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Thread: Long Arm Quilting Machines

  1. #1
    community benefactor stevendebbie25's Avatar
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    I've read a few statements from long arm owners. I have NO dealers in our state except HQ through Baby Lock or Bernina, and these are not the heavy duty professional one's I'm looking for.
    I've seen a Demo for Gammill with Statler.
    I've seen a demo of Prodigy.
    I've been told Intelliquilter is better than Statler.
    This is a very high end ticket purchase, and we want to buy before end of this year. So, I'm asking quilters who've been in business, who've maybe owned various machines, what do you think? And Why? Please Help

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You need to test drive them. My advice is to go to a large show in your area.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    You need to test drive them. My advice is to go to a large show in your area.
    My advice also. Before I bought, I tried 5-6 different machines and made a spreadsheet of pros and cons of each. I am very happy with the machine I picked but no machine is without its quirks and problems--just have to learn them and work through them. You will probably hear good and bad about any machine so again the best thing to do is test drive. The machine I have is a Gammill Classic Plus-don't have the Statler. Gammill now has the Vision which has some nice features but I think, as with all new things, some quirks to work out. I hope people with other machines respond and give you some imput also.

  4. #4
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    I started with an HQ16, upgraded to an APQS Millennium. There's no comparison really. If possible, it's always best to try out the machines. If not, do your research and go with that.

    You can master any machine. I think my Millennium is fabulous, but I chose it because they have an 8 year warranty (longest in the business) and outstanding, friendly support.

    They also have a very popular online forum, lots of help and inspiration available there.

  5. #5
    community benefactor stevendebbie25's Avatar
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    WOW, I've found a place with testimonials of each machine from owners. Even more confused now. Seems like most things, everyone loves their choice.
    I wrote questions to two companies, and haven't heard anything back...that puzzles me too...seems they'd be interested in selling, and at least respond, still waiting.

    What about buying a used machine? Any warnings on this idea? Have you found trade in trade up has enough value to make this an option? Or best to start new with warrenty from the beginning?

  6. #6
    Super Member GwynR's Avatar
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    Check out HMQS.org . That's in Salt Lake City in may 2011. There will have a variety of longarm dealers there and you can compare them all the same day. Make sure you also look at the frames they are on. I tried one at a quilt show and loved it. Tried same machine at another quilt show and it wasn't as nice. Turns out it was a different frame! I will be watching this as we are wanting to buy one too! I am kind of leaning towards Innova at this point....

  7. #7
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Maybe also look at Inova, Nolting and APQS.

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevendebbie25
    WOW, I've found a place with testimonials of each machine from owners. Even more confused now. Seems like most things, everyone loves their choice.
    I wrote questions to two companies, and haven't heard anything back...that puzzles me too...seems they'd be interested in selling, and at least respond, still waiting.

    What about buying a used machine? Any warnings on this idea? Have you found trade in trade up has enough value to make this an option? Or best to start new with warrenty from the beginning?
    As for used machines several of the long arm quilters and LQS I know bought used. They did their research though and over and over I hear besure it is set up so you can test it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevendebbie25
    WOW, I've found a place with testimonials of each machine from owners. Even more confused now. Seems like most things, everyone loves their choice.
    I wrote questions to two companies, and haven't heard anything back...that puzzles me too...seems they'd be interested in selling, and at least respond, still waiting.

    What about buying a used machine? Any warnings on this idea? Have you found trade in trade up has enough value to make this an option? Or best to start new with warrenty from the beginning?
    what is the website with the testimonials?

  10. #10
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    Give Tin lizze a look see they have great machines and have some very good refurbished machines. I love mine.

  11. #11
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Here's some information from someone who was shopping for a longarm (and wound up with an Innova). http://artisanssquare.com/sg/index.php?action=printpage;topic=7597.0

    I also purchased an Innova, love it. But it's a personal choice, and you need to first get familiar with the terms and then check out all the machines.

  12. #12
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    I agree with those who say to test drive several different ones.

    We did just that and just took delivery on a Nolting with a SideSaddle computer system.

    Check out web sites, reviews and do some test drives.

    Do you want it for just personal use, or customers?

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I adore my Innova and would recommend you check it out. They are made to commercial standards and have very few problems. They also have 24/7/365 tech service because they also make commercial machines that they sell world wide that when they go down, they need help immediately. I know that www.QuiltFrog.com has one that was traded in for a larger one on sale and ABM International (makes the Innova in Texas) is selling the machines they have used as demos at shows for $1,200 off the price. It's really nice dealing with a family owned and run business - they really listen to their Innova owners and make changes that we ask for!

  14. #14
    community benefactor stevendebbie25's Avatar
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    Wow, thank you for the info. I've only 'test drove' the Gammill and Prodegy, we don't have anything else anywhere near us, none at all in the state, these two came from far away to a show in Fargo (east border of state) and Medora (west border of state) and I'm right in the middle of ND.
    Love both, yes I want them for business eventually, but mainly I can't afford to send quilts out as many as I make anymore, and getting too many tops not quilted. Figure by the time I catch them all up, I could hire out.
    The web sites, I've looked at them, and the testimonies I found on another yahoo/group site that I joined specific for long arm quilters. Like cars, everyone has their favorites Ford, Dodge, Chevi, Pfaff, Baby Lock, Gammill, Inova. I'm strongly leaning to the Prodegy, like many of it's features, met the owner/designer, price isn't bad, love the table too.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Take the time and the money and go to a big show. There are classes and you can 'test drive' all the brands. This is like buying a car, and works best for me may not be what's best for you. Take note of the features. I will never buy a machine without a hydraulic lift - it saves my back!!

    In addition to the computerized systems mentioned above, there is also the Compuquilter. Check them all out. Join all of the forums that are machine and or computer system specific. Some have more going on than others. Just because some forums are quiet is not necessarily a bad thing - they may be the ones with the least amount of trouble.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Zebra2's Avatar
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    Check out APQS website. There should be a rep in Alamo, ND. If you are in the middle of the state, there could be reps in neighboring states that are closer to you.

    I'm a rep for APQS in Nebraska, so my opinion may be a bit biased. I would agree, you need to test drive. Big shows can be a bit overwhelming ... lots of people and information to take in at one time. But it is a way to shop all in one place.

    APQS's website forum is open to anyone, regardless of what machine you use, or if you are just looking. I would encourage you to sign up and ask questions.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about particular models.

    Good luck and have fun shopping!!

  17. #17
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    My advice also is to try before you buy if at all possible. I purchased a HQ Avante 18"- it is easy to use and my rep is fabulous. Always available to answer any of my questions or concerns. I think that is the most important part of buying any machine. There are just so many out there now, there will be one that will fit you and your price range.

  18. #18

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    Have you tried the queen quilter 18 machine? I don't really have the space for a huge quilting frame and only quilt for myselft so I have been looking at the sit down table that you can purchase for this machine. Have you seen it in use or known anyone who has had one?

  19. #19
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    Prodigy 1709 - Sharon Schamber for sale -

    Quote Originally Posted by stevendebbie25 View Post
    Wow, thank you for the info. I've only 'test drove' the Gammill and Prodegy, we don't have anything else anywhere near us, none at all in the state, these two came from far away to a show in Fargo (east border of state) and Medora (west border of state) and I'm right in the middle of ND.
    Love both, yes I want them for business eventually, but mainly I can't afford to send quilts out as many as I make anymore, and getting too many tops not quilted. Figure by the time I catch them all up, I could hire out.
    The web sites, I've looked at them, and the testimonies I found on another yahoo/group site that I joined specific for long arm quilters. Like cars, everyone has their favorites Ford, Dodge, Chevi, Pfaff, Baby Lock, Gammill, Inova. I'm strongly leaning to the Prodegy, like many of it's features, met the owner/designer, price isn't bad, love the table too.
    The Prodigy is a very nice machine - did you decide on the Prodigy? I am selling for health reasons. I tested all brands at RD to CA and the prodigy had the best stitch regulator.

  20. #20
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I bought the Lenova, they are in Utah, great machine and they go to many shows.
    Patski
    always learning

  21. #21
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I have a Nolting and I am happy with it. It is a simple, free motion machine. I have a Nolting dealer 45 miles away. I have found that a dealer close by is important for questions, as well as maintenance.

  22. #22
    Super Member tellabella's Avatar
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    I have an APQS LUCEY...love it...great machine, great service and I am in Toronto so I was concerned about servicing...did need a new part once and it was at the front door the next day or two and I was walked through the repair myself...a breeze....have owned it for three years and really enjoy it...

  23. #23
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I think there are good machines in each brand. You can't go by just testimonials like everyone has said, try them yourself. Things I might put up with a machine you might not like at all. There are a lot of different things to look for in a machine and only you can decide what is what. I bought mine because of, price, testimonials, and a good place to buy from. Yes a big ticket item that you should spend time researching a lot. Also depends on how much you think you will use it and if you want to make money from it to pay for it. So so many things to think about. Have fun in your quest.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  24. #24
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Buying one of these machine is like buying a car. Get yourself to a quilt show that will have these machines demoing so you can make a wise chose. You NEED to test drive all of these machines you listed plus any others to find out what will work best for YOU !
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  25. #25
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    got my machine at a very good price and the dealer is within 30 miles that is why I bought mine it was used and yes I did try it out. Yes there are a few things I would like to have on the machine but I decided I did not want to spend the price of a car to do my playing I do not intend to have a business.

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