Machine & Longarm Quilting

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How do you choose a long arm?
CraftyG Send a Message
With so many on the market & not knowing what features you want or need..how in the world do you choose? I see several in my price range but I need all the help I can get.

How did you decide which one to buy?

8/29/2008 6:53:56 AM
SuesQuilts Send a Message
Topton, PA

I actually just tried out a Gammill Premier Plus. I loved it. I just started to go online and go to the web sites that were advertised in the quilting magazines and requested information. You ususally will get a DVD showing the machine. When I contacted Gammill I got the DVD and then a few weeks later I got a letter from a local sales person and set up an appointment to check it out. Just the response that I got from Gammill was what has swayed to go with them. Now the big thing is getting together the Cash!!!!
8/30/2008 1:11:44 PM
sewbug Send a Message
Right Here
I've test about every brand made at quilt shops and quilt shows. Honestly I can't tell the difference in the quilting part. Each one has special features/gadgets that may be more helpful to some quilters then others. If I decide to get one, I'll buy one that is being sold by someone that bit off more than they could sew.
8/30/2008 5:55:03 PM
quilterbee Send a Message
I ditto SewBug, Amie :o)
8/30/2008 6:26:35 PM
Cathy32078 Send a Message
Okla. 4 now
IMHO It is a personal thing. Like what kind of purse you prefer or cookware. What features you want on it. What sz table can you accommodate. How many dollars do you want to invest. They only increase in price so get what you possibly can now because next year they will be higher. A good relationship with the Dealer is a def. plus.

If you do buy a used machine, check to see if the warranty is transferrable. Many times they are not. Ask "why" they are selling. Ask how many hrs the machine has been used. How many quilts has been quilted on it. Ask to see any repair bills they might have had. I would def. only buy a used Gammil, A-1, Millenium or HQ. Just my opinion which isn't worth a red cent.

Hugs & Love & Good Luck
8/30/2008 8:29:14 PM
SFOQuilter Send a Message
San Francisco
Ditto, get to a major quilt show and try every one. Stay a long time in each booth and ask them all the same questions so you can compare notes.
9/1/2008 11:32:28 PM
CraftyG Send a Message
I am also looking at the "sit-down" models (George & HQ16) and one called Easy Glide..mostly cos' like a lot of quilters I don't have the room for a 10-14' table. I kinda wish the quilting machines/frames were all set up in the same area at quilt shows so we could "test drive" easier and make the comparisons better. Maybe I'm looking for an faster way to spend my money, LOL! I already have a way to do that...buying fabric!

Anyway, since it'll be a while before I can buy anything (probably next year) I've got plenty of time to check out the different models & prices.

Thanks for your input. I'll let you know how things go.

9/2/2008 9:16:12 AM
norwich Send a Message
I'm a longarm quilter ... I have a Gammill Classic Plus and I love it. Gammill is, by far, the most popular longarm, with APQS coming in second. My Gammill is a workhorse and I'm very happy with it. Some like APQS better because it's lighter and the A-1 machines are the lightest. No matter what machine you get, they all have quite a learning curve to them. The thing about these smaller longarms is the take-up roller. Make sure there is enough space in the arm for the quilt to fit when it's rolled. You'd be surprised how much bulk you get with the top, batting and backing. Also, I have a stitch regulator, which I recommend. Make sure you get hands-on lessons with the purchase of your machine. If you want to privately email me, I'd be happy to answer any other questions you might have. I've had my longarm business now for five years. It's great! Nancy
9/4/2008 10:27:47 PM
Bought a Tin Lizzie 18. It is a light weight machine and has all of the whistles and bells. At the Paducah show we (my sis and I went in together) We got a show special which took 1500$ off the price and they threw in the "pattern plus ",the full warrenty and there is a dealer close to us, We had tried all the machines at the show and for the money we liked this one. We also got a 4 hr class , with a long arm quilter. So far in the 6 months we have driven the Lizzie we have only made charity quilts for the guild but we aRE getting real close to putting a bed sized quilt on the machine and going for it.
It really boils down to how much you want to spend
This post has been edited.
10/6/2008 1:58:49 PM
Tiggersmom Send a Message
Ditto to what Nancy said. I own the Gammill Classic Plus.

I've been quilting for others for over 4 years and have an extremely bad back so I've just purchased a PCQuilter for my Gammill. It is similar to a Statler Stitcher concept but maybe 1/10th of the price.

Longarm quilting does take a tole on your body. I know several that after a few years have had to cut back or just quilt for theirselves.

I have several friends that have the HQ16 and love it too.
10/7/2008 11:30:53 AM
SueSwan Send a Message
Northern Cali
Ditto, get to shops that sell them, shows that have them on display and sew with each one. It is so personal. I bought a HQ16 this year after looking at all the machines in the price range I had. It took 9 months to decide, but in the end the choice was really clear for me. I just loved the look and feel of the HQ. Like I say, it is personal. Other folks love their machines as much as I love mine. Take your time. There are often sales if you buy at a show, but buying from a local distributor can have the advantage of lessons and support.
Good luck.
10/14/2008 7:14:08 AM
gardenquilter Send a Message
W of Katy Tx
i think an important thing to look at is service you will eventually need some so who is going to give you the best support
10/28/2008 6:39:43 AM
cindyg Send a Message
TX-Houston sub
Good idea, SFO, to ask them all the same questions. I need to get busy and make a list of questions to ask this weekend while we're test driving every mid-arm at the quilt show. I'm not quite sure what to ask so I may need help with this. I will ask:
How much room does the whole set-up take?
Does it have a stitch regulator/speed control?
Which thread does the machine like and dislike?
Does it have a lazer and a stylus and can I use Groovy Boards w/machine?
How many lights are on it?
Where is dealer located for service purposes?
What about start up lessons?
What is the biggest problem that quilters have with ths machine/what
gets repaired the most?

I have no idea what other questions to ask. HELP!! Tomorrow I'll make up a spread sheet to take with me. I know I'm not looking for a long-arm, just a mid-arm but if y'all can help me I'd appreciate it.

This post has been edited.
10/29/2008 6:47:59 AM
gardenquilter Send a Message
W of Katy Tx
How much room does the whole set-up take?
Does it have a stitch regulator/speed control?
Which thread does the machine like and dislike?
Does it have a lazer and a stylus and can I use Groovy Boards w/machine?
How many lights are on it?
Where is dealer located for service purposes?
What about start up lessons?
What is the biggest problem that quilters have with ths machine/what
gets repaired the most?

just a few thoughts

ask about support - i have friends who have different kinds some have bought from dealers some from manufacturs - dealers can be funny sometimes after market so make sure that you can get support from the manufacture -

ask about repairs and tune ups mine needs to be tuned up every so often and until recently that meant putting it in a box and shipping it the shipping is 175 each way because of the weight and the insurance

ask about channel locks if they are available - they lock for straight lines

ask about the hoping foot height - if you want to use templates then you would like the most common height mine is not look at this website to see what i am talking about http://www.thegadgetgirls.com

ask about static how to prevent - if it is a problem - do you need to ground it - what type of shoes do you need to wear

ask about environmental conditions - some need to be just so others are troopers

ask about life expentancy and what is their oldest running model

ask about pilling - can you use different color thread front and back successfully or will you have pills

ask about temperament as far as thread, fabric and batting go

ask about different types of leaders

is there a throat plate extension table and how much
10/30/2008 6:46:06 AM
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