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Handi Quilter Sweet 16

Handi Quilter Sweet 16

Old 01-08-2013, 05:27 AM
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Default Handi Quilter Sweet 16

My husband is getting me a Handi Quilter Sweet 16 for my 60th birthday. I started quilting 8 years ago and am currently hand quilting my machine pieced GFG quilt in preparation for my guild's upcoming quilt show in Houston, Texas.

I love free motion quilting and have mastered several techniques. I am currently machine quilting on my Janome Memory Craft Special Edition 11000 that has a 9" throat plate. A friend of mine is also wanting to purchase a Handi Quilter Sweet 16 when I purchase mine. This machine comes with an optional stitch regulator that costs an additional $1,000.00. My question to those of you with this machine, is purchasing the stitch regulator necessary for an experienced free motion quilter?

Also, I have been surfing the Internet and have found dealers out of state who offer no tax and no shipping costs. Actually, their price of the machine is cheaper than if I purchase from a local dealer. Being retired, I do try to purchase large ticket items at the best possible price. Buying out of state will save me around $1,000.00.

I am wondering if I did purchase a machine out of state, if any local dealer would still service my machine during the warranty period in case I had a problem with the machine. I am really torn about this. I really believe in keeping my money local, but $1,000.00 is a lot of money.

I would appreciate any thoughts you can offer me to help me decide which direction to go.

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Old 01-08-2013, 05:41 AM
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Location: South central Nebraska, US
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I'm following this to see what others advise. I would go talk to the local dealer and see if he can come down a bit. It might be worth it to keep it local and good feelings. Even if he only came down 500.00 that would be worth the good will plus he would be selling 2 machines. Just my thought.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Around Houston, TX
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kathyclark, PM me. I live in Houston area.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:33 AM
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Location: central indiana
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I was all for buying a used sewing machine from someone out of state but my husband convinced me the warranty adn the servicing are of great importance. A friend is investigating a longarm and the service provided or finding a service person locally is of great importance. She has narrowed it down to two brands because of the servicing issue. She also interviewed them to find out their opinion of various machines and repairability.

So I would go with a local company IF they provide good service and help. (there are a few dealers out there that are clueless about service both customer and technical.)
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:53 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: western Pa
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I live in Pennsylvania and purchased my Sweet16 from California. It saved me over $500 in shipping and taxes. My LQS will service the machine (it's 1 1/2 hrs away) if it ever needs it. HQ stands behind the machine and any repairs. If you look closely, it's a really basic machine: no feed dogs, no pressure foot (comes with a hopping foot); you just add a drop of oil to the bobbin case. If there are problems they can usually be solved by an IT team logging into the computerized section.
I didn't get the Stitch Regulator. Saw it demo'd and it seemed I had to pay too much attention to it and not to moving my fabric. You say you're good at FMQ--I'm not: I suck. This machine ONLY FMQ's so I'm determined to master it so I can get some UFO's done. It's very simple to set up and start sewing.
The downside to not ordering it locally is that there are no classes available altho this would be the case if I purchased it here.
Good luck and enjoy!!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:40 AM
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If you were to buy out of state, I would suggest you line up a dealer who will work on machines not sold by them. Most will do so after the warranty runs out but during the warranty period, they may not. I read somewhere (apologies for not knowing the source) that during the warranty period, the manufacturer pays for parts but the dealer supplies the labor at their own expense. If this is true, then I understand the dealer's position.

I purchased all of my machines "out of state" but just across the border which is a 40 min drive for one machine and 1 hour for two machines. They fortunately haven't needed service but it's manageable if they do. My local dealer just can't match the prices.

As to the stitch regulator, unless there's a price advantage to buying it with the machine, try the machine without it. As an experienced FMQer, you probably won't get a lot of advantage from it. I did buy it because I'm a newbie at FMQ and the additional cost to add it to the machine was only $500. I figured that if I find I don't need it, I can sell it without much of a loss.

Good luck and happy birthday!!
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:43 PM
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When I bought my last big-ticket item, I wanted to buy locally. SO...I went to the shop here that carried what I was looking for, asked if they would price-match from the Internet, they said yes, and now we're both happy! Lots of times the local dealers will work with you very nicely...so, good luck!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:52 PM
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My kids were home for Christmas in Dec. from overseas. My daughter and I went over to Nancy's Notions to check out the Tiara which is Babylocks "sweet 16" same unit. Unbeknownst to me they were having a big sale that day 12/12/12 Aaron Rogers day! I had no intention of buying that day...........BUT it was such a deal I couldn't refuse. I got the machine, bobbin winder, stitch regulator,extra bobbins and a box of goodies like a large cone of thread with matching bobbins, Machingers fmq gloves, a book on fmq, plus other notions AND a 3 year warranty for $4800.00 plus tax. We were able to take it home with us too, no waiting. HQ is going to have to sweeten their deals. I'll do my best to post photos tomorrow.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Massachusetts
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My Sweet Sixteen is on its way and should arrive any day. I researched prices online and decided to purchase from my LQS. They paid for the shipping and also discounted some on the price too, but I did pay the tax. I will be going back to the shop for a training class on the set up. They are also giving me a "goody bag" when I go to the training. I chose to buy locally for the support if I should need it and this quilt shop will also make house calls! Since I have been doing free motion quilting, I chose not to get the stitch regulator...I wanted to get the 2 extension tables instead. I could not spend another $1000. I am lucky just to get the machine! Good luck with your decision. My vote is to buy local if you can.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 86

Hello, I bought the Babylock Tiara in November -- absolutely love it. After shopping around and looking at the HQ Sweet Sixteen (they are identical machines, as mentioned above) I decided to buy the Tiara from my local dealer. I have a long-time relationship with them and they were able to match the best price I found for the Sweet Sixteen. I did buy the stitch regular, but truth be told, I haven't taken the time to really get to know it. I'm sure I could have done without it, but on the other hand, I don't regret the purchase. My two cents worth is to talk to your local dealers and get the best deal you can with them. That way you have access to service and training. BTW, whichever machine you choose, you're gonna love it! All the best, Betty
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