Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 65

Thread: What made you decide to go from quilting on DSM to mid/long arm?

  1. #1
    Senior Member sandrab64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Wanamingo, MN
    Posts
    402

    What made you decide to go from quilting on DSM to mid/long arm?

    I've been quilting a large lap quilt (68x77) on my DSM lately and it's been difficult. Doable?--sure. Easy?--not really. I keep looking at the sit downs (mainly HQ Sweet Sixteen) thinking it would be really nice to have a larger area to quilt with. I don't have the room for a long arm. I keep thinking I should just suck it up and continue with my DSM but there are days I sure wish I had something bigger. I have a Bernina Aurora 450 so spent considerable money on that several years ago so having a hard time justifying another big purchase when I still could do it on my Bernina. I'm getting tired of my aching arms/shoulders/neck from shoving a large quilt through a small harp. I've watched the Craftsy video of "Quilting Big Quilts on Small Machines" and don't have any desire to do QAYG.

    So my question: What were you doing when you finally said "enough is enough" and broke down and got yourself a nice present?
    Sandra B

  2. #2
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Corpus Christi, Tx.
    Posts
    15,954
    Blog Entries
    3
    I DSM and have handquilted. Not as much as you probably have. Have not really done anything larger than a lap. Maybe adjusting your chair would help. Most times it is totally up to the quilter and no one else.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    329
    I decided the minute I realized sit down machines existed. I knew I couldn't operate/afford/have room for a long arm, but my DSM was holding me back. My HQ Sweet Sixteen and I are very happy.

  4. #4
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    South Puget Sound, Wa. State
    Posts
    2,199
    I found a frame on Craigslist that was affordable and able to use the shortarm machine. It is limited but it is nicer than wrecking a quilt on my DSM.
    I can do small pantos and meandering, stippling.
    It works for me.
    Kirsten
    "You have nothing to lose but wrinkles!"

    http://www.nerium.com/join/mrskirsten

  5. #5
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Grove City, OH
    Posts
    722
    My decision was made for me when I won my Hinterberg frame and a cash prize (along with about a dozen other quilt-related prizes) through an AQS online quilt contest several years ago. I used the cash to help pay for the Voyager, and it was the best and most useful prize I ever won! I've not looked back

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    370
    Quote Originally Posted by sandrab64 View Post
    I've been quilting a large lap quilt (68x77) on my DSM lately and it's been difficult. Doable?--sure. Easy?--not really. I keep looking at the sit downs (mainly HQ Sweet Sixteen) thinking it would be really nice to have a larger area to quilt with. I don't have the room for a long arm. I keep thinking I should just suck it up and continue with my DSM but there are days I sure wish I had something bigger. I have a Bernina Aurora 450 so spent considerable money on that several years ago so having a hard time justifying another big purchase when I still could do it on my Bernina. I'm getting tired of my aching arms/shoulders/neck from shoving a large quilt through a small harp. I've watched the Craftsy video of "Quilting Big Quilts on Small Machines" and don't have any desire to do QAYG.

    So my question: What were you doing when you finally said "enough is enough" and broke down and got yourself a nice present?
    My husband decided for me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jennie and Me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    N.W. Missouri
    Posts
    834
    I wanted to finish the whole quilt myself instead of sending it out to be quilted and I just couldn't do it on my DSM. Now, almost 10 years later, I keep telling myself that I need to learn on my DSM so that I can quilt small pieces. I just need to go for it.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    18,943
    I STILL quilt on my Bernina 1530. I have the correct support to my left and support behind the machine. I just don't see how anybody can quilt anything large such as a queen on one of those small tables. It you have the correct support, quilting is a breeze on a DSM.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  9. #9
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    lehigh valley pa
    Posts
    1,251
    I know the feeling Sandra I been trying to save up for an hq16 but always something comes up just spent $2000.00 on my car couple weeks ago which was a good thing my car is running like new, but now I need to start from scratch saving again. I really don't want to make payments

  10. #10
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    9,204
    It always made more sense to me to guide the needle over the quilt, rather than guide the quilt under the needle. The path of least resistance. My chance came when I ran across a used longarm being sold at a LQS that was going out of business. DH convinced me to go for it. Encouragement at the right place and the right time. No regrets.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  11. #11
    DJ
    DJ is offline
    Super Member DJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    2,654
    I'm in the same boat and haven't decided to jump ship yet. I'm squeezing a large queen size quilt through my DSM now and can't do any FMQ. I can barely straight stitch it. I am going to try a version of QAYG next I think. Now finding a used one is a good idea. I should check with my LQS.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    I toyed with the idea of a longarm machine the minute I saw my first one. Then the practical side of my brain took over. I did some calculations and figured out it was never going to be finiancially viable for me. I figured out how many quilts I would take for it to be just a break even, not including repairs and other issues. As much as I would love my own machine it makes more sense for me to send mine out to a pro. The space required and the learning curve to get to the skill of a pro!!!... I opted to use professionals. AS much as I would love to quilt my own large quilts , it was too much money, space and a learning curve. Everytime get the overwhelming urge to jump in and purchase a longarm I pull out my sheet of calculations and see if any thing changed to make it viable.
    I also had to admit there was far more piecing I wanted to accomplish and using a long arm pro just made more sense.
    Last edited by Lori S; 03-26-2014 at 08:55 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    593
    I think your story is really a word to the wise for anyone looking at buying expensive machines. If the main purpose of owning the machine is quilting, it might make more sense to have a less expensive workhorse sewing machine and a sit-down longarm quilter.

    A longarm is fabulous if you can afford it. I have one on a frame. (I purchased it used in 1996 and don't plan on ever buying another one. It is huge, has a 30 inch arm, which is almost a detriment sometimes, but sometimes AWESOME!). I have been looking at the feasibility of modifying it to work as a sit-down quilter (while still keeping it capable of working off the rails).

    I am a free motion quilter, almost entirely. I will draw out my designs sometimes before quilting, but I don't like pantographs or perfect circles, etc. They all looks store-bought to me. Anyway, my experience with free motion quilting on my DSM and on the longarm is that I get more control on a sit down quilter, where I'm driving the quilt, can quilt a long angular line at once, or rotate to get in the perfect position to do some special motif or whatever. I get a flatter quilt on the frame/rails. That and I don't have to baste the quilt if it's going on the frame. But to use many of the stencils, pantographs, etc, the frame is probably better.

  14. #14
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    western Pa
    Posts
    4,601
    I decided to purchase my Sweet 16 sitdown after finishing a large quilt and had aching shoulders for 2 weeks. I went to a demo and had an "aha! moment". Life is too short not to be able to use my arms for 2 weeks after each quilting session. My machine takes up no more room than a card table, altho I did add the extension table. I can quilt for hours on end and have no shoulder or neck pain. My quilting still looks like a kindergartner did it but I can say I did it myself. No buyers remorse or guilt over spending the money on myself ( I just lost my BFF to ovarian cancer and that drove home the point to enjoy life now.)
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  15. #15
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chapel Hill
    Posts
    1,078
    I have been fascinated by long-arms since I started teaching myself to quilt. I've test driven a few of them, but lack of space as well as recognition that standing and quilting is not good for my back, led me to look at the Sweet Sixteen instead. I spent several years trying it out at shows (and loving it) and talking to myself about the price... then had an aha moment about two years ago that I am spending over half the cost of the Sweet Sixteen each year on my son's hockey fees - and I deserved to spend money on myself as well - plus my toy will last for years to come - unfortunately the hockey fees are renewable each year for several years to come (he is passionate about hockey).

    My hockey-playing 13 year old is also fascinated by long-arms and my Sweet Sixteen. He has test driven more machines than I have, and it would not surprise me if he eventually invests in one of his own.

    Cheers, K

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    130
    I was doing pebbling on a large area and wearing myself out moving the quilt around. On that quilt I ripped out the pebbling and did something else but decided I eventually wanted a longarm. I finally ordered it last week!

  17. #17
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wi
    Posts
    9,994
    I have fibro and ruptured discs in my neck,worn out knees-bone on bone so for me a long arm is the only way I can quilt.Sitting on the floor leaning over to pin baste became torture for my body.If I did not go to a long arm my quilting days would be over-sitting at a domestic to quilt was bad for my neck also.I piece at intervals and have to lean back to rest neck and shoulders often.
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  18. #18
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    924
    I got the Sweet 16 while I was quilting my sister's super king, I knew I would never get it under my Janome 6600. I also did not have the room for a longarm, so opted for the sit down. I have to admit though, at times I'm with Lori S, and do occasionally opt for using a professional. It would definitely be cost effective, I just struggle with the concept of not completing every step of the process myself.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,155
    Blog Entries
    1
    I could quilt on my dsm, but it was hard on my back and shoulders. After trying out frame quilting at quilt shows, I knew that was a lot more fun for me! Took me about a year to research setups online to find something I could afford. Knew I wanted a Hinterberg stretch frame and Voyager 17 so, when someone in my quilt guild left a flyer at a meeting wanting to sell this setup, I bought it. It was about half the price of a new sitdown machine.

    I find frame quilting to be ***much*** easier on my back and shoulders, plus I can finish a quilt much faster this way.

    If I didn't have the space for a frame, I would definitely consider a sitdown setup with a large harp. Alternatively, if you really don't want to spend the money, it's a good idea to find ways to cut down the bulk that needs to go under the sewing machine arm. I did a few quilts this way by splitting the batting into thirds, quilting the middle first, then re-attaching one side at a time and quilting that. Debra Wagner has *excellent* instructions in how to do this in one of her books, but Marti Michel also describes this (plus other ways to cut down bulk) in her book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Marti-Michell-...dp/B0002J5GX0/

    For me, ergonomically it makes a lot more sense to quilt standing up -- whether on the frame or my dsm. I did find it much easier on my back and shoulders when I listed my sewing machine onto my cutting table and placed a styrofoam "table" around it. Biggest issue with that was making sure the machine's foot pedal reached the floor.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    16
    I just bought me the brothersQP1500 machine, but some day I hope to get the handi quilter sweet sixteen. Because my sister has a long arm and although it is nice to work on it means I have to leave home to work on it,still nice. After working on it a couple of times I'm convinced I would rather one u can sit down to work on. So cost wise and time wise I think I will be Happy with my 1550s machine.

  21. #21
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,729
    For me the straw that broke the camels back was basting. I baste by hand and I LOATHE it. That said, I hated everything about basting by spray, glue, and pins. Basting just sucked the love out of quilting no matter how it was done.

    I also had issues with quilting on my domestic. Sore shoulders and neck ... I would have to visit the chiropractor for several weeks after finishing each quilt. So I started looking at the sit down long arms and test drove them and LOVED them and I was >< this close to buying the Sweet 16 and then I remembered ... basting.

    So I bought a long arm and moved it in to my husbands shop.

    The down-side is that it's not at home so I really don't use it as often as I should. The up-side is that I don't have to baste. I really hate basting.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  22. #22
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    West Coast
    Posts
    9,204
    oh yes, the basting! so glad not to do that anymore that I put it right out of my mind ;-)
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1
    I am going to retire in 2 years and my husband decided I needed my retirement gift now! I got a HQ Avante. It will be here next week. I don't have room either - but who needs a big dining room when all the
    kids have moved away
    Last edited by wednesdayquilter; 03-26-2014 at 12:54 PM.

  24. #24
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    northwest Ohio
    Posts
    1,229
    Quote Originally Posted by wednesdayquilter View Post
    I am going to retire in 2 years and my husband decided I needed my retirement gift now! I got a HQ Avante. It will be here next week. I don't have room either - but who needs a big dining room when all the
    kids have moved away
    I'm trying to decide between a Sweet Sixteen and an Avante, so I'll be interested to hear about your experiences. I'm torn between the two of them!

  25. #25
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    949
    For me, it was a quilt I fought with. It was lap size size, not really that large, but a million pieces (Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay, to be exact). And HEAVY. I fought that thing through my machine - figured I'd take the "easy" route and stitch diagonal lines on it. Hah! Half-way through I said to myself "never again", and went out and bought a long arm (Handi Quilter Avante) the next week. Had it in my hands within a month and haven't used my domestic for quilting since. Yes, I did finish Orca Bay on the domestic machine before the longarm arrived.

    Of course, I have since realized that diagonal cross hatch on the long arm isn't that much easier So I've adjusted my quilting patterns to fit the machine.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.