THIS is a quilting machine.
This is the one that I own now. This will be my small one when my new one arrives. The sewing machine sits on a frame, which has tracks which go left to right, and on a carriage, which has tracks which go forward and backward. This means that it can move smoothly in all planes by pulling the machine across the quilt as it sews. This frame is four metres long to allow me to quilt even the biggest quilt by pinning it to the rollers that you can see. The actual sewing machine, which is to the right of the photo, is only a sixteen inch throat, meaning that I can quilt the width of the quilt by about fourteen inches at a time. This one attaches to the computer, so I can program a pattern and it will stitch it out using vectors.
My new machine has a 26 inch throat, but only a 3.6m frame. It has stitch regulation (the feature that I was desperate to get), which means that when I move the machine across the fabric it will do ten stiches for every inch of movement. The motor is activated by movement, so if I move slowly it stitches slowly. I will use it to do custom work by hand.
Does that make sense to everyone? Now you can see why I needed a big space to fit it!