Which Long Arm Quilting Machine?

DianeCamilleApril 10, 2013

I am in the market for my first long arm quilting machine. I have looked at several brands but am undecided. Can anyone out there help me who has one and tell me pros and cons of the different brands and what I should be looking for? I am driving myself nuts with so many unanswered questions running through my head. Thanks in advance for any help!

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Which brands are you interested in? What is your approximate budget? A dedicated system? Mid-arm or true long-arm? The range is enormous!

I have an APQS Millennium (2005 model), which was top of the line back then, and I got all the bells and whistles. Improvements have been made since then.

But my first system was the Handiquilter. They've made many improvements, too. But the first Handiquilters were well nigh onto useless, LOL, so they had to.

I have also stitched on a Pfaff Grand Quilter, a few other APQS systems, and a Gammill.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:26PM
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I don't have a system but have quilted on an APQS and a Gammill both about the same age. I found the Gammill smoother but the APQS seemed to be more user friendly.

If I could afford one, I would go to a major show where all "the players" were present and try them all.. From what I hear from friends the support you get after purchase is a huge selling point.

Good luck in your search and be sure to let us know what you decide.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:04PM
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I have a Hinterberg Voyager on a stretch frame. It is a basic no frills machine and apart from being happy only using King Tut thread, it has been fine. It isn't made anymore, but refurbished ones are still available. If you are planning on quilting for the public, I would not recommend this one. It is fine for me and my basic quilting requirements.

One of the major considerations should be how far you will have to travel for service. It is 12 hours to the nearest service center for me and that can cause problems. I have shipped it for service, but that is very expensive and there is no guarantee it won't get damaged in shipping.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Thanks for everyone's help. I went to Ohio to a sewing expo a few weeks ago and checked out the brands there. I liked the Gammill and the the TinLizzie the best. In the meantime I learned of a used 2009 Gammill Premier Plus for sale from someone who lives nearby. I am going to check that one out but I wonder if I should buy a new one for my first time so I will get all the learning, support and warranty. I am also concerned that I have never used one except to demo- wouldn't it be nice to rent for a week-end and then decide if I want to spend many many hours doing this??

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 3:41PM
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