If you love quilting, want to advance your skills, and increase the types of quilting projects you can make, have you been yearning to get a longarm quilting machine?
Models like the Grace Q'nique 21 longarm with a 8' Continuum quilting frame are great setups that can give you a lot of freedom and help you achieve all your quilting dreams.
But let’s get real here - with their high cost, do you really need a Grace frame and machine combo?
Answer these few, simple questions about your quilting habits and gain a good idea of whether you need a longarm or just want one!
1. What’s Your Skill Level?
Longarm quilting machines are a breeze to use - once you learn how because they do have a considerable learning curve if you’ve never used one before.
Are you already experienced with a longarm to use one right away or will you need to take lessons somewhere or have to rely on someone to come teach you how to get started with yours?
Motivated beginners can always teach themselves how to use a machine like the Grace Q'nique 21 longarm, so if you already know how that’s a plus on the side of getting one now.
2. What Size Projects Do You Want to Make?
This should be a simple one to answer!
If you’re feeling limited by what you can do with your sit-down machine and are chomping at the bit to do something bigger and ready for that bigger size project, that’s another plus one toward getting a longarm.
If you just want the versatility but are also doing pretty well with your current setup, moving up to the commitment of a Grace machine and frame combo truthfully might not be that important.
3. How Much Time Do You Spend Quilting?
While there’s no rule that says you have to spend a specific amount of time working on your projects, if you only quilt for a few hours at a time whenever the whim strikes, you may want to rethink your purchase.
On the other hand, if you spend many hours a week churning out project after project and working on a longarm would help you be even more productive, then a longarm may be for you!
4. What’s Your Budget?
As it’s already been mentioned, longarm machine and frame setups are expensive, ranging from around $5,000 to over $10,000 depending on the machine and frame you choose.
Can you afford this purchase and based on the other questions, will it be money well spent?
5. Have You Got the Space?
Finally, is that annoying but practical question about whether you even have room for a longarm in your house.
Longarm machine and frame setups take up a lot of space, so you’ll need a big room or a comfortable finished basement to set yours up.
Maybe this should be the first question? No space, no longarm machine!
How Do Your Answers Look?
Using these 5 questions, you should be able to get a pretty good picture of whether you need a longarm quilting machine like the Grace Q'nique 21 and will put it to good use or if you simply want one but could do just fine without it.
Of course, if you’ve got the money and the space, you can still buy one just because you want it; however, considering the cost, it would be wiser that your purchase is based on an as-needed basis.
If it just doesn’t look like a longarm is in the cards right now, try stepping up only part way to a midarm that can be used as a sitdown machine for now, then put on a frame later as your needs change!
Are you being real - or really giving in to a want?