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Thread: Please tell me about Long Arm quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    Hi, I am fairly new to quilting, only having done one large project (Queen size quilt) and some smaller cot size ones. I have always done stitch in the ditch or freehand machine embroidery but I am fascinated by everyone talking about longarms.
    I understand the concept that you can roll the quilt onto a long arm and that the machine goes up and down the quilt but all the patterns that are produced...how are these done...I saw a beautiful quilt in a local patchwork shop that had dragons quilted all over the back....but I can't work out how....Please can people tell me how it is done.
    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    The Creative Seamstress's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
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    This can become a very long thread in terms of description, but I'll try to summarize and encourage you to search youtube for videos so you can visually see it. There are so many options for LAQ you can't imagine! Some are FMQ'd entirely off the top of someones head (much like you would at a traditional sewing machine), or by using a pantograph and even using QuiltCAD software to stitch out designs similar to the way an embroidery machine would work. That is a very short summary, but if you're curious searching for some videos would be a great starting point. I personally don't yet have an LAQM but that is on my someday list. I've used ones before that some friends have and love it, but its something to aspire to and there is a learning curve. Many things are affected in terms by which kind you are using, i.e. a sitdown or stand up kind etc as not all LAQM's are attached to a quilt frame. There are handles and knobs to get used to depending on what you're doing and it takes a bit of getting used to. Some are entirely manual and some are high tech and computerized - the possibilities are endless and really depends on the preferences of the user and their intended application, furthermore how high tech they want to go with their setup! I hope this helps a bit, and please check out some videos! Good luck quilting and I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! We all start somewhere!

    Explosive blessings, abundance and inspiration to you all!
    - The Creative Seamstress

  3. #3
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    Thank you...as soon as I finished writing the post..I though of you tube and am starting to look at videos...you are right...a huge learning curve...thank you again for your help

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    visit the gammil web site, they have videos and you can watch it in action!
    but simply put, you have a frame, the quilt is rolled on rollers, the backing first then the top on another roller, the two are then pulled across the table to another roller- the batting (floats) inbetween. the machine itself is a large throated straight stitch sewing machine...the long-arm part is the throat space which ranges from like 16" upto 20+" somewhere in there...anyway, the machine is seated on a carriege with wheels that has wheels that run along a track on the table. there are handlebars on both ends of the machine, from one side you are looking at your stitching area and can do freemotion or what ever, hand guided quilting; from the other end of the machine you can lay out pantographs and use the laser stylis to quilt your pattern. you hold the handlbars and (drive). you can go in circles-loops, straight lines (with the help of rulers) what ever . stitch regulators are an attachment that keeps the stitch length even. the machine only does a straight stitch and has a (hopping foot) that looks like the darning/freemotion foot you can get for domestic machines.
    but visit the web site and watch...it is great...or just do a search of machine quilters, there are some tutorials out there that will blow you away!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Candy Apple Quilts's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    visit the gammil web site, they have videos and you can watch it in action!
    but simply put, you have a frame, the quilt is rolled on rollers, the backing first then the top on another roller, the two are then pulled across the table to another roller- the batting (floats) inbetween. the machine itself is a large throated straight stitch sewing machine...the long-arm part is the throat space which ranges from like 16" upto 20+" somewhere in there...anyway, the machine is seated on a carriege with wheels that has wheels that run along a track on the table. there are handlebars on both ends of the machine, from one side you are looking at your stitching area and can do freemotion or what ever, hand guided quilting; from the other end of the machine you can lay out pantographs and use the laser stylis to quilt your pattern. you hold the handlbars and (drive). you can go in circles-loops, straight lines (with the help of rulers) what ever . stitch regulators are an attachment that keeps the stitch length even. the machine only does a straight stitch and has a (hopping foot) that looks like the darning/freemotion foot you can get for domestic machines.
    but visit the web site and watch...it is great...or just do a search of machine quilters, there are some tutorials out there that will blow you away!
    I agree -- visit the Gammill web site, and while you are there, click on the Statler Stitcher section. It's the computerization that can give you really intricate designs, repeated perfectly. I LOVE mine -- and hubby knows I would trade HIM before I would trade my Statler! :lol:

  6. #6
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    isnt the web great when you cant get your mind around how something works you can see it being done

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