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Thread: Thinking of purchasing a long arm

  1. #1
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    Thinking of purchasing a long arm

    I would like to get a longarm that I could do computorized quilting and free hand quilting. I don't know a whole lot about. Could any suggest ones to look at. What the best brands and the easiest to use? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have a Nolting Fun Quilter with the Side Saddle computer system. I really like them both. Easy to learn. Easy to operate. I've had them for a year. Check out the Nolting web site and look into the refurbished ones they have for a better price. They are made in the USA. Our rep came and set it all up for us and made sure we knew how to run it before he left. I use mine for my business as well as my own quilts so it gets a work out.
    Sending you a PM.

    Phyllis
    QuiltingGrannie
    Quilter's Pantry

  3. #3
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I have a Gammill Vision 18/8 which I love. It comes with a 10 or 12 foot frame. I chose the 10 because of space limitations. I do not do computerized quilting, but I know a computer is available. They have been having a sale most of the year, so you might want to check their web site. I don't know if it will end December 31st or not.

  4. #4
    Senior Member coldquilter's Avatar
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    I have an APQS Millenium but not the computerized option. I purchased the machine used and I know that I can always purchase the computer at a later date. I love the machine though, did a bunch of charity quilting this fall as I have only had it since last January so am still learning. Happy with the company as they are really good about answering questions and such. Good luck.
    Michelle

  5. #5
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have viking 18x8 with qbot, really like them both.

  6. #6
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    lol, okay, here's my plug ;-) I have the HandiQuilter Avante, and have had no problems learning on it. My quilting is all freehand, but I know they have a computerized setup as well. Good customer support if needed, but I haven't had to use it.

  7. #7
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    First of all: Take Your Time!!

    Then do the basics: budget, space available, ease of use, and do you bond with it.

    I'd love a Statler Stitcher but that would mean way too much of an investment and my space is limited quite a bit.

    For my budget and space ... I have a HandiQuilter. I love it, it does what I want it to, it fits my space, it was used [but the computer part is new], and I'm not in a lot of debt!!!

    There are some used ones available of most all quilting machines.

    Have fun and good luck.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  8. #8
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    I have a Nolting with the Intelliquilter computer. I would suggest talking to several mfg. before deciding. The most important thing to me is customer support after the purchase. Dan at Nolting is great. There is a learning curve and you need to have a good relationship with whoever will be helping you.

  9. #9
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Anything with a 22 in. or bigger throat to do 12 in. blocks on pointand do king size quilts without turning, 12 foot table (so you can do king size quilts ) and stitch regulator
    I would love an Innova 26 in.
    Last edited by Annaquilts; 12-26-2011 at 08:32 AM.
    Anna Quilts

  10. #10
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    I have a Tin Lizzie 18LS and love it. I purchased it last April and have never been sorry. I don't have Q-Bot or any other computer addition for it. Maybe some day. I mostly do free motion quilting with it. Once in a while I do a pantograph. There is a learning curve with any system, but I found with Lizzie that the learning curve wasn't that bad. It's a good idea to check out several different brands. The great thing is that there are several different brands, so there is something for everybody. What one person loves, another might not. It's a good idea to purchase from a dealer who is in your town, or relatively close. That way if you have a problem, you can go to your dealer for help. Good luck!

  11. #11
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    I have a Voyager 17. It's a great machine, and wasn't outrageously expensive. But the company that made them, as I understand, was bought out by Nolting and has since been discontinued.

  12. #12
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    Before you even consider buying any long arm, I'd strongly suggest that you find a long armer and spend some time working with them. My LQS has a mid arm set-up that they rent out for $50 per day. After spending time on the mid-arm and spending a day with my quilt buddy who has a LA Gammil without a stitch regulator, I decided that this long arm business was not for me. It was all harder and a lot more work than I expected and it definitely was not a new career option for me. I have a whole new respect for people who do this for a living and I now know why they charge what they do. Spending the time experimenting with these machines saved me from spending a whole lot of money on something I would have regretted. I am now investigating an HQ sit down machine but may ultimately just stay with my domestic machine.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  13. #13
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    I have a Gammill Premier, no computer but I love, love, love!! it! I use a lot of pantographs and do lots of free-style quilting with mine...works well. Have a twelve -foot table also.
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  14. #14
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    I have a Baby Lock Crown Jewel with a 10 foot Grace Majestic frame. A 10 foot frame will not do a king size quilt. You would need a 12 foot frame for that. The Crown Jewel is wonderful - it is the same machine as the Handi Quilter Avante. I do not have the computer but may get it later. I am having too much fun with free motion, pantographs and rulers.

    The 2 most important things, I think are to consider what you would use your longarm for and then try out lots. Go to a large quilt show and try them all out.

    And second, consider the space you have to put your frame. You have to have space to go around to the back on both sides and to work from the back. That means 16 or more feet by about 9 feet for a 12 foot frame.

    You also need to have a nearby dealer who can service your machine.

    Best of luck to you. I hope you find what will work for you and enjoy it!
    Beth in Maryland

  15. #15
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    before making such a large investment you should travel around to dealers and try out as many machines as you can- many shows will have them set up to try out too- (test drive) as many as you can find before making a decision- it is an investment- and not a cheap one- you don't want to put out the $$ to get it set up and realize it is just (not for you) I know a couple people who went through this--bought- then spent 4-5 years of frustration- before selling it for alot less than they had put out- that is so---sad- don't let it happen to you- test drive- and do lots of research before commiting
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  16. #16
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    I have a Gammill Optimum Plus and LOVE it. You can always look into the Statler stitcher which is made by Gammill, that is the computerized one.

  17. #17
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    I have a TL18LS (2009) and Qbot quilting robot setup...Love it! I also have the 4D Quilt Creator software (Qbot 4D upgraded)...and it's everything I need to do what the big guys do..and from watching the how to video classes for Statler, Intelliquilter, QuiltMotion, Shirley Stitcher, etc....easier to use also. Definitely easier to setup.

    I'm on a limited budget, so when hubby bought me the TL18LS, I was sure that was all I'd ever be able to afford...well, saved some bingo winnings, did a few quilts for others...and came up with enough for the used Qbot...have not regretted it since.
    Join a few groups on Yahoo for the different machine types, robot types...and see what others say.


    Quote Originally Posted by rburnitt View Post
    I would like to get a longarm that I could do computorized quilting and free hand quilting. I don't know a whole lot about. Could any suggest ones to look at. What the best brands and the easiest to use? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks
    Marge Campbell
    TL18LS/Qbot automated quilter
    http://www.Lmcampbel.com

  18. #18
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention...on the Qbot...you don't have to disconnect anything to do freehand quilting...don't even have to turn the Qbot off...it only engages when you have chosen a design and told Qbot to stitch it out.
    Marge Campbell
    TL18LS/Qbot automated quilter
    http://www.Lmcampbel.com

  19. #19
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    With an unlimited budget, the ultimate setup for me would be an A-1 machine with Intelliquilter. That combination is $30,000+, depending on the options selected. With a more limited budget, I would select an Innova 18" machine with Lightening Stitch option and Qbot. That combination would run around $16,000, including the computer software to digitize your own designs. By the way, I currently have an older Tin Lizzie 18 with Qbot. A used setup like mine would run around $10,000, or less.

    But do some thorough research on your own and try out each system for yourself. Each person has their own likes and dislikes. It is quite a bit of money to put into one of these systems, so be sure to find the one that fits YOU best.

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