I received a comment on yesterday's post inquiring about my quilting machine, and I thought it would make a good topic for a post! (My apologies for the bad lighting in the photos).
I purchased my Viking Mega Quilter and frame about five years ago at the Vermont Quilt Festival. (If you're in the market for a quilting machine set up, I highly recommend going to a quilt show that will have several vendors -- you can test out the various types, and often get a great deal on a "show special".
I had been eyeing the Mega Quilter (which I believe is similar to the Pfaff Grand Quilter) for quite a while. I was tired of wrestling quilts through the throat of my sewing machine and kneeling on the floor basting while still ending up with annoying tucks in the backing. I also was not a fan of straight stitching, and all my attempts at free motion quilting had failed miserably.
I have always owned Viking machines and liked them, and I knew that the mid arm Mega Quilter was an affordable option in comparison to a long arm machine. I paid around $2000 for the machine, frame, and Cruise Control set-up. The newer Mega Quilter and frame set ups are pricier than this, however.
The machine sits on a carriage in the frame, and there are three bars on the frame. You roll the backing on one, the top on another, and the third one is the take-up roller which holds all three layers after they are quilted. You also need side clips to support the backing and batting during quilting.
A shelf above the machine holds a pantograph pattern that you follow with a laser pointer.
To learn more about the Tin Lizzie options, check out this link.