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what is the best longarm quilting machine to buy

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Carla H. Posted: Mon, Jun 15 2009 3:32 PM

I would appreciate it if everyone would give the reason they have for choosing the longarm machine they did. Why or why  you would not choose the same one again. What are the best features, etc. I think it will help all of us newbees in choosing one.

Thanks in advance for the info.

Carla :)

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I have an old Gammill Classic with a 14 foot table.  I bought it because it was affordable.  Since I quilt strictly for myself, it serves the purpose for what I need.  It is so old and has no bells or whistles, it's like driving a Mack truck.  I would certainly upgrade IF I were going to quilt for others.  BUT, I have no intentions of going into business.  I would definitely get a stitch regulator when buying a longarm.  It's hard for me to go really slow and be consistant without a SR.  I don't want to add a SR to my machine, because then it would no longer be the good deal I got on it. 

Kathy Patterson - Fort Worth, Texas

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Carla H. replied on Mon, Jun 15 2009 6:31 PM

Kathy,

Thank you for taking time to reply. I will add a stitch regulator to my list of wants for my longarm....because I know at first I will need to go slow!

Carla :)

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I agree that a stitch regulator is important.  Most people looking for a machine want one, so if you ever consider selling your machine, having a stitch regulator would make it easier to sell.

Just about any longarm machine today is a good machine.  They are all well built and will last a lifetime with proper care and cleaning.  The differences are in the way they feel on the frame and how easy you find it to operate. 

I'd suggest going to machine shows to learn more and then consider a used machine if your budget is tight.  New is nice, but not necessary when buying a commercial type machine

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Carla H. replied on Mon, Jun 15 2009 7:30 PM

Sonia,

Thanks for taking time to reply. I am going to take a real close look at them at the Houston Quilt Show in October. Hopefully, I will be able to see them all and really compare them.

Carla :)

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Judy Lee replied on Mon, May 10 2010 8:57 AM

Hi Carla,

My name is Judy and I have been longarm quilting for about 6 months now.  I chose a Baby Lock Jewel.  I am impressed with the Baby Lock line of sewing products.  They are user friendly and all come with a Project book that breaks down every function , foot and tool and how to use them ...not just that owners manual with arrows pointing to pieces.  I own the Ellure Plus sewing and embroidery machine and the Extrodinair Enlighten Serger that uses air to thread itself.  After using these, I had to have the Jewel.  I have already gotten a clientele and my skills are growing daily. Baby Lock also has the Longarm Quilter's Getaway where you spend 4 full days learning all the ins and outs of the machine.  I am going in June. 

Hope this helps,

JudyLee

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Nana replied on Mon, May 10 2010 9:24 AM

Carol

If I were going to upgrade my mid arm to a longarm at this time I would go with the Tin Lizzie with the 26 in throat.  It is priced at about $10,000 with frame and has the SR.  Very awesome machine at  a good price range.  Very easy to use as well.  Right now I don't have that kind of money to spend on a machine but sometime in the future I hope.  I also recommend at least a 12 ft. frame because then you can do any size quilt that you should ever need to do.   I have a 12 ft frame on my midarm and quilt up to 120 in quilts witn no problem except the throat area gets a little tight.  Have fun in your search and hope you find the perfect machine for you.

Vinton, Virginia

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Judy Lee replied on Mon, May 10 2010 10:19 AM

Hi Carla,

I forgot to mention the throat is 18 inches and the price with the stictch regulator runs around $8000  and if you want to go high tech you can add quilt motion for around $4000.

Judy Lee

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Lilian replied on Mon, May 10 2010 11:51 PM
Judy: What is "quilt motion" ?

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Judy Lee replied on Tue, May 11 2010 8:31 AM

Hi Carla,

Some fo the long arm machines offer a computer assisted quilting package.  You would choose your pattern, of which they have many, set your parameter and hit go.  The program would then control your machiine on tracks from one end of the quilt to the other until it reaches the end.  You would then advance your quilt, select the pattern the you have saved and hit go again.  This is really a fantastic tool if you plan to quilt for others because it not only speeds up the process, it also increases the number of patterns that a newbie can do perfectly.

Hope this helps

Judy

My email is jpendot@aol.com if you want mare info.  I am no a pro just a hard worker who has done a lot of homeowrk!

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