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Thread: Regretting long arm purchase?

  1. #131
    Super Member jgriinke's Avatar
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    It takes tons of practice! We have a longarm gal in our guild and when I look at her quilts, I am amazed. She has done over 3000 quilts! That's right 3000.
    I've done maybe 20. Why would I think that mine would look anything like her work!? My point being, relax and enjoy the learning process. Do a couple of dog beds quilts. Just put some muslin on, with batting and backing, watch some videos on YouTube and practice, practice and practice some more. If you don't have dogs, donate the beds to your local animal shelter.

    You may have to adjust tension, and that's OK. Get to know your machine before you expect expert results.

    I still have to adjust my mnd before I start working on a quilt.

    Relax and don't be so hard on yourself. It will come together, it just takes time and practice.

  2. #132
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    I have been a professional long arm quilter since 2006 and I experienced my share of "the sweats" let me tell you! Things that happen to newbies...we'll, I think I did them all! I never got any formal training other than you tube and experience. The worst thing was when I ran out of batting before quilt...horrors! But it only happened once and I learned to plan ahead. The loading is my least fav part but oh, SO IMPORTANT to get right! You learn all sorts of tricks along the way, like how to deal with wavy borders and I would say 1 in every 3 quilts I get has wavy borders in some degree. I keep a printed tutorial on how to prevent this and gently instruct my customer whenever I encounter this problem...they usually have never had anyone explain how to prevent this. PPP is the trick for long arm quilting...practice, practice, practice! Also, some days you have too much on your mind and it is just not your day to quilt... Walk away! Frog quilting I.e. Ripping out, is no fun on a loaded quilt. As a retired nurse, it was the same thing with starting IV's. Sometimes it was just not your day! That is a piece of advice I have a hard time adhering to myself because I just want to get it done, but knowing when to walk away will save loads of grief! Blessings to you on your new endeavor! Check in next year and let us know how it is going, you will be amazed at your progress if you persevere! I am in El Paso Texas in case I may be near enough to you to be of any further help.
    Last edited by Michellesews; 04-13-2014 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Forgot location
    Michelle Guadarrama

  3. #133
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    There ARE sites that advertise long arms/mid arms/ quilting systems. I have purchased an HQ16 and a Gammill..and sold the Gammill when I purchased my Innova (I was on a JOURNEY! lol. I am done now...hehehehe)

    Here are links to the two sites that I used. You need to pay a small fee, but I sold my Gammill in 3 weeks for what i was asking for. It helps to be in a metro area. (not that you can move or anything..just more people that might want a quilting system.

    http://www.houseofhanson.com/formerlyowned.html#Ads start here

    http://www.longarmuniversity.com/machines_for_sale.htm

    Quilting on a longarm is not for everyone. Its ok to change your mind. ( I did..THREE TIMES! lol DH was very diplomatic..never rolled his eyes, not once. He IS glad I have found what works for me tho.)
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  4. #134
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nilla View Post
    It's not that I feel frustrated because my quilts don't look nice. They actually look quite lovely. It's just that I don't enjoy the process.
    I understand EXACTLY what you mean. I have a friend who quilts exclusively because she just does not enjoy piecing.

    You could sell your machine. I don't know what you paid for it, and I don't know what you could get for it, but maybe selling it would appease your husband somewhat.

  5. #135
    Senior Member hulahoop1's Avatar
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    I have wanted a long arm for several years. I made do with a Janome 1600p and an 8-foot table my husband built for me. I quilted about 30 quilts on this set up and loved it. I learned a lot. In the past year, I have retired and returned to the mainland from Hawaii. In the move, I sold this setup and spent a lot of time researching the internet to compare a number of long arms to replace it. A local quilt store specializes in Gammills and has them available for rent. I took their class (required for using their machines) and have since quilted a small number of quilts. This also gave me a little experience while doing my research. A second quilt store has just become a dealer for APQS machines. Last week, I traveled to SLC to the HMQS show and took the opportunity to learn more about long arms. They had Gammills, APQS, Innova, HQ, Noltings, Juki, A-1, and others. Before going to this show, I had narrowed my choices down to Gammills, Innova, and APQS. In the end, I purchased the APQS Lenni and am now anxiously awaiting its arrival!

  6. #136
    Junior Member
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    May 2011
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    New England
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    Honor your instinct. Don't rush into the purchase if you're feeling conflicted. You're feeling it for a reason.
    ****
    I'd insist on an exchange if the machine had issues that were ongoing/unresolved. Your hard-earned $ should be valued by companies.
    ****
    Consider looking on cl, forums, etc. for used machines. That's how I found my gently used HQ Sweet Sixteen. It was within my price range (significantly less than if new) and the warranty was transferable.

    Good luck ~

  7. #137
    Member
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    May 2014
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    Fairfield, PA
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    I am a newbie to this site, and am in a quandry...I won AQS's Dream Studio Giveaway last month, which included a Gammill 18-8. It is going to be delivered to me soon, and after reading lots of posts and opinions, I'm not sure whether this is going to be something I'm going to really love and use. I love piecing but have never been fond of the machine quilting process and am a very SLOW hand quilter. Part of me says I'll probably love being able to load a quilt and work over the entire thing, but I am VERY intimidated by what I'm reading about maintenance and the sensitivity of longarms. The dealer who will be my service provider is several hundred miles away and that seems formidable. And when I talked to one of them yesterday and asked about getting training, he told me that because it's the brand new one with the smart pad, they don't know how to use them yet but will be getting some training soon and that I'll be able to have someone come teach me after their training. At this point, I guess I'll have them set it up and hopefully get more info on how to use it, and see how it goes. I don't know any quilters in my area that have longarms, so don't really have any kind of support group!

  8. #138
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl56 View Post
    I am a newbie to this site, and am in a quandry...I won AQS's Dream Studio Giveaway last month, which included a Gammill 18-8. It is going to be delivered to me soon, and after reading lots of posts and opinions, I'm not sure whether this is going to be something I'm going to really love and use. I love piecing but have never been fond of the machine quilting process and am a very SLOW hand quilter. Part of me says I'll probably love being able to load a quilt and work over the entire thing, but I am VERY intimidated by what I'm reading about maintenance and the sensitivity of longarms. The dealer who will be my service provider is several hundred miles away and that seems formidable. And when I talked to one of them yesterday and asked about getting training, he told me that because it's the brand new one with the smart pad, they don't know how to use them yet but will be getting some training soon and that I'll be able to have someone come teach me after their training. At this point, I guess I'll have them set it up and hopefully get more info on how to use it, and see how it goes. I don't know any quilters in my area that have longarms, so don't really have any kind of support group!
    Where are you located?

    Don't stress. There is a learning curve but it can be fun while you are learning.

  9. #139
    Member
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    May 2014
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    Fairfield, PA
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    Gettysburg, PA area. I know, I need to stop psyching myself out before I even have it!

  10. #140
    Senior Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    South Central Indiana
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    Congrats on your win Pearl56! I too would be a bit intimidated by such a prize, but here's hoping you find a new 'niche' for yourself!
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

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