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Thread: Long arm question

  1. #1

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    I am wondering if I ever have the money to purchase a long arm quilting machine would it be safe to have it in the garage in an unheated builing?

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    What are the temps where you live?

  3. #3
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    If it has any kind of LED screen (the touch kind), then do NOT store it where the weather freezes. We left a clock in our camp trailer, with temps below freezing, and the stuff in it froze...we had to toss the clock. Oh, i live where we get 20 below at night. I have mind in a shop off the garage. I bought a radiator type heater where there is oil in it that circulates around.....the heating in that shop costs me very little to run during the winter. The shop is insulated really well and is small.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    If it has any kind of LED screen (the touch kind), then do NOT store it where the weather freezes. We left a clock in our camp trailer, with temps below freezing, and the stuff in it froze...we had to toss the clock. Oh, i live where we get 20 below at night. I have mind in a shop off the garage. I bought a radiator type heater where there is oil in it that circulates around.....the heating in that shop costs me very little to run during the winter. The shop is insulated really well and is small.
    I was wondering about that.Thanks for the reply.I have a oil heater also and a storage shed. That I believe a quilting machine would fit in. But I doubt if I ever have thousands of dollars to spend.But maybe a little gracie someday!
    Our temps here in Northern Missouri get pretty COLD :shock:

    Thanks for R.S.V.P I probably should just keep practicing my FMQ :lol:

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    What are the temps where you live?
    It gets below zero at times.
    I am afraid even if I bought one I wouldn't be able to quiltn it as I can't FMQ. So I would want one I didn't have to do anything except let it quilt. If they even have such a thing? And I know on SS I won't ever be able to afford one. But we can dream right?

  6. #6
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I had a megaquilter in the shop and it was fine, but it was a very mellow winter. I wouldn't put my longarm out there though.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    I had a megaquilter in the shop and it was fine, but it was a very mellow winter. I wouldn't put my longarm out there though.
    What is a megaquilter?Do you have address I can look it up?

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    another issue besides temperature to keep in mind is humidity; if your garage is not insulated then moisture probably builds up in there too; and it sounds like you want one of the machines with all the bells and whistles; the ones with the computer program(the statler stitcher) costs $30-40 thousand dollars...i would not keep it in the garage. before that kind of investment i'd be building a 'safe-haven' for it.

  9. #9
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    I had the HQ16 with pro-stitcher in my quilt room out in the barn garage for several years. In the winter while I head south it was put into a smaller room that was temp controled so it would not freeze or get the humidity build up. That worked just fine. I now have the HQ118 Avante that I will do the same thing to next month when we head south. Got to take care of that baby!

  10. #10
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    No.

    Critters, sand, dust, variable moisture=rust, Don't do it.
    .

  11. #11
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berta48
    I am afraid even if I bought one I wouldn't be able to quiltn it as I can't FMQ.
    I think I can safely say to you, not being able to FMQ on a domestic, and then trying to freehand on a longarm, are two different things.
    I cannot FMQ on a domestic either (to me it's like writing your name while looking in a mirror),
    but I love love love to freehand on my "Buddy-Ro." I love him. It's like writing.
    .

  12. #12
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    Quote Originally Posted by Berta48
    I am afraid even if I bought one I wouldn't be able to quiltn it as I can't FMQ.
    I think I can safely say to you, not being able to FMQ on a domestic, and then trying to freehand on a longarm, are two different things.
    I cannot FMQ on a domestic either (to me it's like writing your name while looking in a mirror),
    but I love love love to freehand on my "Buddy-Ro." I love him. It's like writing.
    .
    I totally agree. FMQ on a sit down machine is completely different than it is on a frame. I have a Voyager 17SLR (http://www.hinterberg.com) on a SuperQuilter Pro-Flex frame (http://www.superquilter.com) that I got on ebay for a song because the seller didn't elaborate enough which scared off other bidders. Even on SS/SSDI, it wouldn't take very long to pinch some pennies and hold a couple garage sales to buy a used frame and longer domestic or even stretched midarm if you keep an eye on craigslist, ebay, and the yahoo machine quilting groups.

    Before the Voyager/Pro-Flex; I used an Elna 7200 domestic machine on a B-Line Studio frame (http://www.tobequilting.com) for 4 years. Even with the small throat on a domestic machine, you can easily teach yourself FMQ while doing all over meanders.

    As for keeping your setup in a barn/shed without heat--it depends. If it's a strictly mechanical system--no LCD screens & you let it warm up, keep it oiled regularly and have sealed a wooden frame--it's doable. I know others who have all their quilting supplies in an unheated shed or attic but they use a portable heater to warm it up before they use their equipment. You'll have more cleaning & maintenance than if it were in your house but it can work.

    And yes, there are computer controlled quilting systems but you'd have to pinch those pennies into gold to afford one and those I wouldn't not keep in a shed. I'd give up my living room!

    There are some cheaper computer guided systems but still not cheap enough to keep in a shed. I have a PC Quilter (http://www.pcquilter.com) and there are other hobby systems out there--Qbot, Side Saddle, Shirley Stitcher, MQR, etc. but I strongly recommend starting without one first to see if you even like working on a frame. If you don't like all the fuss & bother of loading a quilt--no robot yet invented is going to do that part for you.

  13. #13
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Another thought....if you can't afford the system, or are worried about where you'd set it up, check around with the LQS or dealers. I think more and more of them are setting up systems so people can rent time. THAT is very do-able.....MUCH cheaper.

  14. #14
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    I have a suggestion for you....try FMQ on a Juki or a Mega Quilter that is made by Husqvarna and is around $900....Juki is $700 new. Without a frame you can do the FMQ much more easily than on a machine that does the fancy stitches. These two machines do straight stitch only and once you drop the feed dogs, you can do loops, etc. without much difficulty. I know, I tried on my Kenmore, that is made I believe by Janome and does really nice fancy stitches at a bargain price but my FMQ attempts looked okay on top but the bobbin stitches were never right no matter what I did. One try on the Juki 98 and I was doing FMQ after all that time of practicing and fretting...I was off and running. So for the money, you can get one of those and practice and work without a frame or add a frame later. I'm thinking of doing that. And I see that Janome has a new Horizon that has a longer throat area and it isn't tooooo expensive....I think in the $2,000 plus range. So that's a long way from the $9,000 plus range of some of those machines.....Just a suggestion. I ordered my Juki from a SewNVac dealer online with a money back guarantee and didn't have to pay shipping either.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama's place
    I have a suggestion for you....try FMQ on a Juki or a Mega Quilter that is made by Husqvarna and is around $900....Juki is $700 new. Without a frame you can do the FMQ much more easily than on a machine that does the fancy stitches. These two machines do straight stitch only and once you drop the feed dogs, you can do loops, etc. without much difficulty. I know, I tried on my Kenmore, that is made I believe by Janome and does really nice fancy stitches at a bargain price but my FMQ attempts looked okay on top but the bobbin stitches were never right no matter what I did. One try on the Juki 98 and I was doing FMQ after all that time of practicing and fretting...I was off and running. So for the money, you can get one of those and practice and work without a frame or add a frame later. I'm thinking of doing that. And I see that Janome has a new Horizon that has a longer throat area and it isn't tooooo expensive....I think in the $2,000 plus range. So that's a long way from the $9,000 plus range of some of those machines.....Just a suggestion. I ordered my Juki from a SewNVac dealer online with a money back guarantee and didn't have to pay shipping either.
    That sounds like a more affordable idea to me.
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I may never be able to afford any of them. But I can dream and save and we'll see.Right?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    Another thought....if you can't afford the system, or are worried about where you'd set it up, check around with the LQS or dealers. I think more and more of them are setting up systems so people can rent time. THAT is very do-able.....MUCH cheaper.
    Now that I would love.But our LQS doesn't have one.She had one but she sold it.She does have a studio accuquilt and for 5.00 a half hour will cut fabric for you.So that isn't to bad.Beats cutting them yourself or having to buy one.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    another issue besides temperature to keep in mind is humidity; if your garage is not insulated then moisture probably builds up in there too; and it sounds like you want one of the machines with all the bells and whistles; the ones with the computer program(the statler stitcher) costs $30-40 thousand dollars...i would not keep it in the garage. before that kind of investment i'd be building a 'safe-haven' for it.
    30-40 thousand dollars :shock: Omy goodness. No there is no way I would put out that kind of money. I don't have that kind of money in the first place living on SS. Geeze I had no idea they cost that much. :shock:

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKrenning
    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    Quote Originally Posted by Berta48
    I am afraid even if I bought one I wouldn't be able to quiltn it as I can't FMQ.
    I think I can safely say to you, not being able to FMQ on a domestic, and then trying to freehand on a longarm, are two different things.
    I cannot FMQ on a domestic either (to me it's like writing your name while looking in a mirror),
    but I love love love to freehand on my "Buddy-Ro." I love him. It's like writing.
    .
    Thanks for all the addresses I'll look them up.

    I totally agree. FMQ on a sit down machine is completely different than it is on a frame. I have a Voyager 17SLR (http://www.hinterberg.com) on a SuperQuilter Pro-Flex frame (http://www.superquilter.com) that I got on ebay for a song because the seller didn't elaborate enough which scared off other bidders. Even on SS/SSDI, it wouldn't take very long to pinch some pennies and hold a couple garage sales to buy a used frame and longer domestic or even stretched midarm if you keep an eye on craigslist, ebay, and the yahoo machine quilting groups.

    Before the Voyager/Pro-Flex; I used an Elna 7200 domestic machine on a B-Line Studio frame (http://www.tobequilting.com) for 4 years. Even with the small throat on a domestic machine, you can easily teach yourself FMQ while doing all over meanders.

    As for keeping your setup in a barn/shed without heat--it depends. If it's a strictly mechanical system--no LCD screens & you let it warm up, keep it oiled regularly and have sealed a wooden frame--it's doable. I know others who have all their quilting supplies in an unheated shed or attic but they use a portable heater to warm it up before they use their equipment. You'll have more cleaning & maintenance than if it were in your house but it can work.

    And yes, there are computer controlled quilting systems but you'd have to pinch those pennies into gold to afford one and those I wouldn't not keep in a shed. I'd give up my living room!

    There are some cheaper computer guided systems but still not cheap enough to keep in a shed. I have a PC Quilter (http://www.pcquilter.com) and there are other hobby systems out there--Qbot, Side Saddle, Shirley Stitcher, MQR, etc. but I strongly recommend starting without one first to see if you even like working on a frame. If you don't like all the fuss & bother of loading a quilt--no robot yet invented is going to do that part for you.
    :thumbup:

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    No.

    Critters, sand, dust, variable moisture=rust, Don't do it.
    .
    Thanks doesnt look like I will be getting one any way soon anyway. Shucks :-( :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I only tried once to do any sort of quilting on a DSM, it was a miserable experience! Anyone who can make something beautiful doing quilting on a DSM amazing in my book! I agree with the poster who suggested you rent time on a longarm either at a quilt shop or from a quilter who has one in their home.

  21. #21
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    The lady who taught the beginning FMQ class that I took sewed all her quilts on a Bernina domestic machine and her quilts and quilting are Beautiful!!! Without using a frame. You have to work with the quilt more to manage that amount of fabric but it is doable and much more affordable. She folded the quilt or scrunched it up and put the bulk of it over her shoulder and it worked for her.

  22. #22
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Lots of people do have their longarms in the garage, but it all depends on the temperature, humidity, dirt/dust, critters, etc.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mama's place
    The lady who taught the beginning FMQ class that I took sewed all her quilts on a Bernina domestic machine and her quilts and quilting are Beautiful!!! Without using a frame. You have to work with the quilt more to manage that amount of fabric but it is doable and much more affordable. She folded the quilt or scrunched it up and put the bulk of it over her shoulder and it worked for her.
    After seeing the cost of the quitling machines I believe I just need to keep practicing FMQ. I am getting better.My biggest problem is not knowing which direction to go especially with the stippling.I can do a spiral fairly descent.

    Also they say if you turn the machine at a 90 degree angle it helps when quilting a large quilt.

    I certainly wish we had FMQ classes around here! Guess that's part of country living! :thumbdown:

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