My regret is buying a domestic machine for a long arm table. It is just not working out.
I cant afford a long arm machine and the 9 inch throat on my machine is to much hassel to use on my table. Constant walking around the table to set up the machine for quilting. The bobbin is to small and runs out of thread fast and you dont know it cause you cant see it.
Basting the sides of the quilt are impossible with such a small area so need to do it by hand somehow. Right now it just sits taking up room in my sewing room.
Also no classes or videos for this kind of quilting.
So be sure you can afford the machine that is meant for a long arm table before you buy.
I think someone said they wish it didn't take so long to load-the pinning process? I can't remember who but I think you should consider the "Red Snappers". They are not expensive and you can load a quilt in minutes! Just google red snappers by renae haddadin and should take you to it. I will try and put a link here but not sure if it will work. I (& many others) LOVE them. http://quiltsonthecorner.com/red_snappers
Hi,Hockey rabbit I'm not sure I have Remorse But This is what has happened to me.
I Bought a:'B-Line Studio' Quilt frame free standing wood frame
1- I bought it 1 yr ago Oct have only used it 3 times
2- my husband is 6ft 4 he set it up and so I was not thinking about how as it rolled up it would be to far for me to reach
3- Now I've decided to take it part way down and set it up as low as it can go so I can reach!
4- I have a Viking Mega Quilter it has a 9 inch throat I would Never Do that Again If you Can Do Better!!!!! NOT THE MACHINE ITS FINE!! THE THROAT DO BIGGER THROAT!!!! as soon as I can I'm going to get a bigger/ true long arm
My Quilt frame Will hold a true long arm machine up to 18 inch thank god so I won't need to buy a new Frame!!
May I repeat myself here in that I do LOVE this means of communicating with other sewing and quilting ladies. And the first thing that I agree to is that, once you have a long arm (mine is a Gammill Classic on a 14 foot table that DH gave me for Christmas 2007); asking around won't get you any information from other owners of long arms--I guess they really are afraid that you'll be stealing some of their thunder. It is great seeing all the means that you can go to to learn how to use one. However, mine came with a very good instruction book and CD which my son and I use religiously (?) plus he has attended several sessions at Paducah at the Gammill booth; learns more every year. We have done about 150 quilts on mine--everyone we love wants us to do them a quilt (so we do).....
The one thing I find with mine (Gammill comes with a 4-year unlimited warranty) and I am nearing my 4-year limit and we need to have something done to the wheel system--my son says they need to replace it for us free because they changed the entire wheel system the year after mine came out (and we have had some kind of trouble with ours from day one; including replacing the wheel system). If they do, they do, if they don't we have to pay something like $1000 to have mine replaced.....
Anyway, I am still in love with my Gammill; but it is not my first long arm. I fell into long arm quilting by accident in 1990 by going to an auction and buying one from an interior decorator who was down sizing--she said "it is so easy; if you quilt you need this set-up--an OLD sewing machine head set up on a 14 foot table that would run one speed wide open (if you have regulated stitching on your machine you know of which I speak). So I learned how to sew REAL FAST; and I am not a fast sewer..... I was lucky enough to run an ad in a local sales sheet and sold it about six months later when the lady who bought it called me to see if I had sold my quilting machine yet.... For a long time I had it set up in our foyer (we live in an old-timey house) so I sure was glad when she called even though she stayed at me until I let her have it for $800 and counted myself lucky to get that.
My quilting machine is mostly for pleasure (my sisters, my son, and myself); we have all become quite good at it. Every time we make something we figure out one more thing that we want to try to find to make it better for us. I have seen pictures of the quilting done by ladies on this board that makes me want to try to find the pattern--we mostly do free hand meandering and stippling. We have done some very pretty work; but I don't know how to post pictures--so 'til I can get a kid over here to teach me how I'll just do without the pics.
Now, my advice to the lady who asked the question about buying a long arm machine, my advice is "go for it" and like some of the other ladies on here say "don't look back"..... If you love quilting, you will LOVE a long arm machine....
I didn't necessarily regret my long arm purchase but I did sell it in less than a year. The machine had a basic design flaw and no I'm not going to say what machine. But the main reason I sold it was because I have a bad back and because of the table height you'd end up stooping over a bit and it totally killed my back. Plus there was the whole standing up for hours on end to do the quilting. I can't do that either.
Take some classes if you can. I have had my shortarm setup for about 5 years....I like having it, and I like doing my own quilts. I wish I had more time to practice quilting on it. I usually end up doing my own swirly whirly quilting motifs free motion, because I am a procrastinator and end up needing to do the quilting quickly to meet a deadline. My own fault. I work full time and am very busy with quilt guild and church activities, as well as kids & grandkids. So, yes, it's great to have a quilting setup....just don't beat yourself up about using it, or getting really really good at it in a hurry.
Your tension just might be your issue, with my LA, I check the tension on a practice piece with the thread that I will use on the quilt. Thread brands do differ. I will sometimes use silicon on my thread. But practice, practice, practice.
No buyer's remorse here, but I was totally scared of my long-arm after it was set up. I avoided it for about 3 months and finally decided that I was being silly. Finally started using it and I love it. There is a learning process, but that is part of life. Just go for it and I promise that you will love it. It just takes practice.
In the past 8 months that I've been longarm quilting, I've learned that I love longarm quilting, but I definitely have some buyer's remorse over the model that I got. I went through our LQS and while they are wonderfully supportive dealers, my model of machine seems to be developing a bad reputation. When my machine isn't working, I feel a little sick over how much it cost. When it is working, I absolutely love longarm quilting.
I bought a HandiQuilter Avante 18 about a year and a half ago. I was hesitant to use it at first, but that's the only way you're going to get past your inhibitions. I won't say I had buyer's remorse, but I did do some 'figuring' in my head that I could quilt 2 quilts a month a make my payment, so there's your justification. If you need to practice to get acquainted with your machine, get 2 old sheets and put some inexpensive batting between them and then just play with it. You'll get better with it over time; just take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy your new toy!