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Compare stationary long-arm with moveable long-arm

Compare stationary long-arm with moveable long-arm

Old 11-18-2017, 07:18 AM
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Default Compare stationary long-arm with moveable long-arm

I presently have a Platinum 16 stationary long-arm. I am thinking about getting a long-arm where you move the machine not the quilt. I would like to know the thoughts from anyone who has switched machines as I am thinking of doing. What are the pros and cons? Thank you! Debapril
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:04 AM
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I never had a sit down but did use my DSM for quite some years to practice and had several classes using sit down long arms so it was a tough decision for me to chose between a sit down and standing long arm. Several of the reasons I chose standing longarm you can work both standing and sitting, you can do pantographs, no basting prior to quilting, ability to add computer at future date if wanted. I have had my HQ Avante about 2 months and thought it would be a huge learning curve since i was used to sit down but I find the muscle memory is the same. I haven't had any issues with designs I was previously comfortable with. I do find attaching the quilt tedious but I am currently looking to purchase an add on to make attaching quilts quicker and less stress on my back ( basting is hard on my back so I see this as a better solution to sit down basting). I do have a saddle stool and sit in front and use mostly my microhandles and am waiting to purchase the precise pantograph so I can sit in the back to do pantographs. I really enjoy practicing on my longarm and don't regret my purchase. I did choose my model because I adore my dealer and it is the brand he sells and since I have't had any issues with him I haven't strayed, but there are lots of wonderful brands out there.My dealer has been around a long time so don't see them closing as so many quilt shops have. I have a quilt shop I love but dealer support is super important and I worry about her being in business 10 years from now since most of my quilt shops tend to be owned by older ladies and they all keep retiring and closing down. The pros of the sit down to me is the comfort level and you don't have to look under machine to check tension, it takes up a lot less space, there are not as many components to be concerned with, less accessories to buy(ruler base, microhandles, pantograph supplies, channel locks, batting hammock), less cleaning( you have to clean frame and track to keep smooth, sit downs cost a lot less money overall compared to many longarms. I got a good deal on mine because they came out with a new model so mine was discounted a lot for this reason. Pros for long arm you can both stand and sit giving you multiple positions to get comfortable, no basting, can be a lot faster to get quilts done. I feel its less stress on shoulders and back than moving quilt around. Have more options for doing quilts other than just freehand. Both are great IMHO and if I had space and money I would own both.

Last edited by Dolphyngyrl; 11-18-2017 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 11-18-2017, 01:04 PM
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With arthritis in my hands it was getting harder to move the quilts under the needle of my machines so I was finishing fewer quilts. After playing with a long arm I knew this was my answer. My long arm is also an HQ Avante. It's so much easier to move the machine. I don't find loading a quilt on a long arm any more tedious than sandwiching a quilt for a domestic machine.

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Old 11-18-2017, 01:42 PM
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I do not like basting, that is avoided with a long arm on a frame.

But you do need to have a room large enough for the LA. I am lucky to have lots of space in my home.

I also find I find it hard to move even a small quilt around on my dsm.

There are cost constraints too. I paid for a 10 year old HQ16 what I would have paid for a sit down system. A newer LA on a frame would cost more and I may decide to upgrade in a couple years.

I would not be interested in one of the LA machines on the small frames (Little Foot etc), because you still have to baste.
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Old 11-18-2017, 02:07 PM
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I quilted on my domestic for a long time it was really hard on my body especially the shoulders. So I found a place that would rent a long arm so I did that and found out it was easier on my body and it was more fun. So now I have a long arm if you could rent time on a long arm you could find out for yourself.
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Old 11-18-2017, 10:55 PM
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I have been looking at both for a while and decided that a sit down was as much hassle as quilting on my Juki as I would still have to haul the quilt around and I like to make large quilts. I’m going for a stand up, for me it’s so much easier and quicker.
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Old 11-19-2017, 07:11 PM
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i agree with everything said by all the above posters--I find the long arm so much easier to use and get the results I want--there is no way I'd be doing the complex designs and micro quilting I sometimes do on a sit down machine--lots of people will say that standing to quilt is hard on your body--which it can be, but I use both fatigue mats (when standing) and a drafting stool.
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Old 11-20-2017, 04:39 AM
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Space is a consideration. Long arm frames take up a lot of room.

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Old 11-20-2017, 05:10 AM
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I used to sit down and quilt on my Janome 6500 and now use a long arm to quilt. I do feel there was a stiff learning curve to change. some things I really like about a long arm on a frame are that the basting is done on the frame, you can stand or sit down and it is easier to quilt. Some thing I do not like is that your quilting is more in a left and or right direction and it is somewhat limited.
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