I live in an apartment. It's fairly large, but ALL CARPET. I loathe carpet as it is, but it means that I don't have a hard surface for basting a quilt. We bought 2 pieces of 4'x8' MDF, put a hinge in the middle of each sheet so that it would store smaller, but they are HUGE and HEAVY to pull out & put away. It also means that I have to clear out the living room to use. Not a great solution.
Then I went and used a long arm machine & saw the roller system. Genius!! Also, fun. I kept thinking that the long arm can't do straight lines well though (I tried), and can't follow seams like I could on my machine with a walking foot. But I wanted to take my quilts there for basting purposes...
So, maybe I can buy my own roller quilting frame? I'm considering a few options and need help.
1) $10 plans to build my own frame. No clue how hard to source the gears would be, or how expensive the the supplies would be. But I am very handy, so the idea of building isn't an issue. Does it fold flat for storage?
2) $69 kit to build a frame. This look like it has plans for the above frame, but include some parts, like the gears. I would still have to source lumber & a few other parts. Does it fold flat for storage?
3) $199 pre-made stand. Folds flat, adjustable width. I could use this for basting, or for hand quilting. Seems pretty nice. The reviews I've read say that the only negatives are assembly, which isn't a problem for me. And from the Grace website, it looks like you can fold it up with a quilt still on it. I also found it on Ebay with free shipping.
4) Fan Frame. I don't know how easy it would be to use, but it looks fairly straight-forward. And it definitely stores flat! $132, so it's a little less than the previous option.
5) Save up for a more professional stand that can accommodate a long arm machine. This is a 2-parter, since I need to save up for the machine AND the stand, so we're talking thousands of dollars and years. And I don't think those store flat. So maybe I just convinced myself out of this option?
What should I do?!?! The basting/sandwich is my main issue. My machine is more than adequate for quilting purposes at this time. Please, ask around if you know someone who has knowledge about this. Thank you!
**All photos are taken from the linked website**