Jump to content

Shorter Frame Arms for people who float tops

Recommended Posts

I would really like to get into the ear of the powers that be at APQS. I've had a bee in my bonnet about wasted space in my frame for MONTHS. I can't let it go! FYI, I have a 2015 Lenni. 

I think it is a CRYING SHAME that there is a LOT of wasted space inside my quilting frame. It is especially important to me because I'm short (5'0"), but it applies to us all (eye sight!). I removed my quilt top belly bar, because I float ALL of my quilt tops. I have NEVER rolled a quilt top, and never want to. So, since my quilt top belly bar is absent, it's all the more obvious that I've got, like 8" of wasted space, right at the FRONT of my arm reach. It doesn't matter whether the quilt top roller is there or not. It would still be wasted space.

In my opinion this is a design flaw. I'm stretching to reach the back of my throat space and squinting my eyes to see detailed quilting, and then I've got miles of prime real estate at the front of my frame just sitting idle. I've talked about some ideas on how to get around this with Matt Sparrow (APQS Canada), and have never come up with a solution that I feel is practical. I tried putting my belly bar that holds the backing into the top roller holes, but it was too high, and when my hopping foot came to the front of the throat space it hopped so violently on that higher quilt that I couldn't really even see where my needle was. I tried turning my roller end-for-end and putting it in the quilt top holes, but it sucks the fabric down into a crevice as you advance the quilt - hard to describe, but if you tried it, you'd see exactly what I mean. I considered purchasing new arms for my frame - ones that were manufactured for the new "Larri" model - this was Matt's suggestion. But they cost several hundred dollars and only give you, like 1.75". I also considered upgrading to a Luci head, but keeping my Lenni frame. The lovely couple from Dragon Heart Studio in Pincher Creek, Alberta, even came to my house and brought a Luci and put it on my Lenni carriage to see if it would work. The problem was that the Luci machine head is JUST a little, tiny bit longer than the Lenni carriage (or maybe it's that the take-up roller doesn't stop Luci soon enough, I can't remember exactly). The point is: if we wanted to do that, we would have to machine some kind of bolt to put in place that would prevent the Luci from rolling right off the back of the carriage. So then, we're modifying the setup, and actually not using the entire throat space of Luci, and spending thousands of dollars, and I felt like it was just too much to risk and hassle.

APQS ENGINEERS PLEASE READ: I really don't know why APQS doesn't just manufacture an optional set of arms for each model, for people who float their tops. I know LOTS of people do - I would guess a MAJORITY of quilters float tops. I can't be the only one who's had these thoughts. If they just subtracted, like 6" or so off the length of my frame's arms, I'd be in heaven and all my pet peeves would be gone. Okay, rant over!

If anyone knows of something I'm missing or has any advice, I'm all ears! I would love to find out that there's an obvious solution!

Attached are photos. I laid my measuring tape out along the front edge of my quilted space. It's just about 7.5" from the back of the belly bar to the front of the quilted space. Completely wasted!





Link to post
Share on other sites


Can you move your single front roller to the "top" roller location so you'd be closer to your work and not have such a big open space. You'd need to have the quilt top roll off of the bottom of the bar, then it wouldn't be so high.  That would also reduce the reach to the back, which I totally understand, I'm 5'1".  My Lenni has about 2-1/2" inches from the needle to the bar when the machine is all the way forward, but I have all the bars on. 

I just reread your post and now I get it :)  Is it possible to order new roller arms from APQS that do not have the holes in them yet? Then you could have the holes drilled on the arms for just the one roller - lower and closer. I have an older Lenni and the roller arms are solid with the exception of the holes for the rollers. I see the newer machines have a big cut out.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got my Lenni and I have already noticed that it is quite a stretch for me to work on it (5'2" on a good day ;)). I did not notice the descrepancy in work space yet. It is a puzzle I will bring to my DHs attention. He is a welder and a pretty good problem solver. If he comes up with any ideas I will be sure to share them.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...