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Thread: Longarm Comparison

  1. #1
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    Ok so I've decided I need a longarm because as old age sets in, arthritis in my shoulder is making it harder and harder to quilt. I started to look at the HQ18, the Tin Lizzie and now the Babylock and am starting to get really confused. Add to that the possibility of just getting the frame and using my Bernina to quilt. That sounds ok, but is 6 inches enough to do what I want to do. I really would appreciate help in telling the various longarms apart. Also does anyone have just a frame and use their sewing machine? Yes, I also am cringing at spending allot of money too. Help please!

  2. #2
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    You also might check out the Bailey machine, they have a good reputation from what I understand.

  3. #3
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    Bailey....I've never heard of them. Have they been around long?

  4. #4
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I started with my brother 1500, 6 inches. After just a few quilts it sat there for almost 2 years not being used. I now have the HQ 16 and would love to upgrade to the Avente 18 inch. In just over 2 years I will have quilted 200 quilts/items on it and LOVE it!

  5. #5
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    I think they've been around quite a while, if you Goggle Bailey quilting machine, you can find out more about them. I think at least a couple members of the board have one. It's what I'm thinking about getting when I get the room and the money.

  6. #6
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    go to the next, biggest show you can get to. all the machines are there for your quilting pleasure. test drive every one of them. see what you like and don't like. decide how much you want to spend. some of the prices may astound you. if you want to make large quilts, queen to king, imo you need something bigger than a 6" throat. it's just frustrating otherwise. not to mention the strain on your shoulders and arms. if you use a 6"er on a frame, your work area becomes very small as you roll up your finished work under the throat of your machine, because the roll prevents the machine from going forward enough to make any headway.
    i don't know if i explained it right. i had the brother 1600s, bigger than a regular home sewer, and i ended up selling it. it drove me nuts because it was so hard to make big quilts. after all, that was why i got it. i ended up only making 2 quilts, injuring myself and staying as far away from it as possible until i sold it. now i have an 18"er, the tin lizzie. very basic by choice and price., but works just fine. i tried everything, but everything. and then i felt i could make my decision and the best deal.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Be sure to join the homequiltingsystems group at http://groups.yahoo.com . There is a lot of comparison information in the files there, plus you can read through old posts and ask questions. It's a very active list with quilters who have all kinds of different setups. From reading posts there now and then, you can be pretty sure that a domestic machine will get frustrating pretty quickly because of the small area available for quilting once you start rolling the quilt. Quite a few people like the HQ16.

  8. #8
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    there is a longarm show coming up in may in Mo. where i am when you google a longarm machine look at the shows they will be at. and the site http://groups.yahoo.com/ is good too. i am also looking for a longarm i want the 26 in then i will never run out of room and i wont ever need to upgrade but im waiting for may for the show to decide

    i have a janomie and i only get 5 in thats nuts
    mema

  9. #9

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    I have a Juki 9". As the quilt is being done it's rolled onto the take up roller, which is inside the throat of the machine, so the quilting area gets smaller. By the end of a queen quilt I have only a 5" wide area to quilt. That's not enough. I really don't think you'd be happy using your regular machine on a frame unless you were doing very small quilts.
    I'm looking for an 18" machine. One I'm considering is the ABM Innova. You might want to check it out.

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco
    I have a Juki 9". As the quilt is being done it's rolled onto the take up roller, which is inside the throat of the machine, so the quilting area gets smaller. By the end of a queen quilt I have only a 5" wide area to quilt. That's not enough. I really don't think you'd be happy using your regular machine on a frame unless you were doing very small quilts.
    I'm looking for an 18" machine. One I'm considering is the ABM Innova. You might want to check it out.
    I bought the 26" Innova in December. I love it, and the price is less than some others. To me, the price difference between 18" and 26" was not that great, and I am using the full 26".

    However, a longarm is a big investment in money and in space. If you can't make that investment yet, try quilting in sections. I used that method on quite a few large quilts and felt that it was a good alternative to wrestling with a large quilt in a small machine throat. The book Machine Quilting in Sections by Marti Michell explains this very thoroughly. (No, this is not quite the same as quilt-as-you-go.)

    http://www.amazon.com/Michell-Machin...6169828&sr=8-1

  11. #11
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    I'm a Bailey owner -- my machine has a 15" throat, which I find is plenty to do what I want. I got mine used for less than $1000; a new 15" is $1900, which is much more affordable than buying a true longarm. On the other hand, the Bailey doesn't have a lot of the bells and whistles that a true longarm would have; there's also the additional cost of buying the frame and the stitch regulator as well to keep in mind.

    There are a couple of 13" machines (with frame) for sale on the baileyquiltingmachines yahoo group -- it's a good place to keep an eye out for people selling their used machines/setups, as well as to ask questions. I'm also happy to answer any questions as well, although I'm no expert.

  12. #12
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    coco does your have a stitch regulator on it i am looking and i don't know this one i will google it thanks
    mema

  13. #13
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    go to the next, biggest show you can get to. all the machines are there for your quilting pleasure. test drive every one of them. see what you like and don't like. decide how much you want to spend. some of the prices may astound you. if you want to make large quilts, queen to king, imo you need something bigger than a 6" throat. it's just frustrating otherwise. not to mention the strain on your shoulders and arms. if you use a 6"er on a frame, your work area becomes very small as you roll up your finished work under the throat of your machine, because the roll prevents the machine from going forward enough to make any headway.
    i don't know if i explained it right. i had the brother 1600s, bigger than a regular home sewer, and i ended up selling it. it drove me nuts because it was so hard to make big quilts. after all, that was why i got it. i ended up only making 2 quilts, injuring myself and staying as far away from it as possible until i sold it. now i have an 18"er, the tin lizzie. very basic by choice and price., but works just fine. i tried everything, but everything. and then i felt i could make my decision and the best deal.
    what a great idea

  14. #14
    Senior Member JoyVoltenburg's Avatar
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    You might want to take a look at the Voyager 17 on the Hinterberg frame. They have a special for a package (including stitch regulator) for around $4300 right now. I'm seriously considering getting one. I drove one at a show last year and liked it.

  15. #15
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    Thank you. I'll look into that for sure!
    :)

  16. #16
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    Thanks! The Bailey looks dorky but if it works, great! What kind of frame would you recommend?
    Thanks again for your input. :-)

  17. #17
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    Thanks! The Bailey looks dorky but if it works, great! What kind of frame would you recommend?
    Thanks again for your input. :-)

  18. #18
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    I've read that the Tin Lizzie has reliability problems. How has your machine been? What do you do if it breaks?
    Thanks for your input! :lol:

  19. #19
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    The Voyager is heavy? 70 pounds right? Does that get to be a bit much after allot of quilting?
    Thanks for your info!
    Marian :)

  20. #20
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    Santa brought me a Voyager 17 for Christmas, and I have enjoyed the machine. There are some problems and I am having to ship it back for repair. It is a stretch industrial machine and the finish cracked in shipment. They will pay for return shipping fees for up to a year, but it is still a hassle.

    As far as using the machine, I have loved it. I can meander quilt a twin size in 2-3 hours.

  21. #21
    mnmsparks's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. Does the Voyager seem heavy to move around? The machine, I guess is 70 pounds while most others are around 40 pounds.
    Thanks!

  22. #22
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    I just bouht a Tin Lizzie and love it. I also have health problems and could not fight with a heavy quilt on reg. machine. I got mine for 6500.00 at Needle & Thread in Statesville NC. (Reg stitches) They are the nicest people you could ever meet. They cme to WV and set the machine up and she had me to do a quilt, I had ready before she would leave. No one else would even come set it up for me. There were two shops within 10 miles of my hame that sells them , but would not come and set up. Treasa at "Needle and Thread" Told me if I had any trouble to just call her. And I have. LOL (It was me threading the machine wrong ) but she was there for me. That means a lot.
    Nena

  23. #23
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I use my Juki TL98QE and roll the quilt up, the center gets a little hard, I stitch top to bottom through the middle, then side to side through the middle, then quilt each section, always quilting next to quilting and I love it. I do meandering or large stipple. I have no room for any kind of frame or long arm. This works great for me. I have quilted 36 by machine so far and hope to do lots more. If you have room and money some kind of long arm w/frame would be a good deal.

  24. #24
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnmsparks
    I've read that the Tin Lizzie has reliability problems. How has your machine been? What do you do if it breaks?
    Thanks for your input! :lol:
    mine has been very reliable. i've had it for 2- years and had one small problem (my fault) with a small spring wire that boinged out of place. i shouldn't have done something i did. i called the factory and they walked me through the problem right then and there. later when i discovered their website someone posted the same problem and it was immediately answered with pictures. it's basically a mechanical machine, so a repairman can fix it. i did not get the new computerized one and i'm not sorry.

    i tell everyone to go to the blogsite of the machine you're interested in and read the posts. lurk for a while and see what kind of problems people are having. but remember that people with no problems at all don't post in.

  25. #25
    Super Member grammyp's Avatar
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    The Voyager moves ever so easily! Just a gentle touch and it glides along the frame. I think it has more to do with the frame than the machine as far as movement.

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