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Need Advice about buying first Longarm!!!

Need Advice about buying first Longarm!!!

Old 09-09-2011, 09:37 AM
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Hi,
I am relatively new to quilting, and I am starting a charity to make quilts for cancer patients, and also to sell for cancer charities. I am pretty quick doing simple patterns, but take a while to quilt my work. It is painful - my arm and my neck and back end up killing me, pushing and pulling and shoving, and getting all sorts of frustrated!!! I would like to get a longarm so that I can do a quilt top in a few hours, rather than days!! I am able to do a simple quilting pattern on my friend's longarm in about 2 hours, so it would save me a ton of time!!

So, what do you recommend?? I am on a budget, big time. Around 5K, tops!!! I may need financing, so used is probably not an option for me. I looked at the Tin Lizzie online, the Queen one??? I need simple, probably a stitch regulator, nothing else complex. I also do a lot of art quilts, which I probably wouldn't do on a longarm???

Can anyone help with suggestions? Thank you very much,
Nancy

I am using a Janome 6300 (???) now, it has a good sized opening, but it is still a trial. Thanks!
Semi-newbie!!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:41 AM
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I have a Viking branded Tin lizzie, with stitch regulator and love it. I'm not very good yet, but it is so much fun. It is not fussy about thread, was easy to set the tension and pretty basic to operate.
If you have a Viking dealer (maybe in JoAnns) near you, you may want to check and see. They were on sale this summer.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:46 AM
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Thanks! That is what I need - simple and not fussy!! I didn't know Viking made Tin Lizzie?? I have a Viking dealer near me, I will go check it out,
Nancy
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:51 AM
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While you are waiting for your longarm, you might want to try quilting standing up. I place my machine on my cutting table and put a styrofoam table around it to create a flat surface (directions on Youtube). This is *much* easier on my neck and shoulders, so I can quilt much longer without getting fatigued.

You might want to join the Yahoo group homequiltingsystems for advice. This is a large, active group of home quilters with a wide variety of midarm and longarm setups. The rule-of-thumb advice on that group is to research setups for a year before actually buying one, as there are a lot of choices out there.

Also, if you want to be more economical, you might want to start out with a homemade setup. I am currently looking at the following possibilities:
http://www.easyquilter.com
http://buildaquiltingframe.weebly.com/index.html
http://machine-quilt-frames.blogspot.com/

I had the opportunity to try out an EasyQuilter at a local quilt show and loved it. You spray baste the quilt. The setup I tried was the 5.1 version with a Janome 1600P machine (very fast stitching speed). When we get some time, my dh plans to make up a system to my specs. I figure the frame will cost around $200 and the machine about $600.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:52 AM
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Welcome tot the board from MN. I see that you are from Upstate NY. Bailley's is a great choice for starting a longarm. Chuck makes them 13, 15, and 17" He is located in Leceister NY. I was there just last month while I was on vacation. You can try one out at his shop. Here is a link to his website http://www.baileyssewingcenter.com/homequilter.html
Hope that helps
another Nancy
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:58 AM
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It is the other way around. Tin Lizzie makes the Viking MegaQuilter 18.8 and the Pfaff Grand Quilter 18.8, it is the Tin Lizzie 18ls model in a slightly different shell. All 3 of which sell for around $8000, or so. The Queen Quilter model is now discontinued, but parts and support from Tin Lizzie are still available. It is a good machine and can be found for $5000 or less, as shops try to remove them from inventory. The Empress is the Queen Quilter replacement. But I believe, the Empress is being manufactured by a different company and not Tin Lizzie.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:06 AM
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You and i have a lot in common it seems. I got the Tin Lizzie because of cost and features. Love it. Wish I had gotten a metal frame instead of the wood. Not terrible, obviously because I'm still using the wood frame.

Make sure you have enough room and are patient with yourself to learn.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:17 AM
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another option and which would be in you price range is the homesteader it is a nice looking machine made in the states
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:21 AM
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I have an Easy Quilter. It was set up on the July 4th weekend. I like it, am still practicing, am going to do my first quilt on it when I get home from Quilt Expo.
I would love a bigger set up, but I do not have the space for one, and quite frankly I do not have the $ for one right now.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:26 AM
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Thank you!! That is a way to save a lot of money and my neck, too! I will go look up these set-ups.
Nancy
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