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Thread: Regretting long arm purchase?

  1. #41
    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...

    (oops, sorry, double post)
    Nothing's a mistake. It's a learning experience. Some experiences, you learn more than others.

  2. #42
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    Smile Hope to get one

    My sister, mother and myself, are thinking of getting HQ Avante. DBINL AND DAD Brought up how many quilts do you have to do to make it pay for itself. Why does it have to pay for its self? I don't think bil boat ever paid for its self.Why can't we just have something because we would enjoy it. We get together and make all sorts of scrappy quilts we have always tied them but we want to try quilting. I think we are going to have are way for once.

  3. #43
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carly View Post
    My sister, mother and myself, are thinking of getting HQ Avante. DBINL AND DAD Brought up how many quilts do you have to do to make it pay for itself. Why does it have to pay for its self? I don't think bil boat ever paid for its self.Why can't we just have something because we would enjoy it. We get together and make all sorts of scrappy quilts we have always tied them but we want to try quilting. I think we are going to have are way for once.
    You go girls - go for it and enjoy yourselves!!!

  4. #44
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    I am experiencing this feeling at the moment but only because the Dealer that I bought my 18" Innova with AutoPilot is so new to longarm quilting that my buying experience has been absolutely horrible. I researched and test drove every single brand I could find for the past 4 years until I finally decided on the Innova and took the dive in March when the manufacturer had a great special on. I live just north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and found an Innova dealer in Toronto so I figured "BONUS", since he is the ONLY Canadian dealer listed on the manufacturer's website. Well... first off, they "lost" my machine in transit. So the dealer's 7-day delivery promise turned into 21 days. When the machine was finally delivered, the dealer and his sidekick proceeded to put the unit together by reading instructions and arguing with one another about what went where and in what order. Talk about inspiring lack of confidence. They started at 12:30 pm and 8 hours later - and I mean a SOLID 8 hours later, no food or restroom breaks even though I offered coffee, etc., seeing as it was going on 8:00 p.m., they decided to wrap up and return another day to finish the job. After they left, I realized that the machine, as set up, was way too high for me, so made a note to point this out when they returned. Two days later, they returned, lowered the unit to my satisfaction, then spent another 4 hours finishing the installation. Having become understandably nervous by now that my $24,000. expenditure was a good investment, I asked them to demonstrate the machine. The dealer (and this is the owner of the shop) gave me a funny look and said "Of course!" whereby he turned it on and sure enough, the needle went up and down and the carriage moved around. I gave them the rest of the payment, satisfied that the machine was operating satisfactorily, they left, and I spent the rest of the day pouring over all the on-line literature and tutorial videos. The next morning, I decided to inspect the machine more closely, and to my horror, discovered that the head of the machine actually rocked on the carriage, as neither the left rear wheel nor the front right wheel were making full contact with the carriage. To add to this, two of the belts that operate the robotics of the machine are rubbing together and creating terrible drag as the machine is pulled forward. I immediately called the dealer and explained the problem and his response was "Oh yeah, I noticed that rocking motion before I left your place." I just about fell off my chair as I responded "And you left it that way???". He then promised to call the manufacturer and "get back to me" but I haven't heard from him since and it's been more than 24 hrs.

    Quite honestly, this experience so far has been a bit of a nightmare - and my husband, who is extremely handy and mechanically inclined, is fuming but not willing to tinker with anything for fear of voiding the warranty.

    Buying an expensive toy in our current economy was a big leap of faith on my part. Now, I'm wondering what I've done. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE to quilt and have made more than 25 quilts in the last several years - many of them Queen sized on a domestic machine. But after carpel tunnel surgery last year, a longarm with robotics was the only way I could myself able to continue doing what I love. I just hope I didn't make a mistake with the choice of machine and dealer.

  5. #45
    Junior Member
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    A friend of mine has purchased a zipper that is for the longarm machines. She says its easier and quicker and keeps the bottom fabric more even. I plan on visiting and seeing how this works. She said it was 35.00. =3 zipper system. I buy quilt tops off ebay to practice on and give away.

  6. #46
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    I have a longarm that I adore the Handiquilter 16. Pinning was the worst part of the procedure until I learned to just machine baste the leaders to the backing and the top then load them on the rails. The quilttop is free floating at the top, just sew across the length with the longarm after it is loaded(all three layers).

  7. #47
    Senior Member Judi in Ohio's Avatar
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    red snappers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dar-midlife View Post
    I think someone said they wish it didn't take so long to load-the pinning process? I can't remember who but I think you should consider the "Red Snappers". They are not expensive and you can load a quilt in minutes! Just google red snappers by renae haddadin and should take you to it. I will try and put a link here but not sure if it will work. I (& many others) LOVE them. http://quiltsonthecorner.com/red_snappers
    I'm going to give a big yes to the red snappers also. I constantly stick myself with pins - the snappers are the best - also another one called Leader Snaps I believe.
    Judi
    Judi in Ohio

  8. #48
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carly View Post
    My sister, mother and myself, are thinking of getting HQ Avante. DBINL AND DAD Brought up how many quilts do you have to do to make it pay for itself. Why does it have to pay for its self? I don't think bil boat ever paid for its self.Why can't we just have something because we would enjoy it. We get together and make all sorts of scrappy quilts we have always tied them but we want to try quilting. I think we are going to have are way for once.
    Go for it!!! This is a case where you are absolutely right!!!

  9. #49
    Senior Member
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    I am no where close to a long arm. In fact I just bought my first new domestic machine and agonized over which to get with my $500. (we are a young family.) but I really want to stress that if you can afford it, you should do it. We only live once and can't take our money with us when we go. Lots of things in life don't "pay for themselves" and there isn't anything wrong with that. While discussing my sewing machine budget I reminded dh about the cost of one set of his racing tires that he can maybe get 2 seasons out of. That ended all discussion.

  10. #50
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltapillow View Post
    A friend of mine has purchased a zipper that is for the longarm machines. She says its easier and quicker and keeps the bottom fabric more even. I plan on visiting and seeing how this works. She said it was 35.00. =3 zipper system. I buy quilt tops off ebay to practice on and give away.
    The zippers are the best. You can sit while you put the quilt top and backing on zippers(and take them off) - no standing. It then only takes a minute to zip them to the leader zippers which you have permanently attached. As you use safety pins with the zippers you're less apt to poke yourself too. You can also have extra sets to have several quilts on zippers if needed. You can get them through this website http://stores.longarmconnection.com
    The longarmconnection is usually at the MQX shows too.
    Sally

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