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Thread: Buying a long arm? Thoughts?..for those who have one

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    For those of you that have one, I was just wondering what made you buy it..reasons?? Secondly - did you test out models prior to making any decisions? If yes, where did you look? I've heard at quilt shows they tend to run deals/specials, but I am not sure this is true?

    Lastly - did you buy the long arm for personal/home use or are you using this as a small business adventure??

    Just curious as I am now thinking I might want to purchase one..mainly for home use.

  2. #2
    Woolie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Bend, Oregon
    I bought a Gammil long arm and enjoyed it for my own use, not so fun doing it for others...I would get stressed. And I was slow...because I would pin it on and it would take me a few days of staring at it to decide on a pattern. Eventually I sold it because we were moving and the new house didn't have a space for it. So...with that said, if you can afford it for your own use and have the space it is fun.

  3. #3
    Junior Member sandyquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    East Coast
    I have a Nolting 24" Pro on a 12ft table. I only quilt for myself. Yes it's true most quilt shows dealers with offer deals. That's exactly why I trade my Nolting 18" 2yrs ago for the 24" PRO. I tried out a number of machines. I went with Nolting because of their service, quick response and workhorse record.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    I did a lot of research online before I bought the one I have now. I started with a second hand table top frame and used one of my domestic machines to start. That made me fall in love with frame quilting. I don't have the money to have others quilt my tops and I wasn't happy with all of my results when I pulled and pushed the sandwich through my machine on the table. I now have an older Homesteader machine that I bought used. These are a hybrid machine that the company stretches. The service is great and they are so easy to deal with. The 2 things I looked for was customer service and price and this company has both. The link for the Homesteader is:
    http://www.thequiltingsolution.com/ they have a group on Yahoo! at http://groups(dot)yahoo(dot)com/group/HomesteaderQuilting/

    replace the (dot) with a dot. After I received my machine I needed a part and it was sent before I sent them a check and when I got the parts there was bobbins, bobbin case and bobbin hook in the box that I didn't purchase. They were just a thank you! Not sure if they do that with all of their customers, but it sure was nice for me. No I am not affiliated with this company, just a very, very happy customer.

    Good luck on your search. I know we all look for different things when it comes to our toys and thankfully there is just as many machines out there to make all of us happy.

  5. #5
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I tried a few, but I picked the Hq16 because the shop is about 15-20 mins away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Nesbit, MS
    I have a Gammill Premier Plus (18") and love it. I tried the HandiQuilter but thought it was too light weight. I believe they are better now. Try before you buy and see how they move and how they sew. I quilt for some friends and myself. I purchased because I wanted to learn something new and didn't want to pay so much to have one quilted. That would have limited how many I would have finished. I know that's not logical, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it! ha ha One other thing to consider is the throat size. My only complaint is I wish I had bought a larger throat machine as I am limited on pantograph sizes. It is a learning curve (hardest one I've ever had) but it is so much fun too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    I'm researching also - I'm leaning towards the Homesteader - the price is right and everything I've read indicates fewer problems with tension than some of the other machines.

  8. #8
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I have an ABM Innova 26" throat on a 10' frame. I would have liked to have gone to a bigger frame but no room in my house for a frame that big. I am still new to it, I only took delivery of my machine this past summer.

    I did some research on line and tried out an HQ 16 and the Innova. I couldn't believe how much nicer the Innova felt for almost the same price for the 18" throat model. Once I settled on the Innova I did more research and it seems those that have them love them. I know I love mine. My dealer is within a reasonable distance (about an hour drive away) and ABM has phone support 24/7 but I have yet to use it. My dealer delivered mine and set it up. I bought their demo model so basically got a 26" throat for the same price as a brand new 18". Because it was their demo I got the full warrantee. I did not go to any big MQ shows so can't say about deals at shows. My dealer was at a small local show and were not offering any kind of show specials.

    I bought it because I have so many quilts inside of me that I want to make and it takes too long to hand quilt. I was not satisfied with my results in machine quilting on my DMS and it is really hard to wrestle a big quilt through the machine. I was ok with smaller quilts but like my results sooooo much better on the LA with a stitch regulator. I do plan on quilting for others and have already quilted one and have a second on the rack right now. I work full time so I don't have much time for LAing but hopefully when I retire I will be able to concentrate more on LAing for others. I love LA quilting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Prettiptibbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Malone, NY
    I have the HQ16 which I bought at a MQX show several years ago. I chose the model on a frame rather than the sit-down because I have Carpal Tunnel sydnrome and couldn't push the quilt through. I bought it for personal use after researching and trying other machines. I am still very happy with my choice as it is quite user friendly. Hope this helps!

  10. #10
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I have a Tin Lizzie because I wanted to quilt my own quilts and needed it especially for large ones. Also love the stitch regulation I couldn't get on my DM. I tried out many at large quilt shows. Narrowed it down to Tin Lizzie and HQ. Decided on TL because the dealer is in town. Very happy with my choice.

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