Long arm or sit down?

As some of you know that I have been quilting with my domestic Pfaff Expression 150. I really enjoy it now its time to think about upgrading… This is a real confusing thing for me.

These are some things that I have debated:

Long arm takes up more space in the room ill need about 15 feet by 7 feet for it. Where the sit down machine will take a 4×4 space.

I’m already good at the sitdown the only bonus I see here is the option of a stitch regulator and the deeper throat.

Long arm I would be standing for long periods of time will I be able to do this when I’m much older as this is a huge investment.

Either machine I could do work for others.

Whats my budget… long arms are over $10000 Canadian and I can get a sit down for around $6000.00

What size of throat do I want 15″ 18″ 20″ ect.

I think either machine id be able to do ruler work.

Things I look for in long arm… stitch regulator, lazer stylus, able to add a computer eventually,  if it’s a sit down is it able to transfer into a long arm?

I’ve already tried a sit down machine with a stitch regulator an Artistic 18SD and it had a stitch regulator.  The Artisic 16sd can be placed on a frame later.  I’m real comfy with this machine as it’s not much different that my domestic when I quilt.Capture

I’ve tried a HQ Avante, well at first I didn’t think id like it. I found it quite boring, It did take a while to get the hang of it. But near the end of quilting the lap quilt ( that is going to go to charity) I was getting the hang of it.  I even tried to do a pantograph row.   My back and feet did get sore but I think that is because I did not have proper shoes and I’m not used to standing in one spot for long periods of time. These are things that I can adapt to.


This is picurues of the quilting on the quilt that I practiced at with the long arm:

Capture 1e
Capture 1a
swirls and stars
Capture 1 - Copy
my favorite on sit down flowers
Capture 2.PNG
tear drops
Capture 2a
capture 3

having done a lot of research this is what i come up with:


I also asked many people what they prefered and as a start out machine im thinking HQ Sixteen would be a good investment. Not to mention I can get a used one on a good frame for about half the price. Its got everything except the computer and that would be a $12000 Canadian extra touch

When I do make this investment I will be showing you witch one I choose and some of the work that I do with it so you can see the progression in the skills from sit down domestic to long arm.


  1. FYI – you may be able to get a stitch regulator for a sit-down machine. My friend had a regulator (I think she had a Sweet 16) for which she paid about $1,000. Dorothy



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