teresa_nc7August 11, 2012

That's what it sounded like today when I test drove an APQS Millennium long arm machine! No....I didn't win the lottery! I took a class to learn how to use the long arm to quilt my own quilts at my LQS. After we got over our intimidation of this big ole machine, we had fun practicing our meanders, loop-de-loops, viney leaves and writing our names. There were just six of us in the class and I think at least 5 of us are gung ho to get proficient on this quilting machine.

I had fun and learned a lot! They say that "time is money" so I'm willing to spend some money to save me some time. After/when/if I retire I will have more time - but in the meantime, this is an alternative.


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lol...sounds like you had fun. kewl!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:07PM
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What a great idea. I'm a bit intimidated by those machines. When I bought my Babylock Jane, that I intend to use for free motion the salesman had a long arm for "only" $4000. It was a great deal, but I'd need to add a room!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:23PM
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I took an intro to longarm and now I am hooked. I used to feel that quilts needed to be handquilted but have changed my mind! My goal was to get one quilt done a month and have completed 5 since November. I just bought the backing and batting for the next one I want to quilt so hopefully will get it done in the next couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:29AM
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How wonderful that you have a quilt shop willing to let others use/rent their machine! I have always thought this would be a great idea but never have found a shop willing to let you do that. Some training, instructions, and a little supervision and what a money making situation for a long arm owner!
I would love to use a long arm but the cost and space requirements prohibit purchase.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:52AM
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What fun! We have a local quilt shop that rents out time on a long arm too. Of course you have to take the training class, but that's part of the fun and joy! I wish they had a sit down mid-arm, like the APQS George so I could work with that.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Teresa ~ what fun! I know of a group of ladies who bought a LA together-it lives at one house- and they all share in time and expense to maintain. Like any partnership, the success of the venture depends on the right partners!
I think renting time at a shop is ideal! I can't wait to see what you do! I wish I had somewhere close to rent.
I am so excited for you! I suggest you read-read-read and look at alot of pictures. Since you don't have to be concerned with maintenance, and you can walk away if/when the tension gets off, you have the luxury to develop your technique and hone your skills. Now is the time to pull ot all those unquilted tops and practice on them!
You Go Girl!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Well that sounds like a hoot of fun Teresa. I'm just starting to enjoy FMQ w/ my machine and testing new patterns out anytime I have a free minute, really just to practice. I can't imagine using one of the big boys yet!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:10AM
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I plan to make a charity quilt or two and quilt them on this machine to give me some practice, then quilt some baby quilts for my Etsy shop before I try a bed quilt size. The owner said that he has seen quilters finish a queen size quilt in 2 hours.

The only thing that some of us didn't like: when the machine light was on, we couldn't see the quilting very well as we were moving across the quilt. We asked to turn out the light and that made a marked improvement in our ability to see the quilting area right under the needle.

The shop is a half hour drive for me, but it is right off the interstate and easier access than their previous location. They also have a shop now in my town! But I don't think they plan to offer the rental use of the long-arm machines. The man of the owners/couple is the one that teaches the long-arm class and is available to help you when you schedule your time to use the machine. They are members of our guild and are very supportive of the guild - really great people. He was guild president last year.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:15AM
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You are so lucky! It sounds like a win-win situation.
Poor lighting is a complaint I read and hear about all the time. One of the factors is the height of the quilter-He may see - or Not see-tha same area due to difference in your heights. There are remedies that light up the throat/ needle in both directions. If I was renting space and time, I would (kindly) want the absolute best working conditions and lighting. Especially when you start quilting fancy shapes and using different threads - and I know you will.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Good for you, Teresa and how brave. Our LQS, 3 blocks away, offered the lessons/rental formula too, but I was too intimated yet to try. Hopefully next time.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 2:49PM
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I am sooooo jealous of those of you who have great LA's to rent!!! :~)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Lucky you Theresa. There is a shop near me that rents long arm time and I've been one of their biggest fans for over a year now. I pay $20 an hour for the first 20 hours; then the rate goes down to $15. I've gotten to really like pantogrqaphs.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:28AM
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I didn't realize shops rented their long arms. That is awesome. I have a feeling if I learned to use one, I would be hooked and want to buy one. They looks like so much fun!!



    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 8:32AM
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