SO I bought my longarm machine a year ago. I tried out two machines in two days, and knew it was the way to go for me. It’s what’s really allowed me to finish my quilts in a timely fashion, and do some neat things with the quilting I just wouldn’t have done before. I’ve been practicing and working on it as much as I can while creating new patterns and quilts.
So here’s the problem. I think I’m coming to realize it’s too big for me. I have a 26″ space, and when I was at QuiltCon recently, I had the chance to work on a much smaller machine, which means it was much lighter. Suddenly, the stitches and patterns I had been working so hard on at home seemed much easier and almost effortless, and the designs I was quilting looked great.
So what do I do? Do companies even take trade-ins for downsizing to a smaller model? Do I try out a bunch of other machines and put mine up for sale? ARGH.
Hi Mandy, I have a 30 inch machine, Gammill Optimum Plus ( which I have since retrofitted with the Statler Stitcher) I love the throat size. Although I’m still PPP (still a beginner on the longarm), the large size is awesome. Have you tried micro handles for quilting? The weight of the machine is no issue, even before I had the Breeze installed. Cheers, Parm
Try to sell it but keep using what you’ve got for practice. A lot of our local places sell used machines but ?? Your machine is a beast:).
oh what kind of machine do you have? Im looking for a new machine about that size. I have a HQ16 w/SR and am shopping around. Im thinking of going Innova as I find my HQ sloppy and the customer service is condesending to not at all.
Go talk to the person who sold you the machine and see what they suggest. Some other issues may be at play as well, is it set up high enough? maybe the issue is ergonomics and not weight.
also is the link in your header to your flickr group working? It gave me a message.
Ughh, Let me get to the point!
The real reason I wrote is because I saw your tattoo on the MQG post and wanted to say it was my very favorite of the bunch. I love that it didnt have dark ink nad was kind of Low Volume. So Beautiful!
These are all great points, Rachel! I got the car jack out and raised my table a full notch, and it seems to be helping, as does using the micro handles. I found that I had a death grip on the handlebars, and using the micro handles got me to use just my finger tips. I think another issue is practice. I am splitting my time between designing, writing, and piecing new quilt patterns and then quilting them, and since I still have a toddler at home, I just don’t get the hours I need to do both during the course of the day. Well, let’s be honest, I could find the time after bedtime but usually I just want to sit with a glass of wine and a terrible movie, ha!
I have a Gammill Vision 26″, and love the size it offers, even though I’m short and reaching all the way to the back is a stretch (got mine by chance, used at a really amazing price). I am going to MQX (now the New England Quilt Festival) and will be playing around with other machines to check things out.
And thanks for the tattoo love! I really love it, too. It seems very much a part of me, and I don’t even think about it much beyond “oh yeah, that’s *right*.”
How did your testing of machines go?
I have an Avante and love it, get great service every time I had to call, only twice. It is very smooth, I do have the pro stitcher so the majority of my quilting is done with that.
I actually tried everything there and came back happy with my Gammill.I went back and forth between booths, and literally tried them one after the other, and while there were some very close seconds, in the end I like my machine and my dealer. I wish it were *lighter*, but I think that will just be a matter of practice–right now I take hiatuses between projects since I am mainly working on my own stuff, so I lose some of the muscle memory, you know?
Susan Branscum says
I have a Gammill Optimum Plus that I would like to sell. Absolutely love the machine but I feel that maybe I overbought.