Friday, March 22, 2013

The Lowery Stand vs. The System 4

Hi,  Once again I have been away for a while so happy you have come back to read my blog.  I have been gone every weekend since the end of January and I am thrilled to be home this weekend.  This blog is for my friend.  She wanted me to bring my stands to the Guild Retreat but I had to miss the retreat.  So here are my pros and cons to two of the more popular stands, the Lowery and the System 4. 
My Nest
This is my usual stitching chair in my bedroom.  I have my own TV and DVR so I am set for hour of stitching goodness.  I would say this chair has normal sized arm rests which is important to consider when looking at stands.  I think your most important factor when investing in a stand is to think about the chair you will most often be working at.  If you have a Lazy Boy type of chair or one of the Italian leather chairs with the round bottoms, the System 4 may not work for you. 

This is my chaise with my Lowery stand and the long arm attachment.  I am demonstrating with a project that is on 11x11 stretcher bars and I would consider this to be a medium size project.  Notice with the long arm, the project is about at the middle of my chair so this is very comfortable to work on. 

Here is the same project with the short arm that comes with the Lowery stand.  I very rarely use this arm because I have to cuddle into the arm to get to my piece but this arm would work fine if you have an armless chair or working in a banquet or folding chair. 
Here you can see the difference in the size of the arms.  The daisy holder will work on either arm and the arms are very easy to change by just sliding them into the base.  The Lowery stand can be adjusted to the height you want by moving a pin in the bottom of the stand.  The next picture has a good view of the pin.  If I recall correctly, the long arm was another $100 dollars.  I got it for a Christmas present which mom did not think was all that impressive but bought it any way.  If you are luckily, I have heard of people getting their talented husbands or friends to make them a long arm. 

The down side to the Lowery is the base is not that stable.  I fixed my problem by adding a little used weight to the base on my stand.  When you get a heavy piece on the top the stand becomes top heavy and tilts over.  This is not very good for when you have to leave your chair for more tea or a restroom break.  I have heard that they have made the base a little bigger so this my not be an issue with the newer stands.  The Lowery base is flat so it would work well with a chair with little clearance.  This chair is off the floor about 3 inches and both stands work. 

Now lets move on to the System 4.  I bought the System 4 folding stand for travel.  Mainly because I was taking a big project at one of the National Seminars.  I think the regular stands will work pretty much the same way other than it will not fold up.  I personally really like the fact that this folds up and I have it stored above in a yoga mat bag.  I really like the Hug Me bags but I have not brought myself to spend as much money on a bag as the stand itself.  My yoga mat bag was something like $25.00 on Amazon and it stores my yoga mat when I am not traveling with my stand. 


This picture is my System 4 with my chair.  It is really not long enough to work with this chair.  Again I am cuddled into the corner with this stand. 

I do love this stand when I work with a chair like my folding chair and it works well with my office chair.  These pictures show how it can be used on the side of the chair or in front.  The Lowery will do this as well.  I have had a teacher say the feet on these stands are all over the place and they are easy to trip on.  Since the feet are all over the place, it is a very stable stand and does not require the weights I have to use with the Lowery.  The base of the System 4 is 1.5 inches so make sure this will fit under your chair. 

Both stands will hold large stretcher bars (I think I have gone up to 18 inch) or little projects like the 4 inch hoop on the stand above. 

My other stitching chair has taller arms and only has about 2.5 inches from the bottom of the chair to the floor and the System 4 works with this chair.  The Lowery with the long arm is better because you don't have to curl up into the arm.  You can also work from the front in this chair. 

Okay that is my take on the two stands.  I am lucky to have both stands.  They both have there advantages and disadvantages.  These are not small purchases so look around for the best prices.  I don't remember much about buying the Lowery but with the System 4, I wanted to support a local shop.  She was $100 dollars more than what I found from a lady on the West Coast and a shop in Florida so needless to say, the local shop did not get my business. 

BTW... For little projects like the Teresa Layman French knot project, I like my K's lap frame. 

Now that you have seen my toys, I can show you that I actually used my stands.  This is a project that I finished from the 2012 EGA seminar.  This is Dawn Donnelly's Cool Yule.  To finish this project, I used my folding chair, my System 4, and my bed to hold my beads to complete this project. 
I also completed a couple of book marks for the Guild literacy project with the library.  The top book mark is an EGA Petite project with reversible black work.  I don't see too many reversible black work pieces in my future. 

Well there are many other things going on in life right now but I think I have had a long enough post.  Hope you all enjoy your weekend.  I am sure looking forward to being home.