Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines

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Well, I'm tired of wrestling with my quilts & it's time to seriously
consider a mid-arm - but not with a frame, just one for my sewing machine
table.  I'm looking for good & bad experiences if anyone is willing to
share.  I only want a mechanical machine that sews just a straight stitch.
I have all the bells & whistles I need on my Viking & barely use any of
them.

I thought I'd probably end up with the Brother 1500S - but the shop I
generally do business with, no longer carries the Brother - but he can order
it for me.  They now carry the Babylock Quilters Choice Pro (BLQP) - does
anyone have one & if so, are you happy with it?  I did try it out & it had a
nice feel to it.

Then, I went to the other sewing machine store nearby & they carry the Juki
TL98Q & the Janome 1600 DB.  I thought the Juki was very noisy & since DH is
in the next room watching TV, probably not a good choice.  Plus, I didn't
like that it doesn't have a speed control.  The Janome 1600 DB- I didn't
like that you "cover" the feed dogs & it felt like a more flimsy machine -
it's much more reasonable than the others, but I didn't have a good feel for
it.

I talked to a dealer in Southern California & he loves, love the Juki, but
couldn't convince me it was the machine for me.  He has a 1 year old Pfaff
Grand Quilter that he would sell me for $450 - what a great deal, huh?  No
shipping either & if I don't like it, I can exchange it within 30 days.  In
speaking with another dealer, he told me that he had a lot of problems with
the thread breaking & the Pfaff technicians couldn't resolve the problem, so
he no longer carries it.

DH is not inclined to buy anything "used" - I'm not so picky.  Of course,
I'd much rather "test drive" a machine that I purchase, but I can't find
anyone nearby that has a Pfaff on the floor.

I'd love to look at the Viking, since I already have one, but can't find
anyone that has one on the floor either.  So, I'm hoping some of you have
mid-arms, especially mid-arms that you love & will share your experience
with me!

Pauline
Northern California


Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Pauline - have you checked with the Sewing Machine Shop in Walnut Creek?

http://www.sewingmachineshop.com /

They carry Pfaff's so they may have the Grand Quilter in the shop. I know
they have the Handi-Quilter.

~~~~~~~
Laurie G. in CA
http://www.finishingtouchesquilts.com
http://community.webshots.com/user/lagrant7
~~~~~~~

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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Thanks Laurie.  I did go to the Sewing Machine Shop this afternoon.  They
only have - on the floor anyway, the Juki & the Janome.  Of course, she went
right to the embroidery machines with the larger opening when I told her I
was looking for a mid-arm for quilting!!  Anyone that carries Pfaff will
order it in for me, but I want to test drive it first.  DH says he didn't
like the Baby Lock, but I think that may be because the sales person didn't
seem to be too familiar with it - & she says she owns one!!  Didn't know how
to thread it & didn't even know which side to thread the needle from -
that's pretty bad!  I should have asked her to sell me hers!!

Pauline
Northern California

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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
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I have the Janome 1600 Db and I use it for just the sort of thing you
are talking about. Stitching in the ditch joining of the quilt
sandwich. I use a Janome extension table on it when I use it on a
table, but I do have a custom table that I have inset the machine
into. Either way, It is a great machine. You should be able to get a
new one online for about $500 with a couple of extras thrown in. Sew
and Vac direct has them advertised for that price, so you might check
them out. I have bought from them and they give good service. Here is
a link to them.  http://www.sewvacdirect.com/janome1600p-db.html
Hope this helps.

John


Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Every one of my friends that quilts on a mid arm has a Juki.  And they have
speed control, so maybe there are other models?

Cindy


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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Hey Pauline:

I own the 1500S.  I did my research by going to quilt shows.  I tested
all the mid arms and found the 1500S to be very quiet.  It does not
have a speed control but I find I don't need it.   It is the only
machine that has a 25 year warranty.

With a lot of the other machines you have to pay for the extras, like
the extension table, bobbins, walking foot, etc.  The 1500s comes with
all these extras.  I really like the feature where you can adjust the
feed dogs to several heights.

I have used it for piecing, stitch in the ditch and I use it on my
Hinterberg machine quilting frame.

Polly can tell you all about my testing of the 1500S at a local quilt
show.  The dealer thought we were all a little nuts,  Polly gets you
to laughing so hard you can't concentrate.

With the 1500S you can use any needle you want.  With some of the
other mid arms, you can only use one kind of needle and have to order
them because your local fabric shop usually doesn't carry them.

And if you don't care for the quilting foot that comes with the 1500S,
the feet from the Juki machines fit.

Kate T.  South Mississippi

Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Can somebody help me understand DB needles? I know they're shaped
differently, but what is the point of t hat (no pun intended) and what
are the advantages and disadvantages? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunny

Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
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The Db needle is completely round, as opposed to the others which have
a flat side, for help in aligning it in the needle arm. You have to be
a bit more careful in the way you insert and screw down the clamp on
the needle, so as to have the needle eye aligned perfectly with the
thread path. A lot of commercial machine have this type of needle, so
it is well used within the professional sewing industry. If the needle
is not set in the correct position, it can effect the sewing ability
of the machine. It just is not as idiot proof as the flat sided
needles. That is the only difference. I use a pair of medical
hemostats to clamp the the needle at the eye, and when the handle of
the hemostats points out at 90 degrees from the machine. I clamp the
set screw. If you use a similar procedure, you will be trouble free.

John

Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Wouldn't you just think that I'd stay out of a conversation when I didn't
know what you were talking about?  Nope.  Just can not.
    This time, I don't precisely know what you're meaning when you say 'mid'
arm SM.
    However.
    There is a lovely Viking Sapphire 830 sitting right here beside me.  She
belongs to my neighbor who quilts with me. The arc measures 9".  The
Sapphire wasn't terribly pricey, seems to handle bigger quilts much easier
and has enough bells and whistles to entertain anybody.
    Polly



Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
That was fun, wasn't it, Kate?
    Kate had waited more than an hour to get to test drive the 1500S.  From
the back of the crowd, I said in my 'stage voice',    "Good grief, lady!  If
you can't stitch any better than that, you need to move over and give
somebody else a chance."
    The dealers were not prepared to deal with somebody so rude and were
terrified that they were going to miss a sale.
    Kate just plain lost it.
    Anybody want to go shopping with me?   Polly

"Kate" <wrote, in part>
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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Polly said:
Anybody want to go shopping with me? =A0
----------------------------------------------
Oh God, Polly, I'd go shopping with you anytime.  My friends are much
too serious.

Denise


Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
I have a Brother 1500 (I think is is the nouvelle model)
It served pretty well.  DH hates when I quilt on it with a
walking foot because it is very loud.  Without the walking foot it is quiet.
At the time I bought that machine a mess of quilt friends bought the Juki.
I liked mine better but everytime one of them visited and sewed on my
machine they insisted they liked the Juki better.  They are (were
maybe) nearly identical.  I 'had' to have the Janome 6600.
I think just having a mid arm that just does SS is the way
to go.  I honestly can't think of any complaints on any
of the mid arm machines.  I would guess it would be just
what works for you and maybe dealer support.  Try them with the walking foot
and without though if loudness is an issue for you.  Taria
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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Pauline, I have the BLQCP and it is a really nice machine. I used it
on a frame with the PCQuilter and Max Throat. My poor DH practically
has PTSD from trying to get that to work. We really could have just
taken Max Throat off and gone on with the BL and PCQ, but he couldn't
bear to look at the PCQ stuff anymore at that point. So... we've now
got an HQ 16 and no robotics. Mike Gilomen (of Mike's Machine Shop),
who sold me the HQ16, is telling me I really should keep the BLQCP
because it's so fast and smooth and makes such a beautiful stitch, but
I'm kind of hooked on my Viking's auto pivot, foot lift, etc, and
really don't need that kind of speed for piecing (it was great for
quilting, though!). But I've been feeling guilty having the BLQCP just
sitting here, so if you think you might like it, let me know. I would
guess it has <35 hours on it, maybe even less. Looking at my webshots
album, there are only 10 done on it, and they're all lap-size or
smaller.

I keep thinking I should keep it around for draperies and similar home-
dec sewing, I'd love to do some day, but that day's not coming very
soon, either!

--Heidi

http://community.webshots.com/user/rabbit2b




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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
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I have the Juki and love it. It did go a bit fast for me at first but
I stuck a piece of wood in the foot feed and slowed it down lol. Fast
is great for free motion.

lyn

Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Lyn, I just don't have a clue what you did - but I just love the notion of
forcing a foot feed to suit your needs.    Atta girl and LOL.  Polly

"lyn5" <I have the Juki and love it. It did go a bit fast for me at first
but
I stuck a piece of wood in the foot feed and slowed it down lol. Fast
is great for free motion.

lyn



Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
Polly, I think Lyn must've put some wood in the foot pedal wedge so it
only depresses part way and can't go "pedal to the metal."

--Heidi

http://community.webshots.com/user/rabbit2b



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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
At one point, I had both machines, the 1500s and the BLQP - they were
identical except for the color pink on the front - the BLQP was a
brighter, more vivid shade. I kept the 1500 and sold the Babylock when
I sold my frame.

I love the pinfeed when piecing.

Linda
PATCHogue, NY
Queen of Boxtops

wrote:

he bells & whistles I need on my Viking & barely use any of
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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
So there any reason why you kept the Brother & sold the BL?  Did you flip a
coin?

I finally got to try the 1500 this morning & went back & tried the Janome &
the Juki.  All things being fairly equal, I think price is going to be my
deciding factor.  The Janome is the only one that is a wee bit different & I
like some of the features it has, but don't like that it is missing the
features that all the others have.  What happened to the good old days when
you just went down & bought a Singer:)

Pauline
Northern California

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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
I gave the purchaser of the set-up the choice and she selected the
Babylock. It was newer than the Brother by a few months.

Linda
PATCHogue, NY
Queen of Boxtops



wrote:

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Re: Mid-Arm Sewing/Quilting Machines
I see.  I just found a dealer in Vallejo - Laurie - have you ever been to
the dealer in Vallejo?  He sounds like a decent guy.  He carries the Viking,
which I would really like to see, since my main machine is a Viking, so
we're going there on Friday to take a look at it.  Why not add even more
confusion to my decision making process:)  John, you'll be happy to know
that he tells me the Viking mid-arm is made by Janome.

Pauline
Northern California

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