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I grabbed the first thing I saw and regretted it. Now that I
learned the hard way, I am buying what I want and need.
Pat in NM
editing because I can't type today lol
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- Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:01 am
1. Where are the used machines? check out e-bay, Craig's List, and users' groups. Almost every brand has a users' group chat forum like ours and they usually have a section with used machines for sale. Also ask at quilt shops (many have bulletin boards) and if they have guilds, ask their members.
2. Will I need to get behind the machine? Yes, sometimes you will. This is why, unless you have room to position the machine permanently out from a wall, you may want to consider castors on your frame to allow you to move it freely back and forth.
3. do I need room at the ends of the frame. Yes. You need as much room as it takes for you to scoot to the back. also, to stand at the business side of your machine for threading, cleaning, etc. Usually the right end of the frame. We have 2 feet on the right and the left is only a few inches from the wall.
4. How much sewing space is there really? We now have a 17" throat. We wish it was 24". As you quilt, you roll the finished part of the quilt up on the take-up roller which runs through the throat of the machine. This creates bulk and lessens your sewing space. by the end of a quilt, we are down to 10" of room to sew. This limits the. patterns we can use. (I say "we" because my husband quilts, too.) When I had my shortarm, my space got down to 3".
5. how big a quilt can I do on my LA? We've found that we can do a quilt about 1 foot less in width than the length of the frame. We have an 11-ft frame. We can do a quilt up to about 10-ft wide or 120".
6. What about my back? Ouch! I'm 5' tall. My husband is 5'7". We spent the extra and got hydraulic lifts on our frame to save our backs. It was worth it.
Others have said to try out every machine you can. Please do that. I found that the brand I thought I wanted was so heavy that it torqued my back to move it around and after the trial session I was in pain. My second choice was so light it felt, and sounded, cheap. For us, the Nolting was right. But I think most of them are great and it just depends on what fits you. Don't forget to check out how they run their customer service. You'll want that from time to time. Also, do they offer classes?
I wish you well as you get started. It's fun and addictive!
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