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Thread: Why is it .......

  1. #1
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    Why is it .......

    that it's so difficult to make longer harps on sewing machines and why do they cost so much? Anybody know?
    aka Gale

  2. #2
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer, but I was struggling with the harp space on my machine yesterday I would suspect it has something to do with supporting the sewing machine head - the larger the harp space the more support needed????

  3. #3
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    Or why we can't have spools as our bobbin. There was a two spool machine, wonder why it didn't catch on?

    and as far as current machines, plastic can be any color in the spectrum. Why are they white?

  4. #4
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    The harp space on my Janome Magnolia 7330 is very small. I was a very beginner quilter when my DH wanted me to get a new machine & knew nothing about harp space at the time & the salesperson never mentioned anything about harp space. I say do your homework before purchasing an new machine.

    Never heard of the two spool machines but I've looked it up & here's a short video on a treadle machine that uses a spool for the bobbin. Oh, I wish they still made those.

    https://www.quiltingroomwithmel.com/...ine-video.html

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    It boggles the mind why the basics of quilt making aren't considered when manufacturing sewing machines.
    Meyert, good point but couldn't they use heavier plastic? Still doesn't make sense for them to be so expensive.
    A spool for a bobbin, now that's the ticket.
    aka Gale

  6. #6
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I have the same questions. If they can put a man on the moon and make driverless cars, why can't they extend the harp on a domestic machine for a reasonable price and why can't they allow bottom thread to come off a spool? I suspect it all comes down to money. They can get higher prices for a longer harp, so why would they be sold cheaper? And if the bottom thread comes off a spool, they can't sell all the bobbins and replacement bobbin cases etc for additional cost. Color me cynical.
    I'd rather be at the lake

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    Quote Originally Posted by KalamaQuilts View Post
    Or why we can't have spools as our bobbin. There was a two spool machine, wonder why it didn't catch on?

    and as far as current machines, plastic can be any color in the spectrum. Why are they white?
    I know what you mean. I'm happy I bought my "blueberry" Bernina back in in 2001 and am not looking to upgrade now.

    As for the longer harp, I suspect the head support answer is accurate, especially when so much of the machines now consists of plastic.

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    The ones that have computers, ok, head support makes sense but what's up with the all metal machines like Juki? Huh?
    Irish, no doubt, it's the way of the world these days. They wouldn't sell as many longarms either. Again, bottom line ..... $$$$$$
    aka Gale

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    As far as using a spool for a bobbin - if all the spools available were exactly the same size it might work.

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    If you had a factory with all the parts ready to make a certain size, the entire factory would need to be re-tooled. Very expensive to redo a factory.

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    That's true Tartan. I use to work selling piping parts for refineries, so retooling is definite deterrent. They are making them longer now so there might be hope. Now if they would start a company that would sandwich quilts I'd be the first in line.
    aka Gale

  12. #12
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I don't think it's hard but will cost a lot to have the manufacturing plant refitted to make long harps for the basic machines. I have seen home made long harp machine, the machine rod is cut in half with added length welded on. This is for mechanical machines only. Worked great. Looked awful.
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    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pchp View Post
    I know what you mean. I'm happy I bought my "blueberry" Bernina back in in 2001 and am not looking to upgrade now.

    As for the longer harp, I suspect the head support answer is accurate, especially when so much of the machines now consists of plastic.
    Most high end machines with long harps have metal frames so I don,t think it's head support imho. If they can make 24 inch long arms they could probably engineer machines the same way but they would be heavier and more impractical mobility wise. My 12 inch machines ways a ton and is a pain to move around why would I want something even larger and heavier to deal with so I think it more the selling point, they have long harp sit downs and long arms does one also need a sewing machine that large and difficult to move around
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

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    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My theory is a man who doesn't know a thing about sewing or quilting designed the sewing machines. Car plants retool all the time. Of course, cars continually go up in price. I guess I will just be happy with my two 9" throat machines that I have. I can quilt anything I want on them.
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    Sorry if I step on someone’s toes here but I’ll say it anyway. Yesterday DH and I rode with DIL in her car. DH in front and me in back seat. Whatever Engineer deigned this car never rode in one like it because there are too many blind spots. It took all 3 of us to watch traffic. Scary. I’ll be more than glad when she trades it off but they drive their vehicles until they’re toast.

  16. #16
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    If you had a factory with all the parts ready to make a certain size, the entire factory would need to be re-tooled. Very expensive to redo a factory.
    Yes! The retooling to make different parts is very expensive. Everything would have to be refitted. Lots of R&D and retooling, all of which is very expensive to do.

    As far as the whole "man on the moon thing. Yes, we can put a man on the moon. Its costs a bazillion dollars. If you want to pay that much, I"m sure someone will custom make you exactly the sewing machine you want.
    Last edited by cashs_mom; 07-05-2018 at 07:37 PM.
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    Don't forget new lines of machines will be released in August from Br0ther and BL will follow. It will be interesting to see what is offered.

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    Junior Member osewfast's Avatar
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    Price wise - I think they are high $$$$ because of the growing popularity/demand. Its the new hot ticket item folks want, so they jack up the price. Supply/demand/people willing to pay the price. I don't know...I'm not an economist.

    I do know that my Viking Epic 980q has a 12" harp and I LOVE IT. Going back to a domestic sized area would be really difficult. While mid-arm or long arm machines are awesome - I'm in a very confined about of space, so my machine works great for me. (And I didn't pay a fortune for it. I got a bigger trade in on my Babylock than what I originally paid for it and the shop was in a crunch because they were being forced to move = a deal I was overjoyed with!)
    Anyway - in time, maybe the larger harp machines will be standard, and the regular size be considered travel/compact and the pricing will level out. Meanwhile - enjoy what you have and keep having fun!
    Donna Mc

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    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Actually, the price of longarms has been coming down, mainly because of their popularity. There are a lot of new brands entering the market with their version, and are at a "hobby quilter" price point, not a "professional quilter" price.

    The video was fascinating. I always figured they didn't make a larger bobbin than the M because of the mechanics of the stitch. The upper thread has to go completely around the bobbin in order to make the stitch, and I assumed if the bobbin was much bigger, it would throw the stitch or the tension or the timing off. Would be a good question to ask the manufacturer reps, wouldn't it?

    This is exactly the reason why I like to use a fine thread, such as Bottom Line, in the bobbin. You can get a lot more 60 wt thread on a bobbin than you can a 40 wt thread!

  20. #20
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    My Singer 401A is a two spool machine however I have not used two on it but when learning how to use it when it was new.

  21. #21
    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigi712 View Post
    that it's so difficult to make longer harps on sewing machines and why do they cost so much? Anybody know?
    The largest harp I have is on my 1910 Treadle. 8.5".
    They discovered sewing folks WOULD pay a fortune to get that larger harp. AND building a bigger bobbin would cost them engineering bucks. Basically as long as sewing types pay the big prices, nothing will change. I now do QAYG COLUMN quilting and it is wonderful. Check out Candy Glendening's videos. The first video is a bit rough but it's good.

    Buying the larger, fancier machines is fine if you want one. But they are not necessary to achieve great results. Some of the most amazing quilts I've seen were produced at a card table, w/very old machine in a 10' x 10" kitchen.
    Last edited by tuckyquilter; 07-07-2018 at 01:51 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by crafty pat View Post
    My Singer 401A is a two spool machine however I have not used two on it but when learning how to use it when it was new.
    The 401 can use two spools on the top; it has two spool pins on top. On this thread we're talking about having a second spool where the bobbin is. My Eldredge Two Spool has that. There is a little can for the bobbin case and the spool that fits in there is a wooden one that holds 125 yards of thread. Most bobbins hold about 35 yards. You can't buy thread on such a spool anymore, but people have been nice and have saved some of those old spools. My machine will also wind thread on that spool from other larger spools.
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    I'm not sure the rising cost of new machines is due entirely to the larger harps. We all want our new machines to do back flips and come with lots of bells and whistles as well as long necks.

    I live in an area where industrial machines are a fairly common thing to see for sale. They all have long necks. They are also more specific. Straight stitch, or just a straight stitch and a zigzag, etc. They aren't as expensive as the new quilting/sewing machines I've seen.

    The newer domestic sewing/quilting machines all seem to have hundreds of decorative stitches, embroidery & font capabilities, mirror image & button hole selections. Lots of fun stuff.
    It wouldn't surprise me if the new machines come with 'smart' options.

    Imagine.....program your machine to turn itself on, thread itself, adjust the tension and maybe even make the coffee... from your smart phone. All ready for you to sit down and enjoy as soon as you get home from work, or as soon as breakfast is finished.....

  24. #24
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindless View Post
    It wouldn't surprise me if the new machines come with 'smart' options.

    Imagine.....program your machine to turn itself on, thread itself, adjust the tension and maybe even make the coffee... from your smart phone.
    I want mine to dispense a handful of M&M's the instant it hears a cuss word in the morning, or if it's afternoon, a glass of wine.

  25. #25
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    Another aspect of the money angle is that the market for larger harped machines is smaller.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

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