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Do you own a long arm?

Do you own a long arm?

Old 09-21-2012, 08:01 AM
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Default Do you own a long arm?

If so, what brand do you have and why did you choose it over the others? What features do you think are the most important to have? Do you have the Statler Stitcher or Intellistitch?

I am thinking about purchasing a long arm in the next few months and would really like to hear your thoughts.

TIA
Ronnie
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:53 AM
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I have a Longarm. I got an HQ Sixteen. I had learned on one at our local quilt shop a few years back, and used it from time to time. I've tried others at shows, but for some reason always went back to HQ. Earlier this year my DS told me his wifes mom's best friend was selling her HQ and wanted to know if I was interested. She gave me a price and I countered. She took it, delivered it and set it up. Since buying it I found a wonderful HQ dealer near a friends house in VA and got a lot of great help with it. Plus, 2 of my close friends who live near by each have an HQ 16. We share a lot and talk a lot and help each other tremendously. None of us have the computers, just stitch regulators and lasers for pantographs. We're more purests and like doing it on our own. You really should go to some shows or shops and test all the different ones out, see which one you like and what features you like.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:12 AM
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You might want to join the homequiltingsystems group at groups.yahoo.com for additional comments. That is an active group of longarmers who have a wide range of systems.

The rule of thumb is to spend a year researching longarms before actually buying one, and to try out as many different brands as possible at quilt shows. It's a lot like purchasing a car in that what suits one person doesn't suit another. Also, there is a learning curve with longarms; some people purchase one and then are too intimidated to actually use it!

From what I have read and systems I have tried out at quilt shows over the years, my top-end choice would probably be Innova. Since I'm not sure I want a system that costly, I am thinking of getting a Voyager 17 with Hinterberg stretch frame in the short term.
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:52 AM
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I think your best bet would be to attend a major show near you and hands on as many brands as you can. Get info packets write your loves/hates on them then go home and compare everything along with cost. What one person loves you may hate.
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Old 09-21-2012, 01:57 PM
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Agree with the other posters. Sometimes you think you know what you want from reading but once you try them out, it's a different situation entirely.

I had it in my head that I wanted a Handiquilter Avante. I went to a show and tried out everything. If I were ever to get a longarm it would be an Innova - hands down. (Believe it or not, they're pretty price comparable.)

Finally, this is a very personal decision. We can give you leads on machines and tell you what WE think, but ultimately, you have to love how a machine feels and operates in your own hands. I suggest you take your time making the decision.

Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:22 PM
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I have a Gammill Premier with a stitch regulator, no Statler or any fancy computer stuff. But, I love it, it's a workhorse. It's easy to maneuver and the only thing I would like is (maybe) the next size up (22", I think) so my larger quilts wouldn't have to be rolled so many times. But as I said, I love her!
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:05 AM
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I love my HQ 16 and use it all the time. I tried a lot of others at shows and different shops and came back to the HQ as it was so easy to use. It is stitch regulated and takes any thread I throw at it. Do quilting for other people as well as my own.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:10 AM
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I have a Voyager 17 with the Hinterberg stretch frame. I made several trips to the dealer and they let me spend a couple of hrs each time playing with it. Have had it for about 5 years and really like it, no plans on getting anything more expensive.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:34 AM
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I own a Nolting 24" PRO with stitch regulator and hydraulic plus 12ft table. Nolting is an old brand made in the USA. I tried out others and just loved Nolting.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:38 PM
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I have a Baby Lock Crown Jewel. It is the same machine as the Handi Quilter Avante. The frame is a Grace Majestic. I love it and have had no problems. As I just wrote in another reply on another thread, the class offered by Baby Lock in St. Louis made all the difference for me. You need to be sure that you have support at a dealer that is not too far away.
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