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Thread: Long Arm Suggestions

  1. #1
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    Hi! I need help with finding the right long arm for me. I do not do bed-sized quilts and don't believe I need a large long arm. What would be the best for someone who only does the smaller (below 70" ) quilts. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
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    I'm looking for a longarm machine also. I've been researching for months - you might want to look at the Juki and the Homesteader. The Juki has a 9 inch throat and the Homesteader has a choice of 17 or 22 inch throats. Both are moderately priced. There are yahoo chat groups for longarm quilters and Homesteader owners - probably have them for the other machines also. I got lots of good info there.

  3. #3
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    Are you considering the Juki? There is so much to consider and this is such an investment for me. I have not done FMQ and I was hoping the have patterns to follow, but that does not seem available unless you go into the thousands.

  4. #4
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    Check out Pennywinkle Valley ranch. Their systems are very reasonable. I think they have 16 and 24 inch.

  5. #5
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I have a Juki 98Q and a Grace GMQ frame. And I totally love them. However, I want a long arm now. It will be a few years before I get it, but the Juki will stay forever. It's a workhorse, and I use it both on and off the frame, which you can't easily do with many of the long arms.

    The downside of the Juki is that by the end of the quilt, you only have about 4 inches of space to quilt in, which limits what you can do for designs.

    You might also check out Nolting machines, which is what I am leaning toward when I get a longarm. Good prices and simple machines.

  6. #6
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    How do you handle the last 4" and do you do full-sized quilts? Is that the reason for wanting to go to a long arm? So many questions!

  7. #7
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    After extensive looking we are pretty sure we are going to get an Innova. It's a great machine, comes with a very nice sturdy frame which is important. Now, just have to pay off some bills.....

  8. #8
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I do all sizes. The way it works is that the quilt rolls onto a roller as you quilt- You quilt all the way across- and at the beginning, there is less on the roll, which is in the throat of the machine. So you have about 6 inches deep, across the whole quilt, to work in. You quilt that, and then roll that portion up and the next area comes up. You quilt that area, etc... But by the time you get to the end of the quilt, most of the quilt is rolled tightly on the roller, which is taking up more space in the throat of the machine.

    Don't get me wrong- I love my machine, and being able to quilt on the frame. I also use that machine to make bags, piece, etc. If you have a machine that you love to piece with, I would probably suggest that you buy a long arm. If you think you are going to really like machine quilting and are going to use it alot.

    Go to your local shops, or to a quilt show, and play with the set-ups, so you can see what we are talking about. This is the best way.

  9. #9
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtxpeach
    How do you handle the last 4" and do you do full-sized quilts? Is that the reason for wanting to go to a long arm? So many questions!
    Just a thought... Why not take off and flip on frame? May take time and practice, but seems to make sense in theory.

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you need to go out and find dealers and try out as many different machines and systems you can find, then decide what works for you...the machine i own and love may be the one you hate! everyone is different...and the machines all have their own (quirks)
    a couple things i think should be kept in mind for consideration is location of service/tech support. it makes a difference in success when you are close enough to take a couple owners classes and have someone to turn to when you have a problem...no machine is totally problem free...stuff happens. that was the mistake i made when i bought mine. i bought it while on vacation...and after getting it set up and ready to go found out there was NO WHERE within 200 miles of me to turn to for help...i live in Northern Michigan and have to call Utah and trouble shoot over the phone when i have problems. the company is very good, and has helped me numerous times over the phone, but geez, it would sure be nice to have someone in town to go to.
    also there are so many different frame systems..you could do a sit down system or a stand up...long-arm, mid-arm...prices from a few hundred to as much as a new car!
    time to start doing some research :thumbup:

  11. #11
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knlsmith
    Quote Originally Posted by wtxpeach
    How do you handle the last 4" and do you do full-sized quilts? Is that the reason for wanting to go to a long arm? So many questions!
    Just a thought... Why not take off and flip on frame? May take time and practice, but seems to make sense in theory.
    you can't really do that because you would end up with a pucher in the middle where it meets
    you couldn't match the pattern up either

  12. #12
    lllog's Avatar
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    When choosing a long arm machine the most important feature other than a stitch regulator is the height and length of the neck of the machine.

    It doesn't need to be longer than you can comfortably strech your arms. I've know quilters who buy the bigest machines with a 27" neck and never use it to ful advantage because your arms can't control it past a certian length. I recommend some where between a 17" & 20" neck.

    As far as height, remember that you need to roll up your quilt as you quilt it, and it dosen't take much before its touching the bottom of the neck. It doesn't matter how long it is if you can't roll your quilt up all the way. I recommend around 11" to 12" height.

    A mid-range long arm sounds aout right for you. A lot of the "New" machines on the market today will not handle many of the quilts that you may want to do. And while you say that you only want to do 70" quilts, that may change.

    Another thing that is important is the wheels and track system. There shoudn't be any drag at all as you move the machine around.

    Good luck, and happy quilting.

    Lanny

  13. #13
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    check on Bailey Quilters, that's what I have, the frame cost more than the machine, a good frame is as important as a good machine

  14. #14
    Senior Member pstoner's Avatar
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    I belong to the HQ16 yahoo group, and there are several priced to sell including frames for about $3800 and up, I have one and absolutely love mine.

  15. #15
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    I love my HQ 16 with stitch regulator.

  16. #16
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knlsmith
    Quote Originally Posted by wtxpeach
    How do you handle the last 4" and do you do full-sized quilts? Is that the reason for wanting to go to a long arm? So many questions!
    Just a thought... Why not take off and flip on frame? May take time and practice, but seems to make sense in theory.
    Turning a quilt is not as easy as it would seem. If you roll it up onto the take up roller and then turn it, you get a slack in the bottom fabric leading to wrinkles.
    If you take the fabric off the roll for the top and the roll for the bottom before you turn it, it makes for one mess when you try to reattach it.

    Personally, I use my 11" Janome Horizon on my original Inspira frame. The frame allows about an 8" space, and the 11" machine handles it well.
    I would not invest in a 9" machine. You'll find that once you get used to longarming, you're going to want a bigger one. Go for the biggest one you can afford. IMHO

  17. #17
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    I got frustrated very quickly using my Viking on longarm. 4" is just not enough room to do much in the way of long arm quilting. I would check into somthing over 11", so when you get to the end of the quilt, you have some room for your quilting.

  18. #18
    Senior Member alissa's Avatar
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    I have the Jewel by babylock an I love it. It is a mid arm and I think the table is 12'. I searched for a long time before I bought and the jewel fit my needs.. Good Luck...

  19. #19
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    The jewel table is 10ft-120 inches-which is why I traded up to the crown jewel. I wanted the 12 ft table that comes with the majestic frame(I wasn't able to make large enough king size quilts with the 10ft frame)

  20. #20
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    Thank everyone so much for all the suggestions! I wish that I could shop around because that would definitely be the way to do it.

    Unfortunately, I live in a very small town which is not very close to anything. It is a minimum 2 hour drive to go shopping and that is limited. We do have one small quilt shop and she has a long arm in a back room, but won't let anyone near it!

    I really cannot afford a long arm, but am getting very itchy for one. I thought the HQ might help. I love hand quilting, but it takes me months to finish a quilt.

    Maybe I should move! LOL!!

  21. #21
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    What about the Juki with a Grace frame? I am not really excited about it because I don't think it is what I would like, but maybe it could at least help. The price is much better!

  22. #22

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    I am having to sell my BabyLock Jewel Quilting Machine, QuiltMotion, QuiltCAD, and Grace Majestic Quilting Frame. All are near new and still under warranty. Less than 24hrs of quilting time has been used on this. It works great and in great shape! I bought the jewel and grace frame end of last year and QuiltMotion is only 2 months old.
    Asking only $9,500.00 OBO for all! Hate to sell but my DH got laid off and I have to sell it asap to save my home.
    Someone will get an amazing deal!

    All that is included:

    1. BabyLock Jewel Quilting Machine
    2. Carriage with encoders for Grace Pinnacle Frame
    3. Electronic bobbin winder with variable speed
    4. Laser light and clamp for following pantographs
    5. M size metal bobbins
    6. Needles size 16 and 18
    7. Thread mast and washers
    8. Oiling Kit
    9. Needle Removal wrench
    10. Alan Wrenches
    11. Front and back handles both with LCD monitor screens and controls
    12. hopping foot
    13. QuiltMotion Software
    14. LCD display on swivel mount
    15. 15 USB cable
    16. housing/carriage plate
    17. 300 Built in Patterns
    18. QuiltCAD software
    19. QuiltMotion Quick Reference Guide book
    20. QuiltMotion Installation Guide book
    21. Grace Majestic Quilting Frame (King, queen, & Crib size)
    22. 4 king size leader polls or 8 crib size
    23. Cloth Leaders
    24. Velcro Leader Attachments
    25. Plastic Tube Leader Attachments
    26. Blue plastic leader attachment roller
    27. 1 Large pink spool of thread
    28. 1 king size Frame table or 2 crib size
    29. Jewel Track System
    30. And many many more extras!

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  23. #23
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    If only I had a room big enough for it. Maybe someday my dream will come true. Until there can only wish!

  24. #24
    Member wtxpeach's Avatar
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    I really wish I could help you out here. That is really way too much for me. Good luck with your sale!

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