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Thread: Used HQ Sweet 16

  1. #1
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    Used HQ Sweet 16

    I saw an ad for a 2006 HQ Sweet 16 for $2,000. I've heard only good things about this machine, but I've never tried one out.

    What questions should I ask about it?

    Do you think I could learn how to use it easily? (I haven't been able to figure out how to use the buttonhole or zipper feet on my Bernina even with the manual!

    Is this a good price?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Button hole and zipper foot are a whole different beasts. I have been sewing for 30+ years and those attachments are still on the ignore pile. I do not have a long arm but since you are a quilter I have no doubt that you will be able to master it. Sure, there will be moments of cursing and chocolate binging but in the end it will become as easy as using your DSM. Go try it, ask why they are selling it, ask for servicing records and play with it a little bit. I am hoping to get one next year but with the economy tanking it may just be a pipe dream. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    I think the key thing to ask would be why they were getting rid of it. I don't own a longarm so I can't offer any other advice.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    ITA ... why are they getting rid of it?

    Separate from who is selling it, I'd do my own research and find out if there is anyone local who will service it and provide support as I get to know it. Perhaps even the ability to receive paid lessons on the machine.

    I hesitate on used for most anything (not just sewing machines) .. dealers tend not to want to give that extra customer service and support that IMHO are vital. Plus often the servicing is second in line behind machines they have sold. Add to that, there's no guarantee/warranty to fall back on, if things go wrong.

    You didn't mention whether this was a private sale or a retailer selling it as used, which could make a difference. If a dealer, will they give you a guarantee period, to show they are standing behind what they are selling.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Do note you will probably still need to purchase the frame and lights etc. Find out how much more is needed to make this machine head functional.

  6. #6
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I think it is the sit down model of HQ I would love one but can't justify the money these days. Good price though.
    It was easy to use at the shows and it would save your domestic machine for just piecing as your do all quilting on these type of machines now actual sewing
    A bed without a quilt is like the night sky without stars.

    http://californiaquilting.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    I bought my HQ16 used and have had no problems. When I had it serviced I took it to my local sewing machine center, not HQ, and they were able to adjust and clean it. It is just like our domestic machines, except larger.

    that sounds like a good price.
    Jean in MI

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that you can get a brand new Bailey's 17" for a few hundred dollars more without the frame. They have amazing customer service, and it is backed by Bailey's 25 year warranty on mechanical parts. Take a good look at them at www.baileyssewingcenter.com
    Right now they have a special on demo/classroom machines that have been used as little as 10 hours. They are made in the US and they are a family business. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    Do note you will probably still need to purchase the frame and lights etc. Find out how much more is needed to make this machine head functional.
    The handiquilter sweet 16 is a sit down machine. It is usually sold with a table, but if it doesn't come with one in the used deal, it can go on any table (it just works nicer if it is flush).

    The handiquilter 16 is a different machine meant to go on a frame.

    I sewed on the sweet 16 this weekend at the quilt show, and it handled nicely, but was WAY too fast. Even at 50% speed, I felt rushed. I guess I could have tried slowing it down even more... The stitches were beautiful, I did not like the stitch regulator (which is an additional purchase and can be added on) too jerky. I'd consider the machine if I ever wanted more space, but my domestic does fine.

  10. #10
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I bought a used HQ 16 (slightly older model than the Sweet 16) about a year ago and just LOVE it for large quilts! I have it set up as a "sit-down" and it works great!

    As others have said, I'd ask why they are selling it. I think there are lots of good reasons; for instance, the lady I bought from had decided she really wanted to focus her work on small-ish art quilts and didn't need the 16" throat space the HQ 16 offers. I went to her studio to try out the HQ 16 and saw a lot of her work, so I knew that was true.

    Be sure to try it out before buy. I did, and was happy with how it performed. Since I'm using it as a sit-down model, it worked very similarly to my DSM, but had much more throat space, and the transition to using it was fairly easy for me. The first thing I did when I got it home was a queen size quilt for my daughter-in-law for Christmas - http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...d-t164909.html . I did a couple of practice feathers and then started right in on the quilt!

    Here's my posting about how I set it up as a sit-down model using an existing table in my studio, (not the special Sweet 16 table): http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...e-t165016.html

    There were a couple of factors that made me particularly comfortable with purchasing this machine from a Craigslist ad. The first, and most important was that it had originally been purchased from our LQS/Sewing machine shop and had been serviced by them while the original owner had it. The second was that I was able to try it out and felt comfortable with it.

    I don't know if you are interested in the new stitch regulator that HQ offers for sit-down HQ 16s, but if you are be sure its compatible with this model. I got to try out the stitch regulator at a quilt expo just a couple of weeks ago in Tucson, and didn't particularly care for it myself. I think it does an OK job, but I've been practicing my FMQ so much that I'm more comfortable with FMQ when I can manually control the stitch speed. One really nice feature that the HQ 16s have is that you can set the maximum stitches per minute at whatever level you are comfortable with for the piece you are working on. I usually start at about 60% or so and adjust from there if I want to.

    This machine is relatively easy to use, not nearly as complicated as your Bernina button hole foot! (I have one too, and still have to read the directions for it if it's been awhile since I've used it.) With the Sweet 16 you have an on/off switch, a maximum speed setting, and a foot pedal, and away you go! Threading is essentially just like your DMS, and you have a tension dial for the upper thread, and a screw on the bobbin case, again just like your DSM.

    Feel free to PM me if you have additional questions. I'm a happy HQ 16 sit-down owner!

    I even tried out some really nice LA machines at the quilt expo, but decided I am quite happly with this setup and not inclined to go bigger at this point.

    The price sounds good on this machine, and if it comes with the table, the price is fantastic! Try it out, and see what you think--you'll know if it "speaks to you" or not!
    Last edited by azwendyg; 10-11-2012 at 07:43 AM.
    Wendy

  11. #11
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
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    This is a good point. Also, I would ask if there are any issues with "thread type". Certainly want to try it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I think the key thing to ask would be why they were getting rid of it. I don't own a longarm so I can't offer any other advice.
    SUEB

  12. #12
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    I sold my HQ16 with ProFrame for $1,500 three weeks ago. I bought it used 7 years ago and quilted almost 400 quilts for Project Linus. The machine is all mechanical and only one oiling point (the bobbin casing area). Not a single problem. As for thread, I used everything from serger thread to industrial....basically whatever I got cheap or free. The trick is to constantly brush out the lint and learn to adjust the tension on both the bobbin and the machine to adapt for the different types of thread. I upgraded to an Avante with ProStitcher. The HQ16's new owner thought my sales price was way low. From my point of view, I wanted it to go to a good home and be a starter machine for sister quilter. I spent 5 hours with her to be sure she was comfortable using the HQ and we played with various weights of thread. The look on her face the first time I twisted the tension knob as tight as it would go was priceless. However, she walked away knowing she couldn't damage anything and tension was no big deal. She did 4 quilt tops in the first week and I got a lovely "thank you for selling the machine to me" email.

  13. #13
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    I want one!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    The HQ Sweet 16 is a sweet machine.
    Ask why they are selling it. ($2k is a lowball price). I've seen them for $3,800.
    Ask what version the software is. If you want to ever use it with the TruStitch regulator, it needs to be at a certain revision.
    Ask if it has the regular foot or the open toe foot.
    Ask if it includes just the table or if there are extensions.
    Ask if the bobbin winder is included and if it is the industrial-looking model of winder.
    Ask how many bobbins and what extras (if any) are included.
    It requires a special oil and special needles.

    BTW, there is a YAHOO group dedicated to HQ Sweet 16 - you may want to join.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  15. #15
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    The required needles are type DPx5 also known as 135x5 or 135x7 or SY1955. I buy mine from Wawak.com for $2.10 per package of ten. Wawak also has great prices on quilting thread.
    Standard sewing machine oil comes with machine and I've seen recommendations of a drop with every bobbin change to every new project.

  16. #16
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    Barring any mechanical issues with the machine, I would jump on this deal 'like a fly on stink'. Every owner I've seen post (here and on the HQ site) loves their Sweet 16's.

  17. #17
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    Don't worry about complicated accessories like zipper feet or button hole gadgets. The Sweet 16 doesn't have any of those. It's a single function machine for free motion quilting, and free motion ONLY. It doesn't even have feed dogs! If you know how to free motion quilt (even if you're a beginner) you already know how to use the machine. I've had one for about 2 months and love it.

  18. #18
    Senior Member calicojoan's Avatar
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    I have had an HQ 16 for about 6-7 years now, and absolutely love it. I know the Sweet 16 is the bare bones machine, but not really sure what that is anymore. I have a stitch regulator on mine, and never quilt without it. My friend never uses her's, so I think it's really what you become a custom to. I never have tension issues that a few adjustments can't fix, and it runs any kind of thread I have put in it beautifully. (even metallics) HQ has great customer support which counts for a lot in my book. I would ask around to see if there is a repairman in your area. That would be my biggest concern with any machine purchase. Babylock now carries the Jewel, which is made by HQ, so if you have a Babylock dealer nearby, they should be able to repair and maintain it for you.

  19. #19
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    i have an HQ16 on the table as a sitdown, bought it used, still learning but it is fun! It can be a sit down or can go on a frame. I don't believe the sweet 16 came out till late 2010 or 2011- As my 16 was purchased in sept of 10 and the sweet hadn't come out yet.Really good price if the table comes with it I paid 2500 for whole package with some extras.

  20. #20
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    I purchased a used HQ from a Craigslisting. I went to the home and the owner had it set up and showed me how to use it. It came with the table, bobbins etc. She had it set up with a test quilting piece where she showed me and I tried it out. The owner was upgrading to a newer one. It was a positive experience and I have had a lot of fun with it. I am self taught through videos etc. I am a novice but through our sewing group I quilt our charity quilts which is great practice. You just have to be knowlegable about the product and who you purchase it from.

  21. #21
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    I got it!

    I bought the HQ Sixteen (it wasn't a Sweet 16)... and I think I got a terrific buy. Now all I have to do is figure out how to use it!

    It included user instructions (hard copy and CD), a CD on Taking The Mystery Out of Tension, the table, bobbin winder, 20 bobbins, extension cord, 12 cones of Superior So Fine thread, needles, horizontal thread holder, long-nosed oil container, and the names of at least three other people who wanted to buy it in case I change my mind and want to sell it. She gave me first refusal because I called her first. To top it all off, her son-in-law followed me home, carried it inside, and set it up for me.

    Somebody pinch me... I must be dreaming.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    BEAUTIFUL!!! You got a great deal with the table and ALL that extra stuff you got with it. CONGRATULATIONS!
    Wendy

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JENNR8R View Post
    I bought the HQ Sixteen (it wasn't a Sweet 16)... and I think I got a terrific buy. Now all I have to do is figure out how to use it!

    It included user instructions (hard copy and CD), a CD on Taking The Mystery Out of Tension, the table, bobbin winder, 20 bobbins, extension cord, 12 cones of Superior So Fine thread, needles, horizontal thread holder, long-nosed oil container, and the names of at least three other people who wanted to buy it in case I change my mind and want to sell it. She gave me first refusal because I called her first. To top it all off, her son-in-law followed me home, carried it inside, and set it up for me.

    Somebody pinch me... I must be dreaming.
    Congratulations on your new machine!

    Now I'm confused as I thought that the Sweet 16 was the sit down model, which it appears this is.

    So what is the difference?
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  24. #24
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    Now I'm confused as I thought that the Sweet 16 was the sit down model, which it appears this is.

    So what is the difference?
    This is an older version that I think can be converted to a standup machine if the handles and a frame were purchased. The Sweet 16 has a different light and the touch screen on the front (and I'm sure other whistles and bells). This one has the screen on the side at the back... not a very convenient location when you want the needle to go back up or to change the speed.

    I'm not sure what all is different. All I know is that I would have had to send out alot of quilts to a longarmer to break even in spending another $3,200 for a new Sweet 16.

  25. #25
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    I have one about the same age as yours, but have it set up in a built-in table in my sewing studio so it sits just like a regular sewing machine. Because of that the display panel more convenient. I think the orientation in the table like yours is a fairly recent development and has become a "feature" of the new Sweet Sixteen model. That's probably why the moved the control panel. The second pic in this thread shows mine with a quilt in it (that I just finished). http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...e-t204184.html That quilt is a kingsize and very bulky and I didn't have much problem maneuvering it through; just had to take my time and keep rearranging all the bulk frequently.

    When I got to try out a new Sweet Sixteen at a quilt show recently, I found that although it did have more bells and whistles like you said, it stitched exactly like mine. I was very happy see I wasn't really missing out on anything I wanted by buying an older model (and saving lots of $$$) like you did! That just means we have a whole lot bigger fabric budget!
    Wendy

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