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Thread: DIY long arm quilting at LQS

  1. #26
    Member janbland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Smyrna, GA
    A couple ideas... If you find that you like long-arming after your class, but don't want to spend a lot of time loading the quilt, some shops around here let you buy an extra set of leaders. You can then pin your quilt at home and then attach the leader to the frame with velcro in a short amount of time. Also, you can practice at home with a dry erase board. You can practice meanders, swirls, feathers, etc. on the dry erase board. The trick is to use your arm to move your marker, not your wrist because that's what you do with the long-arm machine. It helps build your muscle memory in your arm for when you actually do use the machine. Good luck!

  2. #27
    Junior Member Mollie'sMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    South Ga.
    Quote Originally Posted by barri1 View Post
    I would love to do it. The price is decent. The class is only $35. I just hate the drive. I'm five minutes from JFK. Might really consider it. I was at the quilt show in Lancaster, and was able to play with a LA.. It was a lot of fun.. I'm wondring if it woud help to have a quilting buddy work with you. In other words. Rent the machine for four hours, and work with another quilter on both of your quilts. When one isn't working, they could read, or do something else, but when there is a problem, two heads are better than one.. I have no room for a LA, but would love one. I don't have anything to quilt, as I am involved in a major QAYG project.
    Barri1-- are you saying to load two quilts on to the machine at once? You might consider that the quilts must be the same size or same length anyway. And both quilts would have to be quilted before being advanced on the roll bar.

  3. #28
    Super Member Mornigstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Bobcaygeon,On./ Bonita Springs, Fl
    I was reading this thread about LAQ and thinking of you and your service. I have planned to come see you when I have a quilt but since the beginning of May I have been confined due to knee surgery. Getting better now so sure
    looking forward to touching /sewing fabric again. It's like going thru withdrawals for me.
    If we ever get to just go for a ride ( 2 hrs.) maybe we could stop to see you .

    Quote Originally Posted by allie1448 View Post
    Go for it!! Lol. I rent out my longarm machine after giving a two hour class which covers the basics. I stay around for as alittle or as much help as the quilter needs. Every quilter has then, after the class, quilted a quilt and been amazed at how simple and how much fun it is to meander their own quilts. Most are now regular customers and use pantos and stencils too. My class is $40 with all fabrics for the sample sandwich supplied and my hourly rate is $15. First hour is $25 though to cover the extra time for loading as i always help with that to ensure it is done as evenly as possible.

  4. #29
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    La Pine Oregon, USA
    I think you've asked a fair question --- now my answer. How fast YOU are is not something anyone can answer. I have a friend that I let use my machine for a charity quilt. She discovered how tiring it is! Think exercise --- when you first start using it, you feel like you've been beaten up (at least, those of us that don't regularly exercise, it does! ). She also discovered how hard it is to control the machine. BUT, when I started, I didn't find it as hard as she did. It takes a while to get comfortable with it. Two hour class and a practice piece should get you where you enjoy the meandering, etc. Anything like feathers, crosshatching, etc, will take longer -- a lot longer. I say go for it and ENJOY. At least, then you'll know whether you'd like it or not!!!!

    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." by George Bernard Shaw

  5. #30
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    I would be so-o-o-o all over that! I have looked for a place here that rents time on a longarm, and no one does. I'd gladly pay the class fee and rental for the price your LQS is charging.
    Shirley in Arizona

  6. #31
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Statesville, NC
    I rent the LA at my LQS. I didn't have to take a class but the owner or her DH are right there to help if there's a problem. Cost is 1-1/2 cents/sq. in. plus setup which is about $15 I think. I haven't done anything on my home machine. It's too much trouble and I'm not any good at FMQ yet.

    "If the devil could dance in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine."

    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Long Island
    Quote Originally Posted by linynp View Post
    Hahaha! I too went to pq in east Northport and took the class. I've now rented the machine a few times and love it! Easy and staff friendly and helpful. Now I make the dash to finish a quilt to play in it more. Meander on a full took only about a bit more than 2 hours! Sewtime is doing a similar thing with the new pfaff la. Hmmm might just try it. I would recommend doing a quilt soon after the class so it's fresh. Have fun!
    Reading all these posts was really helpful and if you don't mind I'd like to pick your brain especially because you went to PQ in East Northport. Do they use any grips for loading the quilt (red snapper and similar)? I know nothing about LAQ and now I canno wait to take my class.

  8. #33
    Super Member grandme26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Central Arkansas
    just used the LA at my LQS and loved it. They pinned the quilt and all to the different roolers and set it up for me. I choose the pattern I wanted to follow with the pinpoint light and away I went. Not perfect put it looks great and I did it myself. Have appointments set up for 3 more quilts by Christmas. It was fun and you should take the class. My top was for a throw and it took me just over an hour to do it.
    Grandmeto6 aka Judy

  9. #34
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    That price is very good. When I learned to LA in the SF Bay area, it was $100 for the class (4 hours) and no free rental. The shop did charge $10/hour to start, later raised their rates to $12, but no minimum. They started with an Nolting (no stitch regulator) and upgraded to a non-regulated Gammill. The shop also had someone available at all times for assistance with the machine. Then I moved to LV and the only place that rented had a Tin Lizzie at the time and the class was $125. Their rental was $25/hr with a 2 hour minimum, but I didn't have to rent by that time. I don't know how they work it.

    I was glad to learn how to LA and appreciated the availability of a rental machine, but was glad to buy my own, since the shop was on the other side of town.
    Last edited by caspharm; 09-09-2012 at 11:33 AM.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    LAQ rental

    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    My LQS has a Babylock Jewel that you can rent per hour. The condition is that you take 2 hr class that introduces you to the machine and teaches you how to load the quilt, thread the machine, etc. The class comes with 2 free hours of rental.
    I know nothing about long arm quilting and this is the first time I have seen a long arm machine in person. It sounds very tempting because fighting a queen size quilt on my domestic sewing machine can sometimes be very frustrating.
    Did any of you try something like this? This is not a computerized machine so how many hours do you think I would need to rent the beast to get marginally acceptable meandering on a practice sheet? Is loading going to take me forever? Any advice you can give me will be helpful. I believe the frame is Grace and I saw some bungee cables hanging on the side (please don't laugh I know nothing about this). Thank you all for your help!

    I took a lesson on the LAQ at our local quilt shop, I then rented it by the hour and quilted a twin quilt randomly and it only took about 4 hours from the start to finish. Once it is pinned on, it is very easy and fast. I loved using it, just wished I could afford one for myself. I recommend taking the class and renting the machine if you can afford it. Good luck.

  11. #36
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I help my sister sometimes when she uses her long arm to quilt. Most of the time we can get a quilt quilted in about three hours. It always takes longer than we think, as the tension will get wrong, thread will break, etc. If she has her pattern picked out and the machine threaded, it takes about three hours, even with a few problems. If the top, backing, and batting are already on the machine, it takes less time.

    Like someone said, it is a very individual thing, and it depends on the size of the quilt. My sister feels like her machine is only happy if she is sewing a bit slower than she wants to, so that may have something to do with it.


  12. #37
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Odessa, Washington
    If the machine is stitch-regulated, you could probably do a simple medium-sized meander on your queen-sized quilt in 3-4 hours. I could do it faster, but that is only because I have a longarm and have been longarming for 4 years. I'm trying to remember back how long it took me at first! If you want to be more skilled when you first lay your happy hands on that longarm, draw out the design you want to do...lots! Doodle that meander whenever your hands aren't busy - it builds muscle memory and translates well to the longarm. And since you are renting time on the machine, if there is a problem, there will be someone there to fix any problem you run into. I think it sound very reasonable - I would not let anyone use my machine without lessons on it first!!! Go for it and have fun - just be warned, it is addicting!!!

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