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Thread: Free Motion or Computer?

  1. #1
    Super Member bamamama's Avatar
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    When choosing someone to quilt for you do you perfer someone who works freehand or do you perfer someone who uses a computerized Long Arm?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Great question...I will be watching this thead. I longarm for the public but am not computerized. I have heard people complain that computerized designs sometimes stitch over an area 3-4 times and this is unattractive....but if I had 12K doing nothing, I would be sorely tempted!!!
    Michelle

  3. #3
    Super Member tammy cosper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michellesews
    Great question...I will be watching this thead. I longarm for the public but am not computerized. I have heard people complain that computerized designs sometimes stitch over an area 3-4 times and this is unattractive....but if I had 12K doing nothing, I would be sorely tempted!!!
    Michelle
    Is there not some kind of adjustment that can be put in when you load the computer quilting to be done, that would lesson the times it back tracks? So to speak?
    Tammy

  4. #4
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    I gravitate more towards contemporary style quilts so tend to like computerized, allover quilting better than FMQ. I am fascinated by the artistry of FMQ though and will have a couple of my more traditional tops FMQ'd (as soon as they leave the UFO stage)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    It's all in choice of design! If you want open designs, let your quilter know. When I'm working with a customer on a quilt, I enter the size of the quilt, then together we decide the design and the density of the design.

    For quilts with an edge to edge design (pantos) the computer really does save our bodies for the more intensive custom work, and (at least with me) you get a choice of hundreds of designs, not the 30 I had on paper. The computer guided system also allows me to manipulate the fabric if I need to as the quilt is quilted, instead of looking at a laser dot on a piece of paper to guide the machine. I really do prefer to look at your quilts!

    For those of you that want only hand guided work on your quilt, most of us with the computer guided system can quilt without the computer.

  6. #6
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    It is up to what the customer wants.

    I don't notice the computer going over stitches any more than I would do it free motion.

    The computer allows for each design to be perfect, to fit into each block or an overall design or a mixture of designs. It also makes it easier to remember what design was used in the beginning and make it exact in the end. This is helpful when there is a span of time between start and finishing of the quilt.

    Computer designs can be adjusted to fit large areas or smaller areas and keep the design perfect. (Although some designs look better larger, some smaller). So you can have it quilted as open or as tight as you like.
    I can also program my computer system to be on point or on square, and fit in any space the customer and I agree on.

    There are so many designs available for the computer systems if you have an idea of what you would like on your quilt there is most likely a pattern for it.

    Hope that helps.

    Phyllis
    aka
    QuiltingGrannie
    Quilter's Pantry

  7. #7
    Super Member katiebear1's Avatar
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    Well, I do all my quilting on my Pfaff . It has a ten inch throat and I can do a king size fairly easily. So of course mine is all FMQ. I really don't see myself sending a quil out to be quilted. I LIKE to do my own . I am getting better with the FMQ and my quilts stay at home or are gifted to family and they really don't care if there are some mistakes They add charecter SP? That's my story and I am sticking with it LOL

  8. #8
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    Free motion..as I do not care for TONS of quilting, micro anything, and designs like animals, etc...I like more traditional styled quilting!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Digitizingqueen's Avatar
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    having a computerized long arm set up - you can pick designs that are more ope and pretty much depict anything you want from pictures to loops or leaves or even stipple, some designs stitch over themselves a lot others do not this depends on a lot sometimes it is the designer sometimes it is the specific designs you have lots of options and stuff can be blow up to an extent on the computer to make them more open...I personally dont care for really dense quilting but you can do all of that and more

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    I don't have a computer set up..yet. I promised myself to learn FMQ first, ruler work next and then later I'll add the computer and learn that. I think it's best to be very versatile if your quilting for others, you never know what someone is going to ask you to do. I like the idea of a computer because the designs would be a lot more consistent in size and spacing and some people would want that. That said FMQ allows the true artist in you to come out and you can really play up how the quilt speaks to you as you work. I find that the most fun!

  11. #11
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    I don't have anything against computers, but Charisma of this board does the most AMAZING work, free hand. She's a true artistic genius, so that's where my quilts will go until I get a LOT better at FMQ, unless I have the time to hand quilt, or if it's all straight lines.

  12. #12
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    I cross lines and backtrack alot more often while doing free-motion than I do when using the PC Quilter. I can digitize meanders & loop de loops but it's easier to just load the frame & go at it than to figure out the math and tell the computer to do it & I can make snap decisions on the fly. The PC quilter just does what it's told and nothing else so I use both and am very happy.

  13. #13
    Super Member bjeriann's Avatar
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    I don't know much about the computer quilted quilts. I have one, quilt that is. When I look at it - it's to perfect. I like seeing the little variations of the FMQing. I would love to be as good a Charisma - oh heck - I'd be thrilled to be 1/2 as good as her. I think I'll stick with FMQ. I feel it brings the artist out in me. BUT I would like to see how the computer ones are set up.
    Now this is just my opinion. Last time I voiced my opinion I was reamed royaly for it. So if I have offended anyone I sure didn't mean to.

  14. #14
    Member Margo in Maine's Avatar
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    I like it all....I do my own meandering....I have two friend..one gets my larger quilts and it is computerized...the 2nd friend get those I just do not want to do usually singles and does her own designs...i prefer the personal touch and design...I do not like it real close as I think it takes away from the beauty of everything put into it. just my opinion.

  15. #15
    QKO
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    I hate to sound really stupid, but where does pantograph quilting fall on this spectrum, free motion, or computer?

  16. #16
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    Pantos are hand-guided following a pattern or can be computerized. They are not free motion.

  17. #17
    Super Member ladyshuffler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    I hate to sound really stupid, but where does pantograph quilting fall on this spectrum, free motion, or computer?
    I will watch to see who responds to this as well............. I would think free motion, you are following the pattern not the computer doing the work!!

  18. #18
    Thusnelda's Avatar
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    I've never sent in a quilt to be quilted by a long-armer and most likely never will. But looking at the pictures here on the forum I prefer the slight irregularity of FMQ to the computerized or pantograph designs. It looks more real and lively to my eyes.

  19. #19
    Member Margo in Maine's Avatar
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    QKO..Pantograph pre drawn pattern and is followed by a laser light...I do not particularly like it. I have a hard time following...rather do my own design..

  20. #20
    Super Member dmyers's Avatar
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    I love both free motion and computer quilting! As well as ruler work and templates or pantographs. I think they're all fun ways to complete a quilt on my LA.

  21. #21
    cdufur's Avatar
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    It depends on the quilt. I like both.

  22. #22
    Super Member clsurz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michellesews
    Great question...I will be watching this thead. I longarm for the public but am not computerized. I have heard people complain that computerized designs sometimes stitch over an area 3-4 times and this is unattractive....but if I had 12K doing nothing, I would be sorely tempted!!!
    Michelle
    I know of 3-4 long arm quilters within couple towns and one runs it like a real business and has the computerized one. I have yet to see any of her quilts as you mention here. I'm thinking it's the operator of the machine and how they set it up that messes it and not the computerized program. After all a computerized program will only do what you tell it to do. The other gals have the non-computerized one and there work is also very nice.

  23. #23
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I think both have their place. I have a longarm but no computer, and I love doing custom quilting. I get bored doing E2E and I hate doing pantos so I just don't do them, so in a perfect world, I would have 2 longarms, one set up without a computer system and one with a computer, so I could do both at the same time.

    While here in Florida, a wonderful quilty friend let me use her Proto with IQ on a 14" frame to quilt a 130"x130" quilt that would not fit on my 12" frame. I got to learn how to use the IQ while doing this quilt and really liked how user-friendly it was. It was really cool to have the IQ quilting a row while I sat at my sewing machine and pieced another quilt!

    There is definitely a different skill set needed for computerized quilting as opposed to hand-guided LA quilting, but it is great for getting the pattern perfect every time - of course, placement is an issue for computerized quilting that is not a problem when I am guiding the LA - I can easily adjust to the size of the block, takes a bit more to do individual blocks with a computerized system. I will always take it as a complement if someone thinks my quilting was done by a computerized system :thumbup:

  24. #24
    Senior Member sunnymom's Avatar
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    I personally don't care for the computerized look. I think of quilting as "art" and think the non-perfect part of quilting gives more interest to the eye.

  25. #25
    QKO
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    I know what panto's are, and how they work, and have even tried them out.

    I just wanted opinions as to whether you considered them to be closer to free motion or more like computerized quilting.

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