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Thread: Which Longarm to buy

  1. #1

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    Oct 2010
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    Hi there all,

    I am going to Houston and have narrowed my choice to three:

    Tin Lizzie- the Ashley: APQS- the Lucey and The Gammil 18" longarm....

    I wanted postive but mostly negatives about any of the above..

    I want a longarm...ran all three and love all three....no Qbot so it will only be me and free motion.... I live in NC along the SE coast....

    Any info on any model would be greatly appreciated....

    Confused Quilter Karen

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Did you do a search on these using the search feature above?

  3. #3
    Super Member KathyAire's Avatar
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    Test drive all of them again at the Houston show. I had an old, old Gammill Classic and sold it and just got an A-1. In fact, it's not even set up yet. Was delivered Wednesday, but because of the quilt show, dealer can't be here to set it up until after the show. I drove all of them at all the quilt shows I've been to. I always went back to the A-1.

    You have to make your own decision. See what feels best for you.

  4. #4
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    I love my Lizzie!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    Also try the Handi Quilter Avante. I have one & love it. It is easy to use, they have great customer service, and if you buy from a dealer most will set up and give you lessons. Always good prices at the major shows. Deals in fact. That's where I got mine last year.
    Most important thing to remember:
    "Try them all before buying, find the one that fits YOU best for what YOU plan on using it for."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bubblegum0077's Avatar
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    Well, my question would apply more to: If it broke down or needed fine tuning, who will fix it and are they local? Are you concerned about that? I would imagine a company rep might be able to direct you to the locals so maybe it might be worth the time to see how repairs and adjustments are handled.

    Just my opinion. I made sure when I got my Janome that I was able to take it to the dealer to get it tuned yearly. It's 45 minutes away, but that's nothing in drving time for me since I like near practically nothing anyway.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I have the HQ Fusion and love it!

  8. #8
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    quote=franie]I love my Lizzie![/quote]

    I love my Tin Lizzie too!

  9. #9

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    Oct 2010
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    Thank you for the input....looking for more...

    All the dealers are not close by....some more than 6 hours away!!!! One of my problems...

    Read some horror stories today about the Tin Lizzie....and after the Philly show I was leaning toward it!

    I know some who is in the business of quilting for others and she has a Gammil...going to see it and her on Monday...but her dealer is in GA..and we are in south east NC....

    Read from someone today that all the "TV" people use APQS....and maybe there is a reason to their madness and not because they are a sponser...

    So here I sit confussed .....so keep on with the comments...
    PLEASE

    Quilter Karen

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    this is the LA of my dreams:

    http://www.martellinotions.com/longarm.asp

  11. #11
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    APQS rocks, the service is outstanding! I've never used the Lucey, I have the Millennium, and I couldn't be more pleased with it.

    I upgraded from and HQ16, and the difference is pretty amazing.

  12. #12

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    Have you had any problems with your Tin Lizzie? How long have you owned it and how much use do you give it??

  13. #13
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    well what about the Innova???when I test drove all of them it was by far my favorite

  14. #14
    Member PJB Designs's Avatar
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    I have an A-1. LOVE it. I compared machines as you are doing. Looked and tried APQS, Gammill, Nolting and A-1. Mine runs very smoothly and quietly. Many new improvements on machines are ideas from A-1. Also, well known quilters/teachers that actually represent other companies have told people to try A-1. Many friends in my longarm group have realized that they have more control when using the A-1 or Gammill and they own HQ 16's. I love my hydraulic table lift and the motorized fabric advance. Also, my whole table is a light box, comes in handy for marking quilts. Be sure to know what you are getting for your money. Compare service, and can it be upgraded. Good Luck :D

  15. #15
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I have the Gammill Vision 18/8 and I love it. I purchased it from Linda's Electric Quilters and they are very responsive whenever I have a question. They delivered it and set it up for me and provided me with onsite training. I did go up to McKinney Texas for their basic 2 day class and am really glad I did. The one thing you need to realize is that you will be responsible for maintenance. I have already replaced a fuse and I had a component go out that I had to install. The component itself was under warranty so there was no cost, but I was very nervous about the installation. Their instructions, however, were so clear and included pictures that it was no problem at all. They always followup with phone calls to make certain your problems have been taken care of. I am so happy I went with the Gammill. I had looked at all the other machines and I feel confident I made the right choice.

  16. #16
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    When I test drove some I really like the HQ Avante 18 inch opening and the Innova. How are you planning to use it home use or as a business? How excting. Let us know what you buy and how it works out. One problem for me was that any service or classes for the Innova would be out of state while for the Avante it is right next door. Both are lgiht to run something very important for me as I have joint issues. I keep on hearing the avante is great and people are going from the HQ 16 to the HQ Avante 18 inch opening. They are staying with the HQ. That says a lot to me. There is an even bigger one called the Fusion but that would add $.

  17. #17
    Member katsbmr's Avatar
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    I have a Tin Lizzie 18LS. Love it! Have used a Gammill at Columbus OH longarm class. Didnt see much difference in how the two sew. Tin Lizzie is cheaper.

  18. #18
    Junior Member simplyme's Avatar
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    The best thing is to try them out at quilt fest. That is what I did last year. I bought the HQ Avante' and just love it. Very user friendly.

  19. #19
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    I bought a millenium earlier this year and the service from APQS has been absolutely out of this world. I can't speak for the Lucy specifically as far as how it would compare with the other models on the list, but when I asked every longarmer in my area, if they had to do it over again which machine they'd buy, they ALL answered APQS. Check out their forums as well - you can get to it from a link on the APQS main page - and the people there will answer any pre-purchase question you have with a quickness.

  20. #20
    Senior Member jc469273's Avatar
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    Karen, I bought a Prodigy about two years ago and just love it. I tried several others and none of them could handle as well as the Prodigy. Charlie was the first to put a stitch regulator on a longarm machine and his works better than any I have tried. What's even better, the company is located in ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA. I have taken my machine there several times to have it adjusted after I did something stupid. Having the company close by is a priceless advantage. Send me a PM if you would like more information, or would like to come try my machine.

  21. #21
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    I have had an Innova 18" with the lightening stitch regulator for one year and love it. It is easy to handle and has great stitch quality. The lightening stitch regulator is awesome - no big stitch when you first start the machine. Contact me if you have any questions.

    innova18

  22. #22
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    I bought an Innova 26" with lightening stitch in August. I agree with Innova18 about ease of handling and great stitches. I also love my dealer. She taught a wonderful 3 day course. She is prompt about answering emails and answering my questions. They even made a delivery to me when they were in the area for another customer.

    I learned on a Nolting and used a Gammill (both without a stitch regulator) rented by the hour at my old LQS. I also tried a Tin Lizzie and an HQ before deciding on the Innova.

  23. #23
    Super Member kacy 49's Avatar
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    I have the Babylock Crown Jewel and I love her. She is the twin to the 18 in Avante and is actually manufactured by HQ. She is very easy to use and beautiful stitches.
    Kacy from OK

  24. #24
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    I have a Babylock Crown Jewel also and love it. It came with a Grace Majestic frame. Babylock offers a 4 day class in St. Louis which I attended and came away with lots more confidence. I tried every longarm at the show at least twice and loved the Jewel the best. I was able to get interest free financing for 4 years at the show as well.
    I have purchased design boards from HQ for the Avante, which, as Kacy said is the same machine. My only problem is that the nearest dealer is 1 1/2 hours away.
    I bought my Jewel at the Cincinnati Quilt show in the Spring and got a great deal there compared to what I have seen elsewhere. The class was included in the price but I still had to get to St. Louis and pay for a hotel room, but the Baby Lock folks helped me find a roommate so the cost was alot less. The class is taught by Kay Capps Cross who is an excellent and very fun teacher.
    I agree that the location of a good dealer for your machine is an important issue so check out what is in your area and then look at those machines. But try them all, shake the frames, ask questions and stand around and listen to what others say - some will be folks who have that machine and can give you good info.
    Good luck!
    Beth in Maryland

  25. #25
    Senior Member kheliwud's Avatar
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    So glad I found this thread! I have been researching different LA options. The Homesteader is made near me in NC. I have gotten very good info about it. My mom has a Gammill 18" and loves it. (The Gammill dealership is in Fayetteville, NC) I have quilted 2 king-sized quilted on it and like it. I have also quilted on a Voyager 17" and it was good. The shop I teach in has the Baby Lock Crown Jewel and will make me a deal. I am hungry for as much info, good and bad, as I can find! Thanks for all the info!
    Living a 1/4" from the edge

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