I have been researching mid and long arms. My fear with mid arms is that I will wish I spent alittle more and got more room the first time.
These are my feelings so far:
I test drove the tin lizzie several times and each time there were issues. If the dealer cannot run it, I don't want to buy it.
The bernina was a very large and expensive machine with no room to quilt.
I would like to try the prodigy but there are no dealers anywhere close by and the only one I could really afford is the 18in which would leave a really small work area.
I have rented time on the Lenni. The 20in throat gives about 12-14in of work space and the controls are easy. It is amazingly light weight. I did accidentally lean on the machine while trying to put in the new bobbin and lifted the back wheels off their tracks more than once. The stitch regulator does beep continuously. Do you get used to that? I didn't have any problems (except user errors) quilting with it but it doesn't have any extra bells or whistles. Would I miss the channel locks, power advance and hydralic lift??
I am going to rent time on the Millenium next week but I fear I might never get used to/remember the clutch system. Since I cannot afford a new Millie I am alarmed by how many people are trading up fairly new machines because they want upgrades that cannot be retrofitted to their existing machines. Is this a real issue??
I have heard some not-so-great stuff about the Gammill but I test drove several today and they are up there on my list. The vision 18 -8 was a great light weight machine but the work space was only 9 inches (I had a measuring tape and ran a line from furthest front to back). I think I will not be happy with that. Then I tried a used (1999) unregulated classic 26 - 10. It felt significantly heavier than any other machine I have played with so I worried that I wouldn't be able to use it long before needing to rest my back. I was told that it had original wheels and that an inexpensive update of those would make it like the new classic that was also on that table.(Do you think this is true or just salesman) Test driven side by side of course I liked the new one for the movement and the bells and whistles(flashy but I am not sure they are necessary). They now have a digital camera so you can check the stitching on the back of the quilt. Kind of a cool function but probably a hand mirror and flash light would tell me what I need to know. Suprisingly, I didn't seem to need the stitch regulator. Will I miss having it when I try to do more complicated designs? I also worry that that computer screen(on the new one) is just one more expensive fix should it go out.
So I welcome any insight you can share about my questions and additional things to think about that flashed through your mind as you read.
Thanks in advance,