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Thread: quilting machine

  1. #1
    luv2sew4's Avatar
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    My husband has offered many times to buy me a quilting machine but every time I start compairing them I get overwhelmed. Does anyone have any advise, suggestions, preferences & why? I only plan to use it for personal use & don't want to spend our retirement fund to purchaase it.

  2. #2
    Super Member dmyers's Avatar
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    You have a wonderful husband! I would suggest test driving the brands you are intersted in. Get in touch with the dealer in your area to help set up where you can go to a previous customers house to test drive. True you can go to the shows and test drive but it's not the same. I love my LA.

  3. #3
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    if you are normally used to quilting on a domestic sewing machine, you ought to check out the Handiquilter Sweet 16 sitdown.

    What's really nice about it is that the learning curve is much easier since you are doing the same thing you did on your DSM....just with a larger area/faster machine.

    they aren't cheap, but are less than a long-arm. And the foot print is only about 3 feet by 3 feet!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jennie and Me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmyers
    You have a wonderful husband! I would suggest test driving the brands you are intersted in. Get in touch with the dealer in your area to help set up where you can go to a previous customers house to test drive. True you can go to the shows and test drive but it's not the same. I love my LA.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: I love my LA too!

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    visit dealers and show and try them out- it's like buying a car- you should (test-drive) as many as you can find before making your choice- we are each different and like different machines - also keep in mind tech support and service- you don't want to have to drive 8 hours to get your machine serviced-
    as expensive as they are you really don't want to just buy the machine i have because i like it- you need to try them out.

    i have a friend who's hubby bought her a long arm which sat in her house for 5 years before she finally sold it out of frustration- in that 5 years she managed to quilt 1 quilt- and was so upset all the time over that machine- i used to go over and help her get everything set (tension, needles, bobbins ect) have her happily stitching - would leave- she would run out of bobbin thread...change the bobbin and have all kinds of problems again- it was a horrible situation for her- she never learned to use the machine and was so unhappy she completely quit making quilts- doing any sewing- i finally helped her get it sold-
    don't let this happen to you- test drive them and find the machine that is right for you.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tsnana2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvspaper
    if you are normally used to quilting on a domestic sewing machine, you ought to check out the Handiquilter Sweet 16 sitdown.

    What's really nice about it is that the learning curve is much easier since you are doing the same thing you did on your DSM....just with a larger area/faster machine.

    they aren't cheap, but are less than a long-arm. And the foot print is only about 3 feet by 3 feet!
    I agree I love my HQ Sweet Sixteen sitdown!!

    :D :D

  7. #7
    Member whyiquilt's Avatar
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    It took me over 2 years of testing different machines at quilt shows but I got a Babylock Crown Jewel in March. I LOVE it! I agree with all the comments about testing before you buy. I did lots of online research and asked the show venders lots of questions.

  8. #8
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    I would check out the Bailey machine.

  9. #9
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    Yes --- testing all the machines is important. What feels good to another may not feel good for you.

    The amount of room you have for one is important. A Gammill is much bigger than a HQ Avante.

    My biggest suggestion for everyone is to look for a LOCAL (or closest) dealer. I was babysitting a machine for a friend and the nearest repairman/tech support/trainer was a 400 mile round trip. And, of course, they wouldn't consider any training. My friend also had the same problem.....Regardless of how good the machine is ---- you WILL need help. Find out if the store will provide one-on-one training or have classes.

    Good luck and HAVE FUN!

  10. #10
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I have an HQ 16, and I love it!
    I think the HQ Avante (18") and the Babylock quilting are the same machine-just different labels~~~

  11. #11
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Try to get to one of the bigger quilt shows so you can test & compare several side by side. Chicago, Des Moines, Houston, Paducah, Knoxville, Kansas City, and probably a dozen others. I'm only familiar with the list above myself but I know there are others on both coasts.

    I disagree with the "need help so you must be near a dealer" line of thinking but I have always been interested in how things work and fixing things myself.

    Rent time on a longarm/midarm setup if possible. You may not even like quilting and then you'll end up with a multi-thousand dollar boat anchor. By renting time, the owner has to deal with the tension & timing issues which you must deal with yourself on your own system.

    Also, these things are BIG and you need space to set them up. Even the sit down ones take up more room than your sewing machine sitting on the dining room table. They are also heavy so you're not going to be putting it in the back of the closet between projects. They also run a lot faster than sewing machines (except for the Bailey and some other stretched versions) so they are kind of scary at first.

    I have a Voyager 17 with stitch regulator on a ProFlex frame. I started with my regular sewing machine, an Elna 7200, on a B-Line Studio Frame. I added a PC Quilter and Max Throat to the Elna/B-Line combo and was very happy until a super deal fell into my lap with the Voyager/ProFlex.

  12. #12
    Power Poster
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    If you live close enough to a big quilt show or expo, take your husband with you and visit the machines there. It will give you a better idea of what is available and you can try them out. It will also give you an idea of the price ranges.

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