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Thread: Baby Lock or Handi Quilter

  1. #1
    Junior Member Nettie's Avatar
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    Baby Lock or Handi Quilter

    Hello Everyone,
    Need some advice. I am currently the owner of a HQ16 but I am thinking to upgrade to a larger machine. I don't have any Handi Quilter dealers near me who have showed any customer service towards me, (maybe because I didn't buy my 16 from them. But then again they weren't selling then and where I bought went out of business)I have been working with an HQ dealer in IL but I am worried what I would do if I buy from them and my machine needs service? I like my HQ but I have a Baby Lock dealer 5 minutes from my house. Would I be getting a comparable machine if I went to Baby Lock versus the HQ Avante? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

  2. #2
    Power Poster
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    I don't have either. I don't have a long arm or midarm. All I know is when I have a problem I like to keep things local. It all depends on the type of service. If the service is better from afar then send it. I am amazed at how dealers customer service depends on whether or not you purchase from them. If they know nothing about a certain machine then you really don't want them working on yours. I know a quilter who has a baby Lock but the dealer is a 2 hour drive. Anxious to see other comments. Good Luck on your search!!

  3. #3
    Super Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    I have an HQ16 bought off Craigslist. I had it serviced at 2 different places and both times it was good. There are many people who move thousands of miles away from their original dealer.

  4. #4
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    If it makes any difference to you, the BL machines are manufactured by HQ.

    We recently bought a BL local, even though we could have paid a lot less for a Juki from out of state. I'm not mechanically inclined, so the local service meant a lot to me.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Local dealerships can be sold and dealerships can go out of business, so I think it's a mistake to count on them long-term. Buying from a local dealership is useful if they throw in lots of classes that help you get started with a machine.

    What you might want to do is join longarming groups on Yahoo to get a variety of opinions. The homequiltingsystems group is composed of longarmers with all different kinds of setups. This way you can get information from actual users.

    Many longarmers live far from servicing agents. Some companies are better at customer support than others. Innova users on the Yahoo groups mention frequently their appreciation of the 24/7/365 telephone support available to them, and Innova machines have a reputation of being easy to service at home by users. Some other companies have a similar reputation of great telephone support. Assuming you keep the box and cushioning components for your machine (a very good thing to do!), you can even send your machine back to the factory periodically for servicing. I have seen a number of posts by longarmers who do that.

    Given the above, you may want to look at brands other than HQ and BabyLock.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    No matter how long a drive. I would never ship a machine anywhere for servicing. Just me.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
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    Nettie, I am finding myself in a similar situation on whether or not to use a local dealer. Since Baby Lock is made by Handiquilter, did you as the BL dealer if they would service your HQ? Or ask the IL dealer about service? I would not want to have to ship my machine someone should it need service. I may be wrong but doesn't HQ require an annual checkup each year?

  8. #8
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    HandiQuilter and BabyLock are made in the same place. However, their contract states that BabyLock doesn't get the upgrades until 3 years after HandiQuilter. So, HandiQuilter will always have more upgrades than the BabyLock. The HandiQuilter frame has the 5th rail that keeps your quilting surface level, no matter how much of the quilt is rolled up onto the take-up bar. So, with the BabyLock, you have to adjust the level of the quilting surface every time you roll the quilt. The Avante is the better machine and frame. But... if service is an issue, it might be alright to get the BabyLock.
    Annette in Utah

  9. #9
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    Hi All!

    I just found this group and thread. I too am looking for input on purchasing a sit-down mid arm quilting machine. I do not have the room for a frame. I am looking at the George, the Tiara, and the Sweet sixteen. I am leaning lately towards the Tiara primarily because of the support from the dealer. I am in the Portland OR. area so have both BL and HQ dealers fairly close.

    Does anyone have any feedback regarding extra table leaf extensions, the sticky mat thing, stitch regulator, or anything that I am sure I haven't even thought to ask yet..


    Thanks so much in advance!!

  10. #10
    Junior Member Nettie's Avatar
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    milly35,
    I was told for service on the HQ I would need to find a local dealer. I would be scared to ask my local baby lock dealer if he would service an HQ if I decided to buy that. How would he feel after I grilled him on the baby lock and then buy an HQ. I think the only thing holding me back from the babylock is 5th bar (take up bar) that HQ has on their frame and I would loose storage under my HQ frame. Right now I have the Alex cabinets from IKEA under there that fit just perfect. Other then those things the machines seems pretty comparable to each other. Maybe I should not bother upgrading and stay with my HQ 16. We will see and I will update if I move forward.
    Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much

  11. #11
    Senior Member ksdot417's Avatar
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    I have an Avante and I absolutely love it. That being said, one of the deciding points on purchasing it was the dealer. Being able to have it serviced and have a dealer that is helpful and knows their product is really important to me.

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