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Quilt Machine / Quilt - Embroidery Machine / Longarm Machine???

Quilt Machine / Quilt - Embroidery Machine / Longarm Machine???

Old 05-01-2016, 01:09 PM
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Default Quilt Machine / Quilt - Embroidery Machine / Longarm Machine???

I do not know if this is the correct category to post this in, but I wanted to ask opinions. I have a Brother XR1355 Sewing Quilting machine. It is not the lowest end machine, but definitely not the most high end either. My husband suggested that I consider a new machine and told me to research. Of course, my research, up to date, has been with dealers. I quickly found they will boast of their own highest price machine. I used to do quilting years ago, but then life stepped in and I had to go back to school and work to raise my three girls on my own. Now, 20 years later, I am coming back to quilting and purchased a Brother machine and it has been great as far as sewing clothes, bedding, etc. I am not sure that it is the best for quilting as it does not have a large throat nor does it have hoops, etc. I have since looked at Brother Sewing Embroidery machines, as well as Baby lock. I went to a quilt show yesterday and a women mentioned that I should definitely check out Jenome and look into long arms. My mission for the next year or so, is to make family quilts which will essentially be raw edge applique blocks with quilting finishing for family members. They will end up being fairly large.

Anyone have any thoughts on the right type of machine or what is overkill or ??? Opinions and advice would be greatly welcomed! Thanks
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:14 PM
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It depends on what kinds of things you want to do in addition to quilting. Do you want to do decorative stitching, embroidery? If so, you do not want a long arm since those are straight stitch only. You do not need to have a long arm to quilt large quilts. Before I bought my PQ1500s (9" harp space, straight stitch only) I quilted double and queen sized quilts on my two smaller domestic machines (7" harp space). If you are planning on Free Motion Quilting, or using your walking foot to quilt, then you don't need hoops to machine quilt.

In addition to thinking about whether you want a machine that does more than straight stitch, you need to think about budget. There are domestic machines on the market now that do lots of decorative stitches and have anywhere from a 9" to 12" harp space. These start at around $1500 and go on up from there. To get one that also has embroidery features you will be looking at more expensive machines.

A straight stitch only machine with a 9" throat will run from $600 to $1200 or so depending on the manufacturer.

Two features that I like to have when I'm FMQing are needle down and either a good responsive foot pedal that allows me to easily control speed or a speed control on the machine itself.



Rob
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:38 PM
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I would advise you to quilt for a while with the machine you have before deciding to buy something else. I bought a Bernina with the embroidery module soon after I started quilting. I was just sure that I would want to do embroidery, but I developed no interest in it whatsoever. (I do love the Bernina for piecing, though.) On the other hand, after quilting several large quilts (in sections mostly) on my domestic machine, I decided that I did want a longarm, and never regretted that purchase. Your quilting journey might take you in a completely different direction.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:49 PM
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From experience, you will soon tire of converting a machine from embroidery to sewing and back again. You will be much happier with separate units to do that.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Material Witness View Post
From experience, you will soon tire of converting a machine from embroidery to sewing and back again. You will be much happier with separate units to do that.
That depends on the machine you have. I have the top-of-the-line Baby Lock... The Destiny. Takes less that 30 seconds to add or remove the embroidery arm. I also have the Baby Lock Adventura. Again, very easy machine to convert from sewing to embroidery.
Now, if the poster would be embroidering and sewing at the same time, then separate machines would be the way to go. I have the Baby Lock 10 needle embroidery-only machine. I can set up to embroider, push the "go" button and then step over to the sewing machine and work there.
Toys...got to have them all, lol.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by skdenbow View Post
My mission for the next year or so, is to make family quilts which will essentially be raw edge applique blocks with quilting finishing for family members. They will end up being fairly large.
A lot depends on what you find you really enjoy. When doing the raw edge applique are you using free-motion techniques? If so, then your current machine can handle that.

The question becomes how you want to quilt. If you are okay with quilt-as-you-go techniques, your current machine can handle that as long as you do the final step by hand. Are you looking at embroidery machines with the idea that they will be used for quilting? If so, that is one of the least exciting directions in which to go, at least for most quilters.

If you want to quilt your large quilts yourself, then usually the first thing you need to determine is whether you want to quilt sitting down (moving the quilt under the machine) or standing up (moving the machine while the quilt remains stationary on a frame). People usually develop a preference for one or the other, and that preference determines the type of midarm or longarm machine they want.

If you prefer quilting sitting down, your choices become a domestic machine with a larger harp than you are accustomed to (the harp is the area under the machine arm). A standard harp is about 8 inches, I think. Nowadays there are domestic machines with harps of 11 inches. This makes moving a large quilt around and fitting the bulk under the arm of the machine much easier. You can also look at dedicated sitdown quilting machines. These are usually midarms (about 16" of harp) that do not have feed dogs (so cannot be used for piecing, although they would work fine for free-motion applique). The Sweet Sixteen is one of the most popular, but there are others.

On the other hand, you may prefer to quilt standing up at a frame, moving the machine. This is what I enjoy! My dream machine in this category would be an Innova with lightning stitch.

The rule-of-thumb is to give yourself at least a year to research quilting setups before purchasing. Your budget may rule out a number of options too. Try to attend as many large quilt shows as you can, and visit as many dealers as you can, to try out different setups.

Also, research quilt guilds near you and join any that are convenient. You may get invited into homes to try out different setups.

Last edited by Prism99; 05-01-2016 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 05-01-2016, 04:31 PM
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I have done several raw edge applique block quilts. I had an older, excellent straight stitch machine that was great for piecing, but did not have a blanket stitch for the raw edge applique, so I purchased a machine with a blanket stitch. I decided that I wouldn't be doing enough quilts to justify the cost of a machine to do the quilting and I felt the learning curve was pretty steep to do it well, so I am sending the quilts out to be quilted. Sometimes I wish I had purchased a machine with a large throat that could also do blanket stitch. Then again I don't think I will be doing many more quilts because of my husband's health issues, so maybe I made the right choice. Take a little time to analyze your situation, keeping in mind we don't have a crystal ball to tell us the future.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:33 PM
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I gave a Juki which is the machine I use most for piecing and quilting also has some decorative stitches. I have a Husqvarna Ruby Royale, two seconds to remove embroidery unit and change from embroidery to sewing, I prefer the Ruby for garment sewing. Decide what suits you best and what you will use, if you are getting back into sewing might be as well to get something that does a bit more than you think you'll need as once you get into it you'll probably find you want more functions on a machine.
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Old 05-02-2016, 02:04 AM
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Sewing/piecing....quilting....embroidery.....all 3? You must have a lot of time and patience to do and learn all three. It sounds like you need at least two new machines if not three. For me, pick two. Long arm qypuilting is not one of them. . I am happy with my combo machine. (janome 9900). I rarely have time to do embroidery but I still work full time. It will be fun to follow this thread.

sandy
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:31 AM
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Very sage advice given above.....great that dh is encouraging and promoting your desire to renew your quilting bug....but do take it easy and slow in your purchases.......these "toys" of ours can be quite expensive and if not chosen wisely do not make good doorstoppers!
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