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Thread: Just purchased a Long arm Gracie (king) quilt frame with a mid (9") arm..... oh dear!

  1. #1
    Super Member babyfireo4's Avatar
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    Just purchased a Long arm Gracie (king) quilt frame with a mid (9") arm..... oh dear!

    We have to wait until Monday to bring it home because my dealer just got it as a trade in and had the table at his home because it wouldn't fit in his store and wanted to service the machine before it came home with us. I'm not even sure what model the machine is! I know it's a Janome (1600P I think but not sure at all!).

    Table and Machine after tax $851. Called my DH and he said I'd be in trouble if I didn't jump on that offer! Best DH EVER!!!!

    I know it might seem impulsive to purchase it without looking close at the machine and not even having seen the table but I know my sewing guy and he is the most honest person I've ever met that owns a business. I got my Elna 5200 from him and since I bought it new from him he services it free anytime no exclusions as often as needed. He also guarantees that every part is in working order and accounted for, heck he said to call after we get it home and set up and will come to my house (free) and teach me how everything works! His business has been here forever and if any of his customers (actually you don't even have to be a customer) has a question or needs troubleshooting just call him up. He knows exactly what I am looking for and need in a machine, in short I really trust him!

    I did ask a few questions though, the table will accomodate a long-arm machine up to 18" throat, the machine coming with it is compatable with a stitch regulator but does not come with one. He can get one for me and install it for about 6-7 hundred, I found one on e-bay for 5 but I don't know about installing it myself or if either of these is a decent deal......

    I am a bit nervous because I just did some measuring and found out the only wall in our house long enough to accomodate it is the living room! oops.... well I guess the house will have to be rearranged because I don't think a deal like this well show up again!

    Soooo...... I would love to know what you know about learning to use a mid-arm machine that a complete newbie would need to know. Thread preference, batting preference, how many tops should I have ready to learn on? Anything I should beware of? What is a good thing to begin practicing on? You know all the beginner questions I'm sure you've answered a million times on here just explain it a million and one please!!! lol
    http://babyfire04.blogspot.com/
    If it makes you happy, it's worth the time!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Congratulations! I only own a domestic machine so I will be of no help, I only wanted to say congrats on your new toy. Enjoy it!
    I've got a smile on my face, I've got four walls around me
    The sun in the sky, the water surrounds me
    I'll win now but sometimes I'll lose
    I've been battered, but I'll never bruise

  3. #3
    Super Member dublb's Avatar
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    Congratulations! I bet ya have a grand time with it.
    Bev
    My initials are BB, so dublb is double B.

  4. #4
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    This is just too coincidental! Mon, DIL and I got the same machine and frame...found it on Craig's List. It had been used for 1 1/2 baby quilts when the owner fell sick and died unexpectedly. I did have to pay $1300 for it, but the seller threw in 7garbage bagsful of QSQ fabric and over $1500 (retail) in quilting books. I have fabric stacked clear down the hallway and am still planning how to rearrange the sewing rm to accommodate the frame.
    It sounds like this was a lucky wk for both of us! We'll have to compare notes once we get up and going!!!

  5. #5
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Congratulations and good luck. You are lucky to get such a great find.
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  6. #6
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    congrats on you purchase. any machine on a free motion frame is tecnically considered a long arm. when i got my machine i practices pantos on strip quilts, throw size. for stenciling and free motion, just sandwich muslin and practice away. if i can help answer any questions, let me know! have fun!

  7. #7
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    Yeah for YOU!!!!

  8. #8
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I had exactly the same setup but upgraded to a Tin Lizzie 18LS. You will enjoy the Gracie and the Janome. You can leave it set up as a smaller frame if you want, then add on the rest when you quilt a bigger quilt. Good luck and enjoy it.

  9. #9
    Super Member babyfireo4's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your kind comments
    Joyce- I'd love to compare notes! I'll PM you in a min. so it will be easier to message you later
    Pungogal- You might be hearing from me before long! I'll need all the help I can get. I'm far from mastering fmq on my domestic let alone on a mid-arm!
    Quilter1- how did you like the set-up before you upgraded?
    http://babyfire04.blogspot.com/
    If it makes you happy, it's worth the time!

  10. #10
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    Congrats on your purchase. I believe the 1600P, the Viking Megaquilter, and the Pfaff Grandquilter 1200 are all the same machine. If you ever have questions about your machine be sure to search on all the machines because the answers are interchangeable.

    My wife and I have the Pfaff. When we first started using it we had a lot of trouble, and I have posted several times about some of the problems we had and how we resolved them. If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me, or you can search my posts about the quilter. We are able to use Maxi Lock polyester serger thread and Connecting Threads essential cotton. I have done all the quilting so far, and I have only used three patterns: a meander, a botanical-type pattern that "nests" into two rows, and a group of musical symbols that we drew ourselves. The purchased patterns that we have used came out of a book from Golden Threads http://www.goldenthreads.com/shop/category/pantographs/ .

    I hope you enjoy your new toy.

    Darren

  11. #11
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    oh i hope you enjoy your set up. i have that same thing but i dont have the big frame.
    but i could add it if i wanted too. but the 1600p. runs so nice. i do have the stitch regulator
    and i do really like that. enjoy it is fun. to practice on i just put two pieces of older fabric
    with batting inbetween and went to town practice. when i bought the machine the guy
    told me to only use superior thread 50wt. and that is all i have used with no trouble.

  12. #12
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Does your table also have the option of half size? Mine is the Imperial and I can set it up at half the size and thats about all you can do with a 9in throat machine anyway.
    You got a bargain, mine ran $1800 with a Baby Lock Jane machine.

  13. #13
    Super Member babyfireo4's Avatar
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    Rose Marie, honestly, I have no idea yet Hopefully, it will get to come home monday and we can all find out! If it can be set up at half size that would be great, I'll just have to watch the size of quilts I make until we find a new place.
    http://babyfire04.blogspot.com/
    If it makes you happy, it's worth the time!

  14. #14
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    If your not a creative person and trust me there's nothing wrong with that! I'm crafty not artsy, I use panographs and I love the way they turn out great even being a newbie!!
    *Rachel*

  15. #15
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pungogal View Post
    congrats on you purchase. any machine on a free motion frame is tecnically considered a long arm.
    No this is not true. It is the throat space of the machine that signifies what is considered a short, medium or longarm. The fact that the machine is mounted on a frame does not make it a longarm, it just makes it a machine mounted on a carriage and rack system. The measurement designations I have seen are anything with a throat greater than 18" is considered a longarm, 9 to 18" is considered midarm and anything less is a shortarm or domestic machine. However, many manufacturers play fast and loose with naming vs measurement. I have seen many 18" throats referred to as LA. Point is, a machine on a rack is not what designates a longarm.

    To the OP, congratulations on a great deal and a wonderful new toy. The only suggestions I can offer is don't be afraid to use it and don't be afraid to try the hardest thing you can. I draw A LOT to get muscle memory. So doodle any opportunity you have. If you want to quilt feathers, draw feathers. Don't be concerned that not every single loop is the same size, only a computer can do that. Have fun and enjoy the trip.

  16. #16
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
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    Great find for you!

  17. #17
    Super Member babyfireo4's Avatar
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    It's all set up I even have a top on it after a bit of practicing a stipple. Need lots more practice but since extra fabric and batting that I'm willing to throw out are non existant we'll learn as we go
    Name:  DSC02941.JPG
Views: 145
Size:  847.5 KB

    Loving it so far, now if I can figure out how to tell the cats it is NOT a new bed for them!!!
    http://babyfire04.blogspot.com/
    If it makes you happy, it's worth the time!

  18. #18
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Congratulations, love seeing the picture, You go girl
    ♥ Craftybear♥ Google Goddess Surfing Queen of Links ♥
    http://quiltingforbeginners.blogspot.com/
    http://quiltinglibraryworldwide.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My cat tore up the batting I had on the rollers with my quilt. Had to take the whole thing off and throw away the batting.
    He even tore up the middle of it.

  20. #20
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting it set up! I have a Next Generation frame with the Pfaff and it's still sitting in my garage waiting for me to set it up. It's on my to do list, but I haven't had much time lately. I'm so glad to hear you're able to use it so quickly!

  21. #21
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    Enjoy your new found treasure!
    A bed without a quilt is like the night sky without stars.

    http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
    Senior Member mshollysd's Avatar
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    I have both a 9" Juki and a Pfaff Grandquilter 18-8 (new). I recommend a very strong but thin bobbin thread, like Bottom Line. The bobbin takes a lot more thread with a 50-60 weight thread and that thread doesn't break easy. I also use Connecting threads cotton top thread, but like varigated cotton thread also.

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