Rent a Quilting Machine!
We have a Handi Quilter Amara 20" longarm quilting machine set up and ready for you to use! The Handi Quilter allows you to free-motion quilt by hand with ease or program the ProStitcher to stitch your quilt automatically.
We also have the PowerQuilter 16.0 available for rental. This sit-down, mid-arm quilting machine has a 16" x 8" harp space and an optional stitch regulator, allowing you to free motion quilts of any size with ease.
The Amara is a 20 inch machine and is on a 12 foot frame which allows you to free-motion quilt by hand with ease or program the ProStitcher to stitch your quilt automatically! The 12 ft. frame can accommodate projects up to 120 inches wide. The maximum design height per row is 14" but could be limited by the scope of your project. (Eg. How thick the quilt layers become when rolled up on the upper rail.)
How to prepare your quilt:
1. Sew your seams with a 1/4 inch minimum seam allowance. If the seam allowance is too scant the seams may unravel while your quilt is being rolled on the rails.
2. Ensure your backer and batting are at least 4 inches larger than your completed quilt top on each side. (8 inches total each direction) For instance - if your quilt top is 60 x 60 inches, your batting and backer need to be at minimum 68 x 68 inches. If you plan to do a wrapped binding - let us know upon arrival and quilt set up.
3. There is no need to baste your quilt if you are using a long arm on the frame, bring all three layers individually. Only baste your quilt sandwich if you are using the sit down quilting machine.
4. We highly recommend you press all seams on the quilt top and back. Your quilt will lay flatter and you'll see fewer lumps and ridges.
5. Square all sides/edges of your quilt, both top and backing, in advance. This is essential for loading on the frame and a quality finished product.
6. Remove all loose threads. Dark colored threads left on the back of a quilt top can frequently be seen if they are caught behind lighter fabrics.
7. Decide in advance if your quilt top and back are directional. Mark the top of each of your layers - backer, batting and top.
8. Evaluate your borders - if they are wavy or baggy, remedy this ahead of quilting or expect that the edges will be irregular and you may end up with folds/tucks. If your quilt top does not lay flat or fold nicely after pressing this is an indicator you may have border challenges.
9. Open your batting and lay it flat for a few days prior to quilting. This will help ease creases from packaging. Also note the stitching distance recommended by the manufacturer.
10. Consider your desired quilting design. You can look at our designs and use the ones built into the machine or you can purchase a design from various designers on the internet. If you are looking for edge-to-edge patterns do not choose blocks or corners or triangle patterns. Look for designs that have visible start and end points on either side of the design so that they will connect when repeated across your quilt area. You will want to download a .hqf file type and have it on the root folder of your USB stick when you bring it in. Please unzip and transfer to the root folder at home.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions below for pricing and general rental info. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to give us a call at 608-422-5449.
Download our long arm guidelines here!
View and download a PDF of the Available ProStitcher designs here!
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
It costs $20 per hour to rent our long-arm quilting machine for doing free-motion, hand guided quilting. There is a 2 hour minimum deposit ($42.20 with tax) required to hold your day. The deposit is then applied to your final charge.
It will cost $30 per hour to rent our long arm quilting machine for doing edge to edge robotic quilting. There is a 2 hour minimum deposit ($63.30 with tax) required to hold your day for edge to edge robotic work. The deposit is then applied to your final charge.
It will cost $45 per hour to rent our long arm quilting machine for doing custom robotic quilting. There is a 2 hour minimum deposit ($94.95 with tax) required to hold your day for custom robotic work. The deposit is then applied to your final charge.
If you have never long armed before we have a service available wherein one of our instructors will be dedicated to take you through the process step by step and assist you with loading the quilt and answering all of your questions throughout the day.. This is available for $50/hour each for the first two hours, or we can offer a refresher lesson on using the long arm for $50/hour for the first hour. After the first hour or two hours the price reverts to the edge-to-edge or free motion pricing.
How long will it take?
Plan on a minimum of 4-6 hours.
To determine how many hours you should plan for your project, we take a few factors into consideration, such as: the size of your quilt; the density of your intended quilting pattern; and whether you will do free motion or utilize the ProStitcher automated quilting program. Having experience on the machine will also help to streamline the process. We find 4 - 6 hours is a good average for up to a twin with an overall robotic pattern that is not very dense or pointy. Dense patterns will take longer to stitch out, as will larger quilts.
We reserve the whole day for you when you call or stop by to make your reservation. We recommend coming in as close to our opening time of 10 am as possible to ensure you are not rushed.
Your preparation time is included in the rental time.
Loading your backing, batting and quilt top, as well as choosing the design and setting it up in the ProStitcher - all are part of your rental time on the long-arm machines.
Do I need to take a class before I can rent your long-arm machine?
A class is not necessary prior to reserving your time. Our staff will teach you the process as you go! If you are a beginner long-armer, you may want to do a few practice or baby quilts to get the hang of it. Go easy on yourself as you are new to this and start with one quilt your first time. To assist you in your learning, please download our Long Arm guidelines above.
Be aware that you will be standing on your feet much of the time and reaching quite a bit as you load your quilt layers onto the long arm, stitch the quilt together, and off-load the quilt once you are done.
Should I baste my quilt before I bring it in?
If you are using one of the long arm quilting machines on a frame:
Nope! Please don't baste your quilt. The three layers of your quilt will be placed on separate rails on the quilting frame.
If you are using the sit down quilting machine:
Yes! You will want an excess of 3 inches minimum on each side for the backer and batting. Center your top in the middle of these and baste with your preferred method. If you are using a fusible, please follow the directions precisely. If the fusible is gumming up our machine, we may need to have you stop and pay for a cleaning service on the machine.
What do I have to bring?
Quilt, Batting, Backing
Just bring your finished, pressed quilt top, batting and backer. The backer and batting will need to be at least 4 inches larger than your quilt top on all sides. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK to ensure you have enough batting and backing. You will also want to bring long-arm machine quilting thread or purchase some when you come in to quilt.
What about food and beverages?
DO NOT bring any food into the shop. Do not bring any beverages that have spices in them (eg. chai, spiced or specialty coffees or teas). Beverages need to have a lid, please. If you have a question, please call us before your scheduled long-arm session.
What thread should I use?
Long-arm machine quilting thread.
We carry a wide variety of Signature solid long-arm machine quilting thread and Superior King Tut variegated threads that are available for you to purchase. You are also welcome to supply your own long-arm machine quilting thread. We just ask you to remember that quality thread leads to quality results, while cheap or old threads will make you pull your hair out! ;)
Do I have to use the quilting designs on your machine?
Not at all!
You have the option of guiding the machine by hand, using the quilting designs programmed on the machine or you can download designs onto a USB drive and bring your design with you to the store on the day you come to quilt! We recommend www.digitechpatterns.com or www.intelligentquilting.com as great resources for thousands of possible quilting designs to purchase. You will want a .hqf or .qli file format.
What if I have a question while I’m quilting?
Come and ask us!
We are always available to help you while you are working on the long-arm. We anticipate and welcome your questions. Know that our staff will also have other customers to assist while you are here - we appreciate your patience. You are in charge of your quilt - if you have a question, ASK.
Are some quilts harder to quilt than others?
Non-traditional materials can make quilting more difficult. These include T-shirts, sweatshirts, screen printed fabrics, denims, corduroy, wool, minky, etc. Does that mean you may not use these? No - but you should be prepared for more challenges with thread breakage, skipping stitches, and slower stitching.
Deciding to do custom quilting - with multiple individual patterns in different parts of the quilt - will also take significantly more time. And with a more complex quilt you may need to book two (2) days in a row to complete your project.
Attempting to center something special on the backer is up to the customer. Because the top and backer are on separate rails and may advance differently, we can not guarantee any precise placement of items on the backer.
Quilts that have 3 dimensional items that are not to be stitched pose additional challenges. For these quilts we recommend free motion or custom options.
Are there drawbacks to mixing my fabrics?
We have seen challenges when a batik backing is used with a standard printed quilting cotton top. Does that mean you may not use this combination? No - but you should be prepared for more challenges with thread breakage, skipping stitches, and slower stitching.
How do I reserve your long-arm quilter?
Just give us a call at 608-422-5449 or stop by the store!
We’ll be happy to help you reserve your day and process your deposit payment. Please know the rough size of your quilt and type of quilting (free motion or robotic).
What is your cancellation policy?
If you cancel your appointment less than 3 days before - no refund.
If you cancel 3 days before scheduled day - 1/2 refund to your store account or reschedule and full deposit moves to another day.
If you cancel 7 days before scheduled day - full refund to store account or full refund less 5% if you request cash or check.
Does the process ever change?
Yes, indeed it does.
Handi Quilter is constantly improving their software and so our process can change from time to time. Please be patient as you learn the new system.
Download our long arm guidelines before coming in to quilt!
Download our sit-down quilter guidelines before coming in to quilt!
Check out the process! If you're not familiar with the process, this video can give you a nice overview before you come in: