My husband is getting me a Handi Quilter Sweet 16 for my 60th birthday. I started quilting 8 years ago and am currently hand quilting my machine pieced GFG quilt in preparation for my guild's upcoming quilt show in Houston, Texas.
I love free motion quilting and have mastered several techniques. I am currently machine quilting on my Janome Memory Craft Special Edition 11000 that has a 9" throat plate. A friend of mine is also wanting to purchase a Handi Quilter Sweet 16 when I purchase mine. This machine comes with an optional stitch regulator that costs an additional $1,000.00. My question to those of you with this machine, is purchasing the stitch regulator necessary for an experienced free motion quilter?
Also, I have been surfing the Internet and have found dealers out of state who offer no tax and no shipping costs. Actually, their price of the machine is cheaper than if I purchase from a local dealer. Being retired, I do try to purchase large ticket items at the best possible price. Buying out of state will save me around $1,000.00.
I am wondering if I did purchase a machine out of state, if any local dealer would still service my machine during the warranty period in case I had a problem with the machine. I am really torn about this. I really believe in keeping my money local, but $1,000.00 is a lot of money.
I would appreciate any thoughts you can offer me to help me decide which direction to go.