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Thread: Mid arm machines

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mona Lisa 2011's Avatar
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    What constitutes a Mid Arm machine and how are they different from a domestic sewing machine?

  2. #2
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Domestic usually have a 9" space between the column and the needle. Mid-arms usually have 11"-15", long arms start at about 18".

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    mid arm machines are larger than your regular domestic machine- with more throat space- giving you more room to quilt.
    smaller than a long-arm--an (inbetween)

  4. #4
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Can you name some brands? I was wondering the same thing! Thanks for asking this question!

  5. #5
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    I'd say that APQS' Lenni would count as a midarm machine.

  6. #6
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    HQ 16 is another one.

  7. #7
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    This was educational for me. I thought mid arms started at 9". Learn something every day on this board!

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    Oh, I'd also say Bernina's 820, 830 etc. are midarms.

  9. #9
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    I think a mid arm is usually on a frame, although the sweet 16 by HandiQuilter is a sit down. My HQ 16 is a mid arm.

    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    mid arm machines are larger than your regular domestic machine- with more throat space- giving you more room to quilt.
    smaller than a long-arm--an (inbetween)

  10. #10
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Viking's Sapphire line is midarm

  11. #11
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    I have a Bailey Mid Arm and it fits on my Grace Frame.

  12. #12
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I have a Juki 98Q with a 9 inch throat that I consider a mid-arm. So I would say that the definitions vary with the folks who have opinions. I have mine on a Grace GMQ frame.

  13. #13
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    My Babylock Ellegante at a 9" throat is considered a mid-arm machine. I was told by the dealer the mid-arms start at 9".

  14. #14
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmoore
    Oh, I'd also say Bernina's 820, 830 etc. are midarms.
    They have some of the length between needle and pillar, but they certainly lack the height between machine bed and underside of machine compared to an HQ16 for instance. The height of my HQ is approx double that of the 820/830.

  15. #15
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    Several companies make midarm machines...
    Bailey Home Quilter- can be used either sit down or on a frame and they come in 13", 15" and 17"
    WoW sells a stretched domestic machine
    Voyager is a 17" machine and is VERY heavy we're talking 75+ pounds but it's solid.
    Handiquilter sells the 16" machine
    Nolting has a few midarms as well.
    Janome, Babylock, Viking etc have them as well. Pretty much just about every company has them - minus Singer but I don't think highly of the new Singers so there is no love lost there imho.

    It all depends on how much money you want to spend. If you are looking to get more quilting space I would bypass the 9" machine if it were me and get at least a 15" or 16" machine

  16. #16
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Great thread, when I upgrade my machine this is what I am going for. I cannot justify a longarm right now so I think a midarm is the best option. :)

  17. #17
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    One thing to keep in mind, only strait stitch machines set up on a table can have a stitch regulator added.
    I have a Sapphire 830 with a 10 in throat and needle down but you still have to shove a quilt thru it. I paid $1100 for it new a few yrs ago. It helped but its not a long arm.
    I cant afford a long arm machine but can do a strait stitch on a frame so I get mine on Mon. These machines are reasonably priced, The Brother runs around $600. The stitch regulator runs $500. With a table it will run around $2000 for the set up.
    Of course you need the room for it. Mine will be taking up the dining area of my living room.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    only strait stitch machines set up on a table can have a stitch regulator added.
    Bernina has a bit of technology they call the BSR - Bernina Stitch Regulator. Their machines can be placed on a frame, or used as a sit-down stitch regulated free motion machine. That being said, they're *hideously* expensive - my 440 in Canada costs nearly $4,000 new. The Mid-Arm 820 and 830 also come with a BSR (I think), and they can be placed on a frame as well (In fact, Bernina does sell a frame for these machines, but I've heard any frame will work.)

    The BSR is tricky to use, and can sometimes not produce the world's most consistent results. I get a lot of skipped stitches, and if the fabric is very plain or very shiny it doesn't work very well. (I'm fairly certain the technology is similar to that which is found inside an optical mouse.) It's wonderful, though, if you're working on small projects (like coasters, quilted pillows, or bags) that are impractical to load onto a frame.

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