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ladydeluxe

First Time Posting and Looking For Help

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I have been following this forum for almost a year but this is my first post.  I own a sit down machine but for years I’ve wanted a long arm.  I do not want the stress of quilting for hire so it has been difficult justifying the cost.  For twenty years I’ve wanted a long arm and in twenty years I’ll be too old to enjoy, I’ve now justified the cost.

 

Now it’s trying to decide which machine.  I would really like Millie but she’s not in my budget.  I enter the giveaway every day but I think a backup plan is in order, Lucy is more realistic.  Questions:  Why did you choose an APQS?  What size bobbin do you have?  I’ve been told that there is a problem with the M and the recommendation id to get the L.  I haven’t been able to find anyone in the area with Lucy and I’ve heard APQS will not be at the Madison Expo this year.

 

A couple of reasons I like Lucy is the 26” throat, what I’ve heard about APQS support and being able to do some of the machine maintenance myself (myself means asking my husband).

 

Thanks, Wendy

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Wendy, I chose an APQS because it felt the best to me when I test drove various machines.  Some vibrated a lot, the Gammill felt very heavy, and others felt flimsy or sounded rickety.  I have had my Freedom for over 4 years, and am still confident I made the right decision for me.  I, too, heard that there could be issues with the M bobbin (mostly tension), so I went with the L.  Many people on the forum love their M bobbins, and I do wish I didn't have to change bobbins so often, but I'm OK with my L.  I only quilt for myself, and might feel differently if I did a lot of commercial quilting.

 

APQS support is fantastic!  Also, the help you can get from others on this forum is really wonderful.  I have never owned another brand, so I can't compare, but I find it difficult to believe anything can beat APQS.

 

Have you considered a used Millie?  APQS often has them listed for sale, and other owners frequently list them on the forum, too.  That might be a way to get the machine you want at the price you can afford.

 

Best of luck with your decision!


Betsy

quilting with Emmeline, a 2011 Freedom SR

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Wendy:

 

When you say you have a sit-down machine, do you mean a DSM or a George/Handiquilter sit-down type large throat machine?  I ask only to understand your situation.  I for one enjoy easily changing over from the DSM to George.  Just more room to move the quilt top.  I like the touch of the fabric.  

 

I have a George, and love it.  I do not have the space for a longarm.  Though if I were going to get one, I would get an APQS for both the quality and more importantly the lighter weight of the machine head.  It does take effort to slow down the head to move it in another direction.  It is all about mass and momentum.  Try to visit a show where you have numerous machines available to try out, and see what you think on your own.

 

Concerning the L verses M bobbin issue, I would suggest you search the topic and read some old posts.  I have an L, and do not mind the shorter time between getting up and winding/installing a new bobbin.  It makes me get up stretch, and move a bit.  Plus for me the cost differential between the two would not justify the larger M bobbin.  Just my opinion, and as valuable as a one-handed clap.

 

I feel you cannot go wrong with APQS for the quality and their lifetime warranty.  That does not mean I would not buy used, because that is exactly what I did.  Find the best and most decked out machine you can find within your budget.  Shipping is not that expensive in the big scheme of things, so knowing that you might be able to reach out a little farther and find a machine that you can more easily afford.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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I bought a used Millie about 5 years ago.  It was new enough for me to upgrade to bliss after a couple of years.  The service is phenomenal even though I am not the original owner of the machine.  Easy to use and care for by myself.  I have had 2 issues with it over the years.  Both fairly minor.  One required a new board--it was free to me as it was defective when manufactured.  They kept someone at the plant at Carroll until I could drive there after work.  I was down one day.  The other was a rough spot near my bobbin, shredding thread.  I called and Amy talked me through fixing it.  I am surprised and pleased in this day and age that a company stands behind their product like they have for a second owner.  I plan to purchase a second machine for my business as soon as we have Quilt Path paid off and I find a deal I can't pass up. 

Just my experience. 


b5ff5a34df3ea93128cc94b3e932bc2c.pngA Quilted Memory--t shirt quilts and more. 2008 Millie blissed and quiltazoid equipped

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Wendy:

 

When you say you have a sit-down machine, do you mean a DSM or a George/Handiquilter sit-down type large throat machine?  I ask only to understand your situation.  I for one enjoy easily changing over from the DSM to George.  Just more room to move the quilt top.  I like the touch of the fabric.  

 

I have a George, and love it.  I do not have the space for a longarm.  Though if I were going to get one, I would get an APQS for both the quality and more importantly the lighter weight of the machine head.  It does take effort to slow down the head to move it in another direction.  It is all about mass and momentum.  Try to visit a show where you have numerous machines available to try out, and see what you think on your own.

 

Concerning the L verses M bobbin issue, I would suggest you search the topic and read some old posts.  I have an L, and do not mind the shorter time between getting up and winding/installing a new bobbin.  It makes me get up stretch, and move a bit.  Plus for me the cost differential between the two would not justify the larger M bobbin.  Just my opinion, and as valuable as a one-handed clap.

 

I feel you cannot go wrong with APQS for the quality and their lifetime warranty.  That does not mean I would not buy used, because that is exactly what I did.  Find the best and most decked out machine you can find within your budget.  Shipping is not that expensive in the big scheme of things, so knowing that you might be able to reach out a little farther and find a machine that you can more easily afford.

 

Best of luck to you.

 

Cagey

Thank you for your response, I have the Handiquilter which has the larger M bobbin.

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Wendy,

 

I started out with an industrial machine on a Hinterberg wooden frame. I do mostly large quilts and this set up was not very friendly doing large quilts. The throat size did not allow me to do the whole quilt without turning the quilt around after doing only half. I could not do larger patterns because of limit throat space. I desperately  wanted a larger machine, but had a very limited budget. I started researching machines, (looking for the best bang for the buck) APQS seemed to be the best to me. Everyone that owned one seemed to love them. It also did not hurt that APQS has one of the best customer support.  I could not afford a new machine so I started searching want ads for used machines. My dream machine was the Millie, but that was way out of my price range at the time. I purchased my first longarm right here on the forum, an Ultimate 2. After quilting my first quilt on the Ultimate 2, I was in love. Over time I was able to upgrade to a Ultimate 1 with a add on stitch regulator and now I have my Millie. All of my machines were used machines and I have never had any issues with them! That says a lot about APQS quality!

 

I love this forum and all the support from it's members. I have learned so much here! All the eye candy here is pretty nice too!

 

I cannot give you much advise about the M bobbins, I have only used the L bobbins. I am like Cagey, I don't mind the smaller bobbins.

 

If you want to test drive the Lucey, I would check APQS's Road Show schedule; I know they travel to Wisconsin often.


8EA3F8AB67CAE9B4618443BDC6588E06.pngsignature.png.1b0eddf5a8f9b785ff18723ff6665887.png

Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.



 

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Wendy:

 

Then it only looks like you need to find out if which longarm you truly want.  Like I said, go test drive a bunch of them.  Join your local guild.  There might be some longarmers in the group that will take time on their slow day to educate you why their machine is best.  You probably can even test drive it a bit.  If this is not possible travel to a show or two and test drive the machines.  Then you can make an informed decision what is best for you.  I whole heartedly recommend APQS.  Good luck shopping.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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I had a new Millie several years ago, then sold it all. I finally got back to quilting and purchased a used Freedom aka Freddy. I recommend looking at the Certified Used machines from APQS website. Great machines. Both times I went with the L bobbin. The first time there was no choice. With the Freedom, I selected the L bobbin. You should talk with someone at APQS to find out why, but when I said I wanted the L bobbin, they always say, "Good choice!" The used machines come with a one year warranty, but you could always trade up later when you can better afford it. Don't give up on the Millie, and give Freddy a look, pretty much the same machine.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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If you look at the vendor list for the Madison Expo, APQS is there. Another idea, much sooner than the September show is checked out APQS road shows. They maybe having one near you, and you can get a great deal on new machines. I bought a 2007 Millie about 1 1/2 yrs ago. I upgraded to a Bliss. APQS has great service!

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I bought my george at a road show.. I was able to quilt with all the machines though and had a great time. I had done a lot of research and had pretty well decided on the APQS brand before I went there. Google luck in your search. Keep us posted.


Judy Day

Love My Georgia  (aka George)

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I received a email yesterday from APQS for Road Show in Minnesota the beginning of June.  I can sign up for the Demo on Saturday.  I can leave for Minnesota after work on Friday, demo on Saturday and drive home on Sunday.  I told my husband about my plan and respond "that sounds great but isn't that the weekend Kristie is getting married".  That's okay, it does look like APQS will be at the Madison show or maybe I can make it to another Road Show.  It will happen when the time is right.  

 

I have been looking at the different brands and have had the opportunity to a few.  I haven't had a chance to try an APQS but from the research I've done it's on the top of my list.

Thank you all for your suggestions and yes I am seriously considering used.

 

Wendy

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Yes yes yes on the road shows.  Go to the APQS home page and click around you'll find a list of them on the calendar.  There is usually a very good discount if you put a deposit down at a road show too!  But the best reason to go is to try every model APQS has, and determine which is best for you.  Try one with Bliss and one without.  EVen if you don't buy at the road show, you'll be happy to be there and get all your questions answered.

 

The best reason to buy APQS?  Because you are buying into a family.  The support is terrific, you won't find a better warranty (lifetime!), and they just perform!!!!

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Hi Wendy!

Definitely go to a road show if you can! I attended one several weeks ago and it was fantastic, lots of information, the opportunity to try all of the machines, extremely helpful folks from APQS who answered every question asked!

I didn't buy at the road show as I wanted to check out the Innova at MQX, once I had the chance to test drive the Innova, which while it is a lovely machine I really preferred the APQS, I headed right over to the APQS booth and ordered my Lenni!

My Lenni arrives on Tuesday I can't wait!

Good luck in your search, just take the time to find the machine that is right for you!

Beth

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Beth, congratulations on your soon to arrive Lenni.  So far the only road show somewhat near me (4 1/2 hr drive) is not until October, Springfield, Illinois.  Looks like APQS will be at the Madison Quilt Expo in September but it doesn't say anything about Road Show.  

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Wendy:

 

Tell your husband you want to take him fishing, hunting, golfing, or something fun he likes.  Just make sure its near a quilt show with lots of machines.  That way you can shop while he is enjoying himself.  Hopefully he will have a great day doing what he enjoys, so you can put your money down on your new baby.  Best of luck to you plotting your adventure.  

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Like the others here, I say try out any LA you can get your hands on. I was only able to try out a couple. None of which was APQS funny enough. Between being on this forum, learning from everyone here and talking with APQS for a couple years. I decided to buy a used Millie (Patience) clear across the country without even trying it out. My logic was, APQS would help with anything that arised. My husband was worried but not me. These lady's and gent's made me confident. I've not regretted getting Patience in these 3 years. I love the fact I don't have to send her off if something goes wrong. The forums and company talk you through everything. I just can't say enough good things about the APQS family.


Wanda

Lake View,Iowa

Quilting with Patience (2004 Millennium) since 2013

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I have a Handiquilter sit-down and the only issue I've had was taking it in for it's annual check-up.  It took me over 2 months to get the appointment and once I dropped the machine off it was another week to get it back.  I've been able to try the Handiquilter and Gammill long arms, both were fine.   If I find what I want and the price I want I would also buy without first trying it out.

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Wendy:

 

With APQS, and I would hazard to guess even your Handiquilter, you can do the service yourself.  I would bet your dealer took no more than an hour or two to clean/oil your handiquilter.  You will be doing it on your own with APQS.  Sure you can send it in for "spa service" every now and then, but I would guess it is more then, then now.  I know the Gammills in my local quilt shop run all the time.  They never get sent in, and only get oiled as recommended.  They work for years and years.  If you still have your handiquilter when next years annual service comes around, I would tell the technician you want to be there for the service work.  Tell them you want to see what areas you need to work on taking better care to clean/service.  I did this with my DSM.  Watched the dealer take it all apart and clean it.  I saw where I needed to vacuum a little better to get lint and threads out from.  I also learned that I am no longer scared to take the cover off to get to a thread or an area, that would be inaccessible otherwise.  I would never access the electronics, or try to make adjustments to the threader, etc., but I am comfortable opening it up.  You should be comfortable to do the same on your handiquilter and future APQS.  

 

Best of luck to you shopping, and I firmly believe when it it time, a used or new machine will materialize.  You will buy it and be completely happy with your decision and purchase.  You will become a prolific poster here, and enjoy your new family.  Happy hunting....for a new machine.  

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Wendy,

I went with APQS because they are made in the USA and I knew I didn't like the way some other machines felt.  I never tried the APQS but I read about them watched a lot of videos and talked to the office and a rep.  I just always felt like I was welcome to call about anything and I still feel that way.  I went with a demo freedom. It has the same warranty as a new machine and cost less and has more upgrades.  I have the L bobbin as that is the only one available at the time but I would go with it again as they say it has better tension and less problems.


Connie

Any day that I get to quilt is a great day.

Freedom SR 2011

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Hi Wendy!

I'm a newbie too! Took delivery of my Millie (Luna) in Oct. I went with APQS for a few reasons...3 friends from my Guild have had theirs for about 6 and 10 years...have nothing but positive comments about them and can't say enough wonderful things about APQS customer service...how the tech will "listen" to your machine on the phone and be able to help you with the diagnosis and tell you how to fix it! I liked the fact that it is American made and has a lifetime warranty to which I was able to add my daughters. Hopefully, one of them will someday quilt!

Shortly after mine arrived, I broke a needle and messed up the timing...even I could hear that something wasn't right! I am determined not to be intimidated by Luna, so I took a deep breath, watched the YouTube video on timing, and then replayed it step by step until I FIXED IT!! I had a subsequent problem where the thread kept breaking after just a few stitches...I called APQS, got Dawn who made a few suggestions, never made me feel like an idiot, and even emailed me over the weekend to see how I was doing. Long story short, I took a deep breath, started from scratch, and realized I made the typical newbie mistake of putting the needle in backwards...

Recently I was at MQX and used 2 other brand machines in classes. Neither felt as "solid" as Luna.

I wish you luck in your journey! Another friend just sold her Gammill and bought a Millie at a road show. If APQS is at any quilt show you can get to, you can "test drive " there too.

Carol


Carol

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I'm sure I will be repeating what others have said but wanted to voice my opinion.  I own a Millie, which I love.  I sold my first machine, a Handquilter and bought my APQS Millie.  I tried every machine at AQS Paducah.  Narrowed it down to Gammill and APQS.  The reps at Gammill were not very friendly.  A friend that was with and owns a Gammill, showed me more than the sales rep.  I don't think the Rep was taking me seriously.  Beside not so great customer service, I did not like that way the Gammill handled, didn't like the frame and the way a quilt was loaded.  One of the features on a APQS is the handles.  It feels very uncomfortable for me to have my hands up on handles.  APQS handles are down and it is more like drawing to me.  When I had the HandiQuilter I always used the micro handles because of this.   My timing was off (operator error not APQS) and Dawn helped me fix it,helped order the part I needed and even did a follow up to make sure I was up and running.  Will always own and use a APQS.


Diane Wingo

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