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' stand, and alternatively a 14' stand?
A small king-size quilt (100" by 120"), can be completed on a 12' stand. A 14' stand with 151" of canvas would be needed to complete a king-size bedspread that drops all the way to the floor.
How big does my room need to be?
All models come on stands that are 12 feet in length. (With Premier size machines, you have your choice of 10' or 12' stands.) Your room should be long enough to allow passage around at least one end of the stand, taking into account an additional 6 inches for handwheels/hardware. The other end of the stand can be put against a wall, if necessary. Therefore, for a 12 foot stand you would approximately a space of 15 feet long by 8 feet wide. For a 10 foot stand you would require a space of 13 feet long by 8 feet wide.
Can you make a custom size stand to fit my room?
Yes, for a nominal customization charge we can make custom stand lengths to your specification if standard sizes are not correct for your space.
If another brand machine is more expensive than yours, does that mean it is better quality?
We believe that our Gammill Premier, Vision and Statler machines are the best quality and value on the market. There are other brand machines priced higher than ours that do not match ours in quality of materials, workmanship and features. Because we are familiar with most every brand available (since we are often asked to accept them as trade-ins), we can state with confidence that higher price does not equate to better quality. We would strongly encourage anyone shopping for a quilting machine to try out the various brands before making a decision. All Manufacturers are represented at the major quilt shows. We would suggest you attend one of these shows, stop by each Manufacturer's booth and ask to operate the machine for yourself. Our machines can also be tried at our authorized Dealer locations.
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 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, tensions, 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, Missouri. Since the majority of our total product is made in the U.S., and enough work is done to the heads stateside, our machines are NAFTA certified.
Is the weight of the machine an issue I should care about?
Not in our estimation. 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 the home office?
Due to our pricing philosophy and policy to treat all customers the same, we do not offer different prices at different dealerships. We continually review our pricing to ensure the customer receives the highest quality machine at the lowest possible price.
Regarding other specials, some Gammill dealers might sometimes offer extra equipment, patterns, etc. as a "special" for orders placed at shows or national specials.
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?
If the thread trimmer only trims the bobbin thread, it is only doing half the job. Since the operator must trim the top thread, 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 one mid-arm model and two longarm sizes, there's a Gammill machine to fit every need and budget. If you're planning to machine quilt as a business, we would recommend either the Vision 26-10 or Vision 30-12 size machine. The Vision's 26" by 10" throat space is large enough to handle any quilt a client might ask you to do. The larger 30" by 12" throat would be better suited to the quilter who also does bedspreads (which are larger than quilts and use thicker batting), the quilter who prefers wider patterns and a larger work area, or the quilter who simply wants to roll up the fabric less often.
Our mid-arm, the Premier 18-8 and Vision 18-8, are generally sufficient for the person who's just quilting for family and friends, or doing limited business. A king-size quilt can be done on the Premier. However, if quilting as a business, you would encounter some limitations with this model with regard to pattern width and quilting space, due to its smaller 18" by 8" throat space.
Vision by Gammill is designed to be a "quilter's creative partner" with a host of patented applications.
- On-Board Memory System – Save your personal settings and update new features!
- Advanced Stitch Regulation Technology – For better control at all speeds!
- Stitching Speed – Stitches at an amazing 2,700 stitches per minute!
- Available Digital Video Camera – Patented Stitch Quality Monitor (SQM) Technology – "See" the back of your quilt!
- Built-In Diagnostics – Check your system at a glance with confidence!
- NEW! Tie-Off Feature – Makes the starts and stops simple!
ADDITIONAL ON-BOARD APPLICATIONS...Designed to further compliment the quilters' experience:
· FM Tuner – Works just like an FM radio! Made for people who enjoy listening to the radio while they quilt.
If my machine should ever need service, where do I take it?
We and/or our Dealers offer toll-free technical support five days a week. Part of the training we provide with personal delivery is on the maintenance of the machine, and our machines come with an easy-to-follow Technician's Service Manual, which is also available at www.Gammill.com. If you were ever to encounter a service issue we couldn't address by phone (which would be unusual), we would ask you to bring or ship the head to our service center or to your dealer's shop for service. Otherwise, because our machines are made with standard industrial sewing machine parts, anyone knowledgeable in working on industrial sewing machines should have the knowledge to work on ours. (If you ever took the machine to a local repairman, our Lead Technician would want to speak with him first.)
What is a stitch regulator and how is yours different than others on the market?
A stitch regulator is a device that gives the operator even stitch length regardless of their skill level -- essentially reducing the learning curve for someone who is brand new to machine quilting. On a conventional hand-guided machine, the operator must learn to move the machine in a fluid, consistent motion to get even stitch length. While this is something anyone can achieve with varying degrees of practice, a stitch regulator allows more professional work to be done with less experience. Even seasoned machine quilters find a stitch regulator beneficial, particularly for handling patterns and designs with points.
Our stitch regulator is a built-in feature on our "Vision" line of machines introduced in February 2010. On our Vision machines, stitch length (i.e., number of stitches per inch) is selected from an LCD Touch Screen. Encoders in the wheels, in combination with a computer chip, signal the motor to speed up or slow down based on the operator's movement, so relatively even stitch length is achieved regardless of whether the operator is moving the machine at a perfectly consistent speed.
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, Stitch Quality Monitor, and Auxiliary Intermittent Tension.
How long does it take to get the fabric pinned and set up to quilt?
Initially, it takes a new machine quilter 45-50 minutes to get the fabric pinned. Speed and agility come with repetition and reduce the prep time to 30-45 minutes.
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 their fabric to the removed leader edge from another location (such as seated in a chair), rather than at the stand. 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 stand.
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. While employing the expertise of world-renowned electronics engineers to keep our brand at the forefront of new technological developments, we feel we know the mechanics of quilting machines better than anyone, having been manufacturing quilting machine systems since the late 1970s.
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 long-arm quilter's reputation for creative work, the lack of longarm quilters in their area or too long a waiting period.
With regard to how much to charge, overall pantograph patterns take less time to complete than custom work, so should cost less to have done. Clients are expected to pay considerably more for custom work because it demands more skill and creativity, employs various techniques and requires a greater number of stitches for intricate patterns and complex designs. Other factors, such as who provides materials (batting, lining, thread, patterns) are important to consider when setting prices.
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 now offer financing to customers in the contiguous 48 states through a partnership with American Financial Partners (AFP). An application can be completed online at www.FinanceYourGammill.com, and too; you can easily calculate your payment. Alternately, customers often obtain financing through their bank or credit union. To facilitate financing, we can provide you a proforma invoice listing what charges would be if you were to purchase a specific model. (There is no obligation to purchase. You would need to activate the proforma to place an order.) Your bank might wish to see this type of official document from our Company (or from an authorized dealer's business) listing model, options and pricing for the machine you're interested in purchasing.
We accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discovery credit cards for supply purchases and deposits on machines (up to $2,000.00); although dealers set their own policy regarding the credit cards they accept.