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Thread: Sit Down Quilt Machine

  1. #1
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    Sit Down Quilt Machine

    Hi everyone!

    I am looking into purchasing a sit down quilting machine. I currently have a long arm King 18x8 machine that we will end up selling. We have looked into APQS George, Grace Onique, and the HandiQuilter Sweet 16. My business partner and I will be looking acournd this weekend for a sit down machine. Your reviews are most welcome!! Thanks in advance for your opinions!!

    Monique
    Family is a priority, not a convenience!
    Take time to be friendly... It's the road to happiness.
    Take time to give... It is too short a day to be selfish.


  2. #2
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Hi Monique,
    I spent the last couple of years trying every sit ddown quilter At the quilt shows and sewing expos. I liked all of the ones I tried. i did not try the Qnique so can’t comment on that one. i like both the George and the HQ Sweet Sixteen. The George is very smooth and has great visibility, the ones I tried were oriented so you quilted from the side like with a domestic machine. The HQ Sweet Sixteen is oriented so you quilt from the front. The George has multiple points that need to be oiled while the Sweet Sixteen just needs to have the hook oiled whenever you change the bobbin. i think you get the option of either an L or M sized bobbin with the George. The Sweet Sixteen comes with the M bobbin.

    in general I thought all the sit downs were fun to work on, and I brought some challenging sandwiches and threads to try on all of them. I think I would have been happy with just about any of the sit downs as they all seemed quite capable of handling anything I threw at them. I

    I ended up buying a used Sweet Sixteen since Even at show prices all the machines were way out of my budget. I’ve had it for 2months and am very happy with it. Mine came with a fantastic manual; the table extensions; table overlay; extra bobbin case, tons of bobbins, a gzillion needles, bobbin winder; the couching feet; the echo feet; the glide foot. The previous owner had also upgraded the tension system to the electronic one- which I don’t really pay any attention to as I do a tension check with every quilt and every time I change threads or change the bobbin, but I suppose would be handy for someone who likes to keep notes on exactly what settings worked for various thread combinations- if it hadn’t come with the machine it’s not something I would bother paying extra for. I did buy a new sure foot ruler foot from HQ because the ruler foot that comes standard with it is a little thinner than I like.

    So far I’ve put a little over 400,000 stitches on it. I’ve quilted a baby quilt using rulers; several large art quilts that use multiple layers of batting and have a lot of micro quilting using 100wt thread; couched yarn onto two different art quilts using the couching feet, etc. All the feet come with handy little instruction sheets on how to get them properly adjusted and how to use them. Between the instruction sheets that come with the feet sets, the owner’s manual and all the youtube videos that Handiquilter has online, I haven’t run into anything that was difficult to figure out- basically it’s a very user friendly machine.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158 model 1914/. 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  3. #3
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    I have an HQ16 on a frame with pc-quilter that I bought used in 2010. It has been a faithful companion to my quilting. It is not stitch regulated or speed controlled, but the pc quilter takes care of that. I mention it only because I have had no problems with it whatsoever. (Most problems that I've had were operator error.) Since 2010 it has probably logged well over a million stitches, but whose counting?

    It has not been "officially" serviced since I bought it. My sweet husband takes it apart and cleans it up about every 18 months, and that seems to be enough. It seems to stay pretty clean, though.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  4. #4
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    I have been very happy with my Sweet 16. It works like a charm and stitches with every kind of thread that I have fed it.

  5. #5
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I too am a HQ fan.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  6. #6
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    I just bought a bernina Q20. I love it. It has a stitch regulator, bobbin winder on it and can use any quilting needle. Besides I have a Mennonite dealer who is close by for service and he gave me a great deal in my juki for a trade in. I got mine in Houston at the quilt show and got a good deal on it

  7. #7
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    Love the HQ machines... they are great!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member KathyJ's Avatar
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    I bought an APQS George 5 yrs ago at the Paducah show. After an adjustment period, we learned to "dance" quite well w/ea other. I use Superior Bottom Line Prewound bobbins exclusively & have never had any problems. All the quilting I do is for donation so I have not made many attempts at ruler quilting or learning complicated patterns. Meandering works well for me as does stippling. I have done feathers. George has a 20" throat and sits like a regular sewing machine in front of me & that was the deciding factor for me. Space was a consideration too but it was just easier to wrap my mind around the way he sat in front of me & made it easier for me to handle. Good luck. Whatever you get, you will enjoy. Kathy

  9. #9
    Super Member sak658's Avatar
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    I got a George about 5 months ago and absolutely love it...I was quilting on a longarm for a lady that owned her own fabric shop...I did most of her customers longarming...all I need is the ruler foot for the George and rulers and I'm off to wonderland...Where I was working, she retired and sold all her fabric and longarm....so I had no where to quilt my quilts, so I got the George...fantastic service and APQS will walk you thru whatever problems that may arise. I'm not familiar with the HQ machines...but sitting in front of George is very rewarding...and their bobbin winder is one of the best...a little expensive but so worth it...

  10. #10
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    You didn't mention if you have tried any sit-down machines, or if you have experience with FMQ on a domestic. If you've not done either, that would be my first step to recommend.

    Like domestic sewing machines and long-arms ... each sit down machine has it's own "feel" to it and the satisfaction rate will vary from user to user. So my second suggestion is to go to a large show and try as many machines as you possibly can. Also note that some machines are oriented horizontally (like a domestic - with the needle to the left and the motor to the right) and some are oriented vertically (needle in the front - motor in the back). Some people will have a preference to how they want to work, and in some cases the set up of your additional tables to accommodate extra quilt bulk may determine that you need horizontal or vertical orientation - so keep that in mind.

    I personally have the Juki 2200QVP sit down machine and I do like it. I have had zero mechanical issues with it over 4 years now. Some of the features I like about this machine: The hand wheel is within easy reach from the sitting position which helps when you need to precisely place the needle down in a specific spot, great lighting, large bobbin, vertical orientation (I like the fact that I can't push my quilt back any further than the harp space allows - which means all my extra quilt bulk is to either side of my machine), the extra high harp - greater visibility, excellent speed control, and the best part - the built in bobbin winder (most sit-downs have an external bobbin winder). Things I don't like: the thread cutter (I don't like thread cutters in general), the bobbin can be hard to reach if you have (how to put this gently ...) fat stubby fingers (OK ... not so gentle!!).

    Below is a link to a video by Leah Day reviewing the machine.

    https://leahday.com/pages/sewing-mac...t-down-longarm
    Last edited by DogHouseMom; 05-02-2018 at 08:02 AM.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  11. #11
    Senior Member petpainter's Avatar
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    I have the Viking Platinum 16 the same as the Sweet 16- and I'm very happy with it. I do a lot of ruler work with it with no problems, too . The only thing I would recommend adding is system a suspender system similar to the Jennoop system like Patsy Thompson uses. It holds the weight of the quilt up with clamps- it's very easy to make at home and inexpensive.

  12. #12
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    I have a Tiara which is the same as the Sweet 16. Easy to use. The dealer threw in the stitch regulator which I don't use - to me it is more trouble than it is worth. Try it before you buy it.

  13. #13
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    Thanks to all that replied. All had pretty good input which we will surely keep in our forethought as we go to purchase our next machine. I am really thinking about getting 2 sit down machines, one for her house and one for mine. However, we don't have that extra space at either place. Our husband's may not like the idea LOL

    Happy Quilting to All!!

    Monique
    Family is a priority, not a convenience!
    Take time to be friendly... It's the road to happiness.
    Take time to give... It is too short a day to be selfish.


  14. #14
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I just bought a Juki QVP 2200 at the Paducah show. I'm really loving all the visibility and space so far!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/sewbizgirl
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  15. #15
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    Sewbizgirl, How much of a break in price can a buyer get at a quiltshow on a longarm machine? Such a huge price difference between the smaller machines and a longarm. Many of us struggle with that price gap.

  16. #16
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    Check out used sit down machines on line. You might get a very good deal. Of course, you might find nothing, as well. Good luck with your search!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  17. #17
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    I have a Janome Artistic SD 18 Longarm Quilting machine. I really like it. I had a bit of tension issues but got it solved. It is a good machine and I'm completely happy. I will mention that I have worn out the ring on the bobbin winder and I haven't been able to locate a new one. It has been suggested that I purchase an off board bobbin winding machine. I purchase this machine almost 4 years ago and have sewn approximately 25 queen quilts, too many to count lap quilts and just as many table toppers/runners. Once I figure out this bobbin winder issue - I'll be up and running again. My girlfriend bought one several days after I purchased mine and she has had no issues either. A great source of information is on a website "caffeninated quilter" and on her website is a video on how to thread the machine and how to take care of tension issues. I sure wish that had been in place when I purchased it. Both my friend and I paid $3,999.00 for our machines and company we purchased it from wouldn't budge a nickel. It appears they are selling for $2,999.00 online. It has been a good, solid purchase.

  18. #18
    Senior Member lyric girl's Avatar
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    You may also want to consider the Bernina Q20. Good luck.

  19. #19
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    I have the Sweet 16 and like it a lot. It is the same machine as the Baby Lock Tiara. One difference is that the table top level is (or at least used to be) different from the top level on the machine. This makes ruler work difficult unless you have the overlay. I ended up buying the overlay.

    As for the stitch regulator, I have it but don't use it. It is easy enough to get yourself "regulated." I would not buy it again if I got a do-over.

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