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Turning the Tiara (Arrow 1311 Review)

Turning the Tiara (Arrow 1311 Review)

Old 09-27-2017, 02:43 PM
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Default Turning the Tiara (Arrow 1311 Review)

Hello everyone!

I'm not sure how many of you have thought about taking your sit-down Tiaras or Handi Quilters and turning them sideways... I worked with mine front-facing for a couple of years, but I still find that working as though I am with a domestic sewing machine is much more comfortable.

I wanted to share how I was able to finally make the "Tiara Turning" happen.

First we tried to figure out if we could somehow change the table that the machine comes with. That was a "no-go" as there was no way to remove and replace the legs in a way that would support the machine. (Sigh. Handi Quilter people, please make a table where quilters can have choices...)

So, we wound up buying an Arrow 1311 cabinet.... I link to pictures is ebay but we did not buy it there...)


Here is the experience and modifications so far...

First, we watched the video on how to put it together. The video is full of errata, and assembly for sure looks complicated and requires the muscles (and dependable good humor) of 2 people.

Marriage first. We decided we would have our local sewing machine shop do that work.

So they put the Arrow 1311 together at the shop, and THEY said it was "a challenge", so I guess that's a little head's up for anyone thinking of buying one of these on Amazon.


The Arrow insert I felt was little "gappy" towards the back (which is now the right) of the machine.

The height of the machine is adjustable, and that was what they spent most time setting up. The sewing machine shop guys thought they had it all leveled until I handed them my favorite Handi Gadget ruler and said, "It has not hit that bump".

So they leveled it again. And then again. Raising and lowering it till the area around the needle was not the haystack that it was.

Not being able to totally smooth out the work surface on the old Tiara table or make any adjustments was one of the reasons I went with the new cabinet. My first efforts at ruler work were always running up on a curb, even with the Tiara table overlay.

I like the cabinet, but we made one modification that helped. I saved the overlay from the old Tiara table. My husband cut it to fit more or less the outline of the Arrow insert, and so now it is all more solid. This took care of the "gappyness" at the back of the machine and also gave me the slipperyness I was used to.

Getting at the bobbin in this setup requires that I slide the Arrow insert (and now the cut down overlay that I have stuck onto it) over to the left, and then I can get at it. Right now, I don't feel its any worse then fumbling around under the old table ask me after the next 10 quilts

I use a suspension system, and for anyone that also has something similar, the Arrow 1311 only has the back leaf available to clamp the arms to. I would have liked a little table edge maybe to give me more options.

The cabinet is on wheels and the back folds down for when I am not quilting something (when IS that??), and it was kind of delightful to be able to wheel it around to find its best spot in the room that is my office and sewing space... and a guest room...

It has a drawer, and has a couple of shelves as well. It is a really pretty solid piece, only available in white, and compared to old table it really makes the room feel a lot more quiet.

So anyway, I'm pleased *so far*, just wanted to share...and some pictures as well if anyone else is considering this.

That's It I Quilt!
Attached Thumbnails 20170927_141747.jpg   tiara2.jpg   20170927_153900.jpg   20170927_141905.jpg   tiara1.jpg  

20170927_142040.jpg   overlay_cut_down.jpg  
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:28 PM
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congrats on getting it worked out and thanks for sharing
Nancy in western NY
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Old 09-28-2017, 03:20 AM
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I like the look of your set-up and the information is sure to help someone.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:10 PM
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Great idea and thanks for posting with excellent photos. Let us know how it goes as I have a Sweet Sixteen and always wondered how it would work the other way.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:17 PM
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It's funny - I have thought about turning my Janome 6600 towards me like the Sweet 16. Maybe this will give me the push I need to give it a try.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:41 AM
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
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wow , great information on creating options with your machine. When I was shopping for a sit down, I didn't like the head on options, and ruled them out. I ended up with a Gammill Charm 22' inch. Really love it.

I also have to comment on your beautiful quilt. Is it a hunter star? I did one similar using the MSQC tutorial, but your blocks look much larger...
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:31 AM
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Thank you! Yes, my first hunter star, and from the MSQC tutorial, I think the camera makes the blocks look bigger. I am using a ruler to outline all the stars an arrows, my first ruler work on a real quilt.
So far so good with the turned Tiara, yeah I looked at a charm too, the price point was high at the time...
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Old 09-29-2017, 09:52 AM
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I forgot to mention, turning the Tiara sideways means I can reach the handwheel as well, which scores another point for my version of "normal"...
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Old 10-02-2017, 08:25 AM
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Confirmed, much easier to change the bobbin. I have to slide the Arrow insert out, but after I do, the whole bobbin area is very well lit and easy to get at.
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:06 PM
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Before purchasing my Tiara, I learned on my friend's Sweet 16. Her son made the table for it and indeed it was set into the table with the sewing machine orientation. It was easy to use, but now I am not having any real trouble with the Tiara in its table. Changing the bobbin and turning the wheel are the only real problems to me.
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