jackkip

ya'll dont' talk much

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Been lurking around there for a little bit. There are so few posting about "George". I am attending the houston show to have my first date wtih George. Was hoping there would be more input on the george section. I guess everyone who does own a george is probably just spending too much time with George.

So come on ladies and gentleman start chatting. I want to know all I can about George before our big date. I kind of feel like in high school when you go to your first real date. I just want everytyhing to be perfect...hehe

Ya'll have a good night:D

Jackie

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Jackie,

How lucky that you get to test drive a George before you buy. I bought mine sight unseen, only having seen him in a quilt magazine. I have had him about 18 months, and do not know what life would be like without him;)

I like to free motion quilt and did so with my DSM and did quite well so now to have all the throat space is like a dream. I always amaze myself when things turn out better than I had planned. And of course, it is always fun to experiment with different techniques or threads.

I really did not have the space for a frame type long arm so this works out very well for me. Actually George is the focal point to my front room--threw the couch out, just a place for the dog to sleep anyway--I use my front room as the sewing room. I live alone so do not have to pick up when in the middle of a project. There have only been a handful of times that a frame would have been nice to have. The quilt I am working on now is quite big, but I will muddle through and am sure it will like what I do to it.

Why are you looking at the George vs another long arm? Have fun with your machine. I do see that others who purchase long arms are given a class with it, that was not offered to me, so maybe that is something you could ask about. I live in the boonies and would not have traveled to do a class but if you are close by and it is offered, you should do it. Good luck, Judy

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Judy,

Thanks for the reply. I considered a LA, but in the end it just isn't the machine for me. I truly enjoy sitting down and quilting on my DSM. The only problem is the lack of space. I just completed a queen size on my DSM. It took me awhile but was really quite fun. I can't imagine what it would be like to do that with the throat size of George.

I guess I am a little different too on this board, because I am not trying to go into business. Quilting is my passion and I love to make quilts to give away to family and friends.

Luckily I live about 4 hours from Houston and attending the quilt show is really not that big of hassle. Just a short drive. I am glad that I will be able to spend some time with George. I am very anxious to met him.

Again thanks for the reply,

Jackie

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Hi Jackie:

You and I have already talked (via U2U) about George. I hope you get some more responses from George owners as they really do not seem to post very often. Here's a thought for you to ponder and a query for George owners...how are you basting your quilts? As far as I can see, that is one advantage of a LA over a push through...no more thread or spray or safety pin basting. As for me, I have my quilts basted by a friend with a LA, it's worked well so far...no back tucks & little distortion. Anyone else care to weigh in for Jackie?

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I spray baste my quilts. I only have problems when doing the big ones and need to visit the church to use the tables there. But luckily I have that option. Not having feed dogs with George makes straight line quilting a bit trying. But other than that, don't have problems. Judy

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Hi Jackie and all,

I have had my George for a couple of years - not long after George was introduced. I love him - absolutely the best quilting pal I've ever had. I had a Millennium for 3 years. I was very happy with it, but advancing arthritis in knees, ankles, and feet kept me from standing for long periods of time, and the seated options I tried were not successful. I was able to sell Millie to a good friend (still have visiting privileges) and buy George.

From Day One I loved him. I did not have serious thread issues with Millie, so don't get me wrong, but no thread issues with George - probably has something to do with moving the fabric instead of the machine. I am not a fast-moving quilter, take it slow and find it is easy for me to keep stitches even and can even take one stitch at a time when necessary just like I could on my Bernina. I do speed up with many meandering and stippling areas, can set the speed control to accommodate any speed I want. Of course tension has to be adjusted as with any longarm or industrial machine, but I had fewer issues with George.

What it all comes down to (IMHO) is how you like to quilt. I like to feel the fabric. This is a huge part of my love for quilting - the tactile sensation that comes with the feel of the fabric. By sitting at the machine and moving the fabric under the needle, I am up close and personal with the color, pattern, and touch of the fabric piece I am creating. I found that moving the machine over the fabric - though it was faster - it was less of a personal expression FOR ME. I absolutely appreciate the incredible talent of all those longarmers out there - I actually wasn't too bad at it myself (had a quilt that hung in the Paducah show, as well as several at Quilting on the Waterfront and MQS). AND if your goal is to quilt for other people, you are limiting yourself to some degree with George, because the customer who wants pantographs will be going elsewhere. There are George quilters who quilt for others, but the customer base is more limited.

When it comes to quilt preparation, I pin baste my smaller quilts on my large worktable, pins about 4" apart. It has not been too much of a problem on quilts that are twin size or smaller, though - again - standing is an issue for me so I take a lot of breaks, and sometimes enlist the assistance of a willing DH. I am getting ready to quilt a 90x102 quilt soon, and will take that quilt to a cooperative longarmer and have it basted - a large meander - with water-soluble thread (I use Vanish by Superior) on both top and bottom. This basting will stabilize the quilt and wash away in a washing machine tub full of cold water once I am finished with the extensive quilting I am planning. The basting does not cost too much, and it is absolutely worth every penny! One of my recent wall hangings I pin basted, then did the same Vanish basting (on George) because I wanted to do very close intensive quilting and wanted the stabilization of the large meander. Many George users use basting spray very successfully, but I have not tried that yet.

Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give you as much to think about as possible so you could come up with questions for Houston. (If Claudia Clark-Myers is there demonstrating, be sure and say hi from Joann Farley! She is very inspiring!) BTW, I was a quilting maniac on my Bernina for several years - had a quilt that visited Houston, Paducah, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, won 3rd place at Quilting on the Waterfront - did a pretty decent job on Bernie, and love Bernie. The combination with George has made the process so much fun. Great space and works hard for me every day without skipping a beat. I love him.

Joann Farley

Independence, MO

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Hello Members, I am trying to help my daughter purchase a long arm machine, she is currently working in a quilt shop that is closing, where she does most of the longarm quilting for the store's customers. She hopes to purchase her own machine (with some financial help from me) to continue long arm quilting when the store closes. Additionally, a longarm quilter in her area is retiring so there is a fairly reasonable market available.

Her husband will support her only if a bank will approve her business plan for the balance of the money needed.

She has been to the Small Business Association for assistance but the forms given to her for a business plan relate mainly to retail businesses, not service oriented. Can anyone who drafted a longarm business plan approved by a bank or a bank affiliated with the Small Business Association share a sample business plan. DDaughter lives in Texas, I live in British Columbia so it is difficult working through this. She is going to the Houston International Quilt Festival this year and hopes to test drive a few machines there, and possibly purchase but we must get the plan in prior to that.

Thanks so much for any help you may provide. I so enjoy reading your posts and looking at the beautiful work you do....I am thinking maybe when DD gets set up, I will buy one for myself. Hey, they always say Dream Big. lol

Barbara

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A huge thank you to everyone who replied. OK, so ya'll do talk..hehe.

I have tried the spray basting. Wasn't too impressed with it. Wasn't sure if it was the product or the user. So I ended up going back to my old tried and true safety pins. Any thoughts on the spray basting?

I can't wait to sit down with George. You guys have really made him seem like a true friend. I so enjoy sitting down and quilting. I have tried quilting with a LA but just wasn't fun to me. I can't describe it, but I just didn't like it. So much more fun to sit and quilt away.

One more quick question. Once you purchase a george how long does it take to arrive at your home?

Thanks for putting up with all of my questions. You guys have been great!

Jackie

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Hi Jackie:

They told me to expect George in two weeks but he arrived sooner than that. YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE SOME MUSCULAR PEOPLE AROUND WHEN THE FREIGHT COMPANY LEAVES HIM AT YOUR FRONT DOOR OR THE END OF YOUR DRIVEWAY. I have a friend who is a custom cabinetmaker. He & I were able to wheel the two George boxes into the house for unpacking. The George head weighs about 43 pounds but the table weighs over 300! My friend installed George into the table and we moved it into my studio. The storage pieces from IKEA were MUCH more difficult to assemble ;-)

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I, too, am a George owner. Just not enough time to be great at him yet. I like his design and the table method of quilting. At this point I stick with the same thread weight because of time and experience.

I have quilted queen sized bed quilts on my regular Pfaff's using the "fluff and stuff" method and use the same with George. I pin baste my quilts, including the big ones. Only the small things do I spray. The pinning is not a problem with the way I quilt because I decide where I want to work and then take them out in that area, leaving the others in until later.

If you need to move George's table to an upstairs room, flip it over on it's top and slide it up the stairs on a blanket or piece of his packing cardboard. My stairs were open so we used the flat banister to support the table as it went up. Every guy who comes to deliver something and needs to get it upstairs takes forever to listen to me about how to flip and use the banister to get things up in the loft!!! They finally try it after all their ideas and are surprised at how much easier it was!!

Go for George as soon as it works for you. I don't think you will be disappointed. And after you get him, post on this site so we can come and talk with you. I keep checking but don't see George talk very often so hang out reading the anything board.

Let us know when you get George and we can have a party with you.


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I will post as soon as I buy. I am going to the Houston quilt show. Which I can't wait for. I am so looking forward to it. Not just because of George, but the whole show itself. Plus I am having the added bonus of going with my sister. We haven't been anywhere by ourselves in 20+ years. So it will be a very exciting week. Counting down the days.

Thanks again for all the replies. I have enjoyed reading them.

Jackie

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I am a George owner! I LOVE him. He makes my heart go pitter-pat! My home is way too small for a longarm. George was the perfect fit. The throat space was the big seller for me. It is heaven!

It took a little bit for me to get the right tension, but it has been a great journey. The stitches are great, the machine is great, and the table is great. I've quilted everything from smaller wall-hangings to a king size quilt.

I pin baste my quilts.

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At the time I bought my machine a couple of years ago, the table was delivered assembled. I think they are using a different table now because I see IKEA mentioned above and mine is not an IKEA table. It was delivered with leaves down - I use it with all leaves up and it measures 4'W x 8'L. The machine is toward the right side of the table leaving lots of space for the quilt.

I recently acquired a TOWA gauge to measure bobbin tension and I've found it very useful. It takes some experimentation to find the rigiht range for your machine (mine is 20-22), but once you find it you can adjust the bobbin tension to fit the bobbin thread you are using. This helps immensely in adjusting the top tension because you have to have the right balance for everything to work right. I adjust the bobbin first, then fit the top tension to the bobbin. It works pretty well. Our home machines have pre-set tension in the factory, use feed dogs, etc., so we don't have to do a lot of adjustment on them. George is essentially a longarm in a table and longarms do have to have the tension adjusted to fit the threads/fabrics/battings you are using.

When it comes to pin basting, I find that it doesn't take too much longer to pin baste a quilt than it did to load it on Millie - just a bit more inconvenient.

Joann

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My George table came assembled, but I got the floor model from the store. It is only 20 inches wide with the leaves down, so you should be able to get it up the stairs. You will want to use a two-wheeled dolly to help move it if you have one. Then you would be working with the sizes of 20 inches against the handle of the dolly and 30 inches at the bottom sticking out. That really isn't any more than many other pieces of furniture. Much like desks and dressers.

Ask them when you order/buy George and if you have a chance to be on hand to touch one, measure it so you can check your stairway.


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Hi. Sorry to confuse with my talk of IKEA...my George table arrived fully assembled. Attaching the head to the cabinet was easy. The other storage pieces in my studio are mostly from IKEA including a piece intended to be a kitchen island that I use as a pressing surface. IT was a bear to assemble!

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Hi George-Lovers!

This is George's Mother. Hi Joanne-glad you're still happy with the old boy.

Re: the question of basting---I usually use Hobbs 80/20 fusible batting. I used to spray baste, but when you live at the northern end of the world (Duluth, MN) you can't always go outside to do the spray basting, and I was getting it all over everything inside. I even do big (queen-size) quilts with the fusible. Here's my method:

Pin your backing up on your design wall (or on the carpeting, if you are more flexible than I) on all four sides, about 4" apart, starting at the center top and working your way out to the upper corners, then straight down the middle to the bottom edge. Smooth to each side, just as if you were hanging wallpaper. While you are doing this, have your batting warming up in a hot dryer for about 5 minutes-pull it all apart before you stick it in. Put the batting over the backing, moving the pins to include the batting around all 4 sides, and do the same with the top of your quilt. Then, starting with the bottom edge and sides, re-position the pins so they are just holding the 3 layers and not stuck into the wall. Do this all the way around, then go to the ironing board with your quilt sandwich and steam-press the front, then the back, then the front, again---and you're ready to quilt! No extra weight from the pins, no basting thread to pick out, and the best part is--you can start quilting anywhere on your quilt, you don't have to start in the middle. If you don't get around to quilting right away and the fusing lets go, you just refresh it with the steam iron. I only recommend using Hobbs.

There! Is that enough talking, Jackie? :P

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