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Thread: so who has a long arm?

  1. #1

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    hi everyone. i'm curious how many here own a long arm, and how they like it. do you have buyers remorse or could you never part with it?
    just curious here because i'm saving for a bernina 440. i want this baby so bad for the BSR and for the other cutsie bells and whistles.
    but in the back of my mind i'm curious if i should save for a long arm instead. i know there is a significant price difference.
    also, i have a standard janome that does all my piecing and everday sewing nicely, but without any bells or whistles. i can even FMO on it. but the BSR i think could easily become my new best friend!!!
    what do you gals think?
    oh, the only down fall in my books for the bernina 440 is that it isn't any bigger then a standard size machine.
    again, would love to hear your thoughts/experiences.
    :)

  2. #2
    Super Member charismah's Avatar
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    Well I work at my LQS. I use a long arm and my new INNOVA 26 inch long arm is being delivered tomorrow or Friday. SO I have been using a long arm at the shop for a discount...I don't think I could ever go back to quilting on my machine..and I could not live without one any longer....I hope that helps you. LOL

  3. #3
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    I have a Gammill Optimum and I love it. Sure the monthly payments are higher than any new car payment I ever had, but it is an investment for my business. I had bought a Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200 several years ago but it didn't fit my needs. The Gammill exceeds all of my needs and expectations. I hope to get the Statler Stitchery for it in a couple years after I have this paid off.

  4. #4
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    I have an Innova 18" on a 12' frame.had a bernina 440 with BSR-sold it to fund the longarm.BSR is great for small things but I do bed sized quilts.Longarm is the only way to go

  5. #5
    Super Member paintmejudy's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina 430 and almost the only difference between your lusted-after 440 and my 430 was I had to buy my BSR and wlaking foot. However, there is no comparing a 440 and a long arm, as you could never do with the long arm what you can do with a sewing machine, and also a long arm is many times more $$$ than the 440. (I think right now the 440 w/embroidery unit is a little less than $5,000.) I manage to quilt just fine with my 430. Yes, I would love a long arm, but the kind I want is $20,000 and I think for that kind of money, I can get an awful lot of q1uilts quilted by a professional.

  6. #6
    Quilter4HireAndFun's Avatar
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    I have a longarm machine. I have sewn on the Bernina BSR that my friend has.....my suggestion would be, save your money....buy a medium priced Gammill or APQS machine. Learn to longarm and you will never have time to piece again! lol
    But really the price of the Bernina BSR is well over-priced, in my opinion. (And I might add, she and others have had more problems with that machine than with their older Berninas.)

  7. #7
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I have a Gammill Premier 18" longarm. Love it! Best quilting decision I've made so far! Would definitely do it again, it makes quilting just that much more fun.

  8. #8
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    If the only reason you are buying the Bernina is for the BSR, I would definitely call Hinterberg & have a Voyager 17SLR with their stretch frame delivered instead. Same or very close to the same in price-- a lot less if you can get a used one.

    Now, the real question is do you want to sit & quilt while you move the fabric or would you be happy standing at the frame and moving the carriage over the quilt? Some folks compare it to moving the paper under a stationary pencil versus moving the pencil over the stationary paper.

    My shoulders can't take moving the fabric under the needle so a frame was the only way to go for me. Others are perfectly happy to just piece top after top and use all those pennies they've been saving to pay the local longarmer to quilt.

  9. #9
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    I have the HQ Fusion. There are many stitch regulated HQ Sixteens on the market right now at great prices. For what the Bernina costs, I would look into a slightly used long arm.

  10. #10
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    I've had a Tin Lizzie 18 for 2 years and love it. I only quilt for myself, I've never been sorry I bought it.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I just sit and piece quilt after quilt and quilt them all on my JukiTL98QE regular sewing machine with 9-1/2" throat, mostly always make double size or queen size quilts. Works great for me. I don't waste any money having someone else quilt them, I wouldn't be able to say I made them.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    I have an A1 and I LOVE it!! Before you buy anything, take the time to go to a machine quilting show - they are all over the country. Test drive everything and see what fits you best. No matter what you do, you're spending a lot of money. Don't make a decision based on what is best for someone else.

  13. #13
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina 440QE with embroidery. It is a great machine. The only downfall is that I need to hook it up to my computer for embroidery- oh well. Once in a while it will hesitate a moment while embroidery stitching, but then it carries on. For sewing, BSR etc, it is wonderful, I have never had a problem. I did buy a Tin Lizzie 18LS a few months ago and am still learning on her. The throat on the Bernina is small, so I wanted to be able to quilt easier and quicker. I looked at several longarms and couldn't justify the cost of a Gammill, but the Tin Lizzie was a lot less expensive and it did everything I needed. I do not have the computer drive, but I like to do my own quilting. The Tin Lizzie company manufactures some of the other longarms, so I figured it was better to buy from the original manufacturer. If you have a good machine for piecing and all you want is to quilt easier, then look at the Tin Lizzie machine.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    I have the Handi Quilter Avante 18", don't know how I ever finished quilts without it. I made sure I got the studio frame with it, and have no complaints. It's easy to use, user friendly, and would accept the pro stitcher if I chose.

  15. #15
    Super Member Lakeview Quilting's Avatar
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    I have had a Gammill Classic for 14 years now. Love it, Love it.

  16. #16
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    I have a Bailey 13" and use it on a grace frame, I love it! I have an older bernina which I wouldn't trade for anything she does all my piecing with me. It's a hard decision to make, you really have to buy what you can afford and which machine you will get the most use out of. I personally don't think the BSR is important. Maybe you can try one at a local dealer and see If it's really worth your money for you. Good luck deciding.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I have a HandiQuilter16, and I do enjoy it! Had it for 2 years, and can't use it enough! Now I don't have to "rent" a longarm anymore, and I can work at my own pace.
    I paid under $10,000 for mine brand new. I got a free table for it too. Just ask about the specials.
    Happy searching!

  18. #18
    Senior Member anniec55's Avatar
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    I know this is going to be a really stupid question, but for the life of me I can't figure out what BSR is? Having a moment, I guess.

  19. #19
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniec55
    I know this is going to be a really stupid question, but for the life of me I can't figure out what BSR is? Having a moment, I guess.
    Bernina Stitch Regulator

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter4HireAndFun
    I have a longarm machine. I have sewn on the Bernina BSR that my friend has.....my suggestion would be, save your money....buy a medium priced Gammill or APQS machine. Learn to longarm and you will never have time to piece again! lol
    But really the price of the Bernina BSR is well over-priced, in my opinion. (And I might add, she and others have had more problems with that machine than with their older Berninas.)
    oh that is scary with the problems they've had. i'm gonna have to make a post just on the bernina.
    the long arms are sounding super tempting!!! :)

  21. #21
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    I don't have a long arm-couldn't afford one, but have a short arm and love it! I have a New Joy frame (wallhanging to king sz) with a Brother 1500.....kindergarten things to a lot of ppl on here, but it does the job for me!The main downfall is 5" quilting space.... :(
    I do a lot of piecing with the machine as well, it is an awesome machine!

  22. #22
    Super Member OneMoreQuilt's Avatar
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    I've had my Gammill since 1998 and have never, ever regretted the purchase. I can do anysize project. I also like the fact that the Gammill Company is great to deal with, even this long after the original purchase.

  23. #23
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    if i were you i would really look around...i have a viking sewing machine that actually cost about $500 more than my long arm...so you may find, if you are saving for that bernina, that same money may get you your long arm. as far as 'is it worth it?" well, that depends...do you pay someone else to quilt your quilts now? that was the decider for me, when my daughter's wedding quilt cost me $385 to have quilted i decided i could never make another quilt if i didn't figure out how to do the quilting myself; then i took a couple local classes and wrestled a couple twin quilts through my regular machine; hated that...so i saved for my big machine. we did build our own table for it, saved a few hundred...but i figure i had it paid for in just over a year and have definitly got my money's worth out of it.

  24. #24
    Super Member katsewnsew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingleberry
    I just sit and piece quilt after quilt and quilt them all on my JukiTL98QE regular sewing machine with 9-1/2" throat, mostly always make double size or queen size quilts. Works great for me. I don't waste any money having someone else quilt them, I wouldn't be able to say I made them.
    Ditto here! :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Super Member TammyM's Avatar
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    I have a Nolting Pro. It was the best purchase I have ever made!

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