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Lets talk LONG ARM and MID ARM quilting Machines for home use

Lets talk LONG ARM and MID ARM quilting Machines for home use

Old 07-05-2010, 10:32 AM
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As I am slowely but surely being burried under finnished tops and basted but not yet quilted quiltst, I find myself looking more and more at long arm and mid arm machines on a frame.

How realistic do I need to be to find one that might work well for home use? What do I look for?

If you own a machine, do you like it? What would be your dream machine?

What is the machine to get because it is more affordable yet works well?
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:43 AM
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You will get alot of different answers, each of us who own one will have our favorite.
First, consider your budget
second, if you have access to a quilt show, try out all the machines there.
third, any local dealer support?
fourth, the space you have available for set up.

I have the HQ 16 and love love it! I would upgrade to the Avante or Fusion if I had the space and the budget.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for the input! I will most likely end up with a used machine so it will be good for me to learn about the different options so when I see something I can jump on it. We, a friend might go in with me, have been trying machines at the quilt shows or other places but overwhelmed is the word.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:57 AM
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Anna,

I've had many quilt machines since I started quilting back in 1994. A Ken Quilting machine, Nolting PDQ, Gammill Quilting machine, & APQS Quilting machines, and so far I like the APQS machines the best. Their light and easy to use. I have two at this moment & wouldn't sell either one. As for yourself, you need to go and try as many as you can to see what's best for you. Buy what you can afford and buy the biggest one. Buying smaller will just make you wish you had bought bigger the first time around. Good luck, zeke..............
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:00 AM
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I have heard more often buy big especially throat space!
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:07 AM
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You might also join the online yahoo groups forum for homequiltingsystems. And read, read, read. The other suggestions of going to a quilt show that has many systems set up is excellent. That is how I came to the conclusion to buy a used Fun Quilter by Nolting came about. Enjoy the process! :)

The only other thing I might add is that essentially all the machines out there are pretty good. You just need to talk to people and get a list of what you must have and go from there. Buying a used machine is a good way financially but going with a brand that has a close in service provider might also be a consideration as no machine is immune to breakdowns. Other LAQers are also good source of fixing the little things that go wrong.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:50 PM
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I did lots of research before buying mine and ended up getting a KenQuilt Duchess. The price was good, they are made only about 120 miles from where I live so if she (Roxanne) needs a doctor visit, I can load her in my car and take her. They are good to deal with and I love my machine. She has all the bells and whistles that the others have for a better price. But you will just have to test drive each and every brand to see what you prefer. There are Longarm Quilter Expos all over the country so check one out and make your decision. I plan to quilt for others (and have done a few already) after I get all mine caught up.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:56 PM
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A lot depends on space... It's a large investment, take your time and try whats out there :)
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:10 PM
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When I was in the market for a LA, I was fortunate enough to make it to the Houston Quilt Show. Needless to say, I think all of the brands were there. I had done some homework before I went, so had an idea of what I was looking for.

For me, space was an issue. I really didn't want a long arm frame installed in my formal living room (the only space larger enough). So I began searching Sit-down Models. I enjoy FMQ so much I really wanted to keep doing my quilting that way. My biggest need was quilting area. The throat area. A DSM was just too small.

I looked at the "George" and the Sit-down Handi-quilter. Price was a consideration, but was not the final factor. The people from Handi-quilter were so much more willing to give me info and help. So I ended up buying the HQ16 with the sit-down table. I can still buy a frame and put the machine in it. So for me it was the best option. The table is small enough to fit in a corner, but large enough to work on.

Good Luck on whatever machine you end up with and happy quilting!
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:40 PM
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I have older Hq 16 with portable Pro table machine is OK but really think frame poles and plastic tracks cause problems & make quilting more difficult would like to get a better frame but stitch regulator would no t work on other tracks Avante their New machine is smooth & quiet Great track system, but frame only sets up at 8 or 12 ft,make sure you have room to set up your frame and top get around it easily.There are good buys on the 16 as many are upgrading to the bigger machines
Anne
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