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Would you get a long or mid arm if you have a Bernina 830?

Would you get a long or mid arm if you have a Bernina 830?

Old 06-07-2012, 11:58 AM
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Question Would you get a long or mid arm if you have a Bernina 830?

I have a Bernina 830 that I love. It has an 18 inch throat space but I still struggle machine quilting even a twin size quilt. I know they sell the quilt frame for the bernina, but it would seem like such a pain to take the machine on and off the frame for when I want to quilt vs regular sewing. (the bernina weighs 45lbs!). Just looking to see if anyone else has that has the Bernina 830 or 820 has done this. Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:10 PM
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I have the 830 and I plan on a longarm in the future for the reasons you state. I would NOT want to be moving it around and I really don't want to use it as a 'long arm'. I bought it for my personal use and embroidery features. I don't want to wrack up the stitch count that an industrial long arm is built to handle. I love my 830 and I know there is quilting software to automate the machine on a frame, but honestly, I'd rather have a separate, dedicated long arm machine for quilting only.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:15 PM
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I have a Bernina Activa and thus far have been able to quilt a queen size on it using the "fluff and stuff" method. If I won the lotto I would buy a mid arm. In no way do I have the space for a long arm and it would take lots of finished quilts to feel the expense was worth it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:38 PM
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I have a JUKI TL98QE and a Babylock Jane 9" Throat/harp space and I can quilt any size quilt I want to on them. An 18" would be wonderful to quilt on. I don't have room for a frame or an 18" machine. I will just be happy with what I have.
If you put the 18" on a frame, youu could get another for piecing, used or more simple machine.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:51 PM
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Years ago after attending a quilt show , I got the bug for a Long Arm.. I did the math.. and I could "buy" alot of long arm services for what I would have spent this did not even include any costs for maintainience . Plus I get to select the Pro whos talents meet the needs of the quilt. I have never regreted my decision.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:06 PM
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I was first given the Bernina frame as a gift, and used a Bernina 440 to quilt on it. I did not like the limited throat space. I looked into a long arm, but the two things that kept me from purchasing was the trouble that people had with tension and I already had a wonderful frame. There were some mid arms that may have fit my frame, but had only a few more inches than an 820 and about the same cost, so I purchased an 820 and love it on my frame. I am happy with the space, and am saving my pennies to get the computer software that is now available. I do several quilts at a time, and then I take it off the frame. Ikept the 440 and piece on it in the meantime. Hope this helps
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:27 PM
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I have seen the 830 mounted on the Bernina frame and with the computer system. It is awesome!! It is fairly simple to mount on the frame. The space of the harp isn't as good as a long arm machine but it does do some remarkable work. The computer system lets you map your border and blocks and stretch or reduce quilting designs to fit. If I was more computer literate and I could afford it, I would seriously want it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:59 PM
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I have an 820 and the throat is about 12" (not 18). I liked the frame, but don't want to tie up the 820 and have to piece on my older machine so I got a used long arm. I only paid about $800 (including wood frame). If I LOVE long arming and am any good at it, I can upgrade in the future. That Bernina frame is really nice, though. But the Tin Lizzie on the wood frame moved just as smoothly to me.

I only plan to do free motion and pantagraphs though. No computer and probably no ruler work.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:13 PM
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I learned to quilt with my Elna 7200 (Janome mc6500). You will experience most if not all of the same issues with a domestic machine on a quilting frame as you will a mid-arm or long arm. Yes, it was a pain to move it off/on the frame or to have to drag out one of my other machines when I wanted to sew on another project while a quilt was on the frame but it was a good learning experience for my Voyager and I wanted to see if I really liked frame quilting before investing any money in it. I learned about tension even though my Elna tried very hard & usually gets it correct all by itself. Some days--it just didn't like the thread or how tight the quilt was on the frame. I even had a dirty batting that caused threads to shred and bird seed like stuff to fly up out of the quilt! My Voyager is actually easier to operate & troubleshoot because of what I learned during the 4+ years I used a domestic machine on the frame.
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