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Thread: Advise/Opinions on Long Arming

  1. #1
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Hi All...Im hoping for a little advise.

    Im very curious about long-arm quilting. I know the long-arms are truly expensive and a purchase like that is not to be taken lightly.

    I would like anyone who has purchased and used a long arm to give me a little background on their level of expertise when they decided to take the jump and try it.

    The reason im asking is that I am truly hooked on quilting! Yes I know I have only done two quilts, but I know myself well enough to know when I love something and this, is one of a very short list.

    With that being said,
    Did it take you long to learn it and what level of a quilter would you have considered yourself when you decided to buy it?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You might want to join the homequiltingsystems group on Yahoo. They are a large and active group, and all of them quilt at home on different longarm setups. The rule-of-thumb advice on that group is to research longarm setups for a year before actually purchasing one, as there are a lot of possibilities. Also go to every quilt show you can to try out various setups yourself.

  3. #3
    Super Member Charming's Avatar
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    LOL as if you are talking about me. I started quilting about 1 1/2 year ago and got hooked with the first block. I have done many crafts (cross stitch, knitting, crochet) for many years but this is my best and i am so passionate about it, and yes i am the proud owner already of a long arm machine. Not a fancy commercial one but it does the job and i am loving it and enjoying finishing my own quilts. The feeling after i finish each quilt is undescribable and i keep looking at the quilt day and night like 10 times the next day and the day after....just love it.

    Good luck and go for it and follow your passion :)

    picture of my last quilt i just finished
    Name:  Attachment-237175.jpe
Views: 62
Size:  157.8 KB

    just did a meander
    Name:  Attachment-237176.jpe
Views: 59
Size:  116.2 KB

  4. #4
    Junior Member OCQuilts's Avatar
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    I'm partial to Gammill. Ive used Gammill's for years and bought a brand new one in 2006. I used it to rent to customers who wanted to Long Arm. Ive seen many students go on to become wonderful quilters. I bought a second one used a year later. My Husband had to rent a truck and go pick it up bring it back and reassemble himself. Gammill staff answered questions over the phone even though we bought it used! We have been pleased with both of those machines. Recently I sold my original Gammill to an employee for close to what I paid for it! I replaced with a new Gammill vision. I also upgraded our 2nd one to the vision system. I also now have 2 Statlers. Stitch regulated Gammills with a table start at $8995. Gammill offers easy financing. If you have a dealer near you. I'd go look at them right away. If you want to look at used check www.LongArmUniversity.com Good luck!

  5. #5
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    I was the 'weakest link' when I purchased my long arm and I'm still the 'weakest link'. But, my machine is strictly for my own pleasure. I never intended to do quilts to please anyone except me.

  6. #6
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    You might want to join the homequiltingsystems group on Yahoo. They are a large and active group, and all of them quilt at home on different longarm setups. The rule-of-thumb advice on that group is to research longarm setups for a year before actually purchasing one, as there are a lot of possibilities. Also go to every quilt show you can to try out various setups yourself.
    Thank you for that info! That is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Charming's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyAire
    I was the 'weakest link' when I purchased my long arm and I'm still the 'weakest link'. But, my machine is strictly for my own pleasure. I never intended to do quilts to please anyone except me.
    :thumbup:

  8. #8
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charming
    LOL as if you are talking about me. I started quilting about 1 1/2 year ago and got hooked with the first block. I have done many crafts (cross stitch, knitting, crochet) for many years but this is my best and i am so passionate about it, and yes i am the proud owner already of a long arm machine. Not a fancy commercial one but it does the job and i am loving it and enjoying finishing my own quilts. The feeling after i finish each quilt is undescribable and i keep looking at the quilt day and night like 10 times the next day and the day after....just love it.

    Good luck and go for it and follow your passion :)
    LOLLLLL, yes I have that passion too! Funny thing you mentioned "finishing" it yourself which is exactly what I want. THANK you for the inspiration!

  9. #9
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charming
    LOL as if you are talking about me. I started quilting about 1 1/2 year ago and got hooked with the first block. I have done many crafts (cross stitch, knitting, crochet) for many years but this is my best and i am so passionate about it, and yes i am the proud owner already of a long arm machine. Not a fancy commercial one but it does the job and i am loving it and enjoying finishing my own quilts. The feeling after i finish each quilt is undescribable and i keep looking at the quilt day and night like 10 times the next day and the day after....just love it.

    Good luck and go for it and follow your passion :)
    Your quilt is gorgeous!

  10. #10
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    I've been quilting since I was 16, and I'm now 28. I love quilting, and began to seriously look into getting a long arm for about 3 years. I have tried all types of machines, and multiple times each. Every time I went to a quilt show, I'd try all the machines, and write down pros/cons of each. Then I'd go home and research more. I've joined quite a few yahoo groups, and talked to tons of people.

    So, after 3 years of serious thought, and MULTIPLE try outs of the machines, I've decided on the Nolting for me. So I'll be saving up for one, and in 2 years for my 30th birthday (or earlier) DH and I will be buying one.

    I have also used one of my friends Noltings to quilt two charity quilts, so although I don't own one right now, I do know how they handle, and can say that I have quilted on one.

    You need to find the one that's right for you. The one that I want, may or may not be the one for you!

  11. #11
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCQuilts
    I'm partial to Gammill. Ive used Gammill's for years and bought a brand new one in 2006. I used it to rent to customers who wanted to Long Arm. Ive seen many students go on to become wonderful quilters. I bought a second one used a year later. My Husband had to rent a truck and go pick it up bring it back and reassemble himself. Gammill staff answered questions over the phone even though we bought it used! We have been pleased with both of those machines. Recently I sold my original Gammill to an employee for close to what I paid for it! I replaced with a new Gammill vision. I also upgraded our 2nd one to the vision system. I also now have 2 Statlers. Stitch regulated Gammills with a table start at $8995. Gammill offers easy financing. If you have a dealer near you. I'd go look at them right away. If you want to look at used check www.LongArmUniversity.com Good luck!
    Thanks for sharing that info, good to know for sure!

  12. #12
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer22206
    I've been quilting since I was 16, and I'm now 28. I love quilting, and began to seriously look into getting a long arm for about 3 years. I have tried all types of machines, and multiple times each. Every time I went to a quilt show, I'd try all the machines, and write down pros/cons of each. Then I'd go home and research more. I've joined quite a few yahoo groups, and talked to tons of people.

    So, after 3 years of serious thought, and MULTIPLE try outs of the machines, I've decided on the Nolting for me. So I'll be saving up for one, and in 2 years for my 30th birthday (or earlier) DH and I will be buying one.

    I have also used one of my friends Noltings to quilt two charity quilts, so although I don't own one right now, I do know how they handle, and can say that I have quilted on one.

    You need to find the one that's right for you. The one that I want, may or may not be the one for you!
    Thank you for that great advise!

  13. #13
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyAire
    I was the 'weakest link' when I purchased my long arm and I'm still the 'weakest link'. But, my machine is strictly for my own pleasure. I never intended to do quilts to please anyone except me.
    And that is the only way to be! Thank you!

  14. #14
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i knew i wanted a longarm within the first couple of months of quilting.

    i hated quilting by moving the quilt and was never going to let someone else quilt my quilts for me.

    i like to have total control over the project instead of allowing someone else to put their artistic voice on my work.


    it took me about 12 months or so to find a used setup that i wanted.

    i was a beginner when i got it since it was my first time ever using a longarm.

    at this point i would consider myself advanced or professional since i make my living thru quilting.

  15. #15
    Ghetohound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabric_fancy
    i knew i wanted a longarm within the first couple of months of quilting.

    i hated quilting by moving the quilt and was never going to let someone else quilt my quilts for me.

    i like to have total control over the project instead of allowing someone else to put their artistic voice on my work.


    it took me about 12 months or so to find a used setup that i wanted.

    i was a beginner when i got it since it was my first time ever using a longarm.

    at this point i would consider myself advanced or professional since i make my living thru quilting.
    My only true hobby is genealogy and I have been doing that for over 20 years. I knew immediately when I started, that I loved it. I feel the same way about quilting. I have tried other things, but nothing even comes close.

    Funny thing, I have very fond memories of my grandmother making quilts, but I never even tried to sew until recently! It truly bit me and I will follow this passion! Thanks for sharing!

  16. #16
    Senior Member allie1448's Avatar
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    I have an HQ Avante and love it! I had zero experience when she arrived but have been able to do some passable quilting to finish my projects off.
    I now give lessons on her and also rent out time for quilters to come and finish off their projects so that they can say they did it all. It is really great fun!

  17. #17
    Senior Member quilticing's Avatar
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    Search the previous topics to get more opinions.

  18. #18
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    Just buy the good thread/ no cheep stuff the long arm will not like it.thread is 16.00--to 28.00 round about.batting isn't cheep neither it goes up all the time. :|

  19. #19
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    Check with your quilt shops. My friend and I took a class on using the APQS. We now have rented times to go and do our own quilting. I love it. I have quilted five tops and ready to bind. Three of these have been laying around the house for a year waiting for me to get them done. Just purchased a new Janome. Have to wait to purchase a long arm.

  20. #20
    Member cdr1182's Avatar
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    I am in a similar same situation as you are. I have have embroidery machines and wanted to combine embroidery with quilting but am now I am looking at the whole experience and that includes a long arm machine. My problem would be space though. I told my DH that instead of a sewing room I need a sewing suite. Keep us posted on your search.
    Daryl

  21. #21
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    I recently bought an Avante and we are fast becoming friends. I have completed nine quilts on it and my skills are becoming better - even did a quilt for a friend. It is a big expenditure to begin with, you need lots of space and good thread is costly. BUT the satisfaction from completing the whole thing - PRICELESS

    Check out the brands, test drive and get the one that suits you

  22. #22
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    Started machine quilting on my Pfaff Grand Quilter, bought a Hinterburg frame, used the two of them together for about a year, then purchased a Voyager 17 to use. Took a while to get use to it, but am very happy with it. I quilt just for me and don't plan on trying to make any money using it.

  23. #23
    Super Member ksea's Avatar
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    I have been researching LA for about 6-8 months now, have it narrowed down to 2 or three but not ready to decide yet!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghetohound
    Hi All...Im hoping for a little advise.

    Im very curious about long-arm quilting. I know the long-arms are truly expensive and a purchase like that is not to be taken lightly.

    I would like anyone who has purchased and used a long arm to give me a little background on their level of expertise when they decided to take the jump and try it.

    The reason im asking is that I am truly hooked on quilting! Yes I know I have only done two quilts, but I know myself well enough to know when I love something and this, is one of a very short list.

    With that being said,
    Did it take you long to learn it and what level of a quilter would you have considered yourself when you decided to buy it?
    I "tried" out a longarm at every quilt show that had one available. I also was able to rent from a couple of the local quilt shops before I purchased. If there is any chance for you to do that, I'd recomend you do that. You have to pay for a class on the longarm and that class pays for itself when you get your own machine because you will feel more comfortable and not be afraid to get started. I know a couple of gals that bought and then never used their machine because they didn't know what to do. They ended up selling.

  25. #25
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer22206
    I've been quilting since I was 16, and I'm now 28. I love quilting, and began to seriously look into getting a long arm for about 3 years. I have tried all types of machines, and multiple times each. Every time I went to a quilt show, I'd try all the machines, and write down pros/cons of each. Then I'd go home and research more. I've joined quite a few yahoo groups, and talked to tons of people.

    So, after 3 years of serious thought, and MULTIPLE try outs of the machines, I've decided on the Nolting for me. So I'll be saving up for one, and in 2 years for my 30th birthday (or earlier) DH and I will be buying one.

    I have also used one of my friends Noltings to quilt two charity quilts, so although I don't own one right now, I do know how they handle, and can say that I have quilted on one.

    You need to find the one that's right for you. The one that I want, may or may not be the one for you!
    That is awesome to have other young quilters out there like me. This is good advice. I will use it as well when I finally have room and a place to longarm

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