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Regretting long arm purchase?

Regretting long arm purchase?

Old 04-01-2012, 01:45 PM
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Default Regretting long arm purchase?

Has anyone on this site, who owns a Long arm have any regrets about buying it? I am in the process of buyers remorse and feel I need to return the machine. There is something just not right with the timing of all this and I wish I could put my finger on it. Making me nuts! JC
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:53 PM
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You might want to join the homequiltingsystems group on groups.yahoo.com . It's very large and very active, and the posters have a wide variety of longarm and midarm setups. One of the topics I have seen talked about there is how some people bought a longarm and then were so intimidated by it they let it sit for a year. I'm sure buyer's remorse would be an interesting topic to bring up there.

How much research did you do before purchasing? The rule of thumb advice on the group above is to spend a full year doing research and trying out as many setups as possible before making a purchase.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:16 PM
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I hear you ... my husband purchased me a Gammill last summer - great deal! I had fallen at the end of February an broke my arm and was still in the pre-surgery recovery stage. I finally had surgery in December and am really on the mend - long story. I had to wonder about the timing of this purchase and laid awake many nights thinking of the $8000 we had spent on it and how my car would have been almost paid off - lol

I have used my machine for a total of 10-15 hours since he purchased it for me. I have done a few quilts of my own and several charity quilts. Every time I get a quilt loaded onto it, I get excited. It is the getting the quilt onto the machine that scares the dickens out of me. Every time is easier and every time the results are better.

I had never really done any of the quilting on my own quilts so this was a scarry prospect for me. I know that I dream of the day when pinning a quilt on doesn't take me so long and when I can do it without even thinking about how to do it and getting the directions out.

I look at quilts that have been done by other longarm quilters and shudder - I am just positive that I will NEVER be that good. I have to remember that they were all beginners too. And ... I tell myself that they could also be using a computerized machine, whereas mine isn't. I know the lady who used to do all mine had one.

I just finished a quilt that I wanted to do a pantograph on, but I couldn't figure out how - I have only taken one class - and I ended up doing a meander on it with varigated thread and it turned out great (even if I do say so myself). I want to take more classes because, honestly, the longarm quilters that I have met in this area don't seem to be too anxious to help me learn - it's like they think I will be competition - right ?!?!?!? lol I am sure some of the problem is that I just don't know what questions to ask.

My best advice would be to ask about the return time frame and use the dickens out of it before it ends - you might find that you become more comfortable with it and want to keep it. I know that I feel less guilty about all that money each time I finish a quilt.

I am determined to master this beast - if it takes me until my dying day - lol If I can do it, you can too. I will have faith for both of us. I wish you lived close by so we could learn from each other.

I did learn something the other day when I was doing a small (26 x 26) wall hanging --- I pinned only the back on, laid the batting down, used the machine to stitch placement lines for the top and left side of the quilt. I pinned the top onto it and then let it rest while I stared at it. I finally decided to meander on the outside of the quilt and fussy stitch around the applique in the 10" center block. My goal on the center was to stay close to the applique without actually stitching on the design. I was more succesful than I thought I would be. I meandered on the hourglass blocks that surrounded the center square. I learned that the corner where four blocks came together were difficult to stitch over and if I stitched around them, they looked like small volcanoes. LOL I will do a better job of pressing next time. I showed my quilt to several people this weekend and most of them didn't notice the issues I saw and I even got a few compliments on how well I did - you should see me strut - lol

You just have to jump in with both feet and know that some quilts will look better than others but you can always spend some time practicing on muslin - I have and I am going to load more on so I can do some more practicing because I want to do that pantograph on a quilt, but I want to mess up on muslin.

I know this has been long and probably disjointed, but I hope you keep trying and end up falling in love with your machine.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:34 PM
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W7sue-- i dont have a long arm (yet) but I thank you for taking the time to write what your thinking.. I love the positive vibe you have given me... Thank you..

ps- gloat and strut- you deserve it!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:40 PM
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You say "something not right with the timing of all this", but what does that mean? Do you mean that the machine's timing is not right (that can be fixed) or that it's not the right time for you to be making this purchase? If it's the latter, then it's probably something that you have to sort out alone or with your family, because we don't have the information to offer reasonable advice. If you mean that you're having trouble making the machine run as it should, then perhaps you could talk to the service department about your machine, or take classes. It does take time to become proficient on a longarm. I've had mine for just over 2 years and I know I haven't practiced as much as I could and should, but I still enjoy using it. Are your expectations for yourself perhaps too high?
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:46 PM
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well, I do hope that feeling passes. There is a learning curve with using it. Once you get the hang of it, you will wonder why you ever had those feelings. It's a big investment, but if it's what you like to do, you will have spent your money in a good way.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:48 PM
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great post, w7sue.

Last edited by DebraK; 04-01-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:21 PM
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i used Lindas long arm book for the longest time, especially for loading a quilt. It was a lot of help. Linda Taylors book, not sure of spelling, there are probably you tubes on the internet also. It does take time, but it will get better!! Lots of luck!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:45 PM
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Start with lap sized quilts, not huge ones. Makes loading so much easier!!

I love my longarm, because i love doing the fmq so much amd the longarms removes the need for basting or spray adhesive. I get into the "zone" and do my fmq thing. Take a class at a quilt conference an maybe you can find the zone too!!
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:27 PM
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I went to a 4 day class that came with my machine. After that, I was able to load my quilts fairly well. I've had my machine for a year now and have done 18 quilts on it as well as some table toppers and runners and quite a few practice quilts with muslin. After each project, I felt that I had learned alot and although not always perfect, I was happy with my results. But the main thing is that after the first few quilts, I was beginning to really have fun. I am proud of the skills I am learning.
You might want to look into some of the online classes like at Longarm Classroom or Longarm University. There was one on loading your quilt. I have a handout from Cindy Roth at Longarm University called "Putting a Quilt on a Longarm Quilting Machine. Go to her site online.
I think you need to really use your longarm now that you are physically able to before you give it up. Do several practice quilts using pantographs or other techniques you wish to learn, but don't try to learn everything at once - give yourself time to enjoy what you are learning.
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