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What's your slant on those new LA-type machines I'm seeing around?

What's your slant on those new LA-type machines I'm seeing around?

Old 04-01-2014, 04:29 AM
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Default What's your slant on those new LA-type machines I'm seeing around?

Many quilters don't have room for a LA so Viking and Babyloc have come up with a machine that looks like a LA but it's at a table where you move the quilt under the machine like doing FMQ. They have a stitch regulator so you get even stitches (that's the part of home machine FMQing that I find challenging) and they look amazing. I stopped at Joann's on Sunday to pick up thread and saw one made by Viking..... played with it a little bit and was thinking..... oh, my goodness, this is what I need. I still have some trouble with FMQ on my machine but don't want to spend what it costs for a true LA set up.... and do I have the room for one? The Viking was on sale, very tempting.... but then I started thinking.

What I love about hand quilting is that the quilt is taut while you are putting in the stitches. That makes for a very smooth looking quilt. Using a true LA, you get the same result. But, FMQ on my home machine doesn't give as smooth a look.... at least, I haven't been able to achieve the smoothness that I like. And then, there's the problem of getting even stitches. So, with this new LA-like machine you move the fabric around like FMQ..... unlike the LA where the machine moves over the quilt. I see this as a problem. So, I'm asking you....... what do you think? Do any of you have one of these machines? Do you love it? Is it as great as a LA? Inquiring minds want to know..... especially before spending a pile of cash.
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Old 04-01-2014, 04:34 AM
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I tried the Babylock. Hated the stitch regulator. That being said, if standing on your feet is a problem this is a great solution. Just look at what Leah Day does with a sit down - she has a Janome 7700, but same idea. And lots less space if you have a small room.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:46 AM
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I played with the Babylock sit-down quilter recently too, and like Judi, I really hated their solution for stitch regulation. It's this separate mouse-like thing that attaches to the quilt sandwich and slides around on the table and that's how the machine knows how fast you're going. But if you get a roll in your quilt it's not detecting your movements anymore, and you have to keep removing and re-attaching the regulator as you work. Bleh! (Maybe they have other machines with better stitch regulators but I really disliked this style. The machine itself seemed pretty nice though.)

I really admire Leah Day and I have a Janome 6600 which is only a little smaller than the 7700 she uses...I **can** FMQ a king-size quilt on my machine but it is NOT easy. Leah makes it look easy, but she's a lot more skilled than I am! A LOT more skilled.

I'm actually about to start researching these large sit-down machines because I'm considering buying one later this year; I don't really know anything about them yet except that there are a LOT of different manufacturers making them. I definitely want one with a GOOD stitch regulator, that's a big part of why I want this type of machine. That, and the much larger throat.
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Old 04-01-2014, 06:40 AM
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I would not like wrestling with a bed size quilt. Just because it has more room dosnt make it any easier to handle.
You do need a lot of room for a long arm table set up. But in the long run it is the best way to go. It is fun to move the machine like you are drawing instead of fighting the quilt around.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:10 AM
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I have the HQ Sweet Sixteen sit down quilting machine and I LOVE it. I don't have/want the stitch regulator, but it does look like an awkward set up. I can't use a LA on a frame because I have a poor sense of perspective and need it close to me. (I can't play tennis either, but I can play handball) It doesn't take up an entire room, or two, and the cost was a significant factor. I love mine, but you should test drive ALL different kinds. We all work differently.
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