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Long arm solutions for vision impaired?

Long arm solutions for vision impaired?

Old 10-09-2019, 05:19 AM
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Default Long arm solutions for vision impaired?

Hello,
I am relatively new here and have been searching and researching information about machine quilting and perhaps purchasing a long arm machine but I have run into a major problem! I have to use a machine with a needle threader because I have vision loss that has destroyed my depth perception. I can eventually thread a needle on a domestic machine but when I took a lesson on an HQ machine the needle was just too far away for me to see the hole at all! Both of my machines (Juki HZL-NX7, and Viking Epic) have decent harp areas, a Grace or Inspira frame set up be a viable option or not worth it at all? Do they even have those kind of things set up somewhere that I could try that before taking the plunge and buying one? I live close to the middle of Michigan and can go pretty much anywhere in the state

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 10-09-2019 at 06:58 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:00 AM
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First of all let me welcome you to the QB from SE Michigan. This could be your lucky weekend as the fiber arts show is in Port Huron this weekend. A great place to try out various machines and ask question of different vendors. I know it is quite the drive from central Michigan but it would be worth the trip.
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Old 10-09-2019, 06:20 AM
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Hello from another quilter with vision issues. I have keratoconus and severe astigmatisms, along with a large blind spot just off the center of my right eye. I have just about zero depth perception and for the mean-spirited, it probably can be quite funny watching me try to thread a needle. Fortunately for me although I wake up every day still legally blind, my contacts give me very good vision up to 3 feet away, my glasses take over after about 6-10 feet. Still no real depth perception but you learn how to read visual clues.

With my friend's long arm that I used for several years, I got one of the needle threaders shaped like a little bird. The "beak" closes over the hook and you hold it by the body. I knew which way the hole was (from the front) and I would pinch my left hand fingers around the needle and guide in the bird with my right.

Here's a you-tube, they are just on the notion wall area in general Fabric stores, I got mine at Joann.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SlDyAN4VGY
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:03 AM
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I just ordered that needle threading bird from Amazon! Thanks for the youtube on it. It looks great! And it comes in purple. It isn't on Prime and costs more to ship than the cost of the threader, but it is so cute and it sure looks like it works.

Dina
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:34 AM
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Hope it works for you Dina, you quickly get used to where the hook is and the way the bird is designed you really can only hold it one way, plus you can feel it with your fingernail even if you can't see it. I also use it for regular hand sewing needles. Part of the reason my friend gave me her Bernina is because of the auto-threader, plus it has a huge bright workspace. I can't read the buttons and much of the screen well but I'm learning what does what.

Edit: Forgot to say that this is better for me than the old fashioned metal ones with the thin diamond at the end. For one, the bird fits in more needles better! Two, remember those distance issues? It is only slightly better trying to target the diamond I can barely see in the right space than the needle.

I use a pretty large needle with a large eye when I hand sew on my bindings.

Last edited by Iceblossom; 10-09-2019 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:36 AM
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Thank you! It really isn't far for me, I'm close to Flint in Gaines!

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 10-09-2019 at 09:08 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:39 AM
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Thank you, I will try to get one of the birds! The auto threader on my Epic has saved me quite a bit of frustration too! And yes, I have learned where the buttons are and remember what they do rather than try to read them.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:02 AM
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The Hemline one says its for hand needles. I need one for my machine, will this work on it? Sure would love it!
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:21 PM
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I just ordered a needle threader from Wish. I should get it in by tomorrow, I hope.
It was free, just pay shipping which was 1.00. I also ordered clips to use instead of pins, and little silicone holders for holding the thread in your bobbins.
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Old 10-10-2019, 04:07 AM
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Love the needle threader shown above. Hopefully, you will find the right set-up. Another option that might work for you. Thread the needle first. Then insert the threaded needle into the machine.
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