Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Long Arm vs Sweet 16

I have had a few quilters ask me about why I decided to trade in my Long Arm...and, what I like about the Sweet 16.  A little back history...I used to own a Gammil with a 12 foot table.  I loved it and quilted many quilts on it...the machine hummed and I had a great space with more than enough room.  But, a move came and the next house did not have space for a 12 ft. Long Arm and so I sold it.  This was followed by several years of Quilt by Checkbook for the larger quilts.  I do love Quilt by Checkbook...but, it does impact the quilting budget.

When we left that house and moved to the latest digs my sewing room grew again and I started thinking about a long arm.  After a couple of years I went for it...not thinking about the impact of the machine on the way my room functioned.  It was a snug fit at 10 feet and it meant I had to get rid of my comfy chair.  The comfy chair not only was great for stitching but G would come up and hang out...and, I could sew a little longer.  Because the room is so bright on dreary winter days he sometimes would bring wine up at Happy Hour and we would hang out and talk.    The other thing...I am 10 years older and it was physically challenging on my back and shoulders to pin the quilts to the leaders along with the back and neck strain  leaning over the quilts to continually check my quilting.  I wanted to love it...but, for some reason I wasn't feeling the love.  You have to understand that I come from a long line of peeps who are constantly on the move and to put a quilt on and have to finish it before I could quilt another one...well, it was not me.  I like to quilt a little on several quilts.  

With the Sweet 16 I can sit and quilt with a large throat machine and I like that the machine is facing me just like the long arm.  Visually you can really see what you are working on.  Plus when I get bored working on quilting blocks I can put it aside and work on another quilt.  Since I use the fusible 80/20 Hobbs layering quilts has never been a problem.

There will be a learning curve but I can tell already that I made the right decision of me at this time in my quilting life.

And now...I have a comfy chair back and my Tuffet has a perfect spot!



So...there is my story and I foresee many days of quilting in my future!


15 comments:

  1. This looks like a great machine for your needs and space...I'm sure lots of UFOs will get quilted on this (hope you'll share photos). Besides this size with G and wine or the other size with no G and no wine is a no brainier LOL. 😀

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  2. That should be "no brainer". My brain needs a break lol.

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  3. Enjoy your new machine, quilt to your heart's delight! If I could afford to get rid of my longarm, I would. For the time being, I'm in business and not quilting my own quilts.

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  4. Thanks for the explanation of your process of your decision. I agree we need to take care of our backs and shoulders so we can quilt for many years to come.

    Hope the big melt isn't causing too many issues for you. We got more snow overnight but sunny right now!

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  5. I too had a longarm rail system that took up way too much real-estate so I took it down and it is in pieces in my basement (for the kids to get rid of when the day comes). I do not do well with fmq where my hands are the driver so will just continue with the stitch in the ditch or hand quilting for awhile longer.

    will be curious to see how you progress with yours.

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  6. Thanks for answering all my questions (Why did you and where did it go, etc.). You might want to look into rulers to use with the Sweet 16 (you may have some from the long arm). I've been working with rulers on my domestic machine and a new (taller) hopping foot. Takes some practice. Good luck and keep us in the loop. Hugs.

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  7. We are so funny with our questions...I think because we all go through the same kind of process about our sewing...rooms, machines, tools, etc. We love to hear what others are thinking! Thank you for sharing it all with us. Your room really is a great place and that chair is definitely worth it's real estate :-)

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  8. I love that G joins you with wine at happy hour! I may have to borrow that idea!

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  9. Congrats on your new toy!!! Would love to have one of those beauties

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  10. Thank you so much for this information. I've been doing quite a bit of research lately about this machine. I thoroughly enjoyed your video of the lovely room where you create. I appreciate your time and generosity in sharing.

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  11. I've never had a long arm, but do have a sweet 16. I love it. There's great videos on YouTube by Handiquilter.

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  12. I enjoy your blog and the views of your sewing room. I have a HQ Sixteen which has allowed me to finish tops that should have been completed years ago. Now they are donation quilts.

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  13. How exciting for you and I can relate. Love the chair and happy hour some like a great idea.
    I look forward to see what you can get done.

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  14. Anna, Thanks for answering my questions from a previous post. I too have a space problem and have been thinking about taking down my frame. I have grown weary of walking into stuff in the studio. I hate basting though so your recommendation of using fusible batting may have changed my mind about a sit down version for quilting. Thanks for sharing your quilting life with all of us. I have learned a lot from your videos. Love that dog (Enzo) at the end! (Is he named after the Italian race car driver Enzo Ferrari?)

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  15. I went with the pfaff which is the same model, really. I do love it, I love how she runs and I love the stitch regulator, but I do need to get used to the bobbin winder and getting my tension on the machine, really want to do more quilting. I like using fusible too, so much easier and it stays flat with the big table space, as you quilt.

    Debbie

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