Hi, I am new to this site. I have been reading everything for the a while now and have been impressed with how helpful everyone is. So now I am turning to you all...
I started thinking about getting a longarm about 5 years ago, but due to the cost didn't get very far. Since then I have done a lot of piecing and have quilted queen size and king size quilts with my Bernina. I don't want to do that again, it was just too difficult with the amount of room available.
Cost is an issue (of course). I loved the APQS long arms and thought a green millineum would be perfect. Initially my husband went along with this. However, he is now having serious doubts and wants me cut back to about the $8000 area.
My initial plan was to use the machine for personal use, and if possible start doing quilting for others. Our area all ready has a lot of long arm quilters and I may not get much (if any business). Also, since I work full time (and overtime) and am busy with family, my husband has expressed concerns about me not having the time to do everything.
Soooo...I think it comes down to two options:
I have looked at a Handi Quilter 16. In this option, I would be able to do my own quilts easily. I don't think this would allow me any option of getting into business. I have had some people tell me that they think the machine would be frustrating and I would quickly regret this decision...However, it has a stitch regulator that I have been wanting.
My other thought is going to the APQS George. The positive is that since I am currently doing quilting with my Bernina, the transition to using George would hopefully go smoothly. It has speed control but not a stitch regulator (so I would be giving up on this want). I am hoping that in the next few years maybe it could be traded in or sold used to move up to a long arm.
I was thinking it would be easier to deal with the George and APQS rather than a Handi Quilter. But would a Handi Quilter get me started on long arm technique (without being too frustrating)?
I know the APQS site talks about being able to pay off the machine by doing quilting for others, but I don't think I can count on this, as I need to know for sure that we can afford to make payments and at this time can not think of a "hope" or a "may be". I have been going back and forth for a couple of weeks am getting a headache. I trying this route and would be ever so thankful for any input.
Thanks so very much!!!