I went to the Birmingham, AL quilt expo about a month ago.. and was underwhelmed by it. It was smaller than I hoped. There weren't many quilts on display and there weren't a whole lot of vendors that I was interested in. I was looking to purchase a sit down quilt machine... I did get to try out the Juki 2000. I loved the way it stitched but it just wasn't a long enough throat for me. I was also able to try out the HQ Sweet 16 and it sewed like a dream.
Yesterday I went to GA quilt expo and was very happy There were dealers for just about every machine out there, at least the ones I was interested in seeing machines for. I got to try out the Tin Lizzie sit down.. and then compare it to the HQ/Babylock sit downs. I ended up going home with the table for the Tin Lizzie in the back of my car (the machine is on its way to me and the dealer is going to come to my house once it arrives and set it up/teach me to use it) and used the difference in the money I would have spent on the HQ to go home with the Juki too I'm quite happy!
The dealer I went with (SewingMachine.com aka Sewing Southeast) was super. I had met them at the Birmingham show but they didn't have the sit down at the time. I do have a local dealer however I got a really great deal and didn't pay tax so I opted to go with the GA dealer.. they are down the road from Ikea so that's a trip I would happily make He threw in a bunch of goodies for me - a pair of the Martelli quilting rings and a ruler foot. They didn't have any rulers that I was interested in or else I'm sure I would have gone home with a few of those as well. I'm going to borrow a few from a friend and see which ones I want to get before I buy any. She's got all sorts of cool rulers.
He also threw in a bunch of goodies for the Juki - about a dozen bobbins and 100 needles (he gave me 50 for the Juki and 50 for the Lizzie)
I'm so stoked! Today I'm going to put together the Lizzie table and do some furniture rearranging if need be. I hope my machine arrives soon! I can hardly stand waiting for it! Someone already got the floor model so sadly I couldn't come home with one in hand... but it's all good. It will give me time to catch up on designs for my website and then get something new to quilt up for practice
I'll post pictures later of the quilts on display. There were some really gorgeous ones there. Next year I'm going to enter some myself I think.