Longarm Rental

This is what I did on on Saturday morning.  I rented a longarm quilting machine to see if I would like to own one of these big babies.  This is my test quilt.  Originally, I made it with negative space so I could learn how to use my embroidery module on my sewing machine.  What I learned was that I don’t like embroidering by machine.  I like to be actively involved with my sewing, doing, not watching.   So my embroidery will be limited to labels for my quilts, some monograms, that type of thing.  I have moved on to longarm quilting machines.

This is an APQS Millennium, a really nice machine, but it does not fit the budget that I have planned.  It also has more bells and whistles than I need…in the form of buttons…too many buttons. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful machine and I am having fun with it.  This quilting project has no planned design nor is it expected to look nice.  I am just working on getting the feel of the machine…just drawing, doodling, and stippling.  Oddly enough, it’s still looking pretty good, from a distance, when it is off the machine.  Most important, I love quilting on a longarm as much as I love quilting on my sewing machine.  I wasn’t sure I would like it because the process is different.  As you know, with the sewing machine you move the material and with the longarm you move the machine.

Here I was trying to create a grape type image with a contrasting background; ie, circles versus lines.  I think I was pretty successful for the first attempt.  I also attempted depicting motion, but I don’t think I was successful at all, hence no photograph.  What did work really well were some square classical motifs, but again no photograph.  I only had my point and shoot camera with me on Saturday so I apologize for the poor quality of photographs.  I don’t have any idea why the colors on the picture above are so far off the true blue, red and purple of the quilt.

Here’s one more look at this fun machine.  This Millennium is on a 12 foot table.  While I can fit a 12 foot table in the room I’ve chosen for my ‘studio’–I say that loosely and with a smirk on my lips–I am leaning toward a 10 foot table, as I would still be able to work on queen size quilts easily, and possibly king size quilts if I quilted the borders separately, and yet it would fit more easily into the room, allowing ample space for the other parts of quiltmaking.Do I go for the larger table?  Would a less expensive but well built machine, like an APQS Lucey or a Nolting be a good choice?  Or is local service more important than the machine?  If so I might consider a Baby Lock Crown Jewel.   This machine needs to last me for 30 years so it is a big decision.

About quiltify

Crazy about functional art: quilting; travel, family, and New England.
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7 Responses to Longarm Rental

  1. cottlefish says:

    I love the grapes!

  2. segurry says:

    Hmmm…big decision. I am so far removed from trying this, but here are some thoughts….for example, with cars, local service is ALWAYS a good move. With a different model, how would you get it serviced? Would you have to pack it up and send it somewhere? (that would be a deal-breaker for me). Another question: How often do you think it would have to be serviced? I have my old stand-by Kenmore sewing machine for over five years and never had to have it serviced…and I am envious of your ‘studio’ space…I am still working out of my bedroom!

    • quiltify says:

      Ha! My ‘studio’ space is C’s old bedroom. Regarding repair, it sounds as if little is needed on most of the machines with easy mechanics. They allegedly hold your hand via phone, and if all else fails you get a technician for a price, I’m sure. I love Ann’s Fabrics in Canton for all including their mechanics, but they only have Baby Lock, and that seems geared more towards a hobby machine so I’m worried how long it will last. I agree with local people though so that’s my dilemma. That’s why I’m an Apple girl. Much research remains to be done… Thanks for your input.

  3. Conshiequilter says:

    I have rented the Grummel long arm and the Baby Lock Crown Jewel. I liked both of them. They were easy to thread, glided smoothly on the frame and were easy to clean (very important to keep the lint out). I have limited space my sewing room is only 10×15. I just purchased the Baby Lock with the 10 foot frame. I can’t wait for it to be delivered. The local store will service the machine, which is nice as well. Good luck with your longarm quilting:)

    • quiltify says:

      How exciting! That’s why I’m thinking of the Crown Jewel, too. My quilt shop will service it and I already know how responsive they are. Thanks for the information. I’ll keep my eye out for a Grummel as I have not heard of that one before.

  4. Go for the lucey! Still has a 26″ throat so you can comfortably quilt a 12″ block on point even at the end of a queen. As for rable size, you will regret getting a 10′ if you can fit a 12′ then go for it. A 10′ table will only accommodate a 102″ backing. Don’t sacrifice the stitch quality and 8yr warranty of the APQS for a local brand. You will be disappointed. APQS machines have the strongest tables and smoothest machines. Did the machine you rented have a Bliss table?

    • quiltify says:

      I can’t remember the name of the table, but I didn’t think Bliss was it. Next time I go I will rent the Lucey and check out the table. Thanks for your input, I am leaning towards the Lucey.

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