This post is for Kim. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.Here's a photo of my JUKI TL 98 P on the 6 foot Art Quilter frame. There's a good view of the extend-able thread guide that allows the thread to unwind over the top of the cone. This set up allows an easy almost effortless unwinding of the thread especially compared to the manic spinning of a 500 yd spool as it races to keep up with the free motion quilting.
This Janome in the photo below has a flip up thread guide.
Here's a photo of our thread stand, sitting just to the right of the sewing machine. The thread stand allows any machine to take advantage of the larger cones.I hope this helps, Kim. .
We sell the thread stands for £5.00