arms - if you want to do bed-size quilts - take a significant space investment - 12' x 8' clear space for them at least, which you can't put anything else in.

  2. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Western Wisconsin
    Blog Entries
    My advice is to take however much time you need in order to be sure, as this is a big purchase. There will always be another sale.

    Sounds as if you have not explored all your options thoroughly yet. For example, if you are interested in frame quilting, then you really want to consider the Juki 2010Q which is a high-speed straight stitch machine (about $1,000). You can mount this on a Ken Lund homemade frame (about $200) and practice frame quilting to your heart's content. If you decide you don't like frame quilting, the Juki makes a great piecing machine and at that time you can purchase a sit-down machine for quilting. If you decide you want to take the next step with frame quilting, you can purchase a Hinterberg stretch frame with refurbished Voyager longarm for $2400 (on the Hinterberg site) and retire the Juki to speed piecing. (Or sell the Juki; lots of people would love to buy a used 2010!)

    Personally, I would stay away from a machine that does everything. For embroidery, ideally you want a separate machine so it can be sewing out an embroidery pattern while you are piecing or machine quilting on another setup. It's also really nice to have a machine dedicated to quilting (the frame setup) and still have a machine available for piecing.

    The rule-of-thumb on the homequiltingsystems group at groups.yahoo.com is to spend a year researching and trying out setups before actually buying one. This helps people avoid under-buying, over-buying, and buying the wrong type of quilting setup.

    That's my 2 cents, for what it's worth......

  3. #13
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Blog Entries
    I would do a bit of research and see when there will be a large quilt show in your area, with several long/mid arm vendors attending. They will have demo units set up for you to try. Even if you have to make an overnight trip to attend, it will be well worth your time and money to see the different options available. The next best thing is to research where the local dealers are and try the units out at their sites. Again, even if it's a road trip it's worthwhile. Nothing beats a hands-on demo. Even a mid arm is a big ticket item, so do as much research as you can!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma
    My advce is to foregoe the long arms and the embroidery units and get a regular machine with the larger throat area (11") It will probably service your needs for now. I have the embroidery unit and never use it. The larger throat areas are worth it as it makes quilting larger quilts much easier.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Thank you all for the advice. I love getting your opinions and hearing about what works for you. I do think I will continue to research, the quilting/sewing machine will not go up in price so that is a good thing and I really want to get my hands on a quilting machine at least once before I try to make a decision. If you have more advice, please share!

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