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    Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

    I have been looking at reviews, discussions and tutorials on the Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen with the little foot frame and am interested in getting this. I cannot seem to get the hang of sitting down and FMQ and I like the idea of being able to quilt with the handle bars.

    I have not found a dealer close to me that has a machine I could physically look at, but I am wondering this: For a confident beginner who currently quilts her own quilts on a domestic machine (just not FMQ), would it be hard for me to learn this machine if I have never used a long arm machine before?

    We all have to start somewhere, but the dealer I would be ordering this from is now where near me to try this thing out. There are a lot of tutorials and videos online that will supposedly help me as well as online and telephone support. Will that be enough? Usually once I try something, my confidence through learning eventually conquers my fears and I am often wondering why I didn't do it sooner, but if this thing is harder to learn than it appears on the videos, I will be making a very costly mistake.

    I realize it's impossible to determine if I would do well with this machine without knowing me personally, but for those of you who have tried this machine, was it fairly easy to learn? I know no machine is perfect and I have read the pros and cons. I am just wondering, from your point of view, would it be easy to operate this machine without prior experience?

    #2
    Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

    I FMQ most all my quilts on my DM. But, my sister-in-law has a long arm on a 14' frame and I have quilted a king-sized quilt on it using a pantograph and have done several smaller projects on it. I really enjoyed doing it. The hardest part for me was loading the quilt on the machine and making sure it was square. Loading it is completely different than it would be with the little foot - but the quilting would be about the same. I didn't have too much of a problem switching from moving the quilt to moving the machine. If I had the room I would seriously consider a long arm. I enjoy the quilting part as much as the piecing aspect.
    ***Kathy***

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      #3
      Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

      I'm not sure what the little foot frame is like, but I would highly recommend trying it out somewhere before purchasing. I say this because when I purchased my longarm, I was sold on a particular machine UNTIL i tried it and a few others out. I came home with a different machine. I was able to take a 2 day class on the machine before actually buying it. Although I confidently quilted with pantographs for the first year, it took me about a year to gain the confidence for FMQ from the front of the machine. I now love the quilting part more than the piecing.

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        #4
        Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

        If you can't find the Handiquilter near you can you find a dealer that has the Brother version of the small frame? I think it would be better for you to try it, at least, rather than nothing before you buy.
        K is for Karen 😊​..................
        Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.


        Before you speak,
        T - is it TRUE?
        H - is it HELPFUL?
        I - is it INSPIRING?
        N - is it NECESSARY?
        K - is it KIND?

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          #5
          Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

          When you consider the cost of these machines it might make sense to wait until there is a quilt festival where you can see and test drive and discuss with the vendors lots of machines in one place. Get a plane ticket or take a road trip. The extra cost for the ticket and a motel would be worth it if you're purchasing a product with that kind of price tag. You'll be able to make a better decision on what to purchase. Also, you'll have a ton of fun attending a quilt festival. I attended one in England while we were living in London. I loved every minute of it. Well worth whatever I spent for the day to get there (train). Here are some that will be coming up. There are probably others but you would need to investigate their size and what longarm quilting reps will be attending them. You could even contact distributors of machines you're interested in and ask when and where they will be bringing their quilting frames and machines for customers to test drive, etc. http://www.quilts.com
          Last edited by rebeccas-sewing; July 14, 2016, 01:12 PM.
          Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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            #6
            Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

            I have the Sweet 16 sit down mid arm. I saw the Block Rocket at Road to California, you might consider that for the price and the customer service they offer.

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              #7
              Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

              I would suggest that you look at www.quiltfrog.com. I think you will be impressed with their products and their service. They will deliver the machine to you and set it up, plus give you free instructions, and support after the sale. They have many different brands to choose from and are very well informed about the differences in the various machines.

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                #8
                Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                I agree with the others; DEFINITELY try before you buy.
                And buy from a quilt show or someplace where you'll get the event discount (they deliver for free).

                I was gonna buy the Simply Sixteen (nice machine), but I do have a dealer near me that I can go try the machine.
                After trying the machine many times to quilt my own quilts, I've determined that (for me) it's easier to use my domestic machine only because I HATE the time and effort it takes to load the quilt onto the frame. But that's just me.

                I also thought my quilting would somehow be "better" on the Simply Sixteen, but I just do the same squiggles that I do on my domestic machine... so for all of that effort, my quilting still looks the same. A pantograph or any computerized quilting program would make that different... but then you're looking at way more money.

                Bottom line... TRY before you buy and determine if it's really what you think you need.

                Sheep Farmer by day....sigpic....Quilter-in-Training by night
                The Farmmyfarm

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                  Originally posted by janbee View Post
                  I would suggest that you look at www.quiltfrog.com. I think you will be impressed with their products and their service. They will deliver the machine to you and set it up, plus give you free instructions, and support after the sale. They have many different brands to choose from and are very well informed about the differences in the various machines.
                  This is where I bought my machine. You get a 2 day class with the purchase, but they also allow you to take the class without a purchase. They gave me the price for the class, and said if I purchased, they would credit it to the machine price. Customer service is great! Tom is great at solving problems over the phone.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                    I had a handiquilter, had no issues with it. sold it and upgraded, but just wanted to say, it was a fine product. any local quilt shops that will talk to you about their machines, or people that quilt for them, maybe they'll chat with ya. ;-]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                      Thanks to everyone for the honest advice. I really appreciate it. Much to my surprise, I found a Handi-Quilter dealer not far from me. They are inside of a large company and I never knew they existed! I called and spoke with the shop owner, who was very helpful and encouraging. She does not have the HQ Simply 16, but she can order it. Also, she is close enough where they can come to my house, set it up and help me get started.

                      Before buying anything, as everyone has suggested, she wants me to come in and test their other long arms machines since I have never used one before to get a feel for it. She did not seem to be pressuring me at all, she just wants me to be sure before I make such a huge purchase.

                      I am going to go in next week and check things out. I will have to finance this purchase, so will have to see how this works out. I know several on-line retailers that have the HQ Simply 16 advertised at 48 mos with free financing which I can handle, so not sure what kind of deal I would get locally. The woman I spoke to was not sure if that financing was from Handi Quilter or the particular bank that Handi Quilter offers (Synchrony Bank), so I'm a little confused about that. Apparently the two Synchrony cards I already have for two online sewing companies are only good at those particular places, so if you want financing again, you have to reapply for a third card(?)

                      If I cannot arrange financing locally and get a good deal, I could still order it and have it shipped to me from another company that offers it, but then I would have to pay the local dealer to come out and help me set it up and pay every time they have to come out and help me and I don't want to do that.

                      Anyway, I am so excited that finally I may be able to get a long arm machine and knowing I have someone nearby that can help me means a lot.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                        So happy for you that you found a dealer nearby. Good luck with your decision. The best advice I can give, once you purchase and start to use it is "Believe in yourself". You can do it, and will get better each time you use it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                          Local support is priceless. I am so glad that I bought mine locally. They came out and set my machine up and showed me how to use it. Mine's a Babylock Crown Jewel II but is similar to the Handiquilters. (They are made by the same manufacturers - just given specks by Babylock rather than Handiquilter.)

                          On the Handquilter website are a lot of free videos - watch them! And I also signed up for a lot of Angela Walters Craftsy classes. QNNTV has the Longarm Quilting Show which is very good.

                          I was told at Babylock headquarters that there are only about 6 manufacturing plants left in the states - there were over 25 at one time. That's why so many of the machines look similar. They also use two manufacturing plants in Japan. I imagine it's like using a bottling plant where you send your recipe but use their bottles.

                          The lady who sold me mine gave me some good tips about loading a quilt. I can actually load a large quilt faster than I could make a large quilt sandwich which is why I wanted a longarm. Making those quilt sandwiches on the floor were really physically painful for me. And trying to keep it from puckering!

                          One tip was taking the backing fabric and folding it in half and marking the center at the top and at the bottom. Pin from the center out. When you take the finished quilt top out, leave the pins in the leader cloth for next time. You get faster with practice.
                          I baste the top of the batting to the backing fabric using a clamp on the wheel to make it stitch a straight line left to right. Again, starting in the center and basting out in a straight line. Then use that basting line to line up the quilt top to get it even. Lots of videos on Youtube for this. It's also good to mark the center at the top of the pieced top and line it up with the center of the backing fabric.

                          Watching so many videos with so many ideas was very helpful.

                          Good luck and have fun!
                          Vonnie

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                            Originally posted by notsewfast View Post
                            I have been looking at reviews, discussions and tutorials on the Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen with the little foot frame and am interested in getting this. I cannot seem to get the hang of sitting down and FMQ and I like the idea of being able to quilt with the handle bars.

                            I have not found a dealer close to me that has a machine I could physically look at, but I am wondering this: For a confident beginner who currently quilts her own quilts on a domestic machine (just not FMQ), would it be hard for me to learn this machine if I have never used a long arm machine before?

                            We all have to start somewhere, but the dealer I would be ordering this from is now where near me to try this thing out. There are a lot of tutorials and videos online that will supposedly help me as well as online and telephone support. Will that be enough? Usually once I try something, my confidence through learning eventually conquers my fears and I am often wondering why I didn't do it sooner, but if this thing is harder to learn than it appears on the videos, I will be making a very costly mistake.

                            I realize it's impossible to determine if I would do well with this machine without knowing me personally, but for those of you who have tried this machine, was it fairly easy to learn? I know no machine is perfect and I have read the pros and cons. I am just wondering, from your point of view, would it be easy to operate this machine without prior experience?
                            I have just purchased the Simply Sixteen. I have only practiced on it but have become very confident that all will be good and I'm trying to finish up a quilt and ready to jump right in head first. It is very easy to use I have never done any long arm or finished my own quilts but this machine is so easy to use and great on space I'm sure when you go try it at the store your going to love it. I cannot wait to be creative and begin my quilting journey. My dogs are loving my practice samples that I've worked on. All the best to you when you try out the machine. Karen

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Considering the HQ Simply Sixteen...

                              Agree try before you buy. Look for a show and try them out even if you have to go for an over nighter somewhere take a friend and make a weekend out of it it will be well worth it. Like a previous post you might find that after you have test driven it it might not do for your quilts like you think it will.

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