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Thread: What's your quilting machine set-up?

  1. #1

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    Other than a long-arm quilting machine and just using your regular sewing machine, what quilting set-ups do you have? I would like input from using a regular throat plate sewing machine to some others that are on the market that have a larger throat plate and more quilting space. I can't afford the long arm, or have the space, but just wondering about other possibilities. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Member Pzazz's Avatar
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    I just use my regular workhorse sewing machine for machine quilting, then the hand work gets done side by side with my hubby....I have two large quilting hoops so we can each hoop on to a different part of the quilt.

  3. #3
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pzazz
    I just use my regular workhorse sewing machine for machine quilting, then the hand work gets done side by side with my hubby....I have two large quilting hoops so we can each hoop on to a different part of the quilt.
    That's awesome that your honey quilts with you.

    I just use my machine. The bigger stuff I have to send out, mainly because I can't handle the bulk.

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I got tired of pushing my big quilts through my regular sewing machine and invested in a Juki. It has a nine inch throat and has made a world of difference. I love it for quilting. I got it about three years ago and it was $599.00 with free shipping. Lots cheaper than a mid arm and works great for me.

  5. #5
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    I have a Pfaff GrandQuilter Hobby 1200 with a 9" throat, mounted on a Grace Next Generation frame with Quilter's Cruise Control (Stitch Regulator) and Qbot (Computerized Quilt Robot) attached. It does everything I need for now. But I would like to move up to the 18" PFaff or Viking machine and Grace Imperial frame.

  6. #6
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    I have a 15" Bailey, mounted on a Little Gracie II frame. I bought the Bailey used, and it was surprisingly affordable. I just advertised on the Bailey Yahoo Group that I was looking for a used machine, and I was contacted by multiple people. And there are always people on the various Yahoo groups devoted to machine frame quilting who are selling used frames, so you can usually find something for a good price.

    I'm pretty happy with my setup -- the Little Gracie II only goes up to queen size, so it doesn't take up a ton of space. It also folds up to take even less space when you're not using it, although I imagine it would be a bit of a pain to do that very often.

  7. #7

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    Rivka, could you send me the website address for the Bailey you are talking about.....would like to see pictures, etc. Thanks.

  8. #8

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    Also, send the web address for the Gracie II. I am unfamiliar with all of these for the home quilter.

  9. #9
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    I use my Universal 15, which is a Japanese version of a Singer 15 for all of my quilting. I have used it for queen sized quilts and fixing to do 2 King sized ones with it.

    I do have it mounted into a 36"x 140" table so I have lots of room to quilt. :wink:

    Here is a pic of the machine ready to go quilting, and I add a leaf to the table (on the left) to make it a full 140"

    Billy

    My go to machine ready to quilt away
    Name:  Attachment-51670.jpe
Views: 60
Size:  42.8 KB

  10. #10

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    I sure wish I could see lots of pictures regarding this.

  11. #11
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    msoop, you can find information about the Bailey Home Quilters here:

    http://www.baileyssewingcenter.com/test.html

    They come in 13", 15", and 17".

    The Little Gracie II is made by the Grace Company:

    http://www.graceframe.com/gfxoops/

    They have several machine quilting frames that are suitable to different budgets and sizes :)

    And finally, to look for used Bailey's and frames, I'd recommend checking out the following 3 Yahoo groups:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Baileyquiltingmachines/
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gracemachineframe/
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homequiltingsystems/

    All 3 groups have a Database, where people can list items they are selling or items they are looking for. I don't see a lot in there right now, but people are always adding stuff. I'm sure there are other places to look, but those groups have worked well for me; they're all fairly active.

  12. #12

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    When you say they come in 15", etc......what is that the measurement of? Throat plate space? And, I assume the throat plate space is the distance between the needle and the opposite side of the machine where the quilt is held while sewing? (As you can tell, I am new at this "quilting system" information.) Been sewing and quilting for years, but don't know about all of this.

    And thanks for the picture of your set up. Nice and roomy place to quilt.

  13. #13
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    I'm no expert on machine frame quilting, but I have been doing a lot of research on it over the past few months, because I purchased a system myself just recently. So I'll share what I know (and if anything is wrong, I'd appreciate correction from someone else :) )

    Yes, the 15", etc., is the throat space (from needle to the end of the open space; effectively the length of the space to sew in). Your normal sewing machine is usually referred to as a "short arm" (when talking about using it on a frame), and most machines have a 7" throat, I believe -- even the 9" machines like the Juki TL98Q and the Janome 1600P are still called short arms (these are relatively inexpensive machines that can be used on a machine quilting frame). Anything above that, but less than 17" is usually referred to as a "mid arm" (although some manufacturers will still refer to them as long arms). Anything 17" and above is going to be a long arm, and is probably going to cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

    The Bailey machines are a nice compromise -- they're big enough that you can do fairly large patterns, but still inexpensive enough that they're not completely out of one's price range. On my 15" (and with my specific frame set up), I can get about 12" of sewing range when I first start quilting...this decreases, of course, as the quilt is rolled up within the throat space. I still haven't done a full quilt yet; I'm still practicing, as I've only had the machine for a few weeks. So far I love it, though -- I'm much happier with it than I was with the Juki that I originally bought...but I wanted to do specific types of patterns which wouldn't be possible in the 9" throat of the Juki.

    If you're looking to do frame machine quilting, and you want to do it on a budget, then you don't have a ton of options, from what I can tell. Some people use their regular sewing machine on a frame, which I can't fathom -- you'd have almost no space to stitch as you got towards the end of the quilt. You can upgrade to a Juki or Janome 9" -- but I personally still found that far too limiting, space wise, but I know there are a lot of people that do make it work. Or you can look at a Bailey. There may be other options out there that one could consider "affordable", but this is what I've discovered so far doing my own research.

    Some things to think about:

    - what's your price range?
    - how much throat space do you want? Realistically, what kind of patterns do you want to quilt? If you just want to do small free motion patterns and stippling, then something like a Juki or Janome would probably suit you just fine. If you want to do pantographs, then a larger machine is probably your best bet.
    - how much space do you have for a frame? There are a lot of frame makers out there -- Grace, Handiquilter, and Hinterberg to name just a few.
    - do you think you'd need a stitch regulator? This is an add-on to the machine that keeps your stitching a uniform length; if you don't have this, then you have to make sure that you always move the machine at a perfectly uniform speed, which can be difficult for a beginner. This is an added expense (usually between $500 and $700, depending on the machine in question)

    If you think the Juki/Janome idea would work for you, there are all kinds of packages at allbrands.com, and sewvacdirect.com that include both a frame and a machine. You could get a complete setup with machine, frame, and stitch regulator for around $2000.

    Feel free to ask any more questions -- I know I was confused a lot by terminology when I first started researching.

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I dont have the room for a longarm so bought a machine with a 10 in throat. It makes a big difference but you also need a large flat surface with the machine flush with the top.
    If the newer embroidery machines will quilt a square in a quilt with all three layers togather I will seriously plan on getting one.

  15. #15

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    thank you, Rivka, for all that information and the things to consider!! So helpful!! I know more about what I'm dealing with. I didn't know what a mid-arm was, etc. I have seen the huge long-arms in quilt stores. but, that is strictly out of my budget!! Therefore, I am trying to find something that will work for me. No, I don't think I would be happy with the 7 or 9 inch space either. That's too much like what I'm trying to do on my sewing machine now. Thank you, thank you, so much. I will probably be asking some more questions. I am trying to do a lot of research before I even start shopping.

  16. #16

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    I don't know if this will help, but there are a couple videos on Youtube that show how to build a quilting table using inexpensive materials. Essentially what happens is your machine is set into a piece of foam insulation material so that the throat of the machine is the same level as the piece of foam, giving you a large surface to support your quilt while you are quilting it. You can make this set up on an inexpensive folding table and I think it really works.
    glo

  17. #17
    Shandy's Avatar
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    I just purchased a Grace Pinnacle frame and am using a Janome 1600p on it. It has 9 inch throat and it's fast. I also got the Sure Stitch regulator, and the laser. They are on the Grace website.

    I'll likely upgrade to a larger machine. My frame will handle one up to 18" throat space, like the new Babylock Jewel. I want to see if I enjoy doing this before I go and spend all that money. I'm up in Canada, and haven't seen a Bailey machine. From what I've been told, go as large as you can afford to go and plan for upgrading if you have to start smaller.

  18. #18
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I'm with Lostn51...
    Some of those older machines are really great for quilting with their large throat (harp) area...
    They sew like a charm...and can be picked up for a dime!!!
    Kirsten

  19. #19

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and information. It sure helps to hear from everyone and what works for them.

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