Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Long Arm Quilters

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    169

    Long Arm Quilters

    What is the easiest, best long arm machine? Brand & Make...I know it's preference but any advice would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    The Colony, TX
    Posts
    3,363
    You really need to check them all at and look at what they offer and pricing. what is easy for one person may be hard for another. Next time there is a Quilt Show go and look at all of them there. Also I think that this is a big Machine Quilting Show near you. Also I know that Renae Hadden is near you and she sells Innovas - www.renaequilts.com

  3. #3
    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Albany, Georgia
    Posts
    1,682
    I love my Innova!!!

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,955
    Blog Entries
    1
    Innova is one that many quilters are happy with. However, I don't know about "easiest". There is a learning curve with any longarm machine!

  5. #5
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    10,115
    There is no easy best LA. It is like a car, what is right for you may not be right for me. Some like manual transmission and some only know how to drive an automatic. Some like SUV and some like sedan. Some things are deal breakers and some things you are willing to negotiate or give up for something else.

    Those of us that have longarms will all espouse the virtues of our chosen brand. You need to do your homework because if you don't you could end up with $10K to $30K piece of equipment you never use. You need to figure out what options you want, what your goals are (quilt just for yourself or quilt for others?) and your budget then find the machine that fits those needs that is within your budget. You also have to be willing to put the time and practice in. There are no LA machines where you will be quilting like a pro right out of the gate. Even the Computer guided set ups require you to learn how to place a digitized pattern in a pleasing and well balanced way and you will have to learn the program that runs them.

    Make a list of what you want, your absolute dream machine. Include throat space, rack length (need to have room for that!), stitch regulation or not, computer guided or not, or maybe is it upgradeable down the road and most importantly, your budget then go to a show and test drive as many as you can to decide what the right machine for you is that fits in your budget. See if you have a dealer near you that rents time. You may find that LA quilting is not for you. You may not like loading a quilt on a rack or you may not be able to stand for long periods of time at the machine.

    For me it was the Innova. I saved some $$ by purchasing the dealer demo. I have no regrets and I love my setup and that is what is most important.

  6. #6
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    13,539
    feline fanatic is completely right - but I love my Innova. And living in Utah you have access to an excellent dealer with great classes. http://www.terylloy.com/

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW Minnesota
    Posts
    1,034
    And I love my APQS Freedom. The Handi Quilter Fusion was my second choice.

  8. #8
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,806
    Ditto what everyone said about testing as many as you can get your hands on.

    Go to one of the larger quilt shows and visit every single Long Arm booth. Try all the machines out in every size available ... even the sit-down machines (mid or long arms mounted on tables as opposed to a frame). You may prefer to move the quilt under the stationary needle as opposed to moving the machine around the frame. Almost all of the big long arm companies have sit-down models now.

    When you test the machines consider ... how easy do they glide, are the larger ones too heavy for you, test your "reach" (a 26" machine is longer than I want to reach across a frame, I'm only 5' tall), can you get an easy feel for things like stipling, straight lines, and micro work, does the machine have the features you need and want, ditto for the frame - ask how it adjusts, can the machine be upgraded (ie buy it initially without things like stitch length regulator or lasers, then add them later).

    Take a notebook with you and don't be afraid to jot notes while the dealer is talking.

    I did all of the above recently at the Chicago International show and one thing I noticed was that the machines that I tested early in the day were not as easy to use as the machines I tested later in the day. I suspect that this is because as the day progressed and I got my hands on more and more machines, I became more familiar with operating a long arm (it was my first day using long arms!!). So ... if this is you ... be sure to go back to the first machines to see if you like them better after you've had a chance to become comfortable with them.

    Do google searches everywhere and check out all the reviews, complaints, etc.

    I have made my choice based on the features that I like, the reputation the company has, the service reputation the company has, and how much I liked the machine. I will hopefully own an Innova by the end of the year.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    1,908
    I have the Gammill Premier Plus....again, as everyone has said, each will have his/her own preference. I love my Gammill and if I trade it will be to the Gammill Classic for a bit of extra room. I'm stitch-regulated but not computerized...maybe someday, if I win the lottery....until then, I'm happy with my girl! Good luck!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  10. #10
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    4,071
    I have an A1 Longarm and love it. I completely agree with the learning curve. Very important to do your research and test drive as many as you can. good luck and have fun
    SUEB

  11. #11
    Super Member watson's mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Lakeshore, Ont. Canada
    Posts
    2,680
    I recently bought a Handi Quilter Avanti. I live in Canada, guess where it comes from....Salt Lake City, Utah!! Since that is where you live I would get that one, there must be a dealer there somewhere. I love my HQ, it's so easy to operate and has great dealer support. I had a problem ( it was me) with the tension and called the head office. Someone called me right back and walked me through it, then went over everything else about my machine. They also have great youtube videos to explain every aspect of your machine. I love the product and the company and am so glad I picked this one.

  12. #12
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    1,669
    I just jumped on the Innova wagon! I sold my gammill (which was a workhorse...) after 3 weeks on the market. I was longarm-less for almost a month, but now I'm happy as a clam! I won't be selling THIS machine. I wake up in the morning ready to quilt the day away...I still kinda surprised I bought mine so quickly as I was not in the market for diff machine. This one fits me perfectly. Try them ALL out...as many as you can get your hands on. Just like some people like a sedan and others a truck? you will find a machine that fits you AND your budget. Ask friends too...some people think they would like the long arm process and after a whole quilt, don't like it at all. Rent a machine or ask a friend to help you on theirs.

  13. #13
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    18,358
    I agree test as many as you can before you buy. I have the Crown Jewel from Babylock and I love it.

  14. #14
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    2,944
    If you are accepting of used I believe there is a good market for HQ's as many are upgrading. When I was last in SLC there were some online for sale. SLC is the headquarters for HQ.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.