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Thread: Regretting long arm purchase?

  1. #151
    Senior Member drgranny's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Boater4444;5113497]I am experiencing this feeling at the moment but only because the Dealer that I bought my 18" Innova with AutoPilot is so new to longarm quilting that my buying experience has been absolutely horrible.

    Did you know that the manufacturer has phone help 24/7? The person you talk is the man who makes the machine. He will walk you thru any problem, no matter how long it takes. He is always nice and patient. I have an Innova and have called him many many times for help for one problem or another. None of them bad problems. When my machine was shipped, by Fedex, it was "Drop shipped" literally!!! Fedex dropped it. Then the dealer didn't want to ship me another machine because he was afraid it would happen again. So I called the factory and told Michael, the man who owns the factory. He thought that the dealer was being a bit stupid (this is my word not his) about this.So he provided a wooden crate for shipping a new machine. My husband is very handy so he set up my machine. I really life my machine and most especially that I can call the factory owner for help.
    Last edited by drgranny; 01-03-2015 at 02:19 PM. Reason: to much of previous post in quote

  2. #152
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    You might be surprised how many quilts can be done in a few years. I've had my hq16 set up for 4 years and have probably quilted at least 40 quilts - most for charity. My motivation was paying around $400 for two twin size quilts and not being thrilled with the results. To be fair, there were problems with the quilts as they were among the first I pieced, but the quilter said nothing to me about the problems, just quilted them and gave them back.

    My system was bought used for $4000. At $200 per twin size quilt, that meant 20 quilts later, I would 'pay' for the HQ 16 set up.

    It was real work to figure out how to make everything work together, but I managed. I have some physical limitations, so only use end to end patterns, but the quilts turn out reasonably good. They get better as I get more practice.

    So, unless you have decided that you really hate using the LA, keep at it.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  3. #153
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    Ah! So happy to find another stapler! My hands were not strong enough to get the quilt on straight with the Red Snappers, though I think that's a great system, and I HATED pinning almost as much coming off as going on.

  4. #154
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    My first machine was a Nolting and my dealer was worthless. The machine was okay when it worked, but there were so many times when it didn't. My hubby talked me into replacing it. He advised me to get my third machine second. Lol. Said that guaranteed that this was my last longarm ever and I should buy right. No more cheaping out. I went with an Innova and am still waiting. Even so, the new dealer has already had me in for a full day of training. Really, I don't expect to ever regret this one.

  5. #155
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    You won't regret your Innova........I love mine! Easy to use (especially if you have had a longarm), great customer service and great machine!

  6. #156
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    I regretted buying my very 1st quilt machine. It was a Viking MegaQuilter 9". I don't regret the machine itself as it stitched great for me. The problem was why did I buy a quilt machine when quilting was not even a hobby I was fond of at the time. Had only made one quilt at that time and was miffed at how the quilter quilted it for me. Hadn't felt I'd been bitten by the "quilt bug" either so why spend all that money on a machine I probably wouldn't use that much. Where as time moved along I did get interested in quilting, added robotics to the 1st system, changed machines as time went on and finally got a real "longarm" machine, 26", 12 foot frame so obviously the quilt bug did finally bite me big time.

    If the machine is not stitching correctly, you should call the company you bought it from and see if they can either walk you thru correcting it or have them come check it out. If the "timing" you're talking about it "timing in your life" than that's something you will need to mediate on and make a decision for you. Sometimes it just isn't the right time in your life with making large purchases that may effect your life later. Its hard to say but good luck in your decision. Been there, done that. Still regret some of my decisions yet.
    Suz in Iowa
    Designer EPIC, Babylock Ellegante, Brother XR3140
    Babylock Evolve, Elna 945
    Innova 26" LS, MQR
    ProQ Designer, EQ7, Embird

  7. #157
    Senior Member Prettiptibbs's Avatar
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    I bought my HQ16 at MQX several yers ago before I even know how to quilt. I played and replayed the DVD that came with the machine learning how to load and unload , and do basic free motion. For a long time I was afraid to use the machine without the stitch regulator, but one I adjusted the speed to what I could manage, it got easier. Depending on the brand you purchased you can get support from the manufacturer and join the chat groups. Hang in there....I still get intimidated by the beast but make sure you practice and practice on it before you send it back. If you are bent on sending it back, check for the return window, so you won't be disappointed. Nothing beats watching a video on you tube and then going to your machine to try it out. Buy a bolt of cheap muslin and cut pieces and load 'er up.. This is what helped me gain confidence in my quilting. We are all rooting for you so hang in there!!!
    Prettip

  8. #158
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    I'm a newbie at shopping for a long arm. I won't pay $35k and I don't have room for a 12' table. I do, however, need a stand up machine that's in between. I cannot quilt trying to wiggle my fabric sandwich under my sewing machine. It just doesn't work for me. And I can't quilt sitting down. I need to be standing up and seeing what I'm doing. It seems every new person I send my quilts out to to be long armed disappoint me. I get it-it's the nature of the beast. It's a lot of work and time and they need to make money. My only solution is to quilt them myself. I love to quilt and yet when I finish my sandwich, it sits there because I just don't want to send it out to be quilted. Hence my dilemna. I need some type of quilting machine!
    I'm going to take a class on the Gammill at my LQS shortly. I'm hoping that will help me begin my journey. I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with your long arms-regardless of the size. Is there such a thing as a 6 or even 8 foot table vs a 12 foot table? I have a wonderful sewing room that is 12 X 20 but it's crammed full! No room for a 12' table-perhaps 8' I could do. Thanks so much!!!

  9. #159
    Senior Member drgranny's Avatar
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    Smile yes you can get a smaller frame/table

    Quote Originally Posted by Jkobler View Post
    I'm a newbie at shopping for a long arm. I won't pay $35k and I don't have room for a 12' table. I do, however, need a stand up machine that's in between. I cannot quilt trying to wiggle my fabric sandwich under my sewing machine. It just doesn't work for me. And I can't quilt sitting down. I need to be standing up and seeing what I'm doing. It seems every new person I send my quilts out to to be long armed disappoint me. I get it-it's the nature of the beast. It's a lot of work and time and they need to make money. My only solution is to quilt them myself. I love to quilt and yet when I finish my sandwich, it sits there because I just don't want to send it out to be quilted. Hence my dilemna. I need some type of quilting machine!
    I'm going to take a class on the Gammill at my LQS shortly. I'm hoping that will help me begin my journey. I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with your long arms-regardless of the size. Is there such a thing as a 6 or even 8 foot table vs a 12 foot table? I have a wonderful sewing room that is 12 X 20 but it's crammed full! No room for a 12' table-perhaps 8' I could do. Thanks so much!!!

    You can get smaller tables. You can also get good used machines. My first machine was an Innova 18". I paid $5000 for it. Ten years ago. I got it for the show price. (Houston quilt show) New. Then about a year ago I bought a Gammill on ebay for $5000. It had belonged to a guys mom who had passed away. It is almost the exact age of my Innova. I got the original bill of sale for the gammill. It has a 13 foot frame/table and my Innova has a 12 foot. You can look for a year on the internet but you should really try to go look at machines at dealerships. That way you can have an idea of what you want. Plus at a dealership you can test drive the machine. I didn't get to do that. The only machine I got to test drive was a Tinlizzie at a dealership. So I thought I wanted a Tinlizzie. But I DID shop on the internet and found the Innova. I liked the idea that I could call the owner of the factory any time I needed to and I would actually get someone on the phone who could walk me thru a fix. Then I bought the Gammill online from ebay. I thought I wanted it but my husband said I couldn't have it so I decided ok, I could get along without it. Then I begin to work up a mad cause he said I couldn't have it and I bought it any way. It is a really good machine and I could never have afforded a new Gammill. My daughter quilts on it so the money wasn't wasted. Some dealers sell more than one kind of longarm. I don't know where you live but Try to find a dealer like that and get them to help you pick a machine with a frame the size your room can handle. When I went to my class that came with the Innova, the dealer had 4 different brands of machines with different sizes of frames set up for us. Each of us had bought different machines and they had a set up for each of us just like what we had purchased. I bought my machine from Quilt Frog in Conroe, Texas. hope this helps. Oh, and I much prefer the Innova to the Gammill.

  10. #160
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Maybe 20 yrs ago I purchased a used Gammil. Have since added a stitch regulator. Had the wheels changed. In our 90yr old house it was in a second living room. When we moved we converted a 4th car space in the garage to my LA space. Thought I'd do LA for sale. Decided I'm not that type of quilter and now do mostly art quilts that are small. Don't really need it, although it is handy now and then. If we move I'll sell it. For me, it's not "do I deserve it" or "can I afford it". I just wonder if I really use it enough to keep something that might just be taking up space. Some friends come for retreats and like to use it. Maybe an add in the guild newsletter to rent time on my machine would be helpful to other people.

  11. #161
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkobler View Post
    I'm a newbie at shopping for a long arm. I won't pay $35k and I don't have room for a 12' table!!!
    Last year I looked at and tested both a Gammill and a Handi Quilter Avante. While I loved both, I didn't purchase either. I went home and started looking for a local used machine and found a nearly new Avante from a local dealer at a good price. The HQ studio frame can be set up at 8ft or 12ft. I've got it set up at 8ft as that's plenty big enough for me. I've been totally happy with my Avante and my dealer is the best.

    Cari

  12. #162
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    I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this! Are you handy at all? If so, read, read, read the installation manuals and guides so that you know what to check when these folks finally get back to you. The same thing applies to the operating manuals for your system.

    It surprises me that Innova has not trained your dealer on how to set up a long arm quilting machine system. It seems to me that would be a priority for Innova and the dealer. Both have a reputation to maintain and build.

    Suggestion - when you get the LA set up correctly, start learning how to operate the machine and computerized software in small increments. If you try to do/learn everything that can be done with your system all at once, it can seem like you're trying to swallow a whale. But small increments of learning are manageable.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  13. #163
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    I took lessons at a local quilt shop and was able to rent time on her Gammill. I loved it. We had to buy zippers to load the quilt--took a few minutes when you got to the shop, so you weren't wasting time preparing to load the quilt. We used pantograms and it usually took about 4 hours to quilt a medium sized quilt. This shop has since closed, and I have no where to rent, so I bought quilting rulers, and they intimidate me and I've been hesitant to try they. Crazy I know but I will eventually get to it.

    Now for your problem, buyers remorse is a horrible feeling. I don't have that problem (my dh says I would be broke except for HIS remorse) He frets about every house we have ever bought (3) and every car (probably hundreds--every 3
    years for 55 years) for some reason when the item is for him, no remorse or at least much less. Funny how those things work. I can't help it if i NEED (want) more that he does. lol

    My opinion is that you are allowing everything that you could have spent that money on to color you opinion. Sometimes you need to buy something that you simply want and when you happen onto a "deal" like your Gammill you just have to
    go for it. If you didn't, you would probably regret it. The price you paid for your Gammill was probably 1/3 the new price. Also, one class is not enough to become profecient keep up the practice--what can happen? You may have to rip out a bunch of stitches. Use "practice" fabric so you can throw it away if you are not happy.

    Well, so much for my "advise" now I just have to use it. lol

    Sue

  14. #164
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkobler View Post
    I'm a newbie at shopping for a long arm. I won't pay $35k and I don't have room for a 12' table. I do, however, need a stand up machine that's in between. I cannot quilt trying to wiggle my fabric sandwich under my sewing machine. It just doesn't work for me. And I can't quilt sitting down. I need to be standing up and seeing what I'm doing. It seems every new person I send my quilts out to to be long armed disappoint me. I get it-it's the nature of the beast. It's a lot of work and time and they need to make money. My only solution is to quilt them myself. I love to quilt and yet when I finish my sandwich, it sits there because I just don't want to send it out to be quilted. Hence my dilemna. I need some type of quilting machine!
    I'm going to take a class on the Gammill at my LQS shortly. I'm hoping that will help me begin my journey. I would love to hear your opinions and experiences with your long arms-regardless of the size. Is there such a thing as a 6 or even 8 foot table vs a 12 foot table? I have a wonderful sewing room that is 12 X 20 but it's crammed full! No room for a 12' table-perhaps 8' I could do. Thanks so much!!!
    I applaud you for taking the LQS class to start with to see if you even like long arm quilting--some people just don't. After that I STRONGLY urge you to check out lots of machines--and by that I mean both on the internet (Long Arm University has some good, non-biased info--not a dealer) and then go to actually try some hands on. Yes, there are smaller frames and set-ups--but how they work with larger quilts differs so you definitely need to quilt on each to find your best fit. Good luck!

  15. #165
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    My husband bought me a HQ16 in 2009 after a serious fall. 7 surgeries later, 3 on neck 3 on shoulder including reverse. Making table runners for people who helped me and boy did I have the machine. Then watched videos byHelenodden and they really helped me. Just do lines with rulers but am getting excited about life again!
    Judy

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