When I started quilting again I was reminded of how much I hated basting. I had 3 tops waiting for quilting just sitting on my shelf in my sewing room. Now I love quilting. Its my favorite part. So one day at the end of May I was day dreaming of purchasing a long arm and playing on Ebay. I happened upon a 17" Bailey Home Quilter and 10' frame for a really great price. Brought it up to my husband and told him how tempted I was to bid on it. Being the great supportive husband that he is, he said to go for it. I think he just wanted his quilt finished and was tired of helping me baste. (and listening to me complain about it). So I went for it. Ended up buying it and having it shipped to my house.
So after a long hot day of assembling the frame I realized something just wasn't right. After more research I found out that the frame, the original Grace Machine Quilter, just wasn't made for a 17" machine. I only had 9" of usable space. I should have realized that maybe there was a reason the seller didn't list the frame model in the ad. I trusted that the machine and the frame worked together since they were being sold together. Silly me. I did email the seller and tell her my displeasure. Her response was that I should have known as other people figured it out. This was my first longarm and frame so I guess I should have done more research. I didn't realize some frames wouldn't allow you to use the bigger machines. Well now I know and will remember it forever. While I feel like she was being a bit dishonest I really should have done more research and not trusted an ebay seller.
Plus we were setting this up on my basement floor which isn't really level so we had such a hard time getting this even remotely level. Part of me thinks the frame was a bit warped to start with. Parts of the table didn't fit quite right.
The tracks came in pieces so when the carriage would move over the seams I would get very large bumps in my quilting. I was really starting to doubt my purchase and wondered if I had made a mistake. I ordered an upgraded metal carriage to try to see if that would help but in the end it didn't and I was so frustrated. I loved the machine but the frame just wasn't letting me quilt the way I wanted. I could order tracks that came in one piece but I started to realize maybe that wouldn't even help. I still wasn't going to be happy with this frame.
|A practice piece after the new frame!|
Thankfully my husband realizes that quality tools are important and we decided to go ahead and order a new frame. Now the plus side is that I got a really good deal on the machine and frame combo. So much so, that the wooden frame was basically free. Used machines alone were going for what I paid. But I wasn't expecting to purchase a new frame so that was making me feel a little anxious. We did it in the end and ordered a Grace GQ Frame with a 2 foot extension. I had to agree that this was going to be my last big purchase for a bit. :) (Hurray for interest free financing!)
After setting the new frame up and getting a practice quilt on there I can say I am absolutely happy now. Even though we ended up spending more than planned we still paid less than buying everything new. The new frame was adjustable in almost every way so leveling it in our basement was successful and I am able to have it set for my height. It is so nice not having to baste. Now I can just get to the quilting part which is the part I have always loved the most. Maybe someday when I get really good I can quilt for hire. Wouldn't that be nice...