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Thread: Question on Tin Lizzie quilting machine

  1. #1
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    My sister and I are considering purchasing a quilting machine. We found the site on the Tin Lizzie that seems to be the right price and also has all the features we would like. We would be using this for our quilts only and not making a business of it. What's your opinion of this brand versus others?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mkanderson's Avatar
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    not sure as I mostly hand quilt but my LQS has one set up and she likes it better than the one she had (can't remember what it was!)
    Mary

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I would recommend joining the homequiltingsystems group at http://groups.yahoo.com and reading the files there. You will find lots of information about different quilting systems there. If you are still not sure after reading the files, post to the group. There are quite a few people there who have the Tin Lizzie and can give you an idea of the pros and cons. Usually which frame you buy makes a difference.

  4. #4
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i have one and i can tell you the pros and cons of my particular one.

    it only like certain threads. especially king tut which is costly.
    it can run away with you. it goes very fast on the lizzie stitch.
    raising and lowering the take-up bar is a pain.
    the clamps will need to be replaced with better ones. big deal!

    with the right thread it sews without breaking any thread.
    i use it on manual and control the speed myself. very easy.
    unless you pay for a computerized machine, they all need to be raised and lowered by hand. sorry. this is no worse, maybe better.
    it's very easy to replace the clamps, and schambers has a wonderful
    technique for very even tension. definitely use this.
    it's a little ticklish on the wiring that controls the left-right controls. they
    answer all calls and walk you through any problems. they have
    good tech help.

    all in all i am very happy with it. it takes time to set it up for each quilt. the tension changes, the thread changes, etc. you should test each quilt to make sure everything is set up right.

    like every other sewing machine, when it's good it's very, very good and when it's bad you want to stomp it to death. if it needs repair (has not happened to me since i own it -over a year) it's easy to pick up and take to the dealer.

    if you have the opportunity, buy it at a show from the owner, ernie. it will cost less and you can bargain for things like extra needles, even though he says you don't need extras, or extra bobbins. you can still bring to a dealer if you need to. at a show, you might get him to swallow the tax. remember the shipping costs and mentally add that onto the price.

    are you getting the computerized one? if not, last year's are all on sale.

    since i won't spend the big bucks on a gammill , i think i did the right thing. NONE OF THEM IS PERFECT. THEY ALL HAVE THEIR OWN.......
    PERSONALITIES. i would do it again. practice makes perfect here.

    also be sure and join the yahoo group above. there is one especially for lizzie owners. you'll read about every problem and answer.

    mine is the TL18SL. good luck with your decision.


  5. #5
    Cookn's Avatar
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    Purchasing a long arm is not something that you jump right into. Each machine is different, with different feelings in the way it moves, the way it operates, everything about it. You might not like a TinLizzie. It might be too heavy for you or your sister, the controls might not be placed correctly for you. I'm not saying that it's a bad machine, it might just not be the right machine for you. Don't purchase on price alone, if you do you are selling your self short. A long arm is a large investment, although it sounds cavalier, when you are spending that much money, make sure that the machine that you purchase fits you and the way you quilt. I've spent the last 6 months researching long arms, made a decision to purchase a specific machine 3 different time, and then I read a bit more and learn a bit more and everything changes. Unless you have to purchase the machine RIGHT NOW, you owe it to yourself and your sister to test drive every machine in your price range. It's the only way to find a machine that's comfortable for you. One option I see mentioned a lot is a hydraulic lift, does it have a stitch regulator, how easy is it to access the bobbin with a quilt on the machine, and the list can go on and on. You need to make a list of what you want in a machine. While you are at it remember that unless you live in a large urban area with a dealer close by, you'll be doing your own repairs and maintenance on the machine. Are you capable of doing that ? One manufacturer gives you a two day maintenance course when you purchase their machine.

    Bet you didn't realize what you are thinking about getting into was so complicated, did you ? From what I've found out you really need to do your homework. Take a look at this site
    http://mqresource.com/forum/index.php?act=idx
    It's one of the best resources for long arm users I've found. It's largely commercial users but there's bunches of good info there. Look for a post about Adam and his trials and tribulations with purchasing a machine on price alone, it's an interesting read.

  6. #6
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    good points. i should have included some of that info. the TL18SL has a stitch regulator. the bobbin is very very accessible. i have only ever seen one other machine in that price category and that's new this year. it's the pfaff. i didn't like it myself, but you might.

    i'm very short and i do wish the lizzie was able to lower a little more.

    it comes with a laser and soon there will be a stylus, but any stylus works. there is/soon will be a plexiglass extender that fits around the arm so that you can balance a longer straight edge better. there is also available a split foot so you can see where you are stitching more easily.

    but cookn is definitely right. check everything! the best place to make comparisons is at a show, where they're all together.

    if you go to the yahoo group tin lizzie, you can see how people have adjusted the tin lizzie to meet their own needs. you should check this out. many of these ideas are good for any machine.

  7. #7
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    I have purchased the Tin Lizzie 18LS w/Shirley Sticher. I love it. The dealer for NC/SC is great. I call her with questions all the time. Mike in Utah (where Lizzie is built) is also very helpful. He has posted some video and the operation of Lizzie.

  8. #8
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    51, do you find that it likes the king tut thread the best? i've used other thread, but it's harder to get the tension right on those. also, do you use the lizzie stitch or the manual? am i the only one who likes total control?

    i find the tech help terrific. any questions and they are all over it, definitely.
    just keep a phone in your hand because when you call is when they help!!!
    they will walk you right thru anything right then and there!

    who else can you say that of?

  9. #9
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    I find it hard to use follow the pattern with the laser light, so I've used the Shirley Sticher (computer). King Tut is the only thread that I used because the other breaks..... Have you watched the video by Mike?

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i have the video but i haven't watched it. i also haven't tried the laser because i'm too short to see what's going on over there. i use a chalk marker to draw right on the fabric and i follow that. i've been thinking about the design boards. my dh thinks he may be able to do some simple ones in block shape for me. i would buy a stylus and mount it on the sliding sled itself, as recommended by ernie. when i called for help i spoke to isaac.

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