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

    Old 02-12-2016, 01:05 PM
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    Default Mid arm, long arm, stand up, sit down?

    I don't mind researching ... I actually like it. HOWEVER, I've spent enough time (so far) that I could have made a few quilts! I tried a Juki 2200QVP and fell in love in about 5 minutes. In reality, I don't really have space for a frame and am not ready to make a $9,000 investment (I don't do large quilts). The upside is I have a dealer 10-15 minutes away which is important to me. And the Juki moved so easily I felt like I could FMQ better.

    So I'm researching mid-arm/sit-down machines. Unfortunately, dealers are 1.5 to 2.5 hours away ... a long drive just to try a machine. I know you are going to tell me to go to a show ... and I will ... but the last one I attended only had the "big" guys there (Gammill, etc.) which isn't what I need. I've researched the HQ, Bailey, Brother, etc. But with no dealers nearby I'm hoping some will show up at the Charlotte and Salisbury shows coming up soon

    I know some of you prefer a sit-down for health reasons. Others the LA's because you do large quilts. Has anyone used both? Did you FMQ better standing or sitting? I don't plan to quilt for others ... just for charity mostly and for myself. Any suggestions how I stop obsessing over the Juki? LOL

    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 02-12-2016 at 02:55 PM. Reason: venting not permitted
    Sharonquilts is offline  
    Old 02-12-2016, 01:34 PM
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    Since you asked for comments, here's mine:
    First of all, it sounds like you're in the Charlotte area, and there are quite a few dealers throughout the Carolinas. Many of them will make "house calls".
    I personally have an older Viking Mega Quilter (rebranded Tin Lizzie). It is a "stand-up" machine, with a 10" long wooden frame. I got it from an online dealer, and any issues I've had, I resolved with the help of other VMQ owners in the VMQ yahoo group. While I still have the boxes she came in (just in case I need to send her off), I have never had to ship her anywhere.

    A couple of things to help you decide if you are going to go the "sit down" machine route - (1) you can't use the computer/robot system with a sit down machine and (2) if you are not at least a little bit proficient doing quilting on your DSM, you may not like the sit down.

    One quilt shop owner told me this - people are either the sit down type or the stand up type. With the sit down type, you are moving the quilt. With the stand up type, you are moving the machine. You need to figure out which one is the more natural movement for you. Evidently, our brains work a little bit differently between the two different types.

    If you love the Juki, but don't need the really big frame, see if they have a smaller frame. There are often some "demonstrator" size frames on the market, that will probably do up to a twin-size quilt. Since you said you don't do large quilts, this might be one option for you, and the smaller frame will reduce your cost somewhat.

    There is also a Juki 2200 sit-down machine on eBay:

    Good luck in your quest!!

    Last edited by letawellman; 02-12-2016 at 01:37 PM.
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    Old 02-12-2016, 01:35 PM
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    The only thing is that with sit down machine, you can't do pantographs and it doesn't do anything but FMQ. I have quilted my whole life on my older Bernina with less than a 7" throat so if you do just small quilts, why spend more money?? My friend bought one and she wishes that she had done a little more research and gotten the next model up. Good Luck in making your decision.
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    Old 02-12-2016, 03:24 PM
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    I agree that the crucial question is whether you prefer moving the needle over the quilt or moving the quilt under the needle. People get beautiful results both ways, so I think you will FMQ better with the method that is most intuitive for you. You enjoyed using the long arm, so it sounds like you might be the stand up type.
    joe'smom is offline  
    Old 02-12-2016, 03:50 PM
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    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.
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    Old 02-12-2016, 04:03 PM
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    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.
    luvspaper is offline  
    Old 02-12-2016, 04:38 PM
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    If you fell in love with standing up to quilt on a frame, then likely that's the type of quilting you will enjoy forever. I never "loved" quilting on my domestic machine but, the first time I used a frame machine at a quilt show I was "in love".

    Personally, I wouldn't go with a Juki. If you do a search on the QB here you will find a few threads about it. Juki is too new on the frame quilting scene for me. Plus I heard their foot design is a problem for ruler quilting.

    You don't have to invest $9,000 to start frame quilting. I bought my Voyager 17/Hinterberg frame setup used from a quilt guild member for $3,000. Someone else on the QB bought my setup with a stitch regulator for $2,500. What you do need, though, for frame quilting is space. If you don't have enough space for the frame width required for the largest quilts you like to make, you have a problem.

    If you have a local quilt guild, join there and you may find someone who wants to upgrade from an entry level setup to a better quality (more expensive) setup. That's how I got mine, and the seller even volunteered to spend a day or two at my house helping me get used to it. I had done so much research online and on Youtube, I really didn't need her help. Her husband and mine put the frame together for me, and my husband has since helped me install a used stitch regulator and done other minor adjustments on the machine for me. Not everyone needs a dealer close by for help, although if I didn't have my husband to help that might be a deciding factor for me.

    Some people simply prefer quilting on a sitdown to frame quilting. Certainly if you cannot stand for a couple of hours at a time, sitdown is probably a much better bet for you.

    Please do not get fixated on the Juki so early in your search. A quilting machine is a big investment, and you want to make the best choice when you purchase. Some quilters who have jumped in too early have regretted it and ended up selling their first choice and buying something else. The rule-of-thumb for purchasing a quilting machine is to spend at least a year fully researching options and costs before making a decision. That's what I did. The Voyager is not my "dream" machine, but it is a great machine for the budget I set. If I ever come into a lot of money, I will invest in an Innova with lightning stitch but, in the meantime, I'm happy with my Voyager.
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    Old 02-12-2016, 04:56 PM
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    Oh, I thought the title was a workout manuever!

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    Old 02-12-2016, 05:19 PM
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    I really like my sit down. It has 20 wonderful inches of space and I love to go fast. However...it doesn't solve my sandwiching woes (don't like sandwiching at all!). It does stress out my shoulders somewhat, but I really really like FMQ in general so overall I'm happy. Standing at a machine for hours doesn't interest me so that's how I decided.
    Doggramma is offline  
    Old 02-12-2016, 05:27 PM
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    I don't have space for a long-arm so the HQ Sweet 16 was my answer.
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