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Handiquilter vs. Babylock Mid/Longarm Quilting Machines - Cust Serv Experiences

Handiquilter vs. Babylock Mid/Longarm Quilting Machines - Cust Serv Experiences

Old 09-21-2012, 01:41 PM
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Default Handiquilter vs. Babylock Mid/Longarm Quilting Machines - Cust Serv Experiences

Hi everybody.

I have been told by a dealer who sells both that the Babylock mid/longarm machines are Handiquilters with Babylock branding. I'm hoping that those of you with both brands (e.g. Avante vs. Crown Jewel) can help me.

I've been considering the HQ Sweet Sixteen. Babylock has come out with the Tiara which is the Sweet Sixteen with Babylock branding (per the dealer who sells both). In pricing both, there's a price advantage to the Babylock.

The only reason, then, to buy the Handiquilter over the Babylock would be if HQ customer service is superior to Babylock's.

So, do you have any experiences with either company - as it relates to your mid/longarm machines - that you could share to help me make a decision?

Thanks in advance,
Cathy
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:31 PM
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If the dealer services your machine and you like the dealer, there shouldn't be any problems. I never had any problems with my babylock sewing machine when I had her
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:41 PM
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We looked at both in the long arm version and the person selling the HQ told me the Babylock has better service. We ended up going with a different brand. I tried the Baby Lock, HQ Sweet Sixteen (sit down), HQ Avante and HQ Fusion. I liked how the Baby Lock ran and the HQ Avante but not the HQ Fusion. The HQ sweet sixteen(sit down) was so much fun. I spend a good amount of time on it. I think it is a fun machine. I did not use the stitch regulator and think it would drive me crazy how it is loose with the machine and you have to attach it to your quilt sandwich. I just wanted a frame machine but enjoyed trying the sit down. I used those machinger quilting gloves and that made a big difference. Also look at the opening from the machine and other options to see if they are equivalent.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:21 AM
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I had the HQ16 (not the sit down sweet) and now have the HQ18 Avante. I really like both of them. Anytime I had a problem I just gave them a call and they helped we thru it. I think their service is GREAT. I don't have any exp. with the Baby Loc and don't know who runs their service area but HQ is my choice.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:26 AM
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Thanks a lot for your replies. I've heard that HQ has great customer services. I have a Babylock domestic and have never had a need to contact them.

Anna, you replied to my other post on my search. Appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:24 AM
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If the Innova sit down has a build in stitch regulator definitely look at that and try it out. That was one feature on the HQ Sweet Sixteen I thought was not good. (the big "mouse" you had to keep on your quilt sandwich)
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:22 AM
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I've had the sit down Sweet 16 for about a month and love it. My personal opinion about the stitch regulator: it's a very expensive set of training wheels. Save your money and just take the time to get used to how the machine feels. If you've done any free motion quilting at all you'll have no problem adjusting to the machine.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks Anna. I'm waiting for Innova and a local (4 hours away ) dealer to try to locate a customer who has one so I can see it.

Have you seen it? My primary concern is that I've read the stitch regulator can inhibit visibility around the needle. Innova hasn't heard that but I'm reluctant to spend that much money without seeing it.

I **love** their machines!

I hear you, strad. I should have more confidence.
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:56 PM
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I wondered about that. I saw a video and it sure looked nice but I know I would not want it because it would inhibit visibility. How do they price out verus the HQ sweet sixteen?

I am with Strad-
it's a very expensive set of training wheels. Save your money and just take the time to get used to how the machine feels. If you've done any free motion quilting at all you'll have no problem adjusting to the machine.

I would buy the machinger quilting gloves. Buy on the thight side. You want them snug like latex gloves. I am not a little gall but I wear the smalls.

Take your time to choose.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:27 PM
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I have a Crown Jewel and love it. I think alot depends on the location of the nearest dealer to you as that is important. I set up my own machine and frame using the instructions without any problem but it took all afternoon and some time the next morning. I did not get the computer with it. Baby Lock had a class in St. Louis that was 4 whole days with Kay Capps Cross using the same machine and frame that I had bought. I got my machine at a quilt show and the class was included (although I had to get there and stay at a hotel). Baby Lock helped to find roommates at the hotel. I came away with such confidence in using my machine and was able to take off with it right away. Now in a year and a half, I have done 23 quilts on it and am able to do alot of freehand as well as pantographs, ruler work and groovy boards. People have started asking me to quilt their quilts as the quality that they see in my quilts at "show and tell" in my guild is better. I would recommend this class highly if you could do it. You can look it up on the Baby Lock web site. To me it was alot of money but worth every penny.
I love my machine and have had no problem with it. I can easily handle the tension as I learned all about it in my class.

Best of luck to you. The machine is wonderful no matter whether it is Baby Lock or Handi Quilter. I have a friend who got the Handi Quilter and the person from her local dealer came out for one day and that was the only help she got. Part of that time was setting it up. I think some dealers have classes that you can go to. Asking questions about how much education you can get is important.
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