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Congratulations! You are going to LOVE having that extra space in the throat area.
You didn't mention installing it in a cabinet, but if you can have a table top surface level with the bed of the machine, it will make quilting SO much easier. Also, if you can arrange your furniture so that you have most of your sewing space to the LEFT of the machine, you won't have your quilt dragging you down on that side. Additionally .. and this just may not be possible .. if you can arrange to have extra table top space BEHIND your machine, that will also help take the weight and reduce dragging. But having more horizontal space behind the machine means that the cabinet with the machine sticks out further into the room ... so logistically speaking, you might not be able to arrange that.
If you can get one of those "slippery" slide things .. oh, I don't know what you call them ... they are thin, flexible, slippery "mats" that you put on top of your sewing surface that reduces the friction between your quilt and the surface. That will also help you.
Good luck and keep us up to date on your progress!
Thank you Pirate for the helpful hints. No cabinets, just a dresser that has my thread and other goodies. The table that it is on is up against the wall and is Formica, a very strong table. It has a lot of room in the back for sewing. My room is in a U-shape and I can't move the furniture any other way. My cutting table is in the center of the room and cannot be moved. Hubby had to make the table in the room and is very heavy. But if I need to I can move Jazz up there and sew , the table will support her weight.
This is my cutting table that also doubles as my quilting area. I think they are called friction mats. I need to check the price on them.
The quilt for your DH shows the reason most of us love quilting .... we can make such personal gifts for people, special gifts that have original touches that mean a lot. You did a great job with this quilt, Jo.
Thank you. There is only one color in DHs world and that is blue but needed to use some grey to give the impression of track and fence.
Thanks Judy. I really do enjoy putting personal touches on gift quilts.
I have been enjoying seeing your clay work, keep up the creative garden work.
I had read where a bungee cord and clamp could help reduce drag when quilting this last quilt I quilted I gave it a try. I was amazed at have much difference just a little lift made. I tied a heavy piece of cord elastic to the window shade brace and tied the other end to a giant clothes pin, than clip it to the quilt. Wasn't the ideal location as it was on the right side and behind the machine would be better. It was good enough to convince me that it would be worth investing in or rigging something better from the ceiling.
Glad you have a bigger machine, I also have a machine with a very small harp space.
Sandy should chime in here and show her set-up rig that she uses to hold up the edges of her quilts. I don't know what you call them, but they are the stands used by dog groomers to attach the leash and hold it up while the dog is being groomed. Those stand things clamp onto the edge of your quilting table. I don't remember what kind of bungee cords and clips Sandy uses, but it seems like a very effective system for holding up the edges of the quilt so it doesn't drag while you're trying to quilt. I'm not explaining it very well. Maybe Sandy will chime in and show a photo or describe her rig.
What a beautiful, personal, and thoughtful quilt! I bet he was touched by your thoughtfulness.