Monday, December 16, 2013


My Tiara, I call her Queen Latifah. She is beautiful, strong and talented!

I have referred to her a few times of late, but want to expand a bit, now that I've quilted several projects on her.
I had decided, earlier this year, to make a long arm purchase. I love quilting, especially free-motion, and thought I might like to quilt for others in the future.

I began by talking to my long-arm quilter friends, practically interviewing them about their machines. Each person was so helpful, and I received the best information. I asked each what they liked about their machine, what they didn't like, and any advice they had. Several recommended that I test drive a variety of brands in order to find the machine that worked for me. I also joined several different quilter groups on line, they were helpful and informative as well, again recommending test-drives. To that end, I attended the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in Raleigh this past June. A group of friends went with me, which made it even more fun. One of my friends, Laura, was on the same mission as I so we enjoyed test driving the machines and comparing notes. (She purchased an APQS George).

All the machines were nice, all did a wonderful job quilting. The stand-up long-arm that I fell for? The Juki Virtuoso. I loved the smooth lines, the amazing handling and all the lights! I also really liked the HQ Avante, beautiful, smooth quilting.
Since all the machines I tried were great, and all the people I spoke to were helpful, I had to consider more of my specific needs. At this point in my life, I quilt for me. Most of my projects do not have a time frame, and while I do quilt for friends, it is not my primary business, so the machine I buy needed to fit my style.
I went with the Tiara for several reasons.

The primary reason: I love free-motion-quilting, moving the quilt with my hands, making designs using the needle as my pen. Second: The quilting on a sit-down long arm would not require learning a new way of moving. My mother has a stand-up long-arm, a Gammill, and I have quilted on it and love many of the features such a machine brings. HOWEVER, that would require a learning curve for my quilting, time practicing in order to get my quilting skills up to speed. With a sit-down machine, no learning curve required.
Plus, I can trade in my Tiara for a stand-up long arm if I decide that is what I want in the future.

The extra space under the needle, the bright LED lights (I have added extra lights as well), the extensions on the table, make this such a joy. I quilt as often as I can! I have started trying build up a few UFO's so I will have something to throw under the needle! I am learning ruler work and having fun trying new threads. I have a supportive dealer and am a member of a great user group so I feel I have 24/7 support. But I have had no problems learning this new machine. She is such a good sport and likes everything I have thrown at her. I am very happy with this machine!


Laura said...

I have some UFOs if you run out of yours! Enjoy! I want an Avante but need to buy a bigger house first. I'm so jealous, but happy for you!

Paige said...

I love her name! So excited for you. Please let me know if you do start taking quilts from others - I love your quilting!

bambi said...

What a perfect name!! I have a Sweet 16 and have yet to name her but I love her just the same. May I ask what online qroup you joined? I am on the Yahoo group and it's awesome and I'm just wondering what else is out there.

Laura Davies said...

Love the name! Glad you are enjoying your Tiara. I'm already saving toward and upgrade. Love my George, but every time I have to clear the kitchen to pin a large quilt, I can't wait to get a stand up! You're right about the learning curve though. Think I'll have to take a couple of weeks and quilt some charity quilts for free to get myself in tune:)

April's Creations NC said...

Thanks for sharing with us all. Good for you, I hope you find a lot of joy quilting and creating on "her". Congrats!

Kim Johnson said...

Great blog post! I was so interested in hearing what you think of it. With me having an empty room soon, that may be my next purchase.

Katie said...

If you need pieces to practice on,I got a few quilts ready or nearly ready to go.