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  1. #1
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Mid-arm or long-arm?

    I'm trying to decide between a 14" mid-arm (with frame) or a 18" long-arm. I've narrowed down the field to the Juki 18" long-arm or the Block RockiT mid-arm. Those two feel the best to me. I didn't care for the HandiQuilter or the APQS, Gammill is overpriced, and I have heard too many bad reviews of Tin Lizzie. Every other brand I've seen was a rebranded version of one of the machines I listed. Any others that I should try? I don't think I want to go larger than 18", but please say so if you think I should consider it.

    I am planning to turn this into a business, and I wonder if I can get by with the mid-arm. I'm also planning to get the Quilt Motion package for whichever machine I buy, mostly to do edge-to-edge designs. The Juki would be about $4000 more. If you buy Quilt Motion from Kathy Quilts, it's the same for either machine.

    I'm wondering if it's worth it for only about 4" of throat space. (Or 3". They say the Block RockiT is 14 in some places and 15 in others. Maybe it depends on where you measure?)

    What would you do?
    Last edited by ssummers; July 23rd, 2015 at 05:18 PM.

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  3. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    Remember as you advance your quilt, the finished part is rolled up in the throat of the machine. A bed size quilt will roll up to about an 8" roll, and take up that much quilting room. I have an 18" Pfaff/ Tin Lizzie clone, I think I would be pretty limited if I had less throat space. If you are going to do this professionally, get the biggest throat you can afford.

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  5. #3
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    ditto, ditto, ditto
    agree with our sewing machine friend jean
    one hundred percent plus
    i thought a thought that i thought i had thought but the thought that i had thought wasnt the thought that i had thought i had thought so maybe if i had thought the thought that i thought i thought i wouldn't of thought so much

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  7. #4
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    Thanks Jean. What do you think of the Pfaff? Would you buy it or something else if you were looking today?

  8. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    Have you looked at the Innovas? I love mine and it is only 18 inch. I agree that you shouldn't buy smaller if this is for a business, but you know what you can afford and how much space you have to work with. I really would have loved to get the 22 inch, but I just didn't have the space. It is a pain to be constantly rolling your quilt and having limited space. Remember that an 18 inch really only gives you about 15 inches of usable quilting space, especially the farther down the quilt you go.

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  10. #6
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    also check how much space you need on a long-arm if you want
    to do a king size quilt
    my frame is ten foot
    but can't really do a quilt that
    is 120 inches
    i thought a thought that i thought i had thought but the thought that i had thought wasnt the thought that i had thought i had thought so maybe if i had thought the thought that i thought i thought i wouldn't of thought so much

  11. #7
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    I bought a Juki 2200 first of the year and just quilted my first real quilt on it. I did a lot of practice quilts and some quilts my church is donating to a homeless shelter (good Practice). Got a great price from a local dealer in southern California ( much cheaper than advertised on the internet) but no training. Watched a lot of U-Tube to get it together, thread it etc. Comes with a 10 ft. frame and that gives you a Queen size. Can buy the extension but I don't have room for it.....Maybe later I'll kick my husband out of the TV room and switch rooms since it is larger. If you have the room and can afford it, it is a great machine am loving it and love the quilting space.

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  13. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snickeldorfer View Post
    also check how much space you need on a long-arm if you want
    to do a king size quilt
    my frame is ten foot
    but can't really do a quilt that
    is 120 inches
    I have one with a 10 ft table and remembered asking how large a quilt. I was told maybe 108" wide but need enough room at the end of the frame to move the machine there to get to the bobbin.
    Vonnie

  14. #9
    9 Patch Princess

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    Lots of great info to process. Thanks for all the advice and keep it coming. Space is not an issue. I have a finished attic "bonus room" and it's all mine. I'm thinking 18" max because I hesitate to spend more than $10,000.

    Oh yeah, Innova. I forgot about them because I haven't tried one yet. I'm planning to spend some time in their booth at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Festival in August. I wish they weren't so secretive about pricing. That drives me nuts!

    One of my local quilt shops told me that they have tons of charity quilts that I could finish for practice. They also told me to go as big as I can afford, but the price of the Block RockiT is just so tempting. I can get the machine, frame, and Quilt Motion for just over $10,000. If I did that, then I could buy a second machine and run the smaller on automatic while I do custom work with the bigger machine. Am I crazy to even consider that?

  15. #10
    Batting Beauty

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    Default Re: Mid-arm or long-arm?

    I know folks that have the Juki and love it. I have a regular Juki and it has never failed me so from that prespective I vote Juki. I've been told that Juki doesn't limit you when you want to start doing computerized designs to one file type.
    Susan Davis
    Remember, the mighty oak was just a nut that held its ground.

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