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Thread: Quilting Macine - I am in the dark!

  1. #1
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Quilting Macine - I am in the dark!

    I am just a self-taught quilter. I've only done hand piecing and quilting. I do have some placemats machine pieced, but not sandwiched yet, so that I can try quilting them on my old Viking 940 machine that I love. (I want to do more machine work, so much quicker.) I see all the references on this site to long-arm quilting machines, medium arms, etc. I honestly do not know one from the other, and want to know. So, I'm just gonna show my ignorance and ask! Are these regular sewing machines, or if not, how do they differ from regular machines? Are they all stand-alone units, or do they require the big quilting frames? Are there quilting machines that just do it all automatically? I know, I know ... I told you I was ignorant about them! LOL Enquiring minds want to know!!! Teach me, please!

  2. #2
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    when people refer to short, mid, or long arm they are speaking about a machine that goes onto a quilting frame and you stand up and quilt the sandwich by moving the machine, that's placed into a carriage, over the quilt sandwich.

    you can buy quilting robotics to do the quilting for you on a quilting frame.

    some people are able to use their embroidery machine to do the quilting - which is another way of doing the quilting with robotics.

    most people do leave their machines on the quilting frame all the time so they typically have one machine just for quilting and another just for piecing.

    recently mid and long arm machines are being produced to sit inside a table so that you can sit down and quilt instead of standing at a quilting frame.

    its really a matter of personal taste - some people love to sit and quilt and others love to stand and frame quilt.

    the best way to determine your taste is to do both and see which fits you best - if you go to large quilt shows you will see many companies there selling quilting set ups.

  3. #3
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Long-arm machines are typically on frames (and these can vary in length but generally take up a lot of floor space) where you move the machine over the quilt. A long-arm versus a mid-arm is based on the amount of space between the needle and the back of the machine - the space you have available to work with.

    I've seen some set-ups at quilt shows that have a computerized component where you can set up the pattern and walk away from the machine (the Homesteader Machine has the Sidesaddle).

    I'm planning to do my quilting on my domestic sewing machine - a Bernina 830. It will be a challenge to maneuver the bulk in the small space, but it can be done. I would love an HQ Sweet Sixteen sometime - mid-arm sized - I like the sit-down version which has you move the quilt under the needle as compared to putting it on a frame and moving it over the quilt.

    Cheers, K

  4. #4
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for taking the time to give me this information. It's very helpful; I understand more now!

  5. #5
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    if you check out the websites of a few of the long arm dealers, like gammil, innova, tin lizzy......you will be able to see the differences between using a long arm and quilting on a regular sewing machine.....although there are regular machines now that have much larger throat areas (up to 11") that make quilting much easier.....there are quite a few quilters who use the older singer feather weights to quilt on as they have a lot of throat room too and are very dependable.

  6. #6
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    HI Kerry
    I am also a self-taught quilter. I started out quilting mine by doing free-motion quilting on my Viking where you drop the feed dogs and move the quilt sandwich around. There are many videos on You Tube of people doing free motion quilting on their home sewing machines. Then I bought a used Grace machine quilting frame, with a new carriage that holds a Juki sewing machine with a throat space of 9x6 inches. I have done several quilts on this, and as the other people noted, you move the carriage (which has handles) with the sewing machine on it over the quilt. I watched a lot of free videos on line and joined The Quilting School www.thequiltingschool.com. Now I have moved up to a long-arm machine, an A-1 with 23 inch throat space.
    Watch a lot of videos, and see how it is done. Practice by drawing your patterns to get muscle memory, and then let your creativity flow.

  7. #7
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    Hey Kerry, I'm also self taught quilter. Use to quilt as I went in my tiny sewing area. Then I built a 25' x 26' quilting studio and bought me a Gammil classic Plus it is a long arm and I haven't looked back since. My is a stand and quilt.
    I have had it for 11 years I love it. Just depends on what you truly need. I wanted to be able to quilt 120" x 120" quilts. So I also quilt for people in my area besides the many quilts I make and sell and make and give away. Youtube is a great site to find different ways of quilting and different sixes of machines. Best of luck to you.
    http://www.skillpages.com/DonnaValleyquiltermo
    Sweet Dreams come from under Cozy Quilts made with love.
    Life is short, take time to enjoy it. Play with your kids and g-kids,
    and do what you can for others.

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