Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of voltage do I need?
Our machines use standard 110 voltage. A regular wall outlet is all that is needed; however, it is recommended you plug your machine into a high-quality surge protector.
How long does it take to complete a king-size quilt?
Length of time to complete a king-size quilt would depend on the style of quilting and complexity of the pattern (i.e., number of stitches), as well as the experience of the operator. For example, if doing an overall pantograph pattern of average complexity, the operator could complete the quilt in just a few hours, whereas a custom quilt requiring various machine quilting techniques and/or close stippling could take a day or more.
What size quilt can be completed on a 12′ table, and alternatively a 14′ stand?
A 12-foot table has 126 inches of canvas to attach to and a 14-foot table has 151 inches. For comparrison, a standard king-size quilt is 100″ by 120″, which would fit on either size. A king-size bedspread that drops all the way to the floor would require a 14-foot table.
How big does my room need to be?
All models come on tables that are 12 feet in length. (With the 18-8 machine, you have your choice of 10′ or 12′ tables.) Your room should be long enough to allow passage around at least one end of the table, taking into account an additional 6 inches for handwheels/hardware. The other end of the table can be put against a wall, if necessary. Therefore, for a 12-foot table you would need approximately a space of 15-feet long by 8-feet wide. For a 10-foot table you would require a space 13-feet long by 8-feet wide.
Can you make a custom size table to fit my room?
Yes, for a nominal charge we can make you a table in 8’, 10’, 11’, 13’ or 14’ if the standard size is not correct for your space.
Why do you think a molded aluminum head is better than one that’s welded?
Like every professional and industrial sewing machine manufacturer, we have our machine heads molded rather than welded. We believe a molded head provides more precision in parts alignment than can be achieved by welding, since welding involves heating and cooling (expansion and contraction) of materials. Until 1989, we too had a welded machine before switching to the improved molded aluminum method.
Why don’t you have your machine head made in the U.S.?
At the present time, the industrial factories where aluminum molding is done are located abroad. However, ask any manufacturer where the important sewing mechanism parts for their machines are made (i.e., sewing hook, bobbin case, tension assemblies, needle bar, take-up lever, etc.), and they should all answer “Asia” – even if the shell of their machine is made in the U.S.A.
Our all-steel stands are built locally. Motors, electronics and many parts on our machines are installed here in West Plains and Columbia, Missouri. Since the majority of our total product is made in the U.S., and enough work is done to the heads in the US, our machines are NAFTA certified as made in America.
Is the weight of the machine an issue I should care about?
Our best-selling longarm heads weigh from 45 to 68 pounds. Although there are machines on the market that weigh less than ours, we consider our machines the proper weight to give the operator the stability needed when the machine is moved to the widest point in the carriage. With our incomparably smooth wheel and track system, an operator can guide our machine with only two fingers.
What are ergonomically designed handles?
Ergonomic design means conditions best suited to the worker. Our handles are positioned for the most comfortable operation of the machine, as well as to allow for visibility of the needle.
Can I buy my machine for less at another dealer or direct from the factory?
All Gammill machines are sold through our network of professionally trained dealers. Due to our pricing philosophy and policy to treat all customers the same, prices do not differ at different dealerships. We continually review our pricing to ensure the customer receives the highest quality machine at the lowest possible price.
How does your double-capacity bobbin work?
Our patented Automatic Thread Escapement system allows us to use the double-capacity “M” style bobbin in our machines. Since it releases all stress on the thread as it passes through the escapement, superior stitch quality is achieved regardless of speed.
How is bobbin thread trimming accomplished on your machine?
We have chosen not to incorporate a thread trimming mechanism in our machines as we feel it does not produce a desirable end product for the quilter. We feel it is better to simply push the single stitch button on our machine and bring the bobbin thread to the top side, where both top and bobbin threads can be trimmed simultaneously. This method also eliminates the need to go back later and trim all the tags of thread left by all bobbin thread trimmers.
How do I know which model best suits my needs?
The throat space on each model determines capacity for piece size, batting thickness, and pattern width. Since we offer five machine sizes, there is a Gammill machine to fit every need and budget. If you’re planning to machine quilt as a business, we would recommend either the 26-10 or 30-12 size machine. The larger the throat size the less often you have to advance the quilt thus allowing for quicker completion.
If my machine should ever need service, what do I do?
We and/or our Dealers offer phone-based technical support five days a week. Many dealers also provide support on weekends. Part of the training we provided with personal delivery is on the basic maintenance of the machine; and, many basic maintenance issues are covered in the manual that comes with your machine, which is also available at www.Gammill.com.
Much of the basic maintenance you can do yourself, but we also recommend that you have your machine serviced by a technician from your local dealer on a periodic basis to keep your machine in top running condition. You can bring your machine into the dealer’s shop but our dealers also provide on-site service calls. (Quilting machines are large appliances. When your refrigerator needs repair do they ask you to ship it to the factory or haul it into the local dealer?) On-site service is also preferable as then the technician can service your entire machine not just the sewing head. If you use your machine all day every day for business you may want to have this done annually. If you are a home quilter once every five years is probably sufficient. We believe that our network of professionally trained dealers is one of our greatest advantages. Unlike with any other brands you do not have to box up and ship your machine back to the factory for service or rely on local sewing machine technicians who are not familiar with your machine. Our dealer technicians work extensively on Gammill machines and will service your machine on-site.
Does your machine have any patented features?
Yes. We have several patents on our machines, four of which are our Automatic Thread Escapement, Variable-Stroke Hopping Foot, and Auxiliary Intermittent Tension.
What are Zippered Leaders and how do they work?
“Leaders” are the pieces of canvas attached to the fabric-handling rollers. The quilter pins their top and backing fabric to these leaders in preparation to quilt. We offer Leaders with Zippered Edges as an option. The zippered edge simply allows the quilter to pin or baste their fabric to the removed leader edge from another location (such as seated in a chair or on a domestic sewing machine), rather than at the table. Then the edge can be zipped to the rest of the canvas leader with the fabric already pinned. With this option, each zippered leader comes with two edges, one of which could be in use while the other could be pre-pinned (to expedite set-up for the next quilt). Zippered leaders also allow a work-in-progress to be easily removed and put back on later, in the event another job takes priority over the one loaded on the table.
In choosing a quilting machine, how important should a manufacturer’s experience be in making my decision?
We consider experience one of our greatest assets. We employ the expertise of world-renowned electronics and computer engineers to keep our brand at the forefront of new technological developments. We we know the mechanics of quilting machines better than anyone, having been manufacturing quilting machine systems since the late 1970s and computerized machines since 1990.
How much money can I make machine quilting?
The amount of money a person can make machine quilting will vary due to their location, the type of work clients are willing to pay for, and how many hours a longarm quilter can devote to their business. Our customers tell us consistently they are booked ahead weeks or even months with orders. Quilting in general has steadily increased in popularity over the years — and continues to do so as more folks decorate with quilts and pursue quilting as a hobby. So, the more pieced tops done, the more there are to be machine quilted! In addition, longarm quilters are not restricted to just their own geographic area for their client base. Many people are willing to send their quilt tops great distances to be quilted due to a longarm quilter’s reputation for creative work, the lack of longarm quilters in their area or too long a waiting period.
Many longarm quilters rely on machine quilting as their primary source of income. We have numerous customers who’ve left professions to stay at home for one reason or another, yet still needed to generate some degree of income. As a cottage industry, machine quilting is an ideal pursuit to allow someone to “be their own boss”, and take on as much or as little workload as they want to stay busy.
Do you offer financing?
We do offer financing to customers in the contiguous 48 states and Alaska through a partnership with American Financial Partners (AFP). An application can be completed online at www.FinanceYourGammill.com. A payment calculator is also available. Alternately, customers often obtain financing through their bank or credit union. To facilitate financing, your dealer can provide you with a written quote listing what the total cost would be if you were to purchase a specific model.
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