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Curious about long arm quilting...

Curious about long arm quilting...

Old 03-30-2015, 02:33 AM
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Location: Haverhill, MA
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I have a question for the original poster �� If your husband bought a motorcycle just to ride around and enjoy, or if he bought a boat to go fishing, or even bought wood working tools, do you think he would consider "recouping the cost" of any of those items ? I honestly dont know why us (and I definitely include myself in this) have to justify the purchase of something that we will just enjoy. I have to work really hard to tell myself that it is ok to buy an expensive toy. It brings me joy and quite frankly that is justification enough. ��

I will suggest renting a machine before buying, make sure it is what you want. I dont believe long arms are easier per se, the issues are different. While not having to struggle with a small harp, getting it straight on the machine is a challenge in itself. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-30-2015, 02:58 AM
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Once you decide on which machine you prefer, you can always look for a used one. Most LA quilters baby their machines and take good care of them, so most used machines are in really great shape. Many LA companies have used machines for sale, and you can try boards such as Longarm University and MQ Resource, as they both have used machines for sale.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:04 AM
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I went to a quilt show recently and got to try out a long arm. What fun!! Of course this was brand new and probably top of the line. I don't have the space to keep a machine in my home so owning one is totally out of the question for me. But I'd highly recommend you try to attend a show at some point and just test some out. It's 100% different than FMQ on my DSM.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cathyvv View Post
I have a mid arm, Handi-Quilter 16 on a frame. It uses a "robot" carriage that takes orders from a pc to move the Hq16 through a quilting pattern on the frame. I need that kind of system as my arms, hands, etc. can't handle it, and LA is too expensive. I bought the system used at a very good price; it meets my needs.

But, no, I would not consider LA as a business. I'm retired and I don't want to "Have" to do anything - and it is hard work.
except for the HQ16, I'm like cathyvv... especially the retired part .
i had the computer robot, but sold that set up. i prefer doing the freehand.
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Old 03-30-2015, 03:49 AM
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i have a long arm and i do not hire out. i just have it for my own use
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:07 AM
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If I had room for a sit down quilt only machine I would buy it. I have no room big enough so I will just be happy quilting on my 9" throat machines.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:44 AM
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I have a mid-arm on a frame, in my living room, which I bought used. I quilt mostly for myself and family, and some charity quilts. The frame makes things much easier when it comes to sandwiching and FMQ. When I win the lottery, I intend to upgrade to a new system with all the bells and whistles.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:48 AM
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I am odd man out. I quilted professionally for 10 years and I still quilt on my Bernina 1530. I had a large table constructed and good support so I never had problem with my smaller harp. I did not stipple and that might be why.
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:36 AM
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I'd love to buy one but I don't have the room for it. If I find the space and buy one (which I might in a few years if/when we move), I will NOT be using it for income! Quilting is my hobby and I refuse to make it into a job! I intend to not need to work in my retirement and have been diligently saving towards that goal that since I was 19.

I could see myself donating my time to do quilting on charity quilts. But quilting other people's quilts for pay...that just sounds like work to me. I don't ever want quilting to feel like WORK. It's what I do to get AWAY from work!
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:50 AM
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I bought my LA for multiple reasons:

1. Prior, I was a hand quilter. It took me way to long to complete a quilt and I have way to many quilts I want to make.
2. My initial attempts at FMQ on my domestic were not fun and not good. I was constantly tensed up and my motion was herky jerky
3. I hate making the quilt sandwich with a white hot passion. Frame quilting eliminates that step. YAY.
4. I took a class to rent time on a LA and I loved it but also realized very quickly to get good at it I needed the practice time and I wasn't going to get that renting one.
5. While Carolyn MT does bring up some valid points, I have the big boy toy as well (my Harley Road King) so I did feel the need to justify the purchase. And yes a large LA setup inclusive of rack and stitch regulator runs almost as much as a HD Sportster motorcycle. Add robotics (which I don't have) it can quickly approach the cost of a new SUV!
6. I justified the purchase thinking I could supplement my retirement quilting for others.

As far as quilting for others being too much like work, well that all depends on your passion for it. Confucius said, and this is paraphrased, "if you love what you do you will never have to work a day in your life". While I have gotten some challenging quilts I have never felt it was like work. I love looking at other peoples interpretations of patchwork and color. I consider myself very lucky that I get to see so many different styles of quilting and so many beautiful quilts. As long as I allow ample time for your own projects I never feel like I have ruined my hobby by making it too much like work. And I have gained valuable experience by working on other peoples quilts. I still work full time at a "day job" so I may feel differently when I retire and am devoting more time to quilting. As for me, I love quilting for other people, I guess because I love quilting. I have made some great friends and gotten to stare at some drop dead gorgeous quilts and had a hand in helping to make them even prettier.
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