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Thread: Renting a long-arm questions

  1. #26
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    My LQS charges $20 an hr to rent their longarm, plus you have to take their 6 hr class for $125 before you can rent it. I've taken their class but haven't rented the longarm. Might think more about renting if it was only $8 an hr.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

  2. #27
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    Congratulations on finding a solution to your inquiry. $8 an hour is a super price in my opinion. Happy LA quilting!

  3. #28
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Check with your quilt shop to see if they will even allow you to use dissolving thread in their long arm machine. They may not.

  4. #29
    Super Member Cindy60545's Avatar
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    Didn't I see in your original post that you tried loading on a frame & had trouble loading it? Do you already have a frame that will accommodate your DM? If you do, I think you're on to something here. $8/per hr is very reasonable. A certification class will do you a world of good. You'll learn how to load, unload, etc. It will give you practice to move the machine like you were saying. It seems to me you just need some guidance/instruction so that you can come home & do it yourself on the frame you already have. Not only that, it will give you a good bit of knowledge as to whether you want to pursue LA quilting.
    I agree with some of the others, try it...you may like it!

  5. #30
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    At least the hourly rate seems good. Our LQS charges $15 an hour and is a 2 hour drive.

  6. #31
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie View Post
    I guess I'm missing something. Why would you want to quilt something twice? I rent time on a Gammill at a LQS. It usually takes about 4 hours and I was required to take a class. I also had to buy zippers to load the quilt. They cut the loading time considerably. $8.00 an hour sounds very reasonable, by the way.
    Sue
    Yeah, I agree! Why do double the work? I'm guessing you're pretty much a perfectionist. With some instruction on the long arm, and if you do in fact, have quilting experience on your home machine, you should be able to do a respectable job with a meander design. I quilted for years on my home machine before I did some on a long arm (my first attempt being on a rented LA ), and i think it's much easier on a long arm. That being said, I do everything free motion. I just don't have the eye-hand coordination to do pantographs. (Looking at a design in one place and moving your hands somewhere else. ) Forget the water soluable idea, and just trust yourself and quilt! Good luck!

  7. #32
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    I say go for it. I would in your shoes.

  8. #33
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    I would be thrilled to death if my LQS only charged $8/hr. to rent their machine. That would be way less than 1-1/2 cents/sq. in.
    Margaret

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  9. #34
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    My LQS has a long arm to rent and she does require a class to learn it first for around $40 and she supplied all the materials. She also said that if you weren't comfortable with using your own quilts after the class, you could practice on some Linus quilts (charity quilts) free of charge. This LQS is 25-30 miles away and I do plan on taking her class this summer. I think it would be a great idea to learn it to baste your quilt on the LA for hand quilting - I hate to baste/pin my quilt. I have a hard time basting/pin large quilts because I can't get down on the floor.
    Kathy Stewart from IA
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  10. #35
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    First...I've been longarm quilting over 7 years...I can do a queen size quilt in one day...no way will you do one in 3 hours. It takes 30 minutes or more to load the quilt...pinning it on the leaders takes time.

    I think if you want to learn to use a longarm...see if that shop has classes...that's the best option.
    Marge

    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyR View Post
    I found out my fabric shop rents a LA for only $8/hour. Any time I have a crazy idea, I try to talk it through with my husband, but he couldn't wrap his head around this one.... So, what do you think?

    I have to drive an hour to get there, so I want to make sure it's worth my while!
    I love to FMQ on my own sewing machine, but I'd be happy to skip the basting
    I usually just buy quilt tops, instead of making them
    I haven't used a machine-quilting frame. I tried at home, but couldn't get it on there right, and I had no help with how to do simple things, like change the bobbin. Using the one at the shop sounds like a great way to learn without a heavy investment.
    I know it could take years to get good on it, so here's my crazy idea....

    What if I used my good backing and batting and top instead of sheets or muslin fabric? However, instead of "real" thread, I just use water-soluble thread? If I quilt it on the LA there with w.s. thread, then bring it home and quilt it for real on my own machine?

    The advantages I see to this: I can buy backing and batting there (I do anyway) and I get help loading it on the frame and I don't have to store it at my house until I'm ready to baste. I can quilt it good/bad/ugly and it won't matter, because it will just wash out. I get to learn how to use the expensive LA and decide if I like it or not. I get my quilt "basted" really well so when I start quilting it for real, it shouldn't pucker. I have the perfect quilt to experiment on: it's gigantic and I have almost no money invested in it (top was free and backing was only $1/yard) and the thought of basting it keeps it on the bottom of the pile.

    Disadvantages: I believe $8/hour is a very good rate, but it can add up. My plan is ultimately to be able to do several quilts in a morning/afternoon but I know at first I'll be lucky to get one done. So adding $24 to an already expensive quilt seems like a luxury. Especially considering that it won't "finish" it, and I can achieve the same results with a $5 pack of safety pins. I want to count the trip as a disadvantage, but in reality, I go there anyway, I just need to make sure I can reserve the LA when I'm there. If I buy wide backing on the same trip, I won't be able to wash it, and sometimes, that stuff causes my arms to break out. But since it's just on the backing, I should be ok. I'd just have to hope that shrinking ends up ok.

    I don't plan on doing it every week, or even every month. Would I even really be able to pick up the skill of LA'ing if I only do it for 4 hours every 2-3 months? I've never used dissolving thread, is it difficult to use? And does it really last until you wash it out (or spill tea on it haha)? Would I be able to press the quilt (no steam, of course) with it?

    And last question: Is this even a good idea? It's very early in the morning, so I'm sure there are things I should already know that I'm not thinking of, and things that I don't already know that I need to.
    Marge Campbell
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  11. #36
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    At the quilt shop near me you must take a class on LAing before you can rent one.


    ·What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

  12. #37
    Junior Member Sharoni's Avatar
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    I read all the above and wondered why no one mentioned that you no longer need to thread baste a quilt. You can spray baste it. If you quilt it yourself you can do it in sections and be fine. Also, if you plan ahead, you can buy your backing for the next quilt and take it home and wash it before you have to use it.
    Quilting is an expensive hobby. But it is an hobby and you spend as little or as much as you'd like.
    To excel in any craft, you must spend time and money. Using the very best tools for your craft makes a huge difference. So does the time you spend on it. Decide up front wether you want to quilt as a utility hobby or as a craft.
    Best Wishes

  13. #38
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    I wish I could rent a LA machine where I live. I have experience with LA, so I wouldn't have to have a class. I like the way you pin the top, batting and lining in so there are no puckers on it. I think $8/hr. is a great rate. If you get fast at it, you could quilt a queen size quilt in 3-4 hours, which is a lot less than paying to have one quilted!!

  14. #39
    Super Member brendadawg's Avatar
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    I wanted to try out a LA, so I did just what y'all have talked about: I went for a lesson, took a small lap-size top that I had; and after the lesson, I meander quilted that top. I had a fun day, the instructor was very good, and I was pleased with the quilt. I really don't have the room for a LA at my house, and I'm not interested in making that investment because I wouldn't want to quilt for others, so this method is perfect for me. I don't do the quilting on my regular machine, so I was paying for the quilting. It's cheaper to rent time on the machine at the LQS, and I get to see all those friendly folks and the beautiful fabric.

  15. #40
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    Here in Huntsville, we have to use the thread, both bobbin and upper thread, that the shop has found works best - and the type of batting, also - for so many people to rent the machine. The class for us was $100 and the rental is $15/hour, so $8/hour is great! Once we're certified on the machine, which I think would be necessary just to know how to make the machine work, we can then go to any future classes free and pick up some more tricks to use when we long-arm quilt. What I did after I was certified was bring in my quilt tops, batting and backing, and let the current class use it as their "practice" quilt, and I got "free" quilting for the duration of the class, the quilt had many different stitching patterns (which was fine with me) and by the end of the class, I had a quilt ready to bind and give away. I guess if you're going to be picky about what goes into your quilt top, you wouldn't want to do this, but I was happy with all four quilts that I've used, so far, and it's more interesting for those learning to see a "real" quilt top, not just a piece of material with batting and backing that gets tossed out when they're done.

  16. #41
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    In the next couple of weeks, I'm going to take a class. It really all depends on their schedule. I guess I'll skip the dissolving thread. We'll wait and see if I am any good at it, or if I enjoy it and go from there. I do like the idea of having it basted there anyway. I usually spray baste on a big table at work, but I haven't had much success with it. The quilt I'm working on now is cotton thru-and-thru and it still didn't baste well. It looks good now that I've stabilized it; I finally started quilting it today and it's holding together after a LOT of pressing. I learn something on every quilt.

    I really love quilting on my little Pfaff. When I tried using a larger machine on a frame, it was very frustrating. I don't have that frame anymore and I don't miss it. My husband - the enabler! - wants me to get a long arm. I think I'd be happier with a big ole sit-down machine. But it takes a long time to quilt when my time is so limited I think learning how to long-arm will be faster. I'd like to combine the two for the ultimate quilting!!!

  17. #42
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    This is a great thread. Please keep us updated on your progress. It sounds like lots of fun!

  18. #43
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=candi;5239666]
    I am attaching links to the threads of the first two quilts I LAed on first rental time, and the last charity ones Ipractcied custom quilting on.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...d-t110136.html
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...d-t114058.html
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...g-t187902.html

    Wow, for only doing this a few times, these look great! Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. #44
    Junior Member Patti Sue's Avatar
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    Ashley, how goes the quilting on the LA? I just thought I would chime in and tell you we rent our LA our to quilters but they must take a series of classes. It seems to help a lot and we are always there when they quilt in case they need help. Before my daughter opened her shop I drove 50 miles one way to rent a LA and like someone else would make a day of it. Go for it and keep us posted!
    Patti Sue

  20. #45
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    Thank you for asking. I haven't had a chance to go out there yet. But it's still on my list of things to do!

  21. #46
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    You would do fine!!! I use my friends long arm I use panographs and I don't have issues. All you can do is try it. I know everyone says there's a learning curve but try panagraghs start on simPle ones to get the rhythm down I find I do better when I'm talking vs consentrating, but don't think u can assembly line do them it takes lot out of u . I did two this week and my feet hurt lol but I take breaks too because I start to see double! Have fun with it!!!!!
    *Rachel*

  22. #47
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    While considering what you want to have for yourself, try to practice on a sitdown machine like the HQSweet16. I won a free long arm class with a master quilter who is an excellent teacher, but after 3+ hours standing up at the machine I was physically very uncomfortable. I felt that it would take a LOT of practice at her usual fee (I think it was $20 and hour to rent time), and I am really not drawn to that type of quiting. The sitdown machine is only a fraction of the cost of a long arm, and includes an adjustable height table. If you like using your machine, it is a similar activity. You might be able to fit it into your home a lot easier, too. I'm trying to figure out how to pay for one, but feel sure it's what I want.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

  23. #48
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    If you got a thread color that would blend your mistakes would not show. I just took my first class and got certified. Went back one week later and got my quilt quilted It really did not take a long time to load the quilt we used the zippers for the backing so that was done at home. just zip the back on roll it up the batting and top was floated and it worked real well for me. In fact planning on going back this month would like to do one every month but that is a lot to get done in a month. I love fmq and found it easier than wrestling with a big quilt on my domestic I will still quilt on my machine for small quilts and runners but for the big ones I will use the LA . Just go and try it out.

  24. #49
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    I have to admit, I'm saving up for one of these: http://www.sunshine16.com/TakeIt.html
    I think I'd love it! I do have nerve issues in one of my legs and my back isn't the best either, thanks to being rear-ended too many times!! (I think I have a bullseye on the back of my car!) It hurts to stand and it hurts to sit too.
    Luckily, I have a pretty good quilting set-up and I'm pretty good with quilting on my domestic. I just love doing it, and I can't imagine I'd love it on the frame as much, but I can see it being a lot faster.

    Oh well! One of these days, I'll be able to take the time to do it! Oh! and I can only go to the fabric store on Saturdays and they never have a class on that day. And reserving the frame for that day might prove to be more difficult than it's worth!

  25. #50
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    I think 8 bucks is a Great rate for a LA rental. I would do it (except i have longarm at home) i think you will learn even if it is just every few months.

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