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  1. #1
    Fabric Fanatic

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    Oct 2015
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    Default Mid Arm thoughts

    I am looking into getting a mid-arm on a 10' frame. I know that the Little Foot and Qzone hoop frames might make sense for a mid-arm, but I have space for the 10' (thankfully) and I think I would have issues (physical limitations) if I had to keep repositioning my quilt in those frames.
    I liked the BabyLock Coronet, but it was a bit pricier. I'm currently considering the Q'Nique 15R and the HQ Simply Sixteen. Does anyone have these machines that can give me insight into their pros and cons? Are there other mid-arm machines that I should be considering? How about your experiences with the two manufacturers Handi Quilter and Grace?
    Thank you
    Nancy

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Puyallup, Washington
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    When I first started researching machines and frames, I was intrigued with the Little Foot and Qzone, then I realized you still have to baste the quilt before putting it on the frame. Well that settled that, the two main reasons for me even considering a quilting machine and frame was 1. No more basting, and 2. No more wrestling a quilt (repositioning it on the frame). So I knew I would need a full size frame with rails, but space still limited me to a 10' frame and budget limited me to a mid-size machine (although I would have loved a bigger one).

    I bought the BlockRockit 15 (which is made by Grace Company and is the exact same machine as the Qnique) on the 10 ft Continuum frame. The BlockRockit is sold exclusively thru "Kathy's Quilts" and manufactured and shipped by the Grace Company (who also is the customer support).

    I chose the BlockRockit over the Qnique simply because it was a little less money for the exact same machine & service. Not only that but I met Kathy & her wonderful family at our local Quilt Expo, and they gave me a great deal (lots of awesome freebies that would have cost me several hundred dollars).

    I'm very happy with my setup, was easy to learn and operate and is very easy to maintain, and customer support is excellent. I've heard other owners complain about tension issues, but more often than not, when I have trouble getting the tension just right, it turns out my bobbin needed to be re-wound.

    The down side of a mid-arm : you have to advance your quilt more often than with a long arm, but since it's on rollers it's really not that hard. Also the working surface of your quilt is smaller than with a longarm: the take up rail reduces the amount of area you can quilt, i.e. the throat of the machine is 15", however the take up rail takes up 2" of that before you even start. Each time you advance the quilt, you lose about another 1/4 inch of working area.

    The down side of a 10' frame (vs a 12') - since a 10' frame is 120 inches long, I tried putting a 100 inch quilt on the frame.. it fit! BUT I learned the hard way: remember that the rail brackets take up some of that space, and the machine will only go so far to the sides before it hits the brackets, so when the manufacturer says "will hold a quilt up to 90" They mean it.

  3. #3
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Colorado
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    I have the Baby Lock Tiara II, which is a table model LA. It has a 16" harp; you move the quilt sandwich under the needle. I've been very satisfied with it. I have no space for a frame. I also didn't want to stand to quilt; I wanted to sit down. There are pics in my Sewing Room album.

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Oct 2013
    Location
    West Viriginia
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    I too have a BlockRockIt with a Grace Queen Frame. I love it. It is the same as the Qnique as Caroline T says above. If you decide to get it just check beforehand who has the better sale price or deal then purchase. I'm very satisfied with the service and have always been able to correct problems by phoning in. If you find you have problems getting the tension correct (and it's generally the bobbin tension) get the bobbin tension device from Superior Threads (I forget the name at the moment). It's about $50 and you will never have bobbin tension problems again. Truly amazing and fast.

    After a while the plastic rods in the frame do need replacing. Shipping those things is darn expensive! Many people who have the machine get in touch with a welder and get the stainless steel rods (which I did the second time) and it's well worth the money. If you decide to do that PM me and I'll give you the specifications. It's an amazingly smooth carriage ride. Well worth it too.

    btw, I did find a machine technician relatively close to me and had him look at the machine. He said it's a very basic machine mechanically and would have no problem servicing it should I need that later. He's a Bernina (sp?) specialist.
    Last edited by Carlie Wolf; September 10th, 2019 at 08:13 PM.

    Women are Angels.
    When someone
    break's our wings
    we will continue to
    fly...usually on a
    broomstick.
    We're flexible like that.
    - embroitique

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Aug 2015
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    Canada
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    I have a HQ Sweet 16, sit down with table. It is like Joy's Tiara. You move the quilt under the 16" harp. I've been able to quilt large quilts with ease and DH also quilted his kingsize wuilt on it. Since I tend to make large quilts, a 10' frame would not be enough and would have to reposition often. Also i think standing for long periods, i would have back issues.

    Handi Quilter have great customer service and many online tutorial, tips and blog. I guess it all depends if you have a dealer nearby who can offer support and assistance when you need it.

    Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

    Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

  6. #6
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Spring, TX
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    Check out Leah Day's website or you-tube tutorials. She has the Q'nique14 and did a video on her reviews.

  7. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Feb 2015
    Location
    Chino Valley, AZ
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    I have the BabyLock Tiara III. It is just like the one Joy has, and also pretty much the same as the HQ Sweet 16 that Suzanne has. I really love using mine, and I can quilt a pretty good sized quilt on it. The bonus of sitting down while I quilt is a huge help for me, and the size of the machine is perfect for my sewing space. It has a footprint of 30 x 36 inches, and has a drop down 18 inch side panel that extends my space for the quilt.
    A day patched with quilting Seldom unravels Sharon

  8. #8
    The Guild President

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    I have an APQS George and love it. It is a sit down machine with the same orientation as a DM. It has a whopping 22" throat! I had done quite a bit of FMQ on my domestic but wanted something larger. And the idea of a sit down intrigued me. It has a lifetime warranty (as do all the APQS) and is made in the US. APQS has been very good to work with. It has a beautiful stitch and is a very simple, straight forward machine. I have been very happy with my decision. The only things that might be a drawback for some people are lack of stitch regulator and you do still have to baste. I had tried a stitch regulator on a friend's DM and found it very distracting since I learned to FMQ without one so this isn't a problem for me. As for basting unless I have a huge quilt I don't mind that either. I recently did a queen sized quilt and had it basted by a local LAQ. That only takes a short while and was worth the cost, which wasn't much. It might be worth checking into.

  9. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    If a person already has been doing FMQ on their domestic, it's not necessary to buy a stitch regulator. They cost extra.

  10. #10
    The Guild President

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    Sep 2014
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    Default Re: Mid Arm thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by JCY View Post
    If a person already has been doing FMQ on their domestic, it's not necessary to buy a stitch regulator. They cost extra.
    I totally agree.

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