I got a call from my boyfriend, who is working on an out of town job, the other day. He told me about a lady selling fabric for $3 a yard and then he told me about a lady selling her quilt arm (he can’t remember long arm) for $6,500. He encouraged me to call both gals and find out what the deal was as I would be visiting him soon and in these ladies vicinity.
I called the $3 fabric gal and got her story and made arrangements to go see her wares. I did make a buy there. Of course after I stopped myself she told me there was more fabric in the back. Of course I had to look and found a little piece that I liked and added that to my stack. If she had shown me these treasures first I am sure I would have bought lots of that and less of the other. I told her when pay day rolled around I would probably be back to see her. We will see.
I called the long arm owner to find out what she had and what was included in her offer. Handiquilter Avante 18. Once I had those answers I began researching the value of her machine, etc. My biggest concerns were first moving a 12’ table and then placing a 12’ table in my home. I didn’t value the thought of setting up the machine on my own only to struggle with getting everything to work properly. I marked off a tape outline of how big the footprint of the setup was in my dining room. After my mind calmed down at the thought of this monstrosity I measured out the height of the table and then the machine on top of that. I have even begun thinking about where else I could put this thing. In the process of my research I had a sales rep offer me her Avante for $900 more and she would set it up in my home and train me on it. I think my issue is size. Too big.
Let’s assume I can put this machine in my home and get it setup and can get past its size there is the issue that I really do not free motion quilt on my little domestic machine. I have done some. It isn’t that I don’t want to learn it is just that I hate mushing my quilt through the little throat space. I have thought I need to do some small art pieces to get more practice. I just have not. Do I want to spend this much in hopes that I might learn one day?
I subscribe to a newsletter for estate sales. Just this morning I found an estate sale titled “A Quilters Dream”. Of course I had to investigate. A room dedicated to fabric. Bins of fabrics throughout the house. Quilts. Quilt tops. Quilt Books. You name it, they have it. Then I spotted a frame quilting setup. The pictures are not good enough to tell what exactly she has but based on some of the descriptions it looks like a Janome 1600 on a Little Grace II frame with a stitch regulator. I have an idea of the value and I am planning to go have a look when the sale first opens. It is a smaller setup and based on a new frame I saw online it can be setup as a crib or a Queen. In the picture it looks like crib size but even as a Queen it isn’t quite as big as that 12’ table. On the newer tables the frame can be folded down. Not sure I can do that with this one but it may be an option. My thinking is that with this setup it takes up a lot less room and the investment will be a lot smaller. When I think about having this setup I do not think of it as a monstrosity.
Stay tuned. I may be a quilt arm owner tomorrow.