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

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

Old 02-13-2016, 07:53 AM
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I just bought a mid arm Tiara III and LOVE,LOVE it. I did not have room, nor did I want a large long arm machine. This mid arm is such a breeze to operate with no hassle at all!!. It can handle any quilt I have and I like the body at the back of the machine too.(as opposed to the side) Tried the Sweet 16 and Innova but this one is quiter and not jumpy like some others. EASY to thread and just the best thing ever for my quilting needs. Plus the price is so much better than others. I got a deal and It was $5,000. Good luck to you! p.s. Show prices are not always the best they wanted $6,900 at the Ontario Quilt show for my Tiara III.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:01 AM
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why not make an adventure of going to the dealer. Take a friend or two and plan on going to lunch, or if it is big town, maybe a show after visiting the dealer. This way you make a whole day of it with friends. Even if you decide you didn't care for the machine, the day would have been fun with your friends (or hubby).
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:29 PM
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Fastpedal, that is a beautiful quilt. Fallonquilter, I just tried a Tiara today.

So today I tried a BL Tiara (either 17" or 20", forgot to write that down) sit-down with and w/o the SR. Nice machine, nice stitch quality, was not crazy about the SR (goes under the quilt) $5,500. Then I tried a Bernina sit-down w/built-in SR (24" I think). Wow! Great machine but very pricey $10,500. Loved the BSR.

After trying 2 sit-down mid-arms, I went back to my dealer to try the Juki 2200QVP long arm. I was shocked that it didn't feel as easy to move as I remembered! Then I tried the Brother Innov-is 2400 mounted on the new Dreamweaver frame. Hmmm ... again, wasn't as easy to quilt with as I expected. Both had SR's so I liked the stitch quality.

So I think I have discovered I must be a "move the paper" person. I'm a little surprised by that. Maybe because I'm used to moving the quilt on my DSM. And I've discovered that a SR that sits "under" the quilt doesn't seem to regulate stitch length as well as one built into the machine.

So my search is going the way of a sit-down mid-arm I guess. Ha! Now back to the computer to see what else Bernina has to offer with large harp/throat space. Thanks everyone for pushing me out the door to try machines.
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:08 PM
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Just because you have a stand up quilting machine does not mean you have to stand there for hours quilting! I have a stand up and can only quilt for about 2 hours at a time because of pain. A sit down would drive me nuts. Just saying you don't have to spend hours standing up to quilt. Give that a thought too.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:30 PM
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If you have a Juki dealer that close, why not try out Juki's sit-down machine there? I tried one in Houston and liked
it, although I wanted it for thread painting. I have a longarm (Innova) that I love and ended up buying a used sit-
down one from a friend, but if that hadn't come along I would have gotten the Juki.
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:26 PM
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Paper princess, you hit the nail on the head with it's the difference between moving the pen or the paper. Thanks, I've been trying to tell DH about the difference and he has had a hard time thinking of a long arm. Perfect description.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:27 AM
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I have an older mid arm machine (Pfaff Grand Quilter) on a 10 foot frame. I wanted to use it for pantographs and large designs, but I quickly realized that I was severely limited by the lack of throat space. The finished part of the quilt rolls up into the throat area leaving only a small area for you to work. It sews beautifully as a freestanding machine off of the frame. I plan to set it up on a table and to use it for freemotion and walking foot quilting. This machine has feed dogs, unlike some of the newer table models. You need to decide what your goals are and your budget. I jumped into my decision too quickly and did not get what I had dreamt of.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
Sorry, your title reminds me of my old high school football cheer (reworded a bit):
Mid arm, long arm, how's it built?
stand up, sit down, quilt, quilt, quilt!
But seriously, I did find the FMQ movement on my domestic machine much more difficult than using a longarm. For me it was much more natural to move the pencil rather than the paper. It sounds like the opposite may be true for you. Another thing you may think about trying is to see if there is a place near you that rents time on a long arm. This may help you cross that off your list.
still giggling about the cheer
However I seriously 'second' your advice
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by luvspaper View Post
I agree with joesmom....sitting and moving the fabric is so much easier on my brain than moving a Longarm would be..but that may be because I FMQ'd on my domestic for quite a few years before getting sitdown HQ16 Sweet Sixteen. I've had it more than 4 years and still love it.

No I can't do pantos... but there are so many more things I can do like ruler work that just didn't work on a domestic. And I love having the throat space and table space. I suppose I could have tried to get a table to drop my Elna into, but then that would have worn out my Elna. So I also get a much longer life out of my domestic (that is close to 15 yrs old).

So I don't regret getting a sitdown. However, if you have back or shoulder issues, a sitdown might not be for you.

eta : there used to be a dealer in Taylorsville. He closed his quilt shop though. That's where I got mine (I am on the SE side of Charlotte) I've not had any issues at all with mine needing any service, etc.
the sweet 16 can be purchased with an adjustable height table...sooooo you can quilt standing rather than sitting ......unless you are, like, 6 feet tall.
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:53 AM
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I don't have an SR on my HQ sitdown and haven't missed it. I do think it does take some practice but if you are used to a domestic the learning curve is so small. I too have a brain block to a long arm. I think a lot of it is what you have trained your brain to do. If you have only pieced on a domestic then FMQ might be easier on a long arm, but if you FMQ on a domestic (moving the paper) then moving to a sitdown has very little change.

My dealer was amazed at the fact that I sat down at the HQ S16 and just started FMQ -- he left me to my devices to play with it pretty quickly and I walked out the door with it.
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