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Thread: Is a Long Arm quilting machine meant to be used left to right?

  1. #26
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I am left-handed, and I have a HandiQuilter. I go both ways. No problems with weird stitches. It is fine either way. Free-motion is easier to go both ways. Following a panto, I go right to left because of the laser pointer. That's just me!
    It could also be how the machine is set up, as to which end a person starts at first.
    Happy quilting! :)

  2. #27
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    I can't speak for other machines, but with the Gammill longarm a person can quilt in any direction; however the machines do run better with less thread breakage when running right to left standing on the pantograph side and left to right standing on the freehand side.

  3. #28
    Super Member QuiltQtrs's Avatar
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    On my first ShortArm machine I was told to start at right, work to left.
    Second machine installer said no... must go left to right. But after 9 years
    with first machine, this was so uncomfortable.... so am still going RIGHT to
    LEFT on each row. There was never a stitching problem or shifting of the
    project. After all, your design will travel in numerous changing directions!

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb in Louisiana
    I was in my LQS recently & the lady who owned the shop told me that Long Arms are intended to work from left to right. She said that the stitch would be different on the back of the quilt, if you went back...from right to left as with a pantograph. Is this something any of you with long arms have experienced? I would have thought you could go any direction with no difference in the stitching. We were discussing a Tin Lizzie. Maybe the Tin Lizzie likes to got from Left to right???
    Some machines work better left to right, sometimes the stitches come out uneven working right to left. If you couldn't work right to left you couldn't do many of the patterns for example feathers.

  5. #30
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I have a Pfaff LongArm...I work left to right AND right to left. Sometimes I even go up and down. Seriously, this machine can go ANY way you want!
    This is the same as free motion quilting. I quilt in all directions. Some of them, I wish I hadn't.

  6. #31
    PJO
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    When I bought my QM they told me to quilt from right to left.

  7. #32

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    Hi, i work my long arm both ways and up and down, i see no differance. i like worhing from left to right because i can keep up with the pattern better. Good luck with your quilting. Arletta

  8. #33
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    I go all directions and have never noticed the stitches underneath are different. Sounds wierd to me...

  9. #34
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb in Louisiana
    I was in my LQS recently & the lady who owned the shop told me that Long Arms are intended to work from left to right. She said that the stitch would be different on the back of the quilt, if you went back...from right to left as with a pantograph. Is this something any of you with long arms have experienced? I would have thought you could go any direction with no difference in the stitching. We were discussing a Tin Lizzie. Maybe the Tin Lizzie likes to got from Left to right???
    Wow, I have an Innova 18" and I go all directions. I don't do pantos, just hand-guided free-motion quilting. I don't notice any difference in the feel of my machine or the quality of my stitches, no matter which direction I'm going. I do know that the needle is bent in different directions, pulling it away or towards the hook, but in a quality quilting machine, it does not make a difference in your stitches. That is the big difference between a machine built for quilting and a machine built for sewing - on the quilting machine it it expected that the machine will go in all different directions and still produce a good stitch. A sewing machine is not made to be stitching in all directions and that is why it is so much more difficult to have good stitch quality when quilting using a DSM.

  10. #35
    Senior Member catlover's Avatar
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    I have a Tin Lizzie and I go all directions. A feather meander has to go in all directions or it would not be a meander. I wonder about anyone who would make such a statement as this lady did.

    Cynthia

  11. #36
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    Long Arm Quilting machines are designed to sew left to right standing in front of the machine and right to left standing behind using the laser on a pantograph or board. This is the way the bobbin is designed to pick up the thread and make a stitch. When it is ran in the opposite direction, the stitch does not form correctly, not to say you can't get by with it, as usually the batting will make it less noticeable. I was an HQ dealer for 4 years and took my training in Utah at the HQ headquarters. Long Arm machines are pretty forgiving and do make circles and lots of other shapes, but if you really look at the stitches, you will see your best ones will be as stated above, left to right in front of the machine.

  12. #37
    Senior Member BettyJean's Avatar
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    I don't have anything to reply on but I would like to be told how to use a double needle?

  13. #38
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    this is interesting. I too, was told that you had to always quilt left to right and that made no sense to me - so glad to hear others say you can do it both ways.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by OzarksGma
    Long Arm Quilting machines are designed to sew left to right standing in front of the machine and right to left standing behind using the laser on a pantograph or board. This is the way the bobbin is designed to pick up the thread and make a stitch. When it is ran in the opposite direction, the stitch does not form correctly, not to say you can't get by with it, as usually the batting will make it less noticeable. I was an HQ dealer for 4 years and took my training in Utah at the HQ headquarters. Long Arm machines are pretty forgiving and do make circles and lots of other shapes, but if you really look at the stitches, you will see your best ones will be as stated above, left to right in front of the machine.


    Did you sell the HQ Sixteen Sit Down? I am considering purchasing one in the near future. Does it matter how I quit on that?

  15. #40
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    I just took a class from my Long Arm dealer. As I understood it, they go any direction. They go best left to right, because that is the smoothest direction the bobbin unrolls. You will have fewer backlash or thread breakage issues if you primarily go left to right. That said, Long Arms are the only machine able to go any direction any time...but best left to right.

  16. #41
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    I quit selling due to back problems. I couldn't lift them and do the service work needed for customers. I still have mine and quilt often on it. To answer your question, the sit down model is much like your own sewing machine, it is mounted in a table and you move the quilt. The machine does not move.

  17. #42
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    What do you want to know about using a double needle?

  18. #43
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    I went to the HQ University in Utah as well (I have a HQ16, but have it set up on the large frame) & they definitely said that the machine was intended to stitch left to right. They said that moving right to left is possible, but increases the likelihood that your thread will shred and your stitches won't look as nice.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cropadoodle
    I just took a class from my Long Arm dealer. As I understood it, they go any direction. They go best left to right, because that is the smoothest direction the bobbin unrolls. You will have fewer backlash or thread breakage issues if you primarily go left to right. That said, Long Arms are the only machine able to go any direction any time...but best left to right.
    I quilt using a Juki and go in all directions. The underside stitching looks ok to me. I wonder if mid-arms follow the same rule as long-arms?

  20. #45
    Junior Member bonitagaye's Avatar
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    I use a Tin Lizzy too! I go however I feel like! ESPECIALLY in circles!

    I think "bull chit", too!

  21. #46
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    You can "think" whatever you want, but if you watch the needle on a regular machine or long arm, the thread makes a different size loop when making the stitch, this is what causes the thread to shred or break or not make a "good" stitch.
    As I said before, you can go in all directions, but the emphasis was to go left to right, I think this shows up more on the pantograph designs than on free motion quilting. This was told to us by not only the person teaching the long arm techniques, but the engineers as well. I took a half day session with the engineer that designed the machine.
    I often stipple in an all over direction in small areas at a time, I don't see much difference in the stitch, but if I am doing a stipple going from right to left, I can see some difference in the stitch formation. Possibly I see it because I was trained to see it as I do work on the machines, and still do all the maintenance on mine. Since I look for other things, I am probably looking more closely, and am more critical of the stitch formation than others would be.
    However you stitch, the long arms and mid arms are a great boon to quilters every where. I would never tackle a queen or king size on my regular machine, too much strain on my neck, arm and back muscles.

  22. #47

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    This is true for some machines. It has to do with the orientation of the bobbin. It has been a few years since I was a LAQer so I can't remember the details. It was possible to do circle and curliques in all directions, but the stitching did not look as nice if the whole row was stitched in the 'wrong' direction. That may not have been the reason for the person in the quilt shop that started this discussion, but it is still true.
    If you are free motion quilting on a home machine the orientation of the bobbin may determine if you can free motion quilt at all.
    Debra B.

  23. #48
    Junior Member bonitagaye's Avatar
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    I looked tonight and it is better from left to right! Even my circles are better as I circle from left to right! I guess it is my saving grace that when I take it off the frame it seems to all even out! Still love it!

  24. #49
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    So, for a mid-arm, quilt from left to right behind the quilt, and right to left standing in front of the quilt?

  25. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by garysgal
    So, for a mid-arm, quilt from left to right behind the quilt, and right to left standing in front of the quilt?
    No, the length of the arm is irrelevant. Ask your vendor or do a test and look at the stitches. Perhaps one machine will do fairly well in both directions. It is up to you what quality you are happy with. The issue is a mechanical one, likely the orientation of the bobbin.

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