Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Buying a Longarm online? >

Buying a Longarm online?

Buying a Longarm online?

Old 08-22-2018, 11:33 AM
Super Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,329
Default Buying a Longarm online?

I do not have a dealer for Longarm machines in my area. I have been looking at Sewing Machines Plus to maybe place an order with them. Have any of you purchased a Longarm and Frame from this company? How did it go and what if the machine needs service down the road? I am looking at the 18x8 King Quilter with a 12' frame. It is very tempting, but I also am not finding any reviews on this machine.
brandeesmom is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:22 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,355

I think Sewing Machines Plus is a reputable company. I've only bought small items from them.
I owned a Gammill Classic Plus and test driving to me is important. At large quilt shows you can put your hands on several different machines, some are smoother than others to operate.
Think twice if you have any back problems. It was not my smartest decision. Of course I bought mine in 2004 before the computerized models became popular. I just sold mine to my BFF as several years of not really being able to use it myself.
JMHO from experience.
Tiggersmom is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:51 PM
Super Member
tallchick's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,318

I bought my fusion from them, the trucking company lost the tracks, I called them and they had HQ send replacements. 7 days later the trucking company found and delivered the tracks. HQ said I could keep the ones they sent as well.
I have only had positive experiences from Sewing Machines Plus.
tallchick is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 12:53 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Near Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,128

I really recommend trying a few machines out, there are differences. I also seriously recommend getting a stitch regulator with your purchase (can be much more expensive later if it is an option) and if you have the budget get a computer driven one. Also look at how adjustable your frame is, especially if you are taller or shorter than average. You can get sit down frames if desired or high wheeled chairs for standard frames for that matter.

The set-up I use belongs to a friend of mine. Grace frame with a Pfaff P3, no back handles for using it with pantograms and no computer. It's rather lovely compared to stuffing a quilt though a standard machine, but not everything as easy as my friend hoped it would be. Still a bit physical for her, so far I've used it more than she has.

The frame set-up can be a bit complicated and I think really needs two people and a long level. I don't know if any are designed to be easily taken up and down, so make sure you have the space you need, the length/width of the frame and at least 3 feet around each side. We have moved and reset my friend's system ourselves. The long arm itself was pretty heavy and awkward but all of the frame parts were easily moved by out of shape women of the plump and 60ish persuasion...

Personally I like the 12-foot size but then I pretty much work on bed sized quilts. I think my friend's is a 10-foot, it's plenty big for her and has so far been fine for my queen sized projects. It is two sections and when she tried just setting it up shorter it was just too small even for the more lap sized quilts she makes.
Iceblossom is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Victorian Sweatshop Forum
Posts: 4,097

I believe the King Quilters are re-branded Tin Lizzies, so TL owners should chime in here.

Cari-in-Oly is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 02:29 PM
Power Poster
Join Date: May 2009
Location: NY
Posts: 10,568

How long have you been researching a longarm? Do you have a list of must haves and can live without? Have you tried longarming at all? Some people have found standing at a machine, loading a quilt on the rack, etc are not for them.
Most people research, test drive, etc for a year or more. Before you consider any purchase, be it on line or with the support of a dealer you really should try going to a large show where there are several L/A vendors so you can at least try them out. There are so many considerations you may not even know what you like or dislike about the rack, the machine, ease of maintenance, after market support, etc.
feline fanatic is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 06:53 PM
Power Poster
dunster's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Lake Elsinore, CA
Posts: 14,202

Sewing Machines Plus is a reputable company, but I would not buy a longarm online. You need to try out various machines to see which suits you best, and you need some training in how to use the machine. If this is a rebranded Tin Lizzie, I would pass. I haven't seen one in person but the reviews I've read have not been good, especially with regard to service after the sale.
dunster is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 07:30 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: kansas
Posts: 5,926

I'd agree that you should first try-out several brands at a large show--the headache and $$ it saves you down the road will be worth the cost of attending the show. You don't say where you live, but most of us don't live near a dealer--I have a Gammill and my dealer is at least 2 hours away & covers a territory about twice that space--most of us would acknowledge our dealers are not local. Many people work with dealers at a show and then the dealer will deliver your machine to you. The other thing to remember is that most of us don't take machines in for annual maintenance, so having connection to a dealer is important as you will want (and pay bigtime!) to have a tech come for major issues--but you will also (or need a friend or family) to do many of the "minor" repairs--it's worth a tech coming out and doing maintenance so you can learn what you need to do. Good luck--I love long arm quilting!
quiltingshorttimer is offline  
Old 08-22-2018, 11:40 PM
Super Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: S.E. Queensland, Australia
Posts: 1,139

I have a Tin Lizzie 18LS which I love, no issues with the machine, but there have been with the encoders (skipped stitches) and stitch regulator(racing with tiny stitches). I think I have solved those problems myself, though it's taken a few years as no one near knew what the problems were. However, this was purchased quite a few years ago, so I imagine both attachments have been upgraded by now. You will also find quite a few other machines are actually re-branded TLs. I am also disappointed with my frame, as the seller created his own style, made from aluminium, and joins from when it was extended cause some bother. Am told steel tracks are better for ease of movement. Keep in mind that I do not live in the USA, so mechanics for the TL here are scarce as hen's teeth, but I have had prompt replies from the makers recently. I am also considering up-dating to a more modern set-up.
Gay is offline  
Old 08-23-2018, 02:26 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 680

I got my Tin Lizzie from Sewing Machines Plus. The only maintenance issue I’ve had so far was when my encoder cables got damaged when we moved. My model has been discontinued but they found new cable for me and sent them at no charcge even though they weren’t covered anymore by the warranty. I have never had any complaints with their service. Since I got it, I have found a Tin Lizzie a few hours away. When the time comes that I need service that my DH can’t do for me, then I will explore what my best service options are. As far as spending a year trying out every long arm to see which one I like the best, I feel the same way about test driving cars. While I’m sure I would love to drive a Lexus, the Ford is where my budget is at. I would love a Gammil or Bernina or Inova, but my budget said Tin Lizzie, King Quilter or Q’nique. Good luck with your decision.
Feathers-N-Fur is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
03-25-2013 09:31 AM
06-23-2012 12:59 PM
09-09-2011 10:28 AM
09-19-2008 06:28 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.