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

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraB
    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.
    I don't mean to be dense, but I don't understand this. I can see quilting from left to right, but then how do you get back if you are quilting "rows"- I can see if you do sections at a time, but I usually do small sections and then start at the other end of the quilt. kind of like typing-across, then back.

  2. #52
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I am not sure if this is helpful...I have a Gammill. You start at the left. I think I Have a 22 inch area to quilt (I have an Optimum. Once you have started on the left, you continue to your right but you can go sideways, up down left, right, circles or what ever, untill you end up at the right and finished with that section.

    Then you push the machine back to the left side and roll the fabric up and start again. I think that is what is meant by starting on the left.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosyhf
    I am not sure if this is helpful...I have a Gammill. You start at the left. I think I Have a 22 inch area to quilt (I have an Optimum. Once you have started on the left, you continue to your right but you can go sideways, up down left, right, circles or what ever, untill you end up at the right and finished with that section.

    Then you push the machine back to the left side and roll the fabric up and start again. I think that is what is meant by starting on the left.
    Thanks, that explains it! I'm going to try it when I quilt my next quilt.
    This board is great-always learning new things!!

  4. #54
    Super Member daisey's Avatar
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    I just think that is more natural for people but when doing a design we change directions alot so thjey dont look so uniform so I think she is probably wrong or maybe you misunderstood? then again I may be wrong, but ive owned two long arms and they both went both directions fine.

  5. #55

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    My mother-in-law has a long arm and they told her she could only go right to left on the side you put a pattern on. It would the oppisite on the free motion side left to right. She says she has tried going back once she reaches the end of the row and the thread breaks every time.

  6. #56
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    so, i really do not understand why it would be taught to only go left to right or right to left. my long arm stitches up and down...it does not feed, or pull in any direction, it simply goes up and down. the carriage the machine sits on moves in any direction i want it to go in, and has nothing to do with the machine stitches. poor quality stitches have to do with not moving the machine smoothly, speeding up on curves, moving the machine faster than the stitch speed is set. it is easy to sew in any direction i want to go, the carriage lets me go in circles or any direction i want. as long as tension is set correctly and my speed is consistant it does not matter at all what direction i go in

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    so, i really do not understand why it would be taught to only go left to right or right to left. my long arm stitches up and down...it does not feed, or pull in any direction, it simply goes up and down. the carriage the machine sits on moves in any direction i want it to go in, and has nothing to do with the machine stitches. poor quality stitches have to do with not moving the machine smoothly, speeding up on curves, moving the machine faster than the stitch speed is set. it is easy to sew in any direction i want to go, the carriage lets me go in circles or any direction i want. as long as tension is set correctly and my speed is consistant it does not matter at all what direction i go in
    Would you mind sharing the name of the longarm you have? I will be trying every one I can get my hands on at the International Quilt Show in Houston. I will look for your brand as a first choice.

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlleyCat
    I was taught to go one way and then come back the opposite way. Some pantographs are very akward this way but once you get the hang of them your quilt top does not creep to the left or right. I float all of my tops and quilting this way helps greatly!
    Alleycat, I've seen the term "floating the quilt" a lot but I don't know what that means. What is it?

  9. #59
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    I'm not AlleyCat, but I can answer your question on floating the top. This means the backing fabric, top and bottom, is rolled on to the rollers of the long arm machine frame, the batting is then laid on the backing and secured, I pin mine, and the top is then placed on top of the batting and sewn in place through the batting and backing. The top is not attached to a leader or rolled on the roller, thus "floating the top" and can be adjusted and moved to fit the back area much easier than if it was sewn to a leader and rolled on to the roller. Hope this is clear enough for you.

  10. #60
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I would not purchase a machine that they say can only go right to left. It is totally bizarre to me. I have a Fusion and I go anyway I want to. How could you possibly do any kind of fancy quilting???? I do float my tops and batting. My frame does a batting bar also, but my poodle really thinks the batting is for her when it is so close to the floor. Not a good thing! LOL

  11. #61
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    Barb,

    I have an Innova (made right there in Texas!). I can go in any direction with no problem. I have never heard of a quilting machine that could only go in one direction. That would make me crazy!!! Definitely check out the Innova by ABM International at the International Quilt Show in Houston - you won't be disappointed at all. One thing to do while you are checking out all the cool quilting machines is listen to the sound of the machine...some of them are awfully loud and others purr (youtube.com has lots of quilting machines to see and listen to as well before you hit the Houston Quilt Show, just put in the names of the different machines on the main page).

    Check out Renae Haddadin's website, http://www.renaequilts.com/
    In the search area put in "choosing a longarm article"...you have to "buy" the article (it's free) to get the download, but she really gives you many things to think about when you are looking to purchase a longarm. She also has an Innova, but the article is NOT brand-specific, just load of information and questions to ask.

  12. #62

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    Can you explain alittle more about floating the top to me? I'm not sure I fully understand. Do you pin the quilt together like you were going to do it by hand but then roll the whole thing up on the rod that the back is suppose to go on?

  13. #63
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    I guess the only way to find out is to test it. Only thing I can think of is that the directionality (just made that up) of the stitches might be obvious with some patterns.

  14. #64
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by April Parker
    Can you explain alittle more about floating the top to me? I'm not sure I fully understand. Do you pin the quilt together like you were going to do it by hand but then roll the whole thing up on the rod that the back is suppose to go on?
    That isn't the way I do it...
    When I float my top it means I put the back on just like normal. Pin it to the take up roller and pin it to the belly bar. Then roll it up on the belly bar until smooth but not overstretched.
    I do not roll my top or my batting onto the rollers. I could load the bat onto my bar, but my poodle thinks it is for her and she will try to roll on it. It is just too close to the floor.
    So I lay the batting on top of the back close to the top edge. (I put these under the bar that the top normally would be pinned to--so I can keep it flat.)
    Then I lay the top on top of the batting close to the top edge. I then sew at very top all the way across the width of the quilt from the middle out to secure it.
    Then I attach my clamps and I am ready to begin. The top isn't rolled on the bar, so it is considered to float.

    Does this make sense????

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farm Quilter
    Barb,

    I have an Innova (made right there in Texas!). I can go in any direction with no problem. I have never heard of a quilting machine that could only go in one direction. That would make me crazy!!! Definitely check out the Innova by ABM International at the International Quilt Show in Houston - you won't be disappointed at all. One thing to do while you are checking out all the cool quilting machines is listen to the sound of the machine...some of them are awfully loud and others purr (youtube.com has lots of quilting machines to see and listen to as well before you hit the Houston Quilt Show, just put in the names of the different machines on the main page).

    Check out Renae Haddadin's website, http://www.renaequilts.com/
    In the search area put in "choosing a longarm article"...you have to "buy" the article (it's free) to get the download, but she really gives you many things to think about when you are looking to purchase a longarm. She also has an Innova, but the article is NOT brand-specific, just load of information and questions to ask.
    I love the tip about listening to the machine. I find that as I "mature" my ears are getting more sensitive to loud noises. I would have been very frustrated if the machine was so loud that I couldn't stand to use it. Also, I never thought to check out Youtube for info. Others have spoken well of the Innova products. They are high on my list for checking out.

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