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    Grace Queen question?

    I have been reading some of your posts. I am relatively new to quilting, but not sewing, so I am not familiar with some of the gadgets and things associated with quilting. I have made several quilts so far, and I have gotten quite good with FMQ on my little Necchi mechanical sewing machine. I do my piecing on my Pfaff computer machine. But I am seeing that there is a large frame that you can set your sewing machine on that guides the machine to do the quilting. Is that what the Grace Queen frame is? I read up on them and priced them, but I didn't see enough information to answer my questions. I was looking at the wooden frame for around $700. Any advice, nay-sayers, anyone just love it or hate it?
    Thanks,
    Julie
    "She who dies with the most fabric wins"

    Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

    Julie
    :D

    #2
    Re: Grace Queen question?

    I have that frame and have mine set up in a King size. It's a nice frame and I like mine.
    Shirley aka buckeyequilter
    I work to support a sewing habit that I don't have time for, because I work!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Grace Queen question?

      I've lost my dining room to my queen Grace Start Right frame. I got mine used off Craigs List from a woman that upgraded to the wood one.

      I use a vintage Singer on it (and had used an older mechanical Kenmore on it first) so it can be done. It's harder and requires a lot more practice than using a machine that is purpose-built for frame quilting. I guess I enjoy the challenge?

      I have the foot pedal sitting on the unused space on the machine carriage itself. I push on it with my right hand like a PC mouse and follow an edge-to-edge pantograph pattern on the little table platform under the carriage with a laser light. My left hand does a lot of the pushing/pulling on the carriage and my right hand does more of the fine steering.

      It took a while to get a hang of keeping the carriage running smoothly enough to not make jagged shapes and to also work the pressure on the pedal consistently with the speed of the carriage movement. On a purpose-built machine you have a thumb button and don't have to push a pedal the whole time (yes my hand gets tired and I take breaks) plus they have the needle up/down that I don't. When I stop, I have to be very careful to let the carriage come to a full stop, then the needle stops, then I have to usually turn the hand wheel to get the needle down in the fabric before I can move around for fear of wandering without stitching.

      Do you have a friend, family member, or shop near you that will let you try theirs out for a few minutes to even see if you can handle the movement of a machine on a frame? It's not for everyone but for me it was a clear winner over trying to push anything more than a table runner through my machine by hand when FMQ.

      Oh - and all that practice learning to FMQ won't help all that much because it's totally different motions and ways of doing it when the machine is the one moving. You'll be starting over. Sorry...

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Grace Queen question?

        Originally posted by buckeyequilter View Post
        I have that frame and have mine set up in a King size. It's a nice frame and I like mine.
        Shirley - what type of machine do you have?
        Vonnie

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Grace Queen question?

          Remember, the rail the quilt is attached to will take up room in the harp area of the sewing machine. As the wrapping continues to advance the quilting, the more harp room will be needed.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Grace Queen question?

            Remember, the rail the quilt is attached to will take up room in the harp area of the sewing machine. As the wrapping continues to advance the quilting, the more harp room will be needed.
            It has gotta be easier and neater than bunching a quilt up to FMQ, isn't it? I want all the advice I can get about this because I am seriously looking at one. I don't know anyone that has one, my quilting friends take their quilts to a quilter to be done. I like doing it myself, but cannot afford an expensive long arm quilting machine. My little Necchi machine does beautiful FMQ, it does not have the largest throat on it, but I have been able to quilt whatever I want to. Am I to understand that there are machines made especially for these tables......Oh Lawd, I see $$$$$ in my future!!
            "She who dies with the most fabric wins"

            Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

            Julie
            :D

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Grace Queen question?

              I have the Grace Queen frame and use a Janome 1600P on it. That has a 9" throat space but when you are quilting, as stated above, the area you can quilt without hitting the bars is about 5" so you need to keep your patterns smaller than that. I think it's great for meandering and other all-over designs, and small pantographs. I enjoy using a ruler on it but get frustrated with the small quilting area. It has a lot of advantages...and some disadvantages to simply quilting on a machine. I use both...depending on the quilt. You can see my quilts and read about the frame on my blog Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts if you're interested. You can use the search bar and here are some posts. I also have a couple videos on youtube where you can see me quilting with this setup and also how to advance the quilt to line up the 2nd row of pantographs. Feel free to pm me any questions you may have. Hope that helps. For the price, I think it's an affordable and acceptable alternative to a proper long arm that will cost $1,000s of dollars!

              Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Grace Frame with a Janome 1600P Domestic Sewing Machine

              Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Teal Quilt Done!

              Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Grace Frame Update

              Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Lining up a Quilting Pantograph

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Grace Queen question?

                Taking a page from when Harry met Sally... "I have what Angie has"...LOL

                All kidding aside... Angie's "over the kitchen counter" You tube site is fabulous... I've had my frame for quite a while and she has helped me understand it better than ever... She's a great gal with lots of patience and a real knack for video sharing of her craft. That being said,, there is a machine out there called the Bailey,,, much more affordable and basic,,but with up to 17" of throat space.. no bells and whistles.. you might want to check it out... I must be honest though... it stitches much slower which means you must move slower... I originally had the Janome 1600 like Angie.. and if I had it to do over, I would just keep the Janome... it's stitching was perfection and much faster... I've become comfortable with simple loop d loop and meandering...
                Again,, check Angie out.. she's a wealth of information...GB
                "Each day well-lived and Happy;
                that's all there is to Life!"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Grace Queen question?

                  Originally posted by GrammaBabs View Post
                  Taking a page from when Harry met Sally... "I have what Angie has"...LOL

                  All kidding aside... Angie's "over the kitchen counter" You tube site is fabulous... I've had my frame for quite a while and she has helped me understand it better than ever... She's a great gal with lots of patience and a real knack for video sharing of her craft. That being said,, there is a machine out there called the Bailey,,, much more affordable and basic,,but with up to 17" of throat space.. no bells and whistles.. you might want to check it out... I must be honest though... it stitches much slower which means you must move slower... I originally had the Janome 1600 like Angie.. and if I had it to do over, I would just keep the Janome... it's stitching was perfection and much faster... I've become comfortable with simple loop d loop and meandering...
                  Again,, check Angie out.. she's a wealth of information...GB
                  Gramma, you are always so kind to me! I don't deserve you!!! (But thank you for the shout-out. I've got GrammaBabs street cred now! lol)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Grace Queen question?

                    Originally posted by Vonnie View Post
                    Shirley - what type of machine do you have?
                    I have the Brother 1500....9" harp area. I've been thinking about getting and 18" machine but don't know if I want to spend the money when the 9" works...still thinking about it.
                    Shirley aka buckeyequilter
                    I work to support a sewing habit that I don't have time for, because I work!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Grace Queen question?

                      Wowzer! Angie, thank you for posting your videos. I've often wondered about the Grace frames, but had no idea about them. I would have to get another sewing machine too if I went this route, but heck, it would be better than $11,000 for the Innova that I've had my eye on!
                      Originally posted by a1angiem View Post
                      I have the Grace Queen frame and use a Janome 1600P on it. That has a 9" throat space but when you are quilting, as stated above, the area you can quilt without hitting the bars is about 5" so you need to keep your patterns smaller than that. I think it's great for meandering and other all-over designs, and small pantographs. I enjoy using a ruler on it but get frustrated with the small quilting area. It has a lot of advantages...and some disadvantages to simply quilting on a machine. I use both...depending on the quilt. You can see my quilts and read about the frame on my blog Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts if you're interested. You can use the search bar and here are some posts. I also have a couple videos on youtube where you can see me quilting with this setup and also how to advance the quilt to line up the 2nd row of pantographs. Feel free to pm me any questions you may have. Hope that helps. For the price, I think it's an affordable and acceptable alternative to a proper long arm that will cost $1,000s of dollars!

                      Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Grace Frame with a Janome 1600P Domestic Sewing Machine

                      Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Teal Quilt Done!

                      Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Grace Frame Update

                      Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Lining up a Quilting Pantograph
                      LIVE well, LAUGH often, LOVE much

                      Hugs, Pat

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Grace Queen question?

                        Oh WOW Angie, you make it look so easy.....now I really want one. I just got my sewing room/office re-decorated, now I will have to make room for that baby!...HMMMMMMM
                        "She who dies with the most fabric wins"

                        Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

                        Julie
                        :D

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Grace Queen question?

                          I recently purchased the Gracie queen frame...I just put it together. I decided to use Danish oil to protect the wood...loved how it came out. It was a job putting the frame together, but if you follow the video it helps. I only needed someone to help me once or twice to hold a big piece up while I put a screw in...all together took about 8 hours. Keep in mind...in addition to the frame, you will need other items to help...leader cloths, and I purchased red snappers...like I said I am in the beginning stages and have not FMQ'ed on the frame yet. You may want to want to do an internet search for Kathy's quilts...they sell items related to the frame and have some videos on installing items. I ordered my leader cloths from them because I didn't have to alter them...they went right on the frame! So easy! If I can help let me know.
                          Last edited by AnnaF; March 28, 2014, 04:36 AM. Reason: Added info

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Grace Queen question?

                            Originally posted by Kateskloset View Post
                            Oh WOW Angie, you make it look so easy.....now I really want one. I just got my sewing room/office re-decorated, now I will have to make room for that baby!...HMMMMMMM
                            It is fun...but just know the limitations and challenges going in. I have had issues trying to get the tension just right. I think there must be something about the angle or fabric tension that contributes. When it all works, it is so wonderful. Getting it just right can be frustrating! As Anna suggests, you will have to add leaders, etc. I bought mine through a Grace Co. distributor and I added on the leaders, a clip-lamp, and it came with the controller box (which you match to your particular machine). I added a pattern grid Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: The Pattern Grid which I think is totally necessary if you want to use a pantograph. In my opinion, a stitch regulator is NOT needed and very expensive. Building the frame does take time as Anna states. Luckily I got my hubby to do it and he only bled once! lol! It also takes up a lot of room but unlike one of the 'real' longarms, it's very simple to push out of the way when you want to (I can do that myself). I considered adding oil to my wood frame but when I contacted Grace directly, they said it was not needed, time consuming, and a pain...so I didn't. I do have to remind myself each time how to load the layers, etc. even though I have made myself cheat sheets Over the Kitchen Counter: Angie's Place for Cooking and Crafts: Laminated Grace Frame Photos because it can be six months in between quilting. I also took a lesson on a Gammill before purchasing and learned from someone in person how to do the loading and stitching, hints and tips so that was TOTALLY worth the $100 or so for the lesson. I don't think I could've figured stuff out without that first introductory lesson.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Grace Queen question?

                              We have a LQS that offers longarm training so that you can come use the machine later to quilt your own quilts. I think they charge $60 or so. I am going to do more research on it. I need a new sewing machine first (not for the quilt frame) my Pfaff is getting some age on her and I would like to update with a machine more geared for quilting features. I really like to do the FMQ, and if I got a new machine with a longer throat, that may suffice for me. Idk, will I make enough quilts in my time to justify the expense, the space that it takes up? Those are questions I will have to work out.
                              "She who dies with the most fabric wins"

                              Ecclesiastes 9:10 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."

                              Julie
                              :D

                              Comment

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