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Thread: will be purchasing a long arm in 2013--any suggestions welcome!

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    will be purchasing a long arm in 2013--any suggestions welcome!

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I am very sorry for your loss. Your DH is right, your mom would be happy that you get something you enjoy. You mentioned that you work on a LA at your LQS, and it seems like you enjoy it. How about buying a similar set-up? Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Sorry to hear about your mom.

    Just think every time you use it you will think about her.

  4. #4
    Super Member Justquilting's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry for your loss. I got a fun quilter by nolting a couple of years ago and I love it. The dealer I had was selling magic frames to go with it. All I do is panto's.It was affordable for me. Not too small and not to big. I only have my frame set up to a queen ...I didn't have the space to put it to a king. I can do a 10" panto on a queen. So I'm happy with it.good luck. I did pay extra to get the stitch regulator.
    Last edited by Justquilting; 12-31-2012 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Wording
    Do what you want...Love what you do!!

  5. #5
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I have a Nolting that I bought a few months ago and it is a long learning process. I really enjoy it and have good customer support.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  6. #6
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    So sorry for your loss...I think its awesome that you are getting a long arm...you will have Mom looking down smiling at you, knowing she bought you so much joy. I am sure she would approve.Good luck on your search! I hope you have a few dealers in your area.

  7. #7
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Here is a great article on this topic:
    http://r.b5z.net/i/u/10076798/f/shop...or_longarm.pdf
    hope that link works...
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  8. #8
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I'd go to one of the big machine quilting shows this year and try out several machines and get firm prices on them first.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I know nothing about long arm machines but I think it sounds like a great gift for your mom to give to you. She will be able to help you do every quilt!

  10. #10
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    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I have a Nolting 24" PRO for about 6-7yrs now. I only quilt for myself. I do love it. You probably won't find a longarm dealer in your backyard or even your City, mine is 3hrs away but a phone call in a second. The longarm doesn't operate like a regular sewing machine and the learning curve is high. I also do mostly pantographs and I like them. I also own the Circle Lord which I dearly love.

    If you attend any of the big quilt shows check out the longarm machines. And usually you can get a good deal from the dealers. Most dealers and the manufacturers have used machines. Don't be afraid to buy used. I suggest that you might want to join some of the longarm groups on Yahoo, you never know what you'll find and who might be selling. Good Luck

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