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Thread: LongArmers...Stitch Regulator or No?

  1. #1
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Those of you who are lucky enough to own longarm machines....can you comment on why it is or isn't necessary to get a machine that's regulated? I assume it's similar to the Bernina BSR? It seems all the top award winners that are featured on all the programs tout the stitch regulated machines and I was wondering how important it is. There are a ton of older non-regulated machines on the market and I assume they can't be upgraded? Thanks for your opinions.

  2. #2
    Super Member nena's Avatar
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    I would never make it without the stitch regulater.
    It keeps the stitches all the same size no matter how slow or fast you move the machine.

  3. #3
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I have a short arm setup, but same principle. It has a stitch regulator, and I couldn't work without it. I am not consistent in how I move the machine, so the regulator helps keep my stitches more even. However it is not foolproof, and I am a fool that can cause great, long stitches even with a regulator!! :-) :-)

  4. #4
    Junior Member Nettie's Avatar
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    I have a stitch regulator on mine, but as Jancie stated not fool proof. I have some quilts with some very uneven stitches on it even though the stitch regulator was turned on. I am thinking of trying it without it and see if there is a big difference. Could be I don't know.

    Nettie

  5. #5
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    I have a stitch regulator on mine. It is great but I do have to be careful when I first push the button to start stitching to be sure to wait until I hear the beep before I start moving the machine otherwise my first stitch will be to long but that is the only one. When I turn off the stitch regulator and start stitching manually it is a wake up call to me as to how helpful the stitch regulator really is.

  6. #6
    Terri C's Avatar
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    I think if you never had one you can't miss it. My machine does have it and I love it. I really never have not used it. I like it because I can stop and think about what I'm doing or where I want to go next without having to turn the machine off or the stitching (what ever you want to call it). They say the machines run smoother with it off and it does, but it's also another learning curve you have to go thru. Just me 2 cents worth.

  7. #7
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I would do without my "Shirley Stitcher" before I would do without the stitch regulator.

  8. #8
    Super Member TammyM's Avatar
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    I have a stitch regulator on mine. I use it most of the time. I do turn it off when I'm doing a very tight background fill. It is easy to outrun it while doing the fills.

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Do these work similarly to how the BSR on Berninas work? With a small laser light that "reads" the speed of the fabric going by?

  10. #10
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I have a stitch regulator which i NEVER USE. I have a few times turned it on, it drives me crazy! i have a friend who rents time on my machine and always uses it. when i teach people to use the machine i do not allow them to use it until they are comfortable with the machine, i think of it just like cruise control on your car, if you do not have good control on your own you have no business setting the cruise control (at least that's my thought process) so, once you learn to use the machine and self-regulate fairly well, then go ahead and 'turn it on'...i think that the machines on the market are probably still 'up-gradeable' but it is an expensive feature to add. I bought my machine new and the regulator option added $1,700 to the cost of the machine...i really feel like i wasted my money, but i know people who love them and would not even try to quilt without...so, i guess it is a relative thing; depends on each individual.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I would not buy a longarm that didn't have a stitch regulator. When I am trying to learn a new design, I don't want to have to worry about the stith length as well as the formation of the new design. This is just me, everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

    P.S. I always drive with my cruise control also. It helps with my gas mileage.

  12. #12
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    I also have one but don't use it exclusively.
    it regulates the stitches based on the movement of the machine not the fabric as in the bernina.
    but basically the same principal

  13. #13
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    I wouldn't be without a stitch regulator. But keep in mind, they aren't all created equal. If you're longarm shopping, you should compare them. I thought my HQ16 did a great job until I compared it to my Millennium... night and day difference! Plus I've never outrun the regulator on my Milly, but always outran it on the HQ.

  14. #14
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlaceruby
    I also have one but don't use it exclusively.
    it regulates the stitches based on the movement of the machine not the fabric as in the bernina.
    but basically the same principal
    Interesting. It makes sense it would be a different system.

  15. #15
    Super Member Lakeview Quilting's Avatar
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    I have quilted for 14 years and never have had a stitch regulator. For me, it's about smooth, steady movement of the machine. I guess it's what one gets used to. I believe most of the older models can be retrofitted to add the stitch regulator if you are looking to purchase a pre-owned machine. Check with the Manufacture, if you are.

  16. #16
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeview Quilting
    I have quilted for 14 years and never have had a stitch regulator. For me, it's about smooth, steady movement of the machine. I guess it's what one gets used to. I believe most of the older models can be retrofitted to add the stitch regulator if you are looking to purchase a pre-owned machine. Check with the Manufacture, if you are.
    I've wondered why people don't just do this? Unless the older machines can't be retrofitted to the new computerized programs.

  17. #17
    sewbusy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakeview Quilting
    I have quilted for 14 years and never have had a stitch regulator. For me, it's about smooth, steady movement of the machine. I guess it's what one gets used to. I believe most of the older models can be retrofitted to add the stitch regulator if you are looking to purchase a pre-owned machine. Check with the Manufacture, if you are.
    I agree with you, I didn't believe I could quilt and be happy with the work until I actually use the machine for awhile. And really it didn't take long to get the swing of it. The regulator may be nice but not necessary in my opinion.

  18. #18
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    I do not have a stich regulater on my machine. It costs aprox. 3500.00 to upgrade. That is about half of what a new machine would cost (machine only). I would love to get a light weight machine with a stich reg. But agine I just can not afford it. The machines are so expensive. So I am grateful for the one I have.

  19. #19
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friendly Quilter
    I do not have a stich regulater on my machine. It costs aprox. 3500.00 to upgrade. That is about half of what a new machine would cost (machine only). I would love to get a light weight machine with a stich reg. But agine I just can not afford it. The machines are so expensive. So I am grateful for the one I have.
    I see. So, it doesn't make sense to upgrade the machine if you can buy a new one. So much for recycling:<

  20. #20
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    I have had my nonstitch regulated Gammill machine 10 years. I was lucky, the guy who set up my machine had it so very level. with no binding, ran so smooth that I was able to stitch evenly from the beginning. I tried to stitch on a stitch regulated Gammill but was so frustrated - it would not start stitching until I started moving it. If a person would take a ruler and measure my stitches, I'm sure they would not be all the same size. But without measuring them they look very nice and even. Several quilts that I have quilted have taken blue ribbons and Best Machine Quilting so I certainly don't worry about the length of stitches. I just relax and stitch.

  21. #21
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    I have a stitch regulator which i NEVER USE. I have a few times turned it on, it drives me crazy! i have a friend who rents time on my machine and always uses it. when i teach people to use the machine i do not allow them to use it until they are comfortable with the machine, i think of it just like cruise control on your car, if you do not have good control on your own you have no business setting the cruise control (at least that's my thought process) so, once you learn to use the machine and self-regulate fairly well, then go ahead and 'turn it on'...i think that the machines on the market are probably still 'up-gradeable' but it is an expensive feature to add. I bought my machine new and the regulator option added $1,700 to the cost of the machine...i really feel like i wasted my money, but i know people who love them and would not even try to quilt without...so, i guess it is a relative thing; depends on each individual.
    when i first got my machine i used it, but now i never do. i'm very steady without it and it drives me nuts. i wish i'd used the money for other accessories instead. i so agree with ckcowl.

  22. #22
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Okay -- that does it. I KNOW my stitch regulator doesn't work!!!! My stitches vary even when going changing the speed just a little bit. I'm going to see what I can do about that!!!

  23. #23
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    thank you for that info. As i read above about the stitich regulator and it controling the size of the stitch no matter how fast you go. i agree with you. that isn't always so as is in my case, sometime with my BSR i get some long stitches because in turn the corner too fast . definetely i am still learning.

  24. #24
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    yep mine do too.

  25. #25
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    Definitely a must for me

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