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Thread: Mid-Arm Quilting Machine

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    I'm in the market for a mid-arm quilting machine. I just returned from the Lancaster Quilt show in Lancaster, PA where I test drove all of the machines exhibited. I have narrowed it down to either the 18" Gammill or Handi-Quilter. The prices are comparable.

    The thing about the Gammill that is off-putting is that they require 2 training sessions before they deliver and set-up the machine. The closest training for me, according to the reps at the quilt show is Virginia.

    I'd appreciate any feedback from anyone with experience with either machine.

  2. #2
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Can't help. Mine is a JUKI and I love her though.

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    I wish I could help..

  4. #4
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I started with juki, upgraded to a Handiquilter 16 and then a used Gammill Classic plus. I know the 2 classes are 'off putting' but you will be SO glad you got them! I never got any classes as my 1st dealer was in Washington State and I'm in Arizona! My 2nd upgrades were gently used machines, so again, no lessons. I loved the HQ16...but wanted a larger frame. The Gammill is a work horse and I have the 12 foot frame I was looking for. Did one 'call your name" more than the other? I will be glad to answer specific questions if you like.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I love my Gammill it is a classic, and will be upgrading to the vision I'm real excited, yes you need the calsses they are so helpful.

  6. #6
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    you said the (down-side) of the gammil is your two training sessions?...
    i think no matter what machine a person chooses ... part of the choice should include...training.
    when i bought my long-arm i did not take that into consideration and the first year was much (rougher) than it needed to be...had i just had the opportunity to take a couple classes. instead i had to do my trouble shooting over the phone long distance.
    if i ever upgrade, switch machines one of the features will definitly be (support and training)included.

  7. #7

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    Aug 2010
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    Training is included for both machines. I love the idea of having classes and would definitely take advantage of them. I actually worked in a Quilt Store quilting tops for customers on a Gammill several years ago. I have a basic understanding of the operation of the machine but I know I need training on maintenance, etc.

    What bothers me with the Gammill is that (a) I have to take the 2 separate classes before I take delivery so I wouldn't be able to use the machine while the training was fresh in my mind. and (b) The closest training is over 300 miles away, 6+ hours each way. That means 2 trips with a possible overnight stay adding to the overall cost of the machine.

  8. #8
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I understand your reluctance! I dont' think I could schedule that into my life at the moment. Have you talked to the dealer? maybe if you can show that you have some hands on knowledge that you have used a Gammill before they will let you pass on one of the classes? Or maybe they will try to schedule them together for you? Any place closer? Seems like they would try to work with you on this! It would be a shame, I think, to feel like you are 'settling' on one machine. You need the one that 'calls your name"!

  9. #9
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    education should never be considered a reason for not buying a product.

    education is a good thing, why would you want to be given a product without help in using it or try to do a skill/task without any education?

  10. #10
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    That requirement would stop me. I don't have time to have to travel to take classes (and requiring me to take a class to purchase something would just irritate me - I can make my own decisions, thank you very much). And it seems that if they want to require classes, they have to hold them in more places rather than expect you to travel several states away. In this economy, they should be making it as easy as possible for you to choose their product.

    I know the whole situation would be off-putting enough for me to decide against the Gammill, but that's just me. If you really think it's a better choice for you, see if they can offer the classes in one trip, perhaps two days in a row so you could make one trip. It might mean an extra night in a hotel but save lots of time and gas.

    Good luck - let us know what you decide. Either way, you'll get a great machine and that's exciting!

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