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Mid arm, long arm, stand up, sit down?

Mid arm, long arm, stand up, sit down?

Old 02-12-2016, 05:38 PM
  #11  
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While I already commented, I had to say that I agree with Prism99 - don't get fixated on the Juki just because you're a little hesitant to drive a little distance.
I spent 4 years (yes, FOUR YEARS!!) test driving several different machines - and I have to say that the Voyager that Prism99 has was also at the top of my list. You say that you worry about investing $9000 in a machine, but you're not crazy about driving around to try the different ones.

Take the time to drive.

You won't be sorry in the long run.

I went to the big AQS show when it came to Nashville, and while I of course spent some time looking at all the beautiful quilts, I spent most of the 4 days test-driving ALL 13 different brands of machines. And I tried them all at least 3-4 times, if not more.
And my favorites? Surprisingly enough, the Voyager and the Tin Lizzie. And the price was not the only deciding factor.

You need to think of it this way - you wouldn't buy just the first car you saw - you would go to several different dealerships and try other makes and models, until you found the one that was "just right". This investment should not be any less important.

OK, off my soapbox now.
Again, good luck!!
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:14 PM
  #12  
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I am not the OP and it will be a few years at least before I can purchase a quilting machine. But I appreciate all the replies so far.

I am heading to Puyallup and plan to test out as many long arm set ups as I can while there.

I am in the interesting position of knowing I will be moving this summer and when shopping for a new house, I will be considering which ones have room enough inside or a workshop that can be my quilting studio. So as well as testing out the various machines, I will be getting the measurements of how much space is needed to properly accommodate the various machines.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:02 PM
  #13  
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Lots of good comments on the difference between the "sit down" and long arms/frames. I have a Gammill bought used and while I was doing some twin size quilts on my DSM and loved FMQ, have to say that the strain on my shoulders and the difficulty getting a quilt sandwiched (especially when you can't get on your knees!) really sent me in the direction of a long arm. Fortunately, I have space for one in my basement. I love FMQ and using rulers on my long arm and the process sures seems much more intuitive than moving the fabric.

One concern I hear others says is that they can't stand to long arm. I use a drafting stool (I hate pantos so not doing them often is a blessing)while I work with rulers and most FMQ--I stand to do my basting and if quilting a long line across a quilt. So needing to sit is possible.

One other concern is distance to a dealer for technique support and service. It is darn near impossible to take your long arm in for service, but I've found excellent service via the phone and the dealership does send techs periodically. And frankly, my friend that sells sit downs talks about how heavy they are and makes it sound like you don't just drag them in for servicing either--so that seems like a "wash" to me.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:43 AM
  #14  
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I knew you quilters could talk me out of the mental frenzy I was experiencing. My post title came from frustration but I'm glad some of you thought it humorous. Ha.

Clearly, I need to get off the computer and on the road to physically try a variety of machines. LOL. My DSM has about a 9" harp but I manage to FMQ. I think when I tried the Juki and it moved so easily, I was smitten. In all fairness, I need to try a sit-down machine ... could be with the extra space to move the quilt, I might be quite happy.

Re: service, I have read that many of you are able to work out any problems by phone. I may have to get over not having a dealer nearby. Sorta like taking off the training wheels and learning to ride a bike by yourself - Ha.

So, now my goal is to attend 2 nearby shows coming up (1 in a couple weeks, the other in mid March). Then, if necessary, contact dealers up to a couple hours away and arrange to look at some machines I haven't tried. Contacting local guilds (for a used machine) is also a great idea I had not thought of.

So I'm going to get back to quilting in the mean time and work on visiting places about every 2 weeks to tryout machines. Karyl on this board has recommended a dealer she is very happy with so I may have to make that 2.5 hour drive and try the HQ.

Thank you all so much.

Sharon
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:40 AM
  #15  
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I'm just about where you are Sharon... still in the test drive mode. However, I have only had experience on stand up LA machines (APQS and HandiQuilter) at classes I have taken. I don't have the room (yet) for a big machine but know that I am more of a standing FMQ than a sitting one. There are so many things to take into consideration but I think service is top on the list.
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Old 02-13-2016, 05:25 AM
  #16  
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I am definitely wired for stand up frame quilting. I found sit down FMQ awkward and no matter how much I tried to relax while doing it I constantly found myself all tensed up, especially around the shoulders and neck. Additionally I hated sandwiching with a white hot passion! I was not opposed to "quilting by check" and did send a larger quilt off to be quilted back when Green Fairy was still starting out and a member of this board. I was elated with the result and I could get a LOT of quilts professionally custom longarmed for the price of a setup. But I signed up to take a longarm class so I could rent and that was all she wrote. In that short time I realized I REALLY loved frame quilting, just as much, if not more than I loved piecing quilts. It came very naturally to me and I was definitely hooked. So then I made a list of pros and cons about purchasing a setup and started saving like a demon. While my love of it played heavily into my decision (of course! why would we spend that kind of money on something we didn't completely and utterly covet?!) I also tried to evaluate the decision based on the advantages and disadvantages. The advantage list was much longer. I was fortunate that I met my longarm "soulmate" early on in my search, an Innova. A little more then a year after deciding I bought one of my dealer's demo models. The rest, as we shall say, is history.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:31 AM
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I enjoy using pantograph designs on my quilts. I started using them on my Janome 6600P sewing machine. Then did them on my Horizon 7700 machine. Now I do them on my Artistic sit down. I should mention I am in my late 70s and too old to learn more advanced FMQing.

I discovered that I could purchase the pantograph designs in digital form. I then use Photoshop to enlarge them to the size I need. Print them off and make a master copy on Golden Thread paper. I have
completed a number of quilts using this method: table runners up to queen size sheets. More work than FMQing but I enjoy finishing my quilts this way. I am presently working on a quilt 90 x 85. I will try to attach a small quilt I finished recently.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]542578[/ATTACH]

Not sure why the picture is so small.
Attached Thumbnails kindling.jpg   kindling-corner-quilting.jpg  

Last edited by Fastpedal; 02-13-2016 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:43 AM
  #18  
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I loved that particular Juki too, it moves heavenly, not like my clunky Avante. I think you can get a long arm with a smaller table, can't you? Good luck, I just wish I had done more research and trying machines out before buying.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:58 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Fastpedal View Post
I enjoy using pantograph designs on my quilts. I started using them on my Janome 6600P sewing machine. Then did them on my Horizon 7700 machine. Now I do them on my Artistic sit down. I should mention I am in my late 70s and too old to learn more advanced FMQing.

I discovered that I could purchase the pantograph designs in digital form. I then use Photoshop to enlarge them to the size I need. Print them off and make a master copy on Golden Thread paper. I have
completed a number of quilts using this method: table runners up to queen size sheets. More work than FMQing but I enjoy finishing my quilts this way. I am presently working on a quilt 90 x 85. I will try to attach a small quilt I finished recently.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]542578[/ATTACH]

Not sure why the picture is so small.
I have done similar with my sit-down Tiara. Where there is a will, there is a way! I am getting better with my FMQing and love the next level of creativity it has taken me. My sewing room is small, so no room for a frame arrangement. We have a full basement, but it is my DH's woodworking cave, plus don't want to be down there hours on end, even if we would partition off an area for me. I need LIGHT and a view! I love the arrangement I have which works for me. My knees would never be able to stand for hours to quilt. I just rearranged my sewing room with a new vinyl plank floor installation and had my DH add hooks in the ceiling, with bungie cords and clamps to help lift the excess weight of the quilts off the sit-down table. Will let you know how it works in a future post.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]542581[/ATTACH]
Good luck with your research. Everyone has their own skill set and you will find out what works better for you.
Attached Thumbnails dscf4882.jpg  
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:23 AM
  #20  
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Best part of a frame quilt system..NO BASTING. I hated that step. I am very prolific. I could make the frame smaller as it just sits on 2 tables but I have enough room to have it full size. It is in an alcove in the living room. Our house is 1,000 sq feet. We are renters and I had to make sure there was room enough for it. It is that important to me.

I chose a Handiquilter 16 bought via Craigslist. I do free motion quilting from the front. I am mainly a charity quilter so those people have no idea not care if I cross over a line. I do not like pantos as they are slow and I do not like being behind the machine.

My dream machine is the Avante made by Handiquilter.
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