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Thread: Looking to get a longarm...where will I get my tops?

  1. #1
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    Looking to get a longarm...where will I get my tops?

    Like the title says, I am considering pulling the trigger on a Gammill Statler Stitcher. Like many of us, I fell in love with the precision of the computer as well as the smooth, cloud-like hand guidance. I am not an insanely fast piecer, and only put together a top or two a month. I have four waiting to be quilted, but what should I move on to after them? I am not particularly interested in running the longarm as a business, especially not at first. Also, I do not belong to a quilt guild or anything like that. It is just me, the internet, and my quilting. Where do you guys source your tops when you're starting out?

  2. #2
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    There are quite a few charity quilting groups that will be happy for your help. I do work for Quilts Beyond Borders which mails tops to quilters; you can go to their website for more information. You can also google charity quilting groups in your area.

  3. #3
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I agree - charity quilts are your best bet. Check with your local quilt shops and guilds to see if they can put you in touch with groups who quilt for charity. They will appreciate your contribution immensely.

  4. #4
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Also contact your LQS and local churches - you may find many of them make charity quilts.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Quilting charity quilts is the only way to go. My charity tops are going to a newbie LAQ so she can hone her skills.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  6. #6
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    Are you looking for tops to practice on? I agree that charity groups in your area would probably love to have a longarmer volunteer to quilt some of their quilts. You might ask for $5 or so for the thread you will use, per quilt, unless you want that to be your donation to the charity.

    If you are looking to buy tops for yourself, I piece tops for sale. You can pm me if that is what you need.

    Good luck with your new machine!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewbizgirl
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    "The reward of a thing well done is having done it." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    Senior Member tinliz's Avatar
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    Linda Rotz Miller used to post on this site. She makes some amazing tops that are for sale at http://www.quiltsandquilttops.com/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahawk65 View Post
    Like the title says, I am considering pulling the trigger on a Gammill Statler Stitcher. Like many of us, I fell in love with the precision of the computer as well as the smooth, cloud-like hand guidance. I am not an insanely fast piecer, and only put together a top or two a month. I have four waiting to be quilted, but what should I move on to after them? I am not particularly interested in running the longarm as a business, especially not at first. Also, I do not belong to a quilt guild or anything like that. It is just me, the internet, and my quilting. Where do you guys source your tops when you're starting out?
    You're just what I'm looking for. I need a longarmer for the charity quilts I make. I can't stand quilting them and usually just plow across them. SVAL

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Another option is to buy "cheater" tops for practice. There are some nice ones available on eBay. This is one I did - http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...d-t214440.html

    Also once you get your longarm you may find that your friends just love to share their tops to help you out.

  10. #10
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    Great ideas guys! All links provided have been very helpful. When I get it, I know where to turn!

  11. #11
    Super Member Kathy T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebD800 View Post
    There are quite a few charity quilting groups that will be happy for your help. I do work for Quilts Beyond Borders which mails tops to quilters; you can go to their website for more information. You can also google charity quilting groups in your area.
    I'll second this motion - Quilts Beyond Borders is a great group and they have regional coordinators all over the country to send and receive the quilts so postage isn't a lot. Another thought is to check for a Project Linus group in your area. Those quilts are usually small and great to practice different designs and techniques.
    Happy quilting on your new machine!

  12. #12
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    After you get proficient, there is no reason to worry about it. That long arm isn't going anywhere and should last you to the end of your days. Just use it occasionally and it will last. I have had mine for 7 years now, two, maybe three quilts a year go through it. I plan on making it last for as long as I am around and don't plan on expiring anytime soon. No rules say you have to keep the thing loaded and cranking. It makes a nice piece of furniture. You might find a friend who wants to learn and split the cost of running it. tim in san jose

  13. #13
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    Many of the big name quilters have said that they started out with charity quilts. Not only is it an excellent learning tool, but you don't have to keep looking at any "mistakes" you feel you might have made.

    Linda in Missouri

  14. #14
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I hope you will check out Lenova machine, they also have the computerized version. I don't have the computer part but just love my long arm machine
    Patski
    always learning

  15. #15
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    If we knew your general location I am sure some QB members could give you more specific contacts.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  16. #16
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Mine sits when I am not in need of quilting a top. Nothing says you have to use it all the time. You don't seem to need to pay for it, so just do what you want. Having said that if you want to practice a lot I vote for charity quilts. There are so many places that need quilts.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  17. #17
    Senior Member maryfrang's Avatar
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    Just let friends and others in your area know you have a long arm. They will come out of no where. Be sure to let local churches and social groups know you will be willing to do charity quilts. And there is also the internet. Search under quilts for charity, or keep you eye open for news programs for other advertisements.

  18. #18
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    You can check with Quilts of Valor as well, though they have guidelines you have to meet. I have also gotten quilt tops from http://heartstringsquiltproject.com. They send you tops and bottoms and you donate the finished quilt to whomever you like.

    Definitely check your local guilds, senior centers, scout groups, or church groups to see if they have charity quilts to quilt.

  19. #19
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    I would love to find a local LAQ to do my charity quilts. I find I like the piecing better than the quilting. I have several tops waiting to be quilted but just don't have the inspiration or talent to do anything but straight line quilting. Have fun with your new toy.

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