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need advice about Compu quilter


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Thinking about buying a longarm and thinking about Compu quilter. . .appreciate thoughts from you that are experienced with using CQ. I'm thinking about doing a part time business for the next ten years and then it would be more of a main business when I retire. How difficult is it to use? How difficult to digitize? What kind of learning curve? What is the main limitation? Does it really save time? Thanks much.

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Hello Giuliana,

I'm no expert but I am a newer owner of the Milli and in March I had my CQ installed.

With or without CQ my APQS machine is a STAR. I love it. The stitch regulator helps with the learning curve. I am using Manual more and more as I learn.

I work full-time also and have no problem getting quilts to do. In fact I am slowing down so I can do some of my own. At the rate I am going my earnings are proving that my machine will pay for itself in time. Keep in mind I WORK ALL THE TIME. Not everyone wants to quilt after a 12 hr shift job but I believe my hard work will pay off with in my First Blue Ribbon some day. My selection of thread and tools are better from all the early spending and I know have a good selection and my spending to get started has toned down a great deal.

The CQ is awesome. I still quilt alot without it as I love freehand. My customers are loving the CQ designs and the perfection that it offers when doing difficult type patterns. They do not pay for the perfection. The CQ does save me alot of time especially with the Edge to Edge patterns. I am doing a custom and the CQ is giving me perfect feathers and I get to freehand around them and have fun if more is what I want to do. If not they still look wonderful. I digitized my first allthough not great design just yesterday. That was so excited to achieve I can't tell you. I may have my own designs someday. WOW what a good idea. lolol

My only limitation is me. The more I learn about this the more creative I get. Now I didn't go into to this to get rich but because I love to quilt. The money I make is a big surprise and a great motivator for sure.

I was going to leave my fulltime job but it has afforded me this awesome machine and CQ. Now I want another machine so I need to QUILT QUILT QUILT.

You should find a dealer near you and Drive the APQS machines they are love at first sight. Same with the CQ. Find someone near you who has it or attend one of the shows that the CQ will be at. It will amaze you and future updates will make you want it more.

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I retire in just a few 8 months... I can't wait... I hope that I can afford the new CQ Computer. I have a Milie long arm.. and I love it. I finished 3 quilts in the last two weeks, and I work full time at UPS as a Manager. I travel 5 days a week. I would be lost without my LA. Can't wait to retire and get a CQ.

Good luck....

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Hi Guiliana

The APQS machine and CQ combo is awesome. You get the smoothest, lightest and most reliable machine around with the ability to do perfect quilting with CQ that you couldn't possibly do hand-guided.

Since you are looking long-term, you certainly need to purchase one of the APQS machines with a built-in needle positioner, then you wont need to trade your machine to have CQ installed later. I'd also suggest you have it installed on one of the machines with a larger throat space - ie Millennium or Freedom and then you will spend less time rolling on the quilt and will be able to choose larger designs.

One of the best things about having CQ on your APQS machine is that you can set it to do a row of quilting and walk away and do something else - if you want to - although in the first few weeks you will probably be so captivated by it you'll want to stand and watch it quilt for you.

Thinking in the long term again, APQS has a 3 years warranty that covers so much more than you would expect and the CQ programme is constantly being updated and all software upgrades are FREE. The new upgrade is due out in May and its just awesome.

You can quite realistically quilt and earn money as soon as its installed. After your in-house training, just follow the manual its very well written and the program has prompts at every stage if you get stuck.

I have my CQ attached to my Millennium but I am considering buying a Freedom SR and running that with the CQ, its a little cheaper because it doesn't have some of the features of the Milli, or you could attach a CQ to a Freedom without SR.

I'd say the computer will pay for itself very quickly. For details on that call Carla in Des Moines office she has a business plan that guides you to how long it will pay off each machine. (In fact I think that business plan is available on this website to download).

Good luck in your new career, and ask questions here if you need more info.

Sue in Australia

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I love my CompuQuilter:D. It is so easy to use and my quilts look great - better than what I can do free-motion. The one drawback that I see with the CQ is that I am not spending as much time practicing my free-motion quilting (which I find does not come naturally to me) and the fact that I really need to work on fillers.:(

I have just recently started digitizing and am really enjoying it. I have created several designs and I am getting ready to put one of them (a design for a sashing and corner of the sashing) on a quilt I am working on.

There are also many designs which can be purchased from designers which are wonderful.

I highly recommend that if you are considering getting a computerized system to go with the CompuQuilter (it is my understanding that the other major brand can't do corners!).

I love my Millie and I love my CQ.:D

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Hi Susan,

I love the CQ for the flexibility it gives me in my quilting!:)

I can quickly function between those perfect CQ design for quilts that require many motifs, i.e. double wedding ring or Irish chain, then I can move on to doing the background free-hand work!

It has been the single best thing I have done for my business as it is all the "buzz" that I can do perfectly executed designs quickly!

That has enhanced my profit margin for my business in a way I could *never* do without CQ.

I think if you get the chance to see it in operation you will see first hand how beneficial it is. :)

Be sure to look at the CQ quilts on the chat forum as well, they are beautiful!;)

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Oh well, I'll never be able to compete against the perfection of a computer....I guess I kinda like the little imperfections here and there. Call me old-fashioned, but it reminds me it is hand-done. If I wanted absolute perfection, I would buy one from the store...but that's just me. I don't think the customers care one way or the other, I mean whether it's hand done or not, as long as it looks good.

I guess just like hand vs machine piecing, folks just had to get used to new technology. I'm not sure how to feel...aaarrgghh - computers are taking over the world!

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