Long arm quilting machines are quilting sewing machines designed to handle larger projects more easily than other quilting machines. They are also quite expensive and usually owned by professional quilt makers and serious hobbyists, although anyone with the desire to make large, beautiful quilts can purchase one. Before investing in a long arm quilting machine, be sure to ask the important questions referenced below and ensure the machine is your best choice.
How Much Actual Quilting Space Is Provided?
To ensure the purchase of any long arm quilting machines are worth the investment, they should offer enough throat space for the size of planned projects, since not all long arm machines are the same. For larger projects, a throat of at least 20 - 26 inches is desirable. Spending money on a long arm machine is unnecessary when a short or mid-arm machine will suffice. Along with throat size, machine head size is also important. This is because the larger the sewing head, the less quilting space is available.
How Does the Frame System Adjust?
Frame adjustment is important on long arm quilting machines. Some machines require the quilter to constantly raise and lower the quilt frame in order to roll the quilt up as it is sewn. This can be very tedious and take a lot of the enjoyment out of long arm quilting. Improved frame systems allow for easy quilt rolling with a handle. The fabric slides over the quilting surface without the need to raise and lower the frame each time in order to roll the quilt.
Does It Have Stitch Regulation?
Stitch regulation is one of the most important features available on quilting machines. Stitch regulation ensures that stitches remain a uniform length regardless of sewing speed or direction. Two modes of stitch regulation exist. One stops the needle when the machine head stops moving. The other slows the needle down to its slowest speed to allow repositioning of the needle while continuing to sew uniform stitches.
What Features Are Included and Can It Be Upgraded?
Different long arm machines include different features, so it is important to get a list of all the features on each specific model. Still, these machines do not need to be overly complicated to do a great job. A simple model with easy touch controls is often what is recommended. In addition, some sewing machine companies offer the ability to upgrade to newer computerized technology and accessories that may be introduced in the future. This also provides additional value in long arm quilting machines.
Warranty, Training and Authorized Repair Shops
Another important thing to ask about when considering the purchase of any quilting machines is the warranty and what is covered. Standard warranties on long arm quilting machines should cover all electrical and mechanical parts as well as the outer casing. Find out what shops are authorized to repair a machine and inquire about any available training on the machine. This helps new quilting machine owners to learn the correct ways to use these machines.
When searching for the best value in long arm quilting machines, a buyer must be sure they understand the features offered with each of these quilting machines to find a machine will suit their needs. It is important to ask questions ahead of time and fully understand any warranty offered, as well as the level of customer service provided with these quilting machines. The right responses to these important questions will help ensure that anyone investing in long arm quilting machines get the most enjoyment out of whatever machine they decide to buy!