Longarm quilting machines like the Grace Q'nique 21 or any of the longarms made by Juki give you the ability to create much larger projects than what you’d be capable of doing with a standard sit down quilting machine.
They also allow you to walk away from the machine and frame setup when things get a little tedious and need a break, especially if you incorporate an automation program into your machine and frame setup.
If you don't know how longarm automation programs work, then learn here about this feature to help you decide whether this is something you want for your machine.
What Is Longarm Quilting Automation?
Longarm quilting automation is the addition of a computerized program to the longarm quilting machine and frame setup that controls the machine regarding the frame and essentially stitches the quilt together on its own.
There are a number of machines available, including the Grace Q'nique 21 longarm quilting machine, that can be controlled with computer software designed by the manufacturer to provide automation.
How Does It Work?
Quilting automation software is designed to work with a specific machine or group of machines, so it is important to purchase the right program.
When installed on a quilting machine like a Juki, it works by detecting both the frame and the machine and moving the machine along the fabric to stitch out a chosen design pattern.
Longarm automation software typically includes hundreds of stitching patterns you can choose for your project.
It can be purchased with your quilter or added afterward if you decide to move up to automation.
How Much Does It Cost?
While every manufacturer offers a slightly different software product, automation programs may cost anywhere from a few thousand to as much as ten thousand dollars depending on the brand, features included in the software, and machine it will be installed on.
Some higher-priced longarms machines come with this type of automation already installed.
When Should You Consider Automation?
In choosing whether or not to add automation to a longarm quilting machine setup, a common hindrance for many people seems to be the cost.
Still, longarm automation can be a worthwhile investment for some and should not be overlooked.
If you are running or plan to run a quilting business and doing a high volume of work, automation can be an extremely worthwhile investment that can quickly pay for itself when quilting for other people or making quilts and selling them.
Is Longarm Quilting Automation Right for You?
If you’re just starting out with your longarm quilting machine, it’s a good idea to get in some experience using it manually before you think about adding automation.
If you decide to use your longarm as a source of income or just want the flexibility to step away from the machine when desired, automation software might be just the option you need!