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Thread: Should I, or shouldn't I?

  1. #1
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    Should I, or shouldn't I?

    A year ago, my husband and I were at a quilt show when he saw a top of the line LAQ machine and asked me if I wanted it. I was flabbergasted, as it cost $23,000 and my husband is a notorious pennypincher. Over the year, I have thought long and hard about it, and am finally getting excited about the possibilities. I am signed up for a LAQ demo in a couple of weeks at a shop that has a machine for sale for $15,000. My husband told me the other day that only I can decide whether it is economically worthwhile to buy a LAQ. If I only quilt for myself, of course it isn't. But I don't want to work on other people's quilts. A used machine won't come with free lessons/set-up help. And I could improve my own quilting, learn new skills, and have fun. I don't want to send my quilts to someone else to have them quilted. I am in a complete quandary. Help! (BTW, the actual money is not the issue; just if I can get my money's worth out of the machine.)

  2. #2
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    If you're looking to "get your money's worth", you'll probably have to buy a used machine (nothing wrong with that---I did) and quilt for others. but, understand when you quilt for others you have much less time to make quilts of your own, and it is a job. Since money is really not the issue, and you don't want to quilt for others, don't. Do a lot of research first (I can't get this off of BOLD, sorry, ----How do I get back to "NORMAL"?), test drive every machine you can get your hands on, get recommendations from other longarmers, and get yourself a machine. We only live once. Can't "take it with you". Sounds like you won't regret the purchase. But if you do, you can always sell it. Go, girl!

  3. #3
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    A dilemma indeed!

    Are you a prolific quilter? Have you used one before?

    What you need to figure out is how many quilts you're actually going to quilt on it before it/you expire. Try and work out how many you do a year - say 10 - times the number of years you think you'll be able to quilt - say 20. That means you will quilt 200 on it. Divide the cost by this $15,000 by 200, means that each quilt will cost you only $75.

    However you will need to factor in maintenance, repairs, running costs etc. and consider the amount of room it will take up.

    I'm lucky to be able to hire the Gammill at my LQS for my bigger quilts - the rest I do on my DSM.

    Good luck!
    Lang may yer lum reek.

  4. #4
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    If you don't want to quilt for others perhaps you can either rent out time or offer the local quilt guild time on it for their charity quilts or even their own quilts. That would make you feel like you were getting your money's worth from it.

  5. #5
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would check with the dealer about used machines. Some dealers will offer lessons and a warranty if you buy your machine thru them. Nothing is free so you will pay a bit more going thru a dealer than buying from a private party, but I would ask. A couple of years ago I got a long arm, strictly for personal use. If you pro rate the cost out, each of my quilts is worth about $3,000 . I'm not very good, but LOVE the process! Also, I don't quilt for $$$, but do charity quilts for a local group. You could check with your local quilt shop or guild to see if there is a group who makes charity quilts near you.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
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    My opinion.....if you enjoy doing the quilting and enjoy working on a long arm, then you got your money's worth out of the machine. If money is not the issue, then you need to decide if it is something you enjoy doing. I recently went through this same quandry. And to be honest, getting value out of a purchase for me is more "do I enjoy doing this/seeing this/working with this" than "can I say it saves money in the long run"

    Now with that being said, one of the main reasons I decided that it was worth the cost to me is that I can position myself to support myself if I get laid off from work again. I wanted to make sure that I had a means and/or method to support myself. If I never get laid off, then I have a very expensive toy that I enjoy very much. If I do get laid off, then I have a means to support myself.

    But in the end, I bought a machine because I enjoy using it, I enjoy pushing myself to learn new things, I enjoy making pretty things. I want to go into making whole cloth quilts to show, I want to push my artistic skills in that direction. And I hate trying to wrestle a quilt on my DSM. So for me I will get my money's worth out, regardless if I get the financial money's worth out.

    I also stress trying out all the machines. I bought a new 22" innova for less than you listed for the used machine above. Do your research, go to a show and test all machines. In the end, putting my hands on the Innova felt like going home.

  7. #7
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    If it makes you happy that is the number 1 thing to consider. Quilt your own, make quilts as gifts, learn to quilt fabric to make clothing, quilt charity quilts. The list can go on. If it is part of your bucket list, it is worth it. I have my HQ Avante upgraded from the HQ16 and love it. I have done a few for friends and they have even given me some money for doing it knowing I'm not a professional but they were happy and I have thread money. There is nothing wrong with having something special for "yourself". Guys do it all the time, motorcycles, golf, tennis, etc. so treat yourself but get what you want and that will fit your wish list.

  8. #8
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    I just did a quick check on E-Bay and found 18" Juki for $8995, 16" Handi-Quilter for $5500, 18" Inspira for $6999, 18" Innova for $7995. So if you want a long arm and don't want to quilt for others, shop around for the best price. Knowing that there are long arms for less than $10,000 is giving me hope of one day owning one!

    Also, the idea of "renting" time on it for others to use is a good idea to help defray the cost. I'll keep that in mind if I ever get one.

    The quilting process is the part of this that I enjoy the most. I mostly do meander as I haven't perfected any particular designs yet. I do my LA quilting on a domestic machine so my area is limited to approx. 4"-5". Lots of rolling goes on when I put a quilt on my frame!!!
    Proud grandma of Coast Guard grandson and Air Force granddaughter!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lstew2212's Avatar
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    If I had the opportunity, I would get one, Even if it is for myself. you go girl. And enjoy.
    Happy Sewing, Lisa E.
    Don't Cry Because It Is Over, Smile Because it Happened, Dr. Seuss

  10. #10
    Senior Member frenchfryqueen's Avatar
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    First off---- I hope you are covering your hubby in kisses for pushing you to make such a big purchase!

    It sounds like you know what you want. And if money isn't a problem, and it's something you'll enjoy, I say go for it. Like someone said above, you can always resell it if you decide it's not for you.
    The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.

    Boomerangs and BOM Blocks: http://www.quiltingboard.com/members...19-albums.html

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