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    #16
    Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

    Originally posted by Bernina2 View Post
    Unless you are going into business, personally I don't think
    You would quilt enough quilts to pay for the expense of a
    Long arm machine. I pay $35-50 dollars to have a lap quilt,
    50 x65 inches quilted. A long arm machine is $5000-8000.
    Plus they take up a lot of room.
    I can take a lot of quilts to someone else to quilt for that price.
    Finding someone to quilt for that price is rare! You are right, with that kind of service, it doesn't make sense to own an expensive machine. More likely is needing to pay upwards of $100 for that size quilt. I think Missouri Star charges $.02 per square inch. The ones I had them do for me were bed size and cost around $175. That is when owning your own machine makes sense.

    Comment


      #17
      Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

      I own a longarm, and agree it would have been cheaper (in dollars) to just have someone else quilt my tops if I just wanted edge to edge patterns. Several factors went into my decision,
      1. I enjoyed the quilting part on a LA, but not on my domestic machine
      2. I can quilt (and practice) when I want to and when I am in the mood (creative juices flowing)
      3. Minimum charge for a quilt in my area is $50.
      4. I work hard for my money and deserve to treat myself to something I enjoy.
      5. Still have the ability to sit on a drafting chair and quilt along with my LA, if I get tired of standing, but this hasn't been an issue yet. I tried it out in a class, and it did get me a lot closer for the micro stippling.

      That being said, I am working on a king size quilt that I may not be able to do on my 10 ft frame, since it is a bit oversized. Decision still to be determined. But happy that when talking to the owner of the shop where I purchased my machine, he suggested that he can set up a 12 ft. frame in the shop and I can just come there to quilt it. He said it is a service he is willing to offer for his customers that have purchased machines from him. . Needless to say, this shop gets most of my LQS business. Yeah for them and yeah for me.

      Each person must first list out your priorities and pros and cons of purchasing, renting time on LA (if available in your area), using home machine, or sending out. Good luck with your decision, and don't second guess yourself once you decide. If you do decide to buy, definitely try out multiple brands and multiple machines within same brand.
      Karen
      Spring, TX

      Comment


        #18
        Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

        Originally posted by Jean Sewing Machine View Post
        I have a long arm. It's not fancy but it gets the job done. The way I figure it, quilting is a hobby. I know many people who have fancy wood working shops, big fishing boats, numerous fancy and Expensive cameras that they use for their hobby! These tools cost way more than my longarm did! I think we need to stop figuring out if it will pay for itself and figure out if we are worth it to continue our hobby and finish our quilts without putting undue stress on our bodies to quilt on a domestic machine. Just know, it's a learning curve and you will need to learn your machine and the techniques before you feel completely comfortable quilting on your longarm. But quilting on a longarm is more intuitive than quilting on a domestic, because it is like drawing with a pencil.

        Good luck with your decision.
        My husband is the one who used this argument to get me to buy a longarm. He knew I wanted one and was hesitant because of the price. He reminded me that he did not "need" a motorcycle but not only did I agree to him buying one but to him having two motorcycles. I also knew how much he enjoyed riding. He knows how much I want to do the entire quilt myself. We are each other's enablers. We should enjoy life. We worked hard and as long as the bills are paid first, why not have fun.
        Vonnie

        Comment


          #19
          Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

          Originally posted by Vonnie View Post
          My husband is the one who used this argument to get me to buy a longarm. He knew I wanted one and was hesitant because of the price. He reminded me that he did not "need" a motorcycle but not only did I agree to him buying one but to him having two motorcycles. I also knew how much he enjoyed riding. He knows how much I want to do the entire quilt myself. We are each other's enablers. We should enjoy life. We worked hard and as long as the bills are paid first, why not have fun.
          Amen to that!

          Comment


            #20
            Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

            I agree! It's a purchase made not because it will eventually pay for itself. It's a tool that adds to the pleasure our hobby gives us. If you have the space, the money and are looking for a better way to quilt with less physical strain then go for it.
            Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

            Comment


              #21
              Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

              Originally posted by Jean Sewing Machine View Post
              I have a long arm. It's not fancy but it gets the job done. The way I figure it, quilting is a hobby. I know many people who have fancy wood working shops, big fishing boats, numerous fancy and Expensive cameras that they use for their hobby! These tools cost way more than my longarm did! I think we need to stop figuring out if it will pay for itself and figure out if we are worth it to continue our hobby and finish our quilts without putting undue stress on our bodies to quilt on a domestic machine. Just know, it's a learning curve and you will need to learn your machine and the techniques before you feel completely comfortable quilting on your longarm. But quilting on a longarm is more intuitive than quilting on a domestic, because it is like drawing with a pencil.

              Good luck with your decision.
              I SO agree with all this!

              Comment


                #22
                Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                Initially I tried free motion on my sewing machine but found I just could not get the hang of moving the fabric to quilt as opposed to moving a machine to quilt. It was harder on my hands (I do have very slight arthritis in one of my thumbs) and for some reason just cannot process the mental aspect of the coordination.

                I know that when I find a craft I really like that I spend a lot of time into it and I do it for enjoyment. If I make any money off of it (which at some point I always have) then that makes me happy too. I really too did consider the Juki on a Grace frame but then decided to go with a larger throat that the blockrockit had. I didn't see much difference in the price particularly when I considered that I'd be using it for a long long time. At any rate I was able to purchase what I wanted for under $5000 and it was at a time that I had come into a little bit of money. I would not have been able to do it otherwise. I think I paid around $4200 two years ago, so it was the machine with a Grace Queen frame. I'm very happy I did get a stand up long arm. I think regardless of the make/model there is a learning curve of about 3 months getting use to it.

                The learning curve. It seems to me that the problem most people have in the beginning is adjusting to the tensioning requirements. The other thing is that often it turns out that the encoders are not installed properly when you first put the machine and carriage on your frame. So you go through a process of always question is it the machine or is it something I'm doing in the beginning! If it's the encoders and your using the stitch regulator then it is pretty easy to narrow down because the long arm machine models usually have a diagnostic program on it that will zero in on that problem. As far as the tensioning, I would strongly, strongly recommend you get a Towa Bobbin gauge from Superior Threads, it costs about $50 but will save you hours of fiddling with tensioning. I mean REALLY! They have them for many of the LA models on the market.

                Good luck with your search :-) And I agree with what was said above. Many spend thousands on tools, boats and other toys. You're worth it too. I saw a saying the other day that said: If you always put others first, you are only teaching them that you will always come second. Now that's a mistake I've made in my 67 years that I'm working on changing LOL
                https://forum.missouriquiltco.com/co.../icon_wave.gif
                Women are Angels. When someone break's our wings we will continue to fly-usually on a broomstick.We're flexible like that.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                  LA quilting in my area is quite expensive, and that's just for edge-to-edge. Custom is much higher. I learned FMQ on my domestic sewing machine 4 yrs. ago. While I was able to do a good job, it was not a comfortable position for my arms & shoulders. After test driving the Baby Lock Tiara II at my LQS, I decided I'd really like to have it. I do not have space in my home for a long frame. The table model is a perfect match for my space. I prefer having a sit-down model; I don't want to stand to quilt. With the added 18" extension table, I have plenty of surface space on which to spread out the quilt sandwich. I probably will not quilt anything larger than a twin size on it. Most of the quilts I make are crib size or lap size. If I were to make a larger quilt, I still would pay a LA quilter to do it. I like the convenience of quilting my own quilts in my time frame, not being in a queue & waiting 4-6 wks. to get something quilted. When I bought my machine, which IS considered a LA -- it has a 16" harp space -- I was told the Baby Lock is better made & has a better warranty than the Sweet 16. I did not buy the stitch regulator since I already was comfortable with the FMQ technique. Tiara II - Sept. 2015 001.jpgTiara II - Sept. 2015 002.jpg Here are a couple pics of my Baby Lock. The table space is 30" deep x 54" wide.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                    Thank you for all the advice. I like the Babylock Coronet and am leaning toward that due to space. You can do any size with moving the quilt around. Guess I am wondering if that would be a pain. I had also looked at the Block Rockit but again not sure if I want to take up the entire wall. Also heard it might have some vibration in the machine?

                    Shauna

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                      I have a grace frame with the Janome 1600. I just got the upgraded carriage ;makes a huge difference. I, too, have neck, back, and shoulder problems. Moving the machine over the quilt is by far a better option for me. I can sit down and rest when I need to and no wrestling trying to sandwich the quilt. It's much easier to load it on the frame.
                      .

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                        Originally posted by Teacherbarber4 View Post
                        Thank you for all the advice. I like the Babylock Coronet and am leaning toward that due to space. You can do any size with moving the quilt around. Guess I am wondering if that would be a pain. I had also looked at the Block Rockit but again not sure if I want to take up the entire wall. Also heard it might have some vibration in the machine?

                        Shauna
                        I haven't had a problem with vibration in the machine. The few times I recall it mentioned I think ultimately the problem turned out to be something else causing a vibration. That being said, some machines have been replaced due to manufacturing types of problems. I had my first machine replaced which was done rapidly and with no hassles. Where they have occurred they do back their machines and you don't pay the shipping or anything.

                        You mention you may not want to take up a whole wall with a Grace frame. I had thought about that too, fortunately I do have the space and the extra rooms. Yeahhhh. When I looked into the Grace frame it said that say with the Queen which takes up about 10' (you'd need a little more for the walk around) can also be used as crib sized. So I thought about that for a while...like ok I'll set it up as a crib and if I need it queen sized for something I'll just add the extra part etc and take it off afterward. Well, my advice is, DON'T. It is a real pain adding and subtracting for frame size. Once you have it up you won't want to do THAT again LOL. It is managable but it's NOT how you want to spend you life!
                        https://forum.missouriquiltco.com/co.../icon_wave.gif
                        Women are Angels. When someone break's our wings we will continue to fly-usually on a broomstick.We're flexible like that.

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                          Originally posted by cv quilter View Post
                          I just bought the Baby Lock Tiara III sit down long arm (the same machine as the Sweet 16. I'm told Baby Lock makes it). I find it very easy to use so far. Yes, it is an investment ($4700) show price, but I think for me it's going to be worth it.
                          Actually, BabyLock does not make the Sweet 16, but it is actually the other way around, Handi Quilter makes the long arm machines for BabyLock.

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                            I have a Handi Quilter Sixteen which I have had for a few years now and I love it!! I have NEVER regretted buying it. I think it may be very similar to the Babylock Coronet as Handi Quilter makes the Babylock.

                            I went to a shop and rented a long arm machine made by APQS (because I found it first) to see if I would like using one or not. I was interested in the Handi Quilter but at the time didn't know where to try one. When I told the owner of the machine I was interested in trying a Handi Quilter too, she gave me a very hard core sales pitch to purchase an APQS because she sells for them and highly discouraged me from even looking at the Handi Quilter. So since I have NO patience for the hard core sales approach and knowing the Handi Quilter was at that time half or less than the price of the APQS, I was even more determined to try a Handi Quilter since I had always heard good things about them and knew it was MUCH more in my price range. I found a lady who rented them for people just like me and she also offered classes so off I went. I loved the machine immediately and actually felt it was a smoother running machine than the "expensive" one! I bought one and my husband and I ended up later going to Salt Lake City and took a class at Handi Quilter together with about 10 other people. We had a blast! My husband took it with me for the fun of it and I was so thrilled he was willing to do that and go with me. We made it a little vacation type thing. He was the only man in the class and he has a great sense of humor and is a fun guy and everyone loved him. The class was great and everyone learned a lot and had fun doing it.

                            Before I bought mine, I questioned for a time whether I should spend the money too. My husband was 100% supportive (obviously if he was even willing to take the class!) and I decided after working all my life if it would make me happy, why not!! I financed mine on an interest free type plan and never minded the payment because I was having so much fun making quilts for my loved ones and could say I did the whole thing myself. I don't do any for money or rent out my machine. I love every minute I spend on it with a few exceptions when I do something stupid-lol! Knock on wood, my machine has been very reliable and I have been very happy with it.

                            I totally agree with Jean and others who have said it shouldn't be about the money. It should be about how much joy it will give you having it and the pain it can possibly save you from other types of FMQ quilting! Sorry for such a long post, (I don't post that often) but life goes by so quickly and my feeling is if you can afford it and want it, go for it!!!

                            Good luck with your decision and have fun!!! I would love to hear what you decide😊

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                              Originally posted by Carlie Wolf View Post
                              Initially I tried free motion on my sewing machine but found I just could not get the hang of moving the fabric to quilt as opposed to moving a machine to quilt. It was harder on my hands (I do have very slight arthritis in one of my thumbs) and for some reason just cannot process the mental aspect of the coordination.

                              I know that when I find a craft I really like that I spend a lot of time into it and I do it for enjoyment. If I make any money off of it (which at some point I always have) then that makes me happy too. I really too did consider the Juki on a Grace frame but then decided to go with a larger throat that the blockrockit had. I didn't see much difference in the price particularly when I considered that I'd be using it for a long long time. At any rate I was able to purchase what I wanted for under $5000 and it was at a time that I had come into a little bit of money. I would not have been able to do it otherwise. I think I paid around $4200 two years ago, so it was the machine with a Grace Queen frame. I'm very happy I did get a stand up long arm. I think regardless of the make/model there is a learning curve of about 3 months getting use to it.

                              The learning curve. It seems to me that the problem most people have in the beginning is adjusting to the tensioning requirements. The other thing is that often it turns out that the encoders are not installed properly when you first put the machine and carriage on your frame. So you go through a process of always question is it the machine or is it something I'm doing in the beginning! If it's the encoders and your using the stitch regulator then it is pretty easy to narrow down because the long arm machine models usually have a diagnostic program on it that will zero in on that problem. As far as the tensioning, I would strongly, strongly recommend you get a Towa Bobbin gauge from Superior Threads, it costs about $50 but will save you hours of fiddling with tensioning. I mean REALLY! They have them for many of the LA models on the market.

                              Good luck with your search :-) And I agree with what was said above. Many spend thousands on tools, boats and other toys. You're worth it too. I saw a saying the other day that said: If you always put others first, you are only teaching them that you will always come second. Now that's a mistake I've made in my 67 years that I'm working on changing LOL
                              Oh my goodness Carlie! I love the saying you mentioned about putting others first and it making you always come second! I am about to turn 68 myself and that one really hit me because I'm trying to learn to be better about handling that one too!! I think sometimes we are supposed to see thought provoking things like that! Thank you for posting it!!!

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Re: Should I purchase a long arm?

                                I have a Brother Dream Fabric Frame with a Dream Weaver XE on it. I can sit or stand to quilt. I like that I don't have to pin the whole quilt and I've done some fairly wide quilts on it. I just have to plan and move the quilt from side to side.
                                Good luck in your decisions.
                                Take care,
                                Susan
                                Susan Davis
                                Remember, the mighty oak was just a nut that held its ground.

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