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Thread: Stitch Regulation on your Long Arm

  1. #1
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Stitch Regulation on your Long Arm

    I am looking to purchase a long arm for my own use and some light long arming work on the side after I get comfortable and I have a question for those of you with stitch regulation. How necessary do you think it is? I have a small budget and will likely be buying an older used machine...many of the older machines in my price range don't offer stitch regulation - and I'm thinking I'd much rather have a larger throat space to have a bigger work area and frame than the stitch regulation...but how realistic is this? I want to put out professional high quality work if I'm going to charge others for it - how do you feel about it? Do you think it's a must?
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    my (very personal opinion) is- you should have good control/ability of your stitching before using the stitch regulator---kind of like learning to drive-before using cruise control-
    that is just me- i have a stitch regulator which i pretty much never ever turn on- i have a friend who rents time on my machine who ALWAYS no matter what uses it. i learned my machine with out it- then found i really hated it when i did try it...but like i said- that's me- some people feel they would never ever quilt without one- some of us have found good stitch control through lots of practice and don't depend on one.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Senior Member lindy-2's Avatar
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    it is for me but if you think you have the patiance and control to learn without the regulator go for it. its alot of work just learning to move the machine smoothly without having to worry about speed. but thay said that is what was used brfor regulators so its quite possible.

  4. #4
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    If you are willing to put in the time to practice without stitch regulation, then go for it. But if you want to be very good quickly, then start with stitch regulation.
    Beth in Maryland

  5. #5
    Super Member sewingladydi's Avatar
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    I guess the best test would be if you free motion on your regular sewing machine without a stitch regulator.

    When I started quilting, I free motion'ed without a stitch regulator & found it frustrating. Now I have a new machine with a stitch regular and absolutely love it. I can concentrate on the design instead of worrying about my stitches.

    I also have a 2007 Tin Lizzie I bought used and it has a stitch regulator. Worth it to me on both machines.

    SewingLadyDI

  6. #6
    Senior Member Prettiptibbs's Avatar
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    A stitch regulator is great for ruler work...your stitches remain even.
    Prettip

  7. #7
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your input - I really see where you're coming from. I think in the beginning, as soon as I get comfortable I'll be doing a lot of simple designs and pantograph's...my thought was I want to be sure I'm giving customers something they can't do themselves...or else why pay for it, ya know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prettiptibbs View Post
    A stitch regulator is great for ruler work...your stitches remain even.
    THIS makes so much sense to me. I never thought of that - THANK YOU!
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

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    I guess I think differently from the other responders, but shortly after I got my Bailey, I got the stitch regulator, having had it on the prior (Juki) machine. I've hardly done any quilting without it, and have no regrets about the expense.

  9. #9
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    The stitch regulator is also helpful with pantos, because going through curves and sharp corners require an even stitch for the best effect. I learned without one and then tried one at the dealer and really appreciated being able to not worry about "toe-catchers" (the long stitches).

  10. #10
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    The learning curve is a lot shorter if you use the stitch regulator. One less thing to worry about. I had a mid-arm without stitch regulation and I did manage to do ok, but my new machine has the stitch regulator and I use it every time.

  11. #11
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    as with most things it is truly what works for YOU. I use my stitch regulator all the time. A blog friend has one and sometimes does not realize it has been turned off! I love quilting with my long arm...and yet, I see quilters online all the time that do WONDERFUL work on their domestic machines-more than I can do on my long arm. See if you can find someone who will let you try and quilt with and w/o a stitch regulator. If you can go to a show, try out every machine you can get your hands on. Even if its not in your price range. Get a feel for them. One will call your name and fit your budget!
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by An Arm Long View Post
    If you are willing to put in the time to practice without stitch regulation, then go for it. But if you want to be very good quickly, then start with stitch regulation.
    I agree. When you have stitch regulation, you then only have to concentrate on your design. Otherwise you have to concentrate on both your design and your speed and like everyone on the QB always says: Practice, practice, practice--you don't learn how to be a good longarmer overnight. When I bought my longarm--I did not even consider buying one without a stitch regulator because I knew I wanted to wuilt for both myself and for customers---and I am way too anal about how my product looks when it is done. I just knew I would not be happy if my stitches were all different lenghts. But that is my opinion. Everyone is different in their talent and end result desired look. ALso remember that the longer the throat, the farther away you will be reaching when you are quilting. I do my best quilting at about 12'' from the front bar. Even though I have a 26" throat--if I am working on just a single block or a single horizontal border, I roll my quilt so that my quilting space is about 12" away form the front bar. Again, everyone is different in how they quilt and how they stand and how they are comfortable when they are quilting.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calico21 View Post
    I guess I think differently from the other responders, but shortly after I got my Bailey, I got the stitch regulator, having had it on the prior (Juki) machine. I've hardly done any quilting without it, and have no regrets about the expense.
    I had a Grace stitch regulator on the shortarm (before I sold it) and have a stitch regulator on my Bailey now. Prior to that, I did not have one. I have found the regulator very, very helpful so I can concentrate on my FMQ.

  14. #14
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    I've been researching long arms for about a year now and I definitely consider a stitch regulator to be a requirement. I think it's different for each quilter, but knowing the stitches will be consistent will free me up to focus on design etc. I suspect that with experience I'll need it less and less, but in the beginning it will help me get started quicker.

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