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Thread: Long Arm Alternative, Maybe......

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Don't have a long arm machine for quilting, but make lots of throw size (40x60). HELP ME THINK THIS THROUGH, PLEASE.

    Position machine on table (like long arm or Flynn) and quilt back and forth across the quilt, rather than feeding thru the machine. My machine is sunken so I have a large flat surface. As each area is quilted, roll it back (under the throat plate area) and go on to the next area, OR

    Roll the quilt to the halfway point and quilt from the center to the end, unrolling as you go - then turn and repeat the process for the second half.

    I think I've got it clear in my head, but not sure how it reads here. I have that heavy Janome 1600P and before I lift that puppy and turn it around, I'd like some feedback. Does any of this make sense? Opinions, pros, cons, OR "have another piece of chocolate and forget this hairbrained scheme"

  2. #2
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    This sounds like something I might want to try too. How would we keep the quilt rolled? Maybe roll on pool noodles or a long 1x4 board?

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I think you're meaning, to turn your machine 1/4 turn clockwise, from the "traditional" direction of facing the machine? You'll never know if it's for you .... unless you try it! so go for it and let us know!!

    Some say to roll what you are not working on .... others say to just let it bunch and puddle. You really need to find what works for you!

  4. #4
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    I believe that someone else on the board here tried this and found it to work well. You may have more control, but remember, you still won't have any more room under the throat of your machine than you would the other way. The other person who did this felt it was helpful. I have a Flynn frame that I have never used, and you are correct, that is the way you sew when using that...from the end of the machine, with the machine oriented as a longarm machine would be. Good luck, would be interested in finding out how you like it.

    And the pool noodle roll up would be like the rails of a longarm. That's an interesting idea too.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Scotlass's Avatar
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    I think you should be able to do just fine by repositioning your machine and you can use what they call bicycle clips to hold the rolled quilt and if you roll it tightly you should be able to get it all in your 5 inches of harp height. If not then just turn the quilt around and go from the other end. We mid-armers do that all the time. Good luck

  6. #6
    Super Member bluteddi's Avatar
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    I simply ( tightly) roll my quilt, unroll as I quilt.If it is particularly heavy or larger, I hold the " roll" together with giant safety pins. Unroll , and repin as I quilt.
    I tried the option direction layout of my machine... as if with a Flynn ( no flynn frame tho-- throat is not very big and I think the flynn recommends a minimum of 6 inches?)I might get used to it but I decided it was just as easy to use it the traditional way.... for me anyway...

  7. #7
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    I have a Janone 1600p on a New Joy frame and I find it really hard to thread the machine looking at it from the front. Maybe that is just me, I haven't heard others mention it.

  8. #8
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    OK, Barb - You've heard it now!. I bought thre New Joy and the Janome 1600P together (they were demo'd together at the shop so I figured it was a safe bet). I played with it at the shop and was sold - couple of weeks later I bought it. It was fine til I needed to thread the machine.
    The construction of the New Joy shelf made threading the machine a major task that exhausted me to the point of "I'll thread it today, recupertate, and quilt tomorrow (only a slight exaggeration). I visited groups that had this setup and got tips and helps from all over the intenet. Some quilters had the New Joy/Janome 1600P combination and they admitted it could be difficult to thread, but encouraged me to "practice, practice, practice". I'm 70+ years old and I don't have that much time to practice. In frustration, I sold the New Joy, but kept the machine. I have 3 Janomes and love them all, including the 1600P (when it's sitting on my quilting table):>)
    Apparently, others have had good experiences with the New Joy- but NOT with the Janome.
    Something to think about when you're looking at New Joy. That darn shelf was the problem, it blocked the thread channel.

  9. #9
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissJMac
    OK, Barb - You've heard it now!. I bought thre New Joy and the Janome 1600P together (they were demo'd together at the shop so I figured it was a safe bet). I played with it at the shop and was sold - couple of weeks later I bought it. It was fine til I needed to thread the machine.
    The construction of the New Joy shelf made threading the machine a major task that exhausted me to the point of "I'll thread it today, recupertate, and quilt tomorrow (only a slight exaggeration). I visited groups that had this setup and got tips and helps from all over the intenet. Some quilters had the New Joy/Janome 1600P combination and they admitted it could be difficult to thread, but encouraged me to "practice, practice, practice". I'm 70+ years old and I don't have that much time to practice. In frustration, I sold the New Joy, but kept the machine. I have 3 Janomes and love them all, including the 1600P (when it's sitting on my quilting table):>)
    Apparently, others have had good experiences with the New Joy- but NOT with the Janome.
    Something to think about when you're looking at New Joy. That darn shelf was the problem, it blocked the thread channel.
    I also have three Janomes. The 1600p has a needle threader, but haven't been able to get that to work. I'm going to work on that next. I like the pattern shelf, haven't had any problem with it and like to have the panto there so I can stop and see how I'm doing as I quilt along a row. If I didn't want to do pantos I would take the shelf off. I haven't quilted enough to decide which I want to do, pantos or free motion.

  10. #10
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_MO
    I have a Janone 1600p on a New Joy frame and I find it really hard to thread the machine looking at it from the front. Maybe that is just me, I haven't heard others mention it.
    I'm with you there, and the other problem I ran into was forgetting to lower the presser foot. Just me, but I was so frustrated I bought the HQ 16 3 years ago. Best thing i ever did.

  11. #11
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    If your machine is level with the surface around it, it does work. I quilt my lap size or baby quilts this way. I still start in the middle and worked across left to right on one section across the quilt. I then unrolled a little more and go across again and again until 1 half done. I then repeated the process for the other half. It does make it easier because the roll goes through the harp instead of having to be by the machine. Go For It!

  12. #12
    Senior Member laurlync's Avatar
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    This is how I have been quilting my quilts.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-52581-1.htm

    The largest I have done this way was 106" square. I just scrunch half the quilt into the throat and start in the center, work my way to the edge, turn the quilt and work my way to the other edge. It is true that you still fill the throat of the machine up, but this way gives you more room for your right hand. It really works a lot better than with the machine facing you.

    There are more pictures of the table I built later in the thread. Others have used the 1" thick foam insulation boards and cut them to fit around the machine and some have used plexiglass with some type of legs glued to the bottom.

    Give it a try and let us know how you like it! Good luck!

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