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Sit down quilting machine

Sit down quilting machine

Old 11-27-2015, 04:54 AM
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Default Sit down quilting machine

Hi everyone,

i currently have a Pfaff long arm. I never really loved working with it and I'm thinking of downsizing to a sit down quilting machine. I've barely quilted anything in the past year, so I'm having a hard time remembering what important things I should even look for as I comparison shop. I'll probably end up going with another Pfaff since I'm more likely to be able to trade in (with a nice sized credit of course) on the same brand (although I don't know this for sure until I call and ask), but I really don't know much about these machines other than that they're more like a traditional sewing machine, but with a large throat size.

I'd appreciate any advice or input you can provide. Are there any good comparison web sites? Thank you in advance!
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:34 AM
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I would encourage you to go to your Pfaff dealership and test drive to see if it sometime you would enjoy using. I have been quilting on my Bernina 1530 since the very late 90s and I still am. To me, they just look like sitting down at a larger sewing machine. No more pantographs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:37 AM
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See what they have but still try them and see what your options are.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:56 AM
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I would go to a large show (like Houston) and try them all out. All the dealers were there. But first ask around with friends who have them, some machines are Porsches and some are Fords. Both work but one requires a lot of maintenance and fiddling.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:49 AM
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They are essentially like a regular sewing machine with a large throat area aren't they? I've realized that I prefer free motion to the computerized quilting anyway, so I won't mind giving that up. Also, I can do embroidery "quilting" if I want a design here or there so I'm good with that, and I cannot stitch in the ditch on the long arm to save my life although I'm really good at it in my regular sewing machine so I think I will be able to do it on a sit down machine.

I have a stitch regulator on my long arm so I suppose I'd want that on a sit down machine?
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:32 AM
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I am a relatively new owner of a Handiquilter Sweet 16 sitdown machine, I really enjoy using it. There are no feed dogs so the sitdown machines are not exactly like a domestic machine with a larger throat area.
I found the stitch regulator to be cumbersome while FMQing but I like to use it when quilting with rulers. You can do an amazing stitch in the ditch with rulerwork.
I highly recommend taking classes - I overcame my "new machine fear" when I learned how to adjust my tension and how to use the accessories correctly.
Good luck on your search for the best machine for you!
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:37 PM
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Thank you for the info QV. No feed dogs? I guess I will have to try it out to understand how that feels when quilting. With the long arm it's a whole different approach since you're moving the machine.

I've never really clicked with my long arm and I'm probably going to downsize my home next year so switching to a smaller quilting machine seems like a good idea. Now I just need to learn about something else new....
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:52 PM
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I LOVE my Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen sitdown. I've never used a LA though. There's something about a LA and how it rolls and not being able to be anywhere in any movement that doesn't seem to make it through my skull LOL. But with a sitdown you can quilt any direction you want and there are no rollers, so no boundaries. I also tend to like to turn my quilt to quilt in certain directions (I just don't think well upside down or backward).

I do a lot of ruler work now...I didn't in the beginning. But I have gotten better with practice. But prior to that I was doing FMQ on my domestic sewing machine.

I highly recommend it!
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:49 PM
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I have a Tiara by BabyLock and I really love it. One bit of advice....any machine is only as good as the dealership who stands behind it. My LQS gives lessons and has great service and so I really didn't look anywhere else (their prices are pretty good too!)
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:58 PM
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You might want to check out the new Simply Sixteen as that is kind of between a sit down and a long arm..
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