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Looking at Long Arm Machines

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  • surfergirl
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    One thing to consider is the price. I went to Road to California with the Stitchin Heaven tour in 2014 with the intent of looking for a Handi Quilter Sweet 16 sit down long arm. Saw it and tried it at Cozy Quilt shop and again at Road show in their booth. Richard said that the new machines they bring in for classes will be marked down from $5,100 to $4,200, tried it out. He said he had about 4 left, so I purchased one. The shipping to Hawaii cost me $600 ugh but still it came up to less than full price. You do have a learning curve as with any machine. But I love it, includes table, bobbin winder, Superior thread assortment, bobbins, needles, manual. It has a 16" throat, takes up 30" x 36" space, if I need more space for the quilt to lay on I pull up my ironing board next to the table. The table weighed about 77lbs and machine 44lbs. There is absolutely no vibration from the machine as that table is super sturdy, heavy built.

    I don't want a machine that I have to stand up and drive over the fabric. I love being able to just sit and push that quilt around under the needle and do whatever design comes to mind. You won't be disappointed with this machine.

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  • Equilady
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    I think you should look at the Innova. I don't own it but it is on my lottery buy list. I'm lucky I have a studio with Innovas near me that I can go rent time on. The frame is awesome and the machines run smooth as silk.
    Good Luck in your search.
    Susan

    Leave a comment:


  • Peggi
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    I also think you should add Innova to your list of possibilities.

    I've been shopping for a new longarm for almost a year. I've talked to professional quilters, quilting instructors, quilt shop owners, and manufacturers. I heard stuff about Gammill that made me shy away. There seemed to be some issues with them supporting dealers who did warranty work a couple of years ago, and I haven't been able to determine if they've got that worked out yet.

    I will tell you that I don't think test driving machines at shows is enough. I took longarm classes. That gives you a chance to really put the machine through its paces. You get to see what it's like to load the quilt, adjust the tension, replace a bobbin, etc. You get several hours to play with it, as opposed to 10-15 minutes at a show. Many times the class has several different machines set up, with different features, accessories, and sizes. The classes can be expensive, but in my opinion if you're spending that much money, it's totally worth it.

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  • Vonnie
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Originally posted by JCY View Post
    Canned air should not be used for computers, laptops, or printers either. Use the small vacuum attachments or even the brush tool from your reg. vacuum.
    The only place I used canned air is in the bobbin area of my Babylock Crown Jewell II. I was always told not to used canned air but learned it was okay for this one area. I took a workshop at Babylock headquarters and was shown by Kay Capps Cross how to used the canned air to clean the bobbin area out. Also to use it on the bobbin case itself. She said to never put anything in the bobbin case. She said even using an index card to slide in to remove lint could damage the bobbin case. She said the canned air would remove the lint. Kay has worked closely with the engineers who designed the Babylock Crown Jewels.

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  • JCY
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Canned air should not be used for computers, laptops, or printers either. Use the small vacuum attachments or even the brush tool from your reg. vacuum.

    Leave a comment:


  • cv quilter
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    I have a Babylock Tiara III, like JCY has. It's a sit down long arm. I have been using it and getting the hang of it pretty good. It takes up very little room and so far I love it. I don't have room for a long arm on a frame so this works out really well for me. I've quilted several quilts on it, a couple of them large lap sized quilts and when I get better at it, I know I can do bed sized quilts. It doesn't have computerized designs on it, so everything I do is free motion. My dealer can do any needed repairs right in my home.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lyndaj
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Originally posted by Deegles View Post
    I thought I had made up my mind with a handiquilter and then fell in love with a nolting. Nolting machines do not have to be sent away for maintenance so keep this in mind as shipping can be costly.
    My HandiQuilter daaler does repairs on site, so I won't need to be sending in the machine for repair/maintenance.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lyndaj
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Originally posted by hh677 View Post
    Please don't use canned/compressed air on any quilting or sewing machine! Canned air will blow the lint further into the machine. Use a brush, pipe cleaner, or vacuum to get the lint out.
    It can also blow condensation into the machine which will lead to rust.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deegles
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Originally posted by hh677 View Post
    Please don't use canned/compressed air on any quilting or sewing machine! Canned air will blow the lint further into the machine. Use a brush, pipe cleaner, or vacuum to get the lint out.
    Actually how this jewel is made, these are factory instructions for cleaning as it is completely sealed and so no dust can travel into the machine. I don't have a picture of it but the bobbin area is completely open to the "elements" and why it gathers dust.

    Leave a comment:


  • hh677
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Originally posted by Deegles View Post
    I thought I had made up my mind with a handiquilter and then fell in love with a nolting. Nolting machines do not have to be sent away for maintenance so keep this in mind as shipping can be costly. The only linty place on this machine is the top of the machine which will swiffer off, or the bobbin case which can be blown out by compress air. This machine is made in america and is completely sealed to the environment. Have you played with any machines? I would play with some to figure out what you like best because if you are going to drop a large purse of money you want to use it because YOU like it, and you don't want to figure out the things you don't like about it after it is too late.
    Please don't use canned/compressed air on any quilting or sewing machine! Canned air will blow the lint further into the machine. Use a brush, pipe cleaner, or vacuum to get the lint out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sheena
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    I've just bought a HQ Infiniti 26" prostitcher and 12 foot frame. It has a footprint of 5' x 12'. I've only had it 2 weeks and it's gorgeous. I'm still learning to use it. The more I'm learning about it the more in love with it I am! Although the users manual is online I would have liked a hard copy and for the price of it I think one should be included.

    Leave a comment:


  • K. McEuen
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Gammil was always considered the Cadillac of the longarm machines. It is what M* uses. The one thing I will say about them is that they are no longer American made machines, now being made in China, I believe for the last year or so.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deegles
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    I thought I had made up my mind with a handiquilter and then fell in love with a nolting. Nolting machines do not have to be sent away for maintenance so keep this in mind as shipping can be costly. The only linty place on this machine is the top of the machine which will swiffer off, or the bobbin case which can be blown out by compress air. This machine is made in america and is completely sealed to the environment. Have you played with any machines? I would play with some to figure out what you like best because if you are going to drop a large purse of money you want to use it because YOU like it, and you don't want to figure out the things you don't like about it after it is too late.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lyndaj
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    I'm not an owner yet, but I will be purchasing a HandiQuilter Simply Sixteen. I like the more reasonable price point of this machine. It's a stand up machine. I rented time on one to finish two kid's quilts recently and had a blast.

    Make a list of features you must have and then go and test drive the machines. Welcome to the forum.

    Leave a comment:


  • snippet
    replied
    Re: Looking at Long Arm Machines

    Welcome to the forum! I would invest in a little trip to a quilt show like they have in Paducah and Houston. There, every long arm machine available will be on display where you can try each machine out and talk to the sales people with your questions.

    Even if you are thinking of buying a second hand machine, go check out the show and try out the machines there. Many of them are upgradeable.

    Leave a comment:

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