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Sit down long arm machine. Which one?

Sit down long arm machine. Which one?

Old 09-12-2020, 05:27 PM
  #1  
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Default Sit down long arm machine. Which one?

It looks like the sweet 16 I bought used may have bit the dust. Do you have a sit down longarm machine? Which one? Can you tell me the pros and cons. Iíve decided to buy a new one as I had so much trouble with the used sweet 16

Hereís the ones that Sewing machine plus had in the store:
Viking 16 ď $4000
pfaff power quilter 16 $4000
handi quilter Capri 18 $8000. Replaced sweet 16, stitch regulator built in
babylock tiara 3. $6000
babylock regent $6400
bernina q20. $13000
juki virtuoso pro long arm ? $

i also tried a Bailey I really liked at a quilt show.


any thoughts and comments are appreciated. I do not want a stand up machine.
Thanks, MJP




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Old 09-12-2020, 05:44 PM
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APQS has a sit down machine...George...I have a Lucy which is a standup machine. You might want to look at that one too....they do periodically have demo machines or used ones for sale too. I see on their website that a new one is around $7000. I have been satisfied with the tech support and they make their machines so owners can fix most things without sending them in. I do not know how close a dealer is to you but there is a list on the website as to where they have dealers. I know the main factory is in Iowa where they make the machines.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:48 PM
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Viking, Pfaff, Babylock Tiara are all the same machine as the Sweet Sixteen. If you didn't like the SS or had trouble with it, you'd just be repeating.

Babylock Regent and HandiQuilter Capri are twin machines.

Bailey is supposedly a stretched Janome machine.

Don't bother with the Juki Virtuoso - it's being superceded by the Miyabi 350 that has stitch regulation in the table similar to the Regent/Capri/now-discontinued Innova sit-down (table has 2 small optical sensors in it).

APQS also makes the George sit-down. Very serviceable. Great company.

Bernina is very pricey for a large head that's hard to see around, especially compared to the others.

My first choice would be a used or leftover Innova sitdown if you can find it. Second choice would be an APQS George if you don't mind the last of stitch regulation. Juki doesn't have the greatest support. HQ Capri/Babylock Regent might be an option but there are reports of issues with the stitch regulator so do your research.

If possible, test drive before you buy. You might be surprised how the sound of once machine vs. another or the intuitiveness of the controls makes a huge difference.

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Old 09-12-2020, 06:46 PM
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One thing I was impressed by and never knew it would be a problem but it was. The hand wheel on the Juki sit down is right up front where it should be. On all the other it's in the back. That makes no sense at all and a real pain.
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Old 09-12-2020, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mjpEncinitas View Post
............bernina q20. $13000.........
any thoughts and comments are appreciated. I do not want a stand up machine.
Thanks, MJP
Bernina now has a 16" sit down that you may want to check out too.

More so than just listing the machines and prices, to me,
it's really important to consider service and support.
Maybe you are fortunate and have all those dealers in your locale,
but many do not and would be less interested in purchasing those models.

Go and do test drives ... you may eliminate some or fall in love with others!

Good Luck!
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:26 AM
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I really love my 20" Bailey, so I'm no help.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:31 AM
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MJP, what is wrong with your Sweet 16?
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:54 AM
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Default bailey's Home Quilter

Originally Posted by mjpEncinitas View Post
It looks like the sweet 16 I bought used may have bit the dust. Do you have a sit down longarm machine? Which one? Can you tell me the pros and cons. Iíve decided to buy a new one as I had so much trouble with the used sweet 16

Hereís the ones that Sewing machine plus had in the store:
Viking 16 ď $4000
pfaff power quilter 16 $4000
handi quilter Capri 18 $8000. Replaced sweet 16, stitch regulator built in
babylock tiara 3. $6000
babylock regent $6400
bernina q20. $13000
juki virtuoso pro long arm ? $

i also tried a Bailey I really liked at a quilt show.


any thoughts and comments are appreciated. I do not want a stand up machine.
Thanks, MJP

A vote for a Bailey's Home Quilter here. It has a 20 inch throat and is easy to maintain. I have had it about 5 yrs.
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:05 AM
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I have had my Juki Miyabi J-350QVP S Sit Down since January. I LOVE this machine.

It has the Smart Stitch Regulator built right into the machine, on either side of the needle where you're actually sewing. Some of the other sit down longarms, use a puck like attachment that you have to keep relocating on your quilt.

Juki's stitch functions include: precise, cruise, manual, and baste.

It's throat space is 18" long and 10" high providing plenty of room for larger projects.


You can set the needle to stop up or stop down when you stop moving the quilt.

It has a direct drive Servo motor, which is the same type of motor used in commercial machines. The ONLY thing I EVER have to oil is the hook, and the machine allows me to do that from the bobbin area or from a tiny opening on top of the footplate so I don't have to bend over or reach under the table.

It also has a second handwheel on the side of the machine so I don't have to stand up and reach all the way to the back if I want to move the handwheel.


I can use the automatic thread cutter/lock or manually cut the thread by pressing on the eye level screen or by using the foot pedal.

It uses standard longarm needles and the large Class M bobbins that hold a LOT of thread. It also has a built-in bobbin winder.

The basic table is about 35" wide, but I got the fold down side extensions that bring it up to 50". The table has a very heavy duty frame that doesn't wobble.

If I ever decided to switch the machine to a longarm frame, I could add Juki's automated quilting software.

The machine is manufactured in Japan, NOT China.

Last but not least, my Juki dealer provides AWESOME service, not only for this Juki, but also for repairs on my vintage domestic machines.

Everything about this machine is top of the line. I just LOVE it! (As if you couldn't already tell from this post!)

Last edited by BonnieJP; 09-13-2020 at 04:07 AM.
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Old 09-13-2020, 04:32 AM
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Oh, I guess I should have included the cost of my Juki Miyabi J-350QVP S Sit Down in my previous post. It was $6100 including the teflon table pad, table side extensions, lesson, delivery, and in-home set up.
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