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fineseams

DSM quilter considering LA

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I have done a lot of free motion quilting on my DSM - mostly for myself, but some for charity, friends, etc. I have been teaching free motion quilting for my local guild for the past several years.

Recently I have been thinking about purchasing an Ultimate I. It is not so expensive that I would have to break the bank to buy it, and I figure I can learn to use it on whole cloth and community quilts.

I really enjoy machine quilting, and if this turns out to be as interesting as I hope it will be, I would consider starting a business quilting for others. I have a room in one of our outbuildings suitable for the machine. I don't need to make a lot of money - but it would be nice to be able to pay for the machine and then have some extra dollars coming in.

I have just discovered the APQS forums, and am enjoying reading the posts. I'd appreciate hearing advice about how others began their LA experience. Did you teach yourself? Take classes? How long did you practice before you felt you were competent to take in quilts from paying customers? What things should I consider before taking the plunge?

Thanks for any wisdom you can share:-)


Bonnie

(and Amazing Grace)

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Hi fineseams (please add a signature so we know your name). I started with my DSM and graduated to a PFAFF Grand Quilter and Inspira frame. So many of my friends wanted me to quilt for them, that I knew that it would not be difficult for me to pay off a longarm machine, and before I knew it, the best deal of my life came up and APQS was selling some Green Milleniums for a good price. Within a week I had made my decision and am so happy I did! I didn't even know about this fabulous forum at the time - my instincts just told me this was RIGHT.

I sold my Grand Quilter to my best friend (who only quilts for herself), bought my Milly and am sew busy! I always have work/business on this machine and like you, I don't want to make a lot of money, just want to pay off my machine and I think that will happen sooner than I thought.

Check out the APQS website. They have some used Milleniums for sale for $10k. At those prices they won't last long, so if you are interested GO FOR IT!!! You won't be sorry!


Caroline

2009 Green Millennium with Quilt Path

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An Ultimate 1 is a great place to start. It will let you decide how much you love quilting with a LA. You can easily do a business with it. There is lots to learn and taking classes really helps that process. I went to Camp Mowana in OH and have gone for 3 years now . It is a way to get lots of hands on training and really learn a lot! Well worth the money. Not sure where you are located but if you are near one of the big shows I'd suggest you go and take some classes. There are also some online classes that you can take. Good luck.

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It sounds like you are all ready for a longarm, and if money isn't an issue, I think you should do it.

However, I bought my longarm before I learned about Sue Nickels and the outstandingly beautiful quilting she does on a domestic. Had I known it was possible to do that, I might not have bought a longarm. Too soon old, too late smart.

I don't regret buying my longarm, however, but I might have waited longer until I could have better afforded it.


Marilyn

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I started out exactly like you - DSM quilting and teachine. I bought my Lenni in August of '08 and have never looked back. I watched the DVD that came with the machine and bought a couple of DVDs that helped. I read this forum every day without fail. Then I took a couple of classes with Patty Butcher. Everything just fell into place. I don't think the learning curve is that big if you already quilt on a DSM. I am not good like the ladies here but I am in quilting heaven. Welcome to the forum and enjoy the ride.;););)


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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I machine quilted with my Bernina and was pretty good, so I thought long and hard about buying a longarm. I'm so glad I did. I love to do big quilts. I first purchased the HQ16, but the space was limiting and I didn't like it. But everything worked out fine because my friend bought it and I got the new Millenium.

I bought some DVD's, books, and took classes from DeLoa Jones. Now, this year I'll be going to MQX. This site is awesome. I can't say enough about the kindness of all the members. You only have to ask and you have so many solutions.

I'm not artistic and I never will be. I'll never be as good as some of the members on this site and I don't care. They don't care either because they're so encouraging. They make you feel like you've just finished a blue ribbon quilt. I do quilt pantographs for friends and have done some custom for good friends only. I'm very comfortable with that arrangement. It keeps me in thread, pantographs and will probably buy me a quiltazoid in the future.

I say buy the best machine you can afford and you won't regret it. Good luck with your decision.

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Wow! Thank you all. I have quilted a number of pretty fancy queen-size quilts on my Bernina or Brother, and it is possible to do fine work, but it is slow because of spending so much time managing bulk. Right now I have a king size top that I am dreading getting started on:-(

I saw the used Milleniums for 10k, but I think that is rather a lot to spend when I am unsure how committed I will be. The Ultimate is less expensive than many of the smaller machines - Tin Lizzie, etc. and the one I'm looking at is reconditioned by APQS, so I feel comfortable that it will be in good operating condition. I figure I can always trade up if this venture turns out to be fun and profitable:-)

I didn't really look at the Millenium as I felt I didn't want to spend that much money, and I don't think I need a stitch regulator. Are there other features that I should have considered before dismissing it?


Bonnie

(and Amazing Grace)

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It really helps to go to the shows and try the machines. Then you can see the differences in them. Even if there's someone near you that you can visit, it helps. I thought I'd be happy with the HQ16, but I wasn't. You won't go wrong with the Ultimate machine, and like you said, you can always upgrade.

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The $10k for a used Millennium is a terrific deal. I spent $12 on my Green Millennium and thought that was a great deal...and it was.

You get the horizontal/vertical channel locks, thread cutter and stitch regulator plus your choice of frame 10, 12 or 14'.

The Ultimate Machines are good too. Bonnie and several others started on an Ultimate non-sr machine. Some have upgraded to newer machines...while some have not. It will all depend on the amount and type of quilting you wish to do.

For myself...I quilt quite a bit. I do not do it as a business...but my longarm is more than paying for itself in that I now have the ability to finish my own quilts in a timely manner...and to my satisfaction. I love longarming. it is fun and enjoyable and relaxing and fun...all at the same time.

You have have to decide for yourself what to get...but I believe you are looking in the right direction and at the greatest longarm machines built on the market...an APQS!


Kristina at website http://withakquilting.blogspot.com/ and personal blog http://froggybottomquilting.blogspot.com/

 

Hoppily quilting along with FROGGER - my Green Millennium, and TOAD - my Liberty. Quiltazoid equipped too!

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