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Long Arm Question

Long Arm Question

Old 08-01-2014, 09:39 AM
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ket
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I am thinking and dreaming of buying a long arm and because of space have looked at the ones that are attached to a table rather than a quilting frame so you can sit down and quilt. Does anyone have one of these and how do you like it?
I know there have been threads about this in the past concerning machines but wasn't sure about the "tabletop" models
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Old 08-01-2014, 09:47 AM
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I'm a bit confused about whether these sit-down models are long arms, or mid arms. I have a Handi-Quilter Sweet Sixteen, and I think it's great. Managing the weight of the quilt is the big issue for me (my hands are unusually weak), but with the help of the Jennoop Quilt Suspenders and the Martelli gripper ring, it is manageable. I've often wondered how this compares to quilting on a DSM. Maybe someone with experience doing both can comment.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:00 AM
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With the sit down longarm/mid arm you are getting more harp space - more space in which to move the quilt sandwich. You are still fighting the bulk of the quilt no matter what. However, there are ways of getting around it, with different hanging systems and what not. Quite frankly, I never liked the idea of moving the quilt while I am quilting. I like moving the machine (like paper and pencil) so I opted for a frame mounted long arm and never looked back. The space in the biggest issue, the beast of a long arm machine with the frame needs lots of space. If you can find the space anywhere in your house - spare bedroom, formal dining room you use once in a blue moon, or a basement, I would go for a long arm with the frame. This is just my preference, and we are all different.
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:51 AM
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I agree with Tashana in that we all have our preferences and ability to fit a machine into our homes. I opted for a longarm on a frame, and of the reasons I prefer this setup is because I don't enjoy basting the quilt sandwich, and I don't have to do that with a frame. My friend has a smaller space to work with and purchased a sit-down machine.

Joes Mom - some of the sit-down machines are midarms and some are longarms. The standard definition that I have heard is that a longarm has a throat that is 18" or more (up to 30") while a midarm is 12-17, and a DSM is smaller than 12.
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ket View Post
I am thinking and dreaming of buying a long arm and because of space have looked at the ones that are attached to a table rather than a quilting frame so you can sit down and quilt. Does anyone have one of these and how do you like it?
I know there have been threads about this in the past concerning machines but wasn't sure about the "tabletop" models
I have the Handi Quilter Sweet 16 and love it. I personally feel that I have to complete my quilts from piecing to machine quilting. I recently purchased the Jennoop Quilt Suspenders system and it has a world of difference in the quality of my free motion quilting. I had been experiencing drag on quilt tops I quilted prior to getting the system. My stitches would look great they the quilt would drag and there I was with distorted stitching.

I do not room for a long arm system and even if I did, I would not to have to stand up to quilt.

Here is a picture of my Anita's Arrowhead quilt top I just quilted. I would recommend the Sweet 16 with the Jennoop system. The two compliment each other and give the quilter the confidence of producing beautiful quilts!
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:36 PM
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There is a frame you can use with the sitdown quilting machine. It is basically an inverted squared U that you can attach to the machine table. Then it has bungee type cords with clips to hold the quilt up so it doesn't drag. When I get home again I will try to past a picture. I don't know of anyone who makes this, but believe a someone who knows how to work with wood or pvc pipe could make.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by joe'smom View Post
I'm a bit confused about whether these sit-down models are long arms, or mid arms.
It is just semantics. There is no industry definition for what level of throat space makes a "long" arm.
Handi-quilter does call the Sweet 16 "The best selling sit-down longarm machine on the market today" so they consider it a long-arm.

I think mid-arm was made up by quilters who wanted to describe a machine with a smaller throat space than some of the monsters!
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Old 08-01-2014, 02:06 PM
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I don't have either, but when my ship comes in I will be getting a longarm on a frame....mostly for one reason...I do not like the process of guiding the fabric under the needle....it is backwards for my brain....I would rather move the needle over the fabric, like drawing with a pencil....I do fmq on my janome 6600 and can do ok, but it is almost torture sometimes finding a quilting pattern that I can make look ok....I love pantos, but it just isn't an option for me.
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