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Which long/mid arm should I get?

Which long/mid arm should I get?

Old 06-11-2014, 05:08 AM
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Default Which long/mid arm should I get?

I'm looking at the HQ Avante, the HQ sweet sixteen (with table and frame), or a sit down machine by Babylock called the Tiara. Does anyone have an opinion. I would just jump right in and get the Avante, except for the cost
($10,000). The HQ 16 and the Tiara are about $5000. I want to quilt my own quilts, but would also let my friends do their own. I do not want to start a business. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your input,
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:51 AM
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Oh dear! This is one of those questions everyone has an opinion on! HA! I have not owned a baby lock, but I had a sit down HQ that I put on my table top frame. That machine is a workhorse. When I decided I really needed a bigger frame (mine was not an HQ frame and could not handle the weight of bigger quilts) I sold it to a friend-the whole set up. She quilts on it DAILY. Are there dealers for all those machines near you? Can you get on the HQ Yahoo sites and (I assume there is one) Baby Lock site and see what real owners say about them? Have you tried them all out? In the long run, you need to pick the one that FITS you best...that is not just price. You need to get your hands on them and physically try them out. There are sites that sell used quilting systems and you might just find a deal. I have purchased off one site and sold on another. I have an Innova and I will not be changing systems again. Its like buying a car...I might drive a sedan and you might need an SUV. PM if you would like the links to the used quilting systems sites. Good luck in your hunt! (PS I thought more of my friends would quilt on my frame...a few have once or twice, but get what works for YOU) Would love to know what you decide...
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:52 AM
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Go to a dealer and try each one. A long or mid arm on a frame is different than a sit down machine. The machine on a frame you move the needle - so it is like drawing. With the sit down machine it is like quilting on your regular machine except that you have more room - so you move the fabric. I bought a frame and put my regular machine on it with a small throat space. I was able to quilt 3 bed size quilts on it. Of course I had a very limited quilting space so I only did a meander. It's all in what you want. That is why I suggested you go to a quilt show or dealer and try the bigger machine to see if you like it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:57 AM
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I own the HQ16 and have had mine for about 5 years. My frame is 12 foot so I can do king sized quilts. It is easy to quilt on and do quilts for myself as well as for others. I have to say the my machine has been a work horse and any questions their customer service have been able to answer right away. It's important to test drive the machine you are thinking of getting as what is good for me, may not be for you. I would not hesitate to get another HQ as it has been really great for me. I average 1 to 2 quilts a week on my HQ.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:19 AM
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I have the hq16 stand up and my sister has the hq16 sit down with table. We have owned our machines for 10+ years. Never have had a problem with them. After this many years of owning our machines, we decided it may not be a bad idea to have them serviced. We both use our machines almost daily. We both needed new check springs, and Sis had to have a new belt. The only thing the service tech said was" the machines run like champs even though the grease was pretty dirty inside."

What I really like about the hq is support from hq. No matter how old your machine is, they will still stand behind their machines and give you free tech advice over the phone.

You should look on the hq website, you may find some really good deals on a used machine.
My complaint about the stand up model is I am too short the completely thread the machine from the front. My sis's complaint about the sit down model is not enough table top on each side of the needle.

Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:27 AM
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Love, love, LOVE my Avante! The big bonuses for me, over the sit down machines are: I don't have to crawl around on the floor to baste my quilts. And I don't have to push and pull the whole weight of the quilt around. Even with the larger throat and big table, I can't imagine it's that easy to maneuver a queen or king size quilt through a sweet sixteen.

Be warned however - I bought it to do my own quilts. I now have a business
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I am now leaning toward the stand up machines. I'd love the Avante, but I think it's out of my price range. So I'm looking for a used HQ 16. I will try to get to a quilt show and test drive these babies!
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:18 AM
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don't forget to consider the Bailey. their website is down today, but check with them later
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:05 AM
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Definitely try different ones before purchasing. Also, after trying out machines, check around for used machines, either at a dealer or online. People do trade machines in, so they are worth checking out after you decide which one you like.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:14 AM
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I got my HQ16 gently used. You might want to look for used as many have traded up and are selling their HQ 16's.
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