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Smallest Harp area for a King Size Quilt

Smallest Harp area for a King Size Quilt

Old 06-09-2012, 04:58 PM
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Location: Groves TX
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Default Smallest Harp area for a King Size Quilt

I know this has probably been asked before and I apologize in advance for repeats.

I currently am just a piecer and occasionally a stitch in the ditch person. I am intriguied by the idea of a LA, however I know better than to jump all in at once. I typically do Queen and King size quilts with occasionally a Baby size thrown in (I will be sending my current projects to a LAQ).

What I am thinking about (and please correct me / give opinions if im wrong) is that I would buy a frame and a basic machine that i can put on the frame. It does not have to be a LA. Even though only having a 5"-6" area to quilt is tiresome, for introduction I know I can manage. My main concern/question is that as I roll up the finished portion of the quilt into the harp area, it will be reducing the area I have to quilt with (please correct me if I am wrong or mis-understand).

Can anyone tell me what size harp area I need to be looking for that can accomidate a King Size quilt so that I can have a beginning point on what to look for in the "used" sections of the paper, craigslist, etc. Batting would be medium loft. Space is not really a concern. I ahve two rooms in the house that will accomidate (smallest is 14x25). Also I would like to be able possibly use the quilt frame later for a different machine with a larger harp (possibly a mid-arm?). Comments? Suggestions? Advice? Condolences?

Last edited by ZugZug; 06-09-2012 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:21 PM
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I have a Juki on a Hinterberg stretch frame. I quilted by daughter's king-sized quilt using it. By the time I got to the end of the quilt, I only had about 4" of quilting space available. That being said, I'm glad that I have it because I am able to custom quilt my quilts [not as beautifully as some of the pros on here, but at least as lovingly]. You just have to be creative in the quilting designs you use. This frame will accommodate at least an 18" machine later.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:23 PM
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I wouldn't buy anything smaller than a 9" throat machine like the Juki TL98/2010, Janome 1600, Pfaff GHQ, Brother 1500, Babylock Quilter's Choice Pro?. When you get to the center of a king size quilt--many people would baste to the end then turn the quilt around on the frame if they were quilting a pattern of say 4-5". There a a couple slightly larger ones on the market now but they are more than straight stitch only like the above--Janome Horizon 7700, Bernina 830?, and possibly others . You might also look for the Bailey machines. There are stretched domestic machines and come in 13, 15 & I believe 17" models. http://http://www.baileyssewingcenter.com/ Another alternative is to contact Wow Quilts about having one of the 9" straight stitch machines stretched to 18".
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:55 PM
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I use a Brother PQ1500, it's a 9" harp, but with that I have a MaxThroat system that moves the take up roller as I move the machine carriage. It allows me to stitch up to 15" with my 9" machine. I don't think the are still in production and I understand there were alot of people that had problems with the system. I was lucky, in my opinion it worked just fine for me. But even with out the extra system it can be done, you just need to be more creative.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:44 PM
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Location: Groves TX
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Thank you so much for the information. I have some searching to do now
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:48 AM
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The small throat size really limits the type of pattern you can do. I like to use pantographs that are 9 to 12 inches wide. On a king size with a 9 inch throat, you would be limited to a 4 inch or less width pattern which for a large quilt may not be ideal. Even with free motion quilting, I would feel limited. Can you get a used machine that has a bit larger throat?
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:18 PM
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I am seriously considering the Bailey system after looking at it. I am planning on going used, however it seems to rare for a used machine to come avaliable and the ownder not want close to new price. Ill keep my eye open...I was mainly asking so I could at least get started for as little $$ as needed and upgrade the machine later.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:35 PM
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I use my Janome Horizon on my frame, it has an 11" throat. Even with that, space gets pretty tight with a king sized quilt. IMHO if you're going to continue to do mainly queen and king sized quilts, get the longest machine you can afford. That way you'll have more room for creativity in designs, as you'll surely want as you do more and more quilts. Save up, and go big.
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