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Thread: Quilting- standard machine vs. mid-arm, etc

  1. #1
    user3587's Avatar
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    I call one sit down quilting the other stand up quilting. If a person gets proficient at following a pattern and/or stipping on a standard machine are they that much more ahead when they go to quilting on a mid-arm? Or is it like starting all over with the learning. I hope this question makes sense to whoever reads it.

    Stand up quilting
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    Sit down quilting
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  2. #2
    Cookn's Avatar
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    To me there is no comparison. I have the stitch regulator for my Bernina and we are getting a long arm to quilt with. There is so much more convenience and utility with a larger machine. You have much more control over the quilting process. It's much better to be moving the machine over the fabric than to be doing it the other way around. Rather than having to reposition my hands on the quilt to push it through the DSM. With a mid or long arm, I can see the whole picture laid out in front of me. I can concentrate on the actual quilting process, rather than having to push the quilt through and quilt at the same time.

    You have a lot more options when quilting in a frame with a long arm. Even if you use a frame for your DSM, you still have a very limited quilting area usually 4 to 6 inches, with a 16" mid arm you can figure 10" quilting area and with a longarm you have up to 20 " or more depending on the machine, if your arms are long enough to access it all. You can use whole width pantographs with a table frame, which is sometime difficult to do with a frame for you DSM. You can use tools like rulers and a Circle Lord or Quilt-EZ stylus and templates with most mid arms and long arms. I don't know of any adapters for DSM to use those tools.

  3. #3
    user3587's Avatar
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    I may need to clarify my question a little. I have both of these machines. I am just learning to use the mid-arm. I haven't done any quilting where I haven't had the feed dogs up, in other words the only thing near to quilting I have done is stitch in the ditch. My thought process was using a smaller "sandwich" to familiarize myself with following a pattern or stippling using the quilting/darning foot.

  4. #4
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    i would first practice a bit on your "sit down" machine with the feed dogs down just to get the feel for it. It is a lot different than ditch quilting. After you get a feel for it, then you hopefully won't have as much of a "problem" switching to the frame!

    have fun!

  5. #5
    Super Member azam's Avatar
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    I prefer the midarm/longarm to a standard machine for quilting. My suggestion would be to load about one yard of top fabric/batting and backing on your frame and just start playing with it. You'll get the hang of it much faster than you think. All I can say is practice, practice, practice. Write your name, do some meandering, try a daisy, feathers, etc. If you load some fabic with a design on it (something with big flowers or leaves, etc.) you can try to trace around the design. This will help you get familiar with your machine and how it works. To me, it's much easier than doing it on the standard machine. When you're done you can make it into a pillow or bind it and give it to your favorite pet. I know you'll have a lot of fun :!: :-o

  6. #6
    user3587's Avatar
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    Azam
    That is what I've decided to do. I have loaded on the frame a baby fabric with bears. I have tried outlining the bears, I feel like the machine has control of me instead of me having control. I can't keep the spacing even. When I trying to keep it even I go over a leg. Practice, practice, practice. I have made up my mind I want to be a good quilter even if it takes forever, all I have is time (when I'm not at work, cooking, cleaning the house, helping DH, etc). As for sewing and quilting there is no time frame. I do it for the joy and not to make a living, that's good a thing or I would be straving. I tried stippling but I keep going over where I've already been. I have to work on the eye, hand coordination. Steady as she goes, easier said than done. Thanks guys for all the support and mostly a listening ear. I don't have anyone near that shares my love of quilting.

  7. #7
    Super Member azam's Avatar
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    You'll get the hang of it. Just relax and have fun :!:

  8. #8
    Cookn's Avatar
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    Now that I know what you are trying to do, try this for practice. For about $15 you can put together something that you can practice with that duplicates the motions that you use when using your table and machine.

    Get a dry erase board. We got ours from Lowes, you don't want or need anything fancy. Ours was a 4'x30" sheet of board that we got them to cut into 3 pieces 16"x30" cost was about $11

    Get a black large dry erase marker. You need the large one because it's about the size of your handles. Walmart has them under $3 for a 2 pack.

    Grab the marker in your fist, like you would hold your handles and practice doing your designs on the board. It sounds hokey, but it really works. You just need to do it with one hand.

    In much less time than you think, your motions will begin to smooth and designs will begin to look fluid and quite good. Your speed will improve. I do it while I'm watching TV. It develops muscle memory and within a couple of days you'll start to see a big improvement.

  9. #9
    Super Member azam's Avatar
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    I use a dry erase board, too. I bought one at Walmart. Mine is only 15" X 21". I use the regular size marker and hold as you would hold any pen. Great idea about the bigger
    marker, COOKN :!: I use the dry erase when I'm trying to draw my own design and I don't want to do any marking on my actual quilt. I draw the design over and over again until I think that I'm pretty confident with it. Then I proceed to my quilt and draw with the machine. It does exercise your brain and helps with hand/ eye coordination. :wink:

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