I am getting a mid arm! I'm saving now, and will have enough by summer. In my mind, I feel like it's between the HQ16 and the Tin Lizzie. I haven't decided against the other brands, just my research keeps pointing me towards those 2 (and specifcally the HQ16). Tomorrow I'm heading to Sierra Vista where they have a quilt show and both HQ and TL will be there, not sure about any of the other ones. I've already scheduled my demo with HQ, and TL said I can just show up and schedule it then. I'm making a list of questions to ask and I would appreciate your input on anything I've missed, please. Getting a list of questions was invaluable when buying my sewing machine, so I'd like to make sure to have a comprehensive list here. Thank you!
-Does it have a stitch regular (which I know both do, but it's still on the list)
-Can it stop in needle down (didn't get that on my 1st sewing machine.... mistake)
-Can it fit in a space 10' x 10'?
How do I load it, esp. how do I roll it up and how does it work with the batting?
Are there issues with vertical seams in the back (I use a Flynn Frame system now, which I love except that the system HATES when there are vertical back seams)
How does the side tensions work?
How does the machine tension work?
Do I need specific thread?
How much quilting space does it actually give me?
How does the lighting work?
Do you offer classes?
Where is the nearest tech?
Does it have the stylus piece?
How easy is it to quilt the center then do a different pattern for the border?
Can I quilt with the quilt on an angle (there's one pattern where I need a 45 deg turn on the quilt, which is why I haven't finished it)?
What do I have to do for maintenance?
How big is the bobbin/how is it loaded?
How does the bobbin winder work?
What frame/table systems are available?
How does the set up work?
How easy is it to quilt straight lines?