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  1. #1
    Shiny Thimble

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    Apr 2017
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    Default ? about long arm quilting machine

    Just wanted to ask those of you that have a long arm machine, are there any regrets? How long did you quilt before buying one and did you feel it was worth the money as opposed to sending quilts out to long arm quilter or renting machine to do it yourself. Someone told me of a handi quilter long arm machine, demo model that is computerized. Only 1.5 yrs old with warranty for just under 15,000. Just wanting to get some insight from those who have been there before. I have no idea if this is a good deal.

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Feb 2015
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    Guess you are talking about a LAQ....I have a sit down LA (Tiara III) and not sure that is what you are inquiring about. I DO know that since I purchased a BabyLock Tiara III, I have quilted many quilts (though not beautifully, in my opinion, or to my hopes, but I have saved many $ by doing the quilts myself) I do not post many pics of my quilts, But family and friends who I donate/gift to don't seem to mind. I would LOVE to have a LA computerized quilting option, but I do not have the room. I don't know what is a good deal on the machine you mention, but I sure wish you good/great luck if you purchase it. I gotta say,wish I had room and $ for a LA quilt machine, but my space and $ is limited.
    A day patched with quilting Seldom unravels Sharon

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Oct 2013
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    West Viriginia
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    No regrets at all. It's doing everything I wanted it to do and the price was so reasonable at about $4000 with frame. When I realized that I just loved piecing and quilting could be a long time thing it just made sense to me.

    Women are Angels.
    When someone
    break's our wings
    we will continue to
    fly...usually on a
    broomstick.
    We're flexible like that.
    - embroitique

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  6. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Aug 2015
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    Canada
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    I looked at HQ LA. It was more the space, rather than the dollars that held me back, and still. We did buy a sit down LA, HQ Sweet 16, with no regrets. It uses little space and price was right. When I feel I want to quilt faster, I rent a long arm for the day.

    I suggest that you do your homework in researching LA, and the support of a local store goes a long way in your progress to learning.

    Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

    Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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  8. #5
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Puyallup, Washington
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    I haven't had my mid-arm very long, just a few months. But so far my three regrets is 1. I didn't get the robotics - but that's ok, I plan to add that next year. 2. Wish I had gotten end the big one - but really don't have room for it - nor did I want to pay the extra cost. 3. My biggest regret and the one I can't do anything about... I regret waiting so long to get mine.

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  10. #6
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Missouri, but not close enough to MSQC!
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    I have had a long arm since 2012. It was a barebones Pfaff 18.8 Grand Quilter, which is made by Tin Lizzie. My dealer was dropping the Pfaff line, so he sold it with the frame while it was still in the box, with very limited support for the product promised me. I had to install it myself. It worked Ok for a while but started acting up, making it hard to use. I had quilted quite a few quilts on it by this time, learning many different ways to quilt on it. It had/has no robotics, which I do not care about, because I enjoy hand guided quilting. A.person in the quilting industry told me about an upgrade I could do to my machine, and she found a dealer for me in my state who could do the upgrade. That was the best move I could have made, because the upgrade gave me a better motor, controls, lighting, computer board, rear handles, better encoders and a laser for doing pantograph. It is called Easy Quilt/Perfect Stitch. I could have added a Butler robot had I wanted it, or I can still add that if I so desire. The machine works so much better now. I have quilted so many quilts on it, mostly bed size, which would cost $200+ for each one to have Missouri Star quilt my quilts. I have had them do a few very special quilts for me, but I mostly do my own quilting.

    if I had an opportunity to purchase a HandiQuilter now, I probably would do it. I love their website and they have a really good set of tutorials and vast library of templates and rulers that can be used on longarm also. Check out the website and sign up for email alerts to new tutorials. Great teaching tools! Good luck with your search for a good longarm. A BabyLock Crown Jewel with a robot runs from $20k up, so that price for the HandiQuilter doesn't sound bad at all. My rig with the upgrade was just under $10k.
    Last edited by Jean Sewing Machine; January 14th, 2019 at 12:35 AM.

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  12. #7
    Block Queen

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    In the boonies of Ohio
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    I have a HQ Fusion on the 12ft gallery frame, I purchased it as soon as I decided that quilting was more than a passing hobby, and after doing the math for quilting by check I felt it was worth the investment. I have no regrets at all about my purchase, I only wish I had a larger room for it to live in, but my current set up works and that’s all that matters.

    I find that HQ is a very intuitive and easy to use and set up, I have had no issues at all and I’m very happy with my purchase. I’m a hands on learner and am taking a Pro-stitcher class next week to better use and understand how to get the most out of it, I think once I have that down it will open an entire different realm. I think the price they are asking for is a steal, take it! Prostitcher alone is a 9k add on.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide !

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  14. #8
    Applique Angel

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Katy, TX
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    I just bought a HQ Fusion - I spent more than two years wanting one, started out with a used midarm on a used 8ft frame for about a year and a half, then finally decided I would stick with it and my skills really needed a "proper" longarm. I did test drive different machines from all the major manufacturers at the Houston Quilt Festival before deciding on the HQ.

    My biggest regret so far is not having a large enough room for it - it fits, but it has drastically reduced the amount of space I have for sewing, serging, and other crafts because it's all in the same room.

    When choosing a machine, price and space are pretty big factors, but don't overlook warranty, local dealer support, availability of parts/accessories/upgrades, etc. I happen to LOVE LOVE LOVE the shop I bought mine from and the continued support they provide.

    Most of all, don't get one if you think you're "supposed to" longarm as a quilter. It's not for everyone, and the frustration can turn a hobby you love into a joy-busting time of despair. If you have the option locally, take a class and see about renting time on a machine (any brand) to see if it's something you think you'd like to continue to learn and progress with.

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  16. #9
    Missouri Star

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Colorado
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    I have the Baby Lock Tiara II table model LA. I do not have the space for an upright frame, nor did I want to stand to quilt. I wanted to sit down. The table with the 18" extension on the L. side fits perfectly behind the couch in my fam. rm. You can view my set-up in my album entitled, My Sewing Room. I've never been sorry I purchased it. I bought it on sale at my LQS; it was a discounted floor model. I practiced on it at the store prior to buying it. I bought the 3 yr. Gold Standard warranty with it, which added $500. to the cost. I already had been FMQ on my DSM for 3 yrs., so I did not buy the stitch regulator, which costs extra. I make mostly baby quilts & don't quilt anything larger than a lap size quilt, so it's perfect for that. Quilters do larger quilts on this machine, but it's more bulk than I want to handle. Plus I have no space to sandwich anything larger than a large lap size. A twin size or larger I still have done professionally by a LA quilter. By all means, purchase from a local dealer where you can get good service.

  17. #10
    Shiny Thimble

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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: ? about long arm quilting machine

    Thank you all so much for the replies. Lots to think about.

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