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My machine was just delivered Monday, and it will be a couple weeks before the drywall is done in the room where she is to live. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out what I will need to do the heirloom quilting that is my ultimate goal. I gather a base expander is essential, as are micro-drive handles (which I already have.) So that leaves the base expander still to be acquired.

Are there different base expanders for the Millie, or is the Hartley expander the only one? If there are others, which one do you experienced quilters prefer? (Web links would be greatly appreciated for anything other than the Hartley.)

Thanks!

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i have to agree with kristina. i had the hartley for 4 years and got along with it...then i donita put hers out in the market and i just recently got it and i LOVE it...the diference (to me) was huge! the only regret i had is that i didn't get donita's sooner...i do 'finer custom' (i don't like the word ''heirloom) quilting and the diference between the two is amazing....the ruler 'snags/hands up on the lip of the hartly base and it 'wobbles', you don't even realize donita's is there....

so to answer your question- i like donita's s ruler mate base...

*my 2 cents*

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I just used my new Ruler Mate base for the first time yesterday. A HUGE improvement over the Hartley, in my opinion. One thing I notice, with the thread cutter, is that threads can get caught up in it, & cause the cutter to stall, in a way that doesn't happen with the regular throatplate. I know lots of people remove, or do not have, the cutter, & I am starting to think they are on to something, but I kind of like mine. Question for any who have done this: can you remove the cutter, & still use the base that is made for a cutter?

I am also finding it to be a very tight fit under both the front roller (belly bar) and the leveler bar. Still, not half as bad as the Hartley, which would not go there at all. Should I try to raise these bars, & if so is it hard to do?

Lynn, I would not hesitate to recommend the Donita Reeves' Ruler Mate.

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i don't use my thread cutter either, but hesitate to remove it for 'balancing' issues. it's not in the way....my philosophy, why fix something that isn't broke....

it's not hard to rasie the rollers....they're just screwed into the frame....using a big allen/hex head wrench, take the bolt out that holds it to the frame, and twist the bolt it slide into to raise/lower it....it's like the feet on a dryer....just make sure the same distance is bewteen the frame and roller on BOTH ends of the frame....

should be some mention of this in your manual....

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Thank you all for your input. Shannon, I guess the term "heirloom" quilting is a holdover from quilting on my domestic machine and reading every word Harriet Hargrave has ever written.

I will definitely check out Donita Reeves' Ruler Mate. It seems to be highly praised.

I have heard the "hanging up" complaint about the Hartley. Myrna Ficken said she put a washer under hers to raise it to the proper height, as otherwise it sits just a bit too low. For those who have the Hartley, maybe that would help eliminate the hanging-up problem.

Thanks again.

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If your Hartley base expander is not stable it is not properly installed. We have used the Hartley for years and sold many of them. I would think you would want to remove any base plate when not in use (the Hartley only takes a few seconds). Why put more unused weight and drag on you machine when it is not in use? I have seen the other base plates and they appear to be fine also (the owners are pleased). So the bottom line is like many items, there are many good ones available and it is mostly a matter of preference.

John

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I have used both the Rulermate and the Hartley base. I used a Rulermate on my Liberty; when I upgraded to a Millennium, I decided to try the Hartley base. I really like it. Mine is very sturdy and does not wobble at all, and I like the convenience of just slipping it on and off and not having to screw and unscrew, although that certainly didn't bother me when I was using the Rulermate. But now, it's nice not to have to. But both bases are very good.

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