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what size long-arm frame?

what size long-arm frame?

Old 08-14-2015, 06:13 AM
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Question what size long-arm frame?

I am thinking more seriously about long-arms.

With all our furniture still in PODS because of the bad winter wrecking the walls and ceilings in most of the rooms, now is a perfect time to move a long-arm into my empty quilt lab. When the house gets drywalled and painted and we can move our stuff back in, whatever doesn't fit back into the room will get yard-saled or put in another room.

heh heh heh.

If my biggest quilt is say 9'x9' then will a 10' frame work or do I need bigger? The room is big enough for a 12' frame, but I don't know if I should pay the extra money and give up the floor space.

Appreciate the advice from you LAQ'ers!

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Old 08-14-2015, 06:42 AM
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I would get a 12' if you have the room. I purchased a Gammill with a 10' table and my leaders are only about 104". You need the extra room at both ends for your machine. I'm happy with mine, but I don't make King size quilts.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:56 AM
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I say get the biggest and best you can afford!! I just bought my longarm and after much research on people selling their longarms it seems to me that a vast majority of those selling their set up was to upgrade to a bigger set up. i bought a 12ft frame because I can always do smaller quilters on a larger frame, but I can't do larger quilters on a smaller frame. I say if you have the room, then get the biggest machine that you can to fit in the room and still be able to work comfortably.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:57 AM
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If you do a lot of quilts that are 9' wide, I would get the 12' frame. You are going to loose a bit on the edges due to the machine carriage. It is also good to have extra room on the side to move the quilting head clear of the quilt to change bobbins, do a bit of cleaning etc. with a quilt on the frame. You do need a lot of room, however. If you are planning on doing pantos from the back, you will need 3' in front and in back and 3' on one side. Frames are usually between 3 & 4 feet wide, so you are looking at 9 X 15 to comfortably fit a 12' frame.
you can store a LOT of stuff under the frame!!!
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:06 AM
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I like my 10ft just fine.
I can do about 103"
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:33 AM
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When you go to check on the frame size, take a measuring tape with you as I found out some companies measure from the outside of the frame, others measure from the inside. My old Grace Pro frame was a 10 footer but measured at 129". When I bought my latest machine/frame I got the 12' but they measure from the outside of the frame so you're losing a couple of inches right there. Then you need to subtract the width of your machine wheels closest to the edge and if you ever decide on robotics, it too can possibly take up space. I marked my leaders at both ends to help me remember exactly how far I can go with my machine. I almost lost my machine once as the bumper was too low to stop the machine when I got close to the edge, one wheel rolled right off the frame. Machine is 65# so a bit difficult for me with limited strength these days to push her back onto the frame. I made a new bumper using a large width dowel, added the old bumper to the end and attached it to the frame just above the wheels so it hits the machine carriage.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:47 AM
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I would get the biggest frame I could. I was supposed to get a 12 ft preloved but they were out (mis labled box). I got a 10 ft with the understanding that when a 12 ft came in I would trade for that. Well dealer stopped carring that brand and I got kicked to curb. Very upset but this was a few years ago and I'm still looking for a 12 ft. I do make King size quilts, and like Tallchick said you can do smaller quilts on larger frame but you can't reverse that...
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:05 AM
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If you have room for a 12' frame, get the 12' frame. Your quilt size is limited by the size of the frame. I do know that HandiQuilter charges the same price for their 10' and 12' frame. You can always remove a center section to make the frame smaller, but you cannot add on without purchasing a new one.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:17 PM
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I have a 12 ft frame and wouldn't want it shorter. My leaders are 126" so that is what I can put on the frame.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:34 PM
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Thank you all for your very valuable input!

I am reassessing my choice based on available space. Wow! My room is just under 15x12. It's an old house and ALL the rooms are about that size.

I can put it on casters to roll to the wall when not used. I could also take down a section of the frame so it is a smaller footprint. Putting things under it for storage sounds sensible. I can clean out my closet, seal up the plaster to keep out the mice, and start using it for quilt storage instead of books.

Or I could commandeer the kids' study since they no longer live at home and have that one room for the longarm and leave it in place permanently.

Or I could reduce my ambitions and get a 'mid-arm'. Or get a bigger-throat DSM. Or re-read that 7-reason post on Leah Day's blog about why it is fine to use a DSM to FMQ until I am convinced.

Thanks all - much food for thought! Happy quilting to you all, whatever your 'ride'
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