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Thread: Regretting long arm purchase?

  1. #31
    Super Member Cindy60545's Avatar
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    I just got my own longarm. In the process of setting her up right now. But, I've used others before this. I did my homework for over a year & test drove many machines in that time frame. I'm so excited about having my very own Longarm!
    Like all other aspects of quilting, we have to learn to crawl before we can walk. I'm going to have a big learning curve on my machine with practice, practice, practice!
    Youtube has lots on longarming. Also, there are chatrooms everywhere to ask questions. Don't be afraid to ask!
    Have any of you tried the Red Snappers for loading your quilts? They're not expensive & you can load a quilt in @ 10 minutes! Just google Red Snappers & you'll find them. Good tutorial videos on the site as well.

  2. #32
    Pds
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    Don't Give Up!

    My husband purchased me a Gammill several years ago (in 2006) and I had the same regret. As soon as I got it, a part was broken. The dealer came and fixed it, then I had alll kinds of trouble with tension, then my dealer got weird on me and I had to complain to Gammill and got a new dealer. I was all ready to send it back but then I thought, that the people who used these machines so beautifully aren't really any smarter than me (us) and if they can learn, then so can I. I am still not at the level of some quilters, but I am pretty good---certainly better than I was. I purchased some tension tools (the Towa) and now I can get a pretty good tension. My machine isn't stitch regulated either, but again, my stitches are pretty good. I have learned to sorta hum along and I seem to get it right :c). Pantos are my "thing" now---especially since I learned to not try to follow exactly, it is okay to come outside the line :c). The moral of this story is you can in fact learn this!!!! There is a Gammill yahoo group that you should think about joining. They give all sorts of tips that have really helped me. The one thing I regret is my new dealer isn't in the area, they are in Mississippi---but are wonderful people. They have helped me a lot on the phone and sent a repairman to re-time the machine (I really messed it up) and it wasn't as expensive as I thought it would be. He was so much nicer than my original dealer and it actually was a great visit. It will be okay----you will learn this and will one day be able to laugh and support someone else. These machines do have a big learning curve---we aren't always told this and I don't know about you, but I thought the curve was the same as my domestic machine----NOT---give yourself time. Practice--Practice--and then Practime some more.

    QUOTE=w7sue;5108325]I hear you ... my husband purchased me a Gammill last summer - great deal! I had fallen at the end of February an broke my arm and was still in the pre-surgery recovery stage. I finally had surgery in December and am really on the mend - long story. I had to wonder about the timing of this purchase and laid awake many nights thinking of the $8000 we had spent on it and how my car would have been almost paid off - lol

    I have used my machine for a total of 10-15 hours since he purchased it for me. I have done a few quilts of my own and several charity quilts. Every time I get a quilt loaded onto it, I get excited. It is the getting the quilt onto the machine that scares the dickens out of me. Every time is easier and every time the results are better.

    I had never really done any of the quilting on my own quilts so this was a scarry prospect for me. I know that I dream of the day when pinning a quilt on doesn't take me so long and when I can do it without even thinking about how to do it and getting the directions out.

    I look at quilts that have been done by other longarm quilters and shudder - I am just positive that I will NEVER be that good. I have to remember that they were all beginners too. And ... I tell myself that they could also be using a computerized machine, whereas mine isn't. I know the lady who used to do all mine had one.

    I just finished a quilt that I wanted to do a pantograph on, but I couldn't figure out how - I have only taken one class - and I ended up doing a meander on it with varigated thread and it turned out great (even if I do say so myself). I want to take more classes because, honestly, the longarm quilters that I have met in this area don't seem to be too anxious to help me learn - it's like they think I will be competition - right ?!?!?!? lol I am sure some of the problem is that I just don't know what questions to ask.

    My best advice would be to ask about the return time frame and use the dickens out of it before it ends - you might find that you become more comfortable with it and want to keep it. I know that I feel less guilty about all that money each time I finish a quilt.

    I am determined to master this beast - if it takes me until my dying day - lol If I can do it, you can too. I will have faith for both of us. I wish you lived close by so we could learn from each other.

    I did learn something the other day when I was doing a small (26 x 26) wall hanging --- I pinned only the back on, laid the batting down, used the machine to stitch placement lines for the top and left side of the quilt. I pinned the top onto it and then let it rest while I stared at it. I finally decided to meander on the outside of the quilt and fussy stitch around the applique in the 10" center block. My goal on the center was to stay close to the applique without actually stitching on the design. I was more succesful than I thought I would be. I meandered on the hourglass blocks that surrounded the center square. I learned that the corner where four blocks came together were difficult to stitch over and if I stitched around them, they looked like small volcanoes. LOL I will do a better job of pressing next time. I showed my quilt to several people this weekend and most of them didn't notice the issues I saw and I even got a few compliments on how well I did - you should see me strut - lol

    You just have to jump in with both feet and know that some quilts will look better than others but you can always spend some time practicing on muslin - I have and I am going to load more on so I can do some more practicing because I want to do that pantograph on a quilt, but I want to mess up on muslin.

    I know this has been long and probably disjointed, but I hope you keep trying and end up falling in love with your machine.[/QUOTE]

  3. #33
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    I spent 3 days in the hospital because of me buying my longarm. I know that it sounds funny, but its not every day that you spend that kind of money. I got mine in jan. and its now april. and I am making a quilt for my mother who will be 90 in july. ( i never did things small) Keep in mind that she is one who believes ALL quilts need to be hand quilted. The more I use mine(far from perfect) the better I feel. This is also my retirement that will be supporting me as well. I can really feel your feelings on what you are going through as well. The store i got mine from is there no matter how busy she is, she always has time for me. I now feel that I have known her all my life, and she gives me all the encouragement that I need as ell. Just hang in there, Im there for you as well. Karen Baker.

  4. #34
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I have to agree with all the previous repliers here. I got the floor model at my HV dealer last April. I figured there would be a learning curve to using it, but didn't realize how long that curve is. I still haven't gotten beyond meandering, but since I mainly to charity quilts and for my family, I don't mind. I am the person that can't stand to be stumped by anything. So I am determined to have fun and learn at the same time. My DGD just quilted her first quilt on it this weekend, and she is now enthralled. I will never be "Charismah" or anywhere close, but that is okay too. I don't like tightly quilted quilts, so this is my way of getting what I like and having fun doing it. It just takes lots and lots and lots of practice. I am finally learning which thread I like best, which is easiest to get the tension right, and just generally what works best for me. Long arms are definitely a large expenditure but I have no regrets, except that maybe it sits there too long between uses.

  5. #35
    Junior Member IraJane's Avatar
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    I love my Handiquilter and the opportunity to complete a project without having to wait for someone to get to it. I am not very likely to quilt with my Bernina and don't like waiting on someone else to machine or handquilt. I teach a couple classes a month and make a lot of projects-so glad to be able to finish them up myself. The other big advantage to having my own is that I can quilt at any time I want, even in my pajamas.

  6. #36
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    I made a purchase of a mid arm HQ16 one day while buying my embroidery machine.While paying the embroidery purchase I turned around to see the HQ 16.I made an instant purchase for this machine that was a floor model at a% off.Without even thinking previously about a purchase. I snapped up that machine and have been in Quilters Heaven ever since!!HQ16 is easy to use,any thread works and have never had one problem considering it was a floor model!I quilt all my own and do some for friends and have never regretted that impulse buy.I feel if your are not going the way of opening a large business consider HQ.Runs like a champ... ..it works for me with no aggravation!!!

  7. #37
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    I have two long arm machine, Love them both A-1 and HQ Fusion. :7

  8. #38
    Super Member grammyj's Avatar
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    I have a chance to buy a HQ Sixteen with a PC Quilter and gracie frame for 3,000 $ Do you think that's a good buy?
    I know nothing about using it, she said she would set it up and give me a days training. Does any one have this and do you like it . Is it hard to run? Thanks
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...6BC2680921.png
    " You can be a master of every thing you do. Every thing you do may not be a masterpiece, understand that, then do the best you can with what you've got".Maya Angelou

  9. #39
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    I think at some time we all may have buyers remorse. I was afraid to touch my Babylock for quite some time, used it very rarely the first couple of years. Intimidation to put it mildly. Once I got past allowing my DH to insist I purchase it, and afraid of the cost if it didn't work after spending so much on it, I truly enjoyed it. I sent my used Brother to a daughter in law and my mothers used Singer to another daughter in law. Once I had those older machines out of the way, I started to enjoy the machine. But every time we were in a crunch for extra spending money and wanting to take a trip or replace a sofa or appliance, I felt so guilty about the sewing machine sitting there. Five years, a full time and a part time job loss later, we have 2 bedrooms converted to sewing use. I use it everyday and did not feel guilty buying the Babylock Jane to add to my quilting. I no longer have buyer's remorse. Because it is what I want to do, what I have done since I was little, and what I know how to do and will do for many years to come. If I had the space for a longarm, I would give up vacations and extras to get it. Those are over with once done (even though they provide wonderful experiences) but the machines will be waiting for me to stay productive and half-way sane. They are cathartic. It all does work out. Get in there, learn the processes, and enjoy it. I hope you become an extension of your longarm, which will justify the purchase. Now, if you mean by the timing of the longarm physically, perhaps you may need a good rapport with your local service person.

  10. #40
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I bought my Tin Lizzie after testing out a few machines. I had been leaning towards the HandiQuilter, but when I was actually on the TL, I knew it was the one (same thing happened with my domestic). The machine arrived last May and immediately had a problem with one encoder (the thing that registers the side-to-side movement). Okay, no big deal, they replaced it after 2 weeks. But my rep never actually trained me. She spent 15 minutes with me, loaded the quilt wrong, said "play with it" and left. I had to watch the DVD a lot and come online before I could even do anything. And then the machine still wasn't working right. In February, I finally pitched a fit with the dealer and with TL themselves, since every quilt (the whopping 6 I made in 9 months) had issues. They sent the new rep (old rep was fired) and a tech. Tech said the other encoder (front-to-back motion) was also bad, which meant it had been bad for 9 months, awesome. Almost a month later, they replaced that - still issues. 2 weeks later, they just replaced the tension assembly. On the to do list is to get a quilt on there and give her a test.

    I'm sort of in the buyer's remorse category. I still felt like TL was "the one", but I'm thinking I should've bought the HQ (since one of the gals I work with has one and LOVES the machine and the tech support, plus they have classes), or even a different machine. I dunno... trying to power through it since when it works, I really do like my machine. Hang in there, do some quilts, and make sure it's not just an expensive table like mine is...
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

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