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Bobbin Sizes & machines

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Hello to all! I am a recently new member to this sight after trying the machines at the Dallas Quilt Show. I have been lurking and reading many posts and researching all kinds of machines for the past year.

I have noticed that some brands use L bobbin and other brands use M. I do not know the difference, so can someone help me with this information?

I love to make my own quilt tops and want to learn to quilt them on a machine. I have read and re-read so much information, I do not know which direction to go. Could some of you please share why you bought an APQS brand over other brands? The closes dealer for me would be in Lewisville, Texas and Connie was full of information and very enthusiastic about APQS that is why I have researched them and joined this group.

Since I have never quilted before, I am leaning towards a stitch regulator, but what else would I need? I am not sure when I can buy a machine, but when the time is right, I want to purchase the right one!!



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Hi Pam

Welcome to the site!! :)

When I was doing my search (I also took about a year to do all research) there were a lot of things that kept me coming back to APQS.

1) How easy it is to keep the machine running with only a few easy steps.

With a few steps when your done for the day of quilting, clean all lint off, oil, wipe down table. Good to start the next day

2) How light the LA was.

I wasn't able to try out any of the other machines all I had was info on how much the LA weighted

3) How often the LA needed to be timed

All the other LA needed to be timed every so often, and the belt needed to tightened. There just seemed to be more work to the other LA then the APQS LA. I want to Quilt not do maintence on a LA for most of the day.

I bought a used freedom without the stitch regulator because that is what I could afford at the time. (Mine was delivered end of February 2006)

With practising, you need to do a lot of it, I have no problems with it and enjoy it so much!!!:P I also bought whatever books I could find on LA quilting and I reccommend is Longarm Machine Quilting by Linda V. Taylor, I found mine on ebay.

Good Luck with finding the right LA for you!

Keep us posted


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There are several reasons to use an "L" bobbin. Cost is just one of them. As I do a lot of service/repair of different brands of LA's I have worked on machines that use the "M" bobbin. The "L" is the industry standard for high-speed sewing machines. This issue is addressed on the APQS web site.

I'll give you a couple of links. The first one is APQS advantages and # 4 addresses the bobbin.


Or the link directly to smart bobbin page is:


Hopes this helps. If you will contact the APQS dealer nearest you they will be able to answer any questions you might have. Client satisfaction is one thing that all of us in the APQS family pride ourselves on.

If we can be of service here at Country Lane let us know.


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I agree with the "L" bobbins being better, not just in the price but I feel

you get a better tension too. Yeah, so the "M" bobbin holds more thread,

maybe - my "L" prewounds hold 132 yards! Plus they fit in my domestic

machine - use when pieceing a backing or putting the customers binding

on their quilt - all thread is then matching my quilting. LOVE them!

I used to work in a shop that sold a small Mid-arm machine - it used the

"M" bobbin. I never could get used to those critters - or the vibration of

that machine - or where the controls were - felt really backwards to me.

Love APQS - the people - the machines - and the service! GRRRRREAT!

Back to your other questions - I think with the stitch regulator and the

right machine for you (size & price) you will be set! Just Practice - Practice -

Practice! Lots of playing to get you comfortable. Best thing to add to that

is a Hands-on class - learn from somebody who knows what they are

doing - relax - and have FUN! Good Luck and Best wishes!

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I bought a APQS Liberty last year and love it!

My reason for going with APQS was

1)the light weight design of their machines

2)the great customer service they give over the phone and on this site since I live no where near a rep.

3)the ease of the simple "plug in" type design for most of the machines parts. This way if repairs are needed most times you can do it yourself without having to pay hefty service repair bills.

4)the great advice you get from this site wether it's trouble shooting, design/business advice, or just some encouragement.

The people are great and someone is always available to lend a hand in time of need. When you buy APQS you get more than just a longarm you get so much more :)


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Hi Pam

With the smaller size bobbin you get a far better stitch quality overall and particularly when you slow down, stop and start, the tension on the threads remains consistent and quilting is all about the stitches!

If you can afford a machine with a stitch regulator, I am sure you will be very happy with your choice. APQS offer 4 machines with stitch regulator - the Liberty, the Freedom SR, the Green Milli and the Millennium - your local dealer Connie knows all about APQS machines and she is sure to give you excellent advice and after sales service.

Good luck with your choice and keep coming back here with any questions you have.

Happy Easter

Sue in Australia

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I appreciate all of the time taken for sharing the information. Somewhere down the road there in an APQS for me. I just need to find room for it and money to finance it.

All of the repliew have really helped me in my decision. Thanks you so much. I will go back to lurking and dreaming.


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I researched my longarm for about four years. I lurked on every site there was to lurk and asked question's that I am sure were quite annoying. I watched and listened all the time. Everytime I would take a quilt in to be quilted I would check out which machine they had bought and usually ask them why. I am a stay at home mom with three small children so I could not go to many shows and test drive. I was able to test drive a few but not all. The irony is I NEVER got to test the APQS machines.

However while lurking and watching on the longarmer's website on yahoo I watched for used machines. Upon doing this I noticed that a particular brand was up for sale ALOT and it made me wonder. So I started asking, I would email them and ask why were they selling and if they were upgrading what were they getting? Most of them were very open about this. Some of them were just upgrading with the same company. However a few of the quilters that I have sent my quilts to that I consider to be HUGE in the quilting world were selling thier machines and going for the Millie with APQS and when I saw this happening I knew that I was going to go with thier learning curve and not make the same mistake they felt they had made.

So I bought the Millineum and she is sitting in my room as we speak and I will let you know soon how it all turns out...LOL

I don't know if this helps you, but that's how I went about deciding. I figure if we can learn anything by someone else's mistakes then so be it. I know the other company's have good machines, but when you see all the post's online about HELP...my tension this my tension that. Or the ergonomics issues with HEAVY machines...I just wanted to avoid all that if possible.

I personally think I bought the best machine available on the market today and am so confident that I will be very happy. I even went with APQS and I do not have a dealer in my state. After talking with Myrna and Linda I knew that I would not have any trouble wtih APQS helping me when in need.

I went to visit my mother last week in another state and APQS tracked me down for my delivery information?? I was shocked..she said "we wanted to make sure that you opened this box and that to check the corners of that table" Most places once they have your money it seems they could care less. Anyway having said that Gammil called me last week as well and asked why I had not gone with them?? I had to be honest and tell her that there was nothing they could have done to pursuede me to buy from them even though they have a rep just a few miles from me.

I am going to shut up and hope that you have a great journey choosing your longarm.

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