What’s the difference between a sit-down longarm machine vs a domestic sewing machine for quilting?

November 25, 2014

sit down longarm, throat space, APQS George, George, lifetime warranty, APQS, longarm machine

The biggest differences you’ll find between a sit down longarm quilting machine, like the APQS George, and a regular domestic sewing machine are the size of the throat space provide by the machine, the size of the motor and, of course, the warranty.

Throat space

Most regular, domestic sewing machines offer a paltry 8-9 inch opening in the throat of the machine which cuts down on how easily one can maneuver a quilt through the machine. The APQS George offers a whopping 20 inches of throat space allowing for much freer movement of the quilt through the machine. Because of this larger workspace, not only is it easier on your body to quilt, it also allows for more design choices in your quilting motifs. A larger throat means you can cover more space at once without repositioning your hands so larger free motion motifs can be accomplished easily.

Size of motor

Another major difference is going to be the size of the motor. The APQS George has an industrial grade machine which is capable of going 2400 stitches per minute. This doesn’t mean you’ll actually quilt that fast (although you certainly could). Instead, the high number gives you a glimpse into how powerful the motor under the hood of the machine actually is. Have you tried to quilt through a LeMoyne star block? The bulk of those seams can make a regular domestic machine baulk! The APQS George sitdown longarm machine doesn’t care. He can tackle seam buildup without an issue and power through portions of a quilt that your regular domestic will not be able to conquer due to his industrial grade motor.


The other major difference is going to be the warranty of the APQS George over your regular domestic machine. We offer a LIFETIME warranty on George! That even covers the electronics as well. We are incredibly proud of our warranty. Please be sure to read up about it as we know you’ll be impressed too! This is your big girl machine and we want you to have a company that will stand behind their product so you can be a quilter and not a mechanic. We have been making longarm machines for over 30 years. We know our machines simply do not need much attention to keep them running happily. That is the reason we back up our machines with the best warranty in the industry.


Finally, take a look at how the APQS George machine sits in the table. Most other sit down longarm machines are positioned in the table so the machine is facing you. What this means is that as you move the fabric through the throat of the machine it is in your way- you are pushing the fabric into the machine. With George we’ve positioned him off to the side, just like what you are used to with your sit down domestic machine. By placing him in this configuration he is out of your way and you are free to move the quilt through the machine easily without the machine getting in your way.

Have you seen the APQS George machine at a quilt show or dealer? We’d love to have you take him for a test drive. We are very proud of George and even more proud of the huge group of competition quilters who rely on George as their creative partners for their quilty masterpieces. There is a reason he is so popular with quilters who compete internationally. His ability to run any thread while maintaining superb stitch quality makes him a natural choice for quilters all over the world.

Do you own a George? Connect with fellow George enthusiasts over in our forum section. Post photos of what you are working on in our forum or over on our Facebook page so others can see what a great addition George is to your quilting studio!


Angela Huffman is an APQS dealer and the owner of Quilted Joy Studio in Louisville, Kentucky.