My Mom, who taught me to sew long before jr. high home ec(and much to my teachers dismay!) passed away right before Christmas after a shockingly brief illness. Both my sister and I are still in shock and struggling with it all. But she left us some money and my DH says to "buy something you want--your Mom would like that". Since I'm been comtemplating the purchase of a long arm for about a year now (love to work on one at the store where I can rent some time) and I'm sick and tired of trying to quilt on my regular machine (I want to quilt big quilts and just too hard to get tension right, manuver the quilt, etc) plus I just hate crawling around on the floor doing the sandwiching with a knee replacement--I'm going to make the leap! My Mom always liked to watch me play with one of the vendor's machines at quilt shows so know she'd approve.
My question: Any of you that have a long arm, can you please give me some advice on the brand, and features, you'd recommend? I know I want to be able to quilt at least queen size, want to have ability to pantograph designs, want it to be problem free and have the ability to add computer design if I want in the future. The one I've worked on is a Nolting and there is a "local" dealer for that I know.
In the meantime--if you are quilting on your regular machine and having problems with needle nests and skipped stitches like I was, try changing to a heavy wt. needle (size 16)--the thread shreds less and it ended the skipped stitch problem. Needle nest? Run the machine faster than your hands are moving.