What do you prefer - larger or smaller throat space?


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I am very happy with the throat space on my Liberty - 20" instead of 26."

 

But, there are times when doing a panto or a pattern board that the larger throat would be better.  Larger space means fewer fabric advances.  Larger space means more versitility in quilting custom designs on larger blocks, without rolling back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

 

I tried many machines and then decided on an APQS.  I had trouble deciding on the size of the machine.  I was ready to order a Freedom, but spent a weekend quilting on a friend's (thanks, Shana) Millenium which is the same size as the Freedom.  Almost everyone advised me to get the larger throat machine.  I then went back and tried a Liberty again at a quilt show or an APQS Road Show; I forget which one is was now.  I finally decided to order the smaller Liberty and 5 years later I am still happy with my decision.  Unfortunately, they don't make the Liberty anymore, unless you can have it specially made to order, but I don't know if that is even possible.  I wasn't as pleased with the Lenni, which is same size as my Liberty.  The Lenni was brand new  when I was making my final decision and there was a considerable difference in the price; the Lenni was much less.  I ultimately bought a 2005, refirbished Liberty from the APQS factory with a one year warranty.

 

Try to spend some time on the machines you are considering.  What is right for me, or for someone else, may not be the best solution for you.  Test driving the machines is the best way to get the right one.

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Pumpkin:  I have an Ult2, the 20" machine.  One of the reasons I bought it was because of what I considered space limitations in my quilting room.  Now that I have learned the real dimensions of most of the machines and tables, I'm not sure I saved much space.  I sometimes wish I had more reach.  For instance a couple of weeks ago I quilted a quilt with 14.5" blocks.  In order to SID around the blocks, I had to roll the quilt a bit.  On the other hand today I was quilting a quilt with 12" blocks which Zelda (the name of my Ult2) car reach around.  When I was stitching the top horizontal seam, I had to stand up and lean foreward (I normally sit to quilt) in order to see what I was doing.  So sometimes I want more "stroke", but sometimes the distance from to work is too much.  What are you to do?

 

I suppose the type of quilting you do would play a part in the best size machine, but there seem to be pluses and minuses regardless of what you have.  I know if I were to buy another machine, it would be bigger.  I'm not sure it would be a 26" machine.  I often quilt on a Gammill Classic, (the 26" machine) and the 20" stroke of that machine is great when I'm just random meandering a quilt, but for close detail work, I always use Zelda.  I think maybe a 22" or 23" machine might suit me better, but I've never used one that size, so who knows.  I know I wouldn't want anything smaller that Zelda.

 

So my guess is that unless we do a specific kind of work that requires a specific stroke length, we'll always wish for something different.  Human nature I guess.  Regards.  Jim

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One of the reasons I am curious is if a smaller machine head is better for detail work.  I have found the space to be wonderful so far just to see what I've quilted if nothing else!!  I seem to do my best work closest to the front (or closest to me) and I'm a shorty so even when I have my frame set low I'm reaching to get towards the back.

 

By the way Joyce I just read your entire signature there - I believe you are my nearest APQS lady!  ;)

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