How to fit a longarm quilting machine in your space

December 6, 2022

How many of us dream of owning a longarm but wonder, where will I put it? It’s a common question we get from quilters who are thinking about purchasing a longarm quilting machine. We decided to ask APQS longarmers how they handled space challenges – it turns out many have come up with shared some pretty creative solutions!

  • Position the table diagonally – some rooms can accommodate a longer table diagonally than along a wall.
  • Use casters or carpet sliders to help you slide the frame against a wall, then easily pull the longarm out to use it. In the photo below, the machine is up against the wall, leaving a walkway. When the machine is in use, you can easily slide it on casters into the walkway area.

APQS machine that is on carpet sliders for moving back and forth when in use.

  • Remember that it’s not necessary to walk around both sides of the machine. You can place the frame right up against one wall, leaving space to get around on the other side. Have fabric advanced? Consider lining it up with a window and take advantage of the few inches of the window set in. You can install the motor on the other side of the machine by reversing the rollers, if necessary.
  • Take off closet doors and utilize the closet space for either the machine or a passageway to walk around the machine, like in the photo below.

APQS machine that fits in a room with the closet doors taken off.

  • Take advantage of other unique aspects of your room layout. This creative longarmer used the wide doorway that joins two rooms to get extra space.

APQS machine in a wide doorway to create extra space.

  • This machine is up against French doors that provide access to the other side of the machine in order to load the quilt.

APQS machine up against French doors to provide access to the other side.

  • Consider the table sizes that APQS offers. These sizes are 8’, 10’, 12’ and 14’. The 14’ option is only on the Deluxe table, the standard table does not come in a 14’ length.
  • You can always consider a DIY project to make more room. For example, remove an unnecessary wall between small bedrooms to make a larger room – see photo below. One quilter started charging her adult child rent so he would leave home faster, and she could take over his room!

Wall removed from two bedrooms to make a larger room for APQS machine.

  • Are there some areas in your home that you don’t use very often? Consider converting these spaces to become your longarm’s new home. Spaces to consider are a living room or dining room that isn’t used very often or spare bedroom. The longarm pictured below lives in the main area of the quilter’s home.

APQS machine in the main area of a quilter's home.

  • You could convert the garage or use the sunroom.
  • Consider finishing off the basement, attic or top of the garage.
  • You could also build a She Shed or rent studio space.
  • One intrepid longarmer has her longarm in her RV and traveled around the country with it! It fits in the bump-out space when parked. Read about her journey at this link.

RV that has a bump-out space to fit an APQS machine.

APQS machine in the bump-out space of an RV.

Don’t let a perceived lack of space hold you back from your dream of owning a longarm! When there’s a will, there’s a way!