RE; Buying a long arm quilting machine

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It took me lots of looking to decide on an APQS but give me a call or email and I can give you a list a mile long on why I chose an APQS!

For me some of the MOST important issues were:

[*]Where it was made-Carroll, Iowa- I have been to the factory and it is awesome!

[*]Weight-my first machine was very heavy

[*]Ease in adjusting the machine movement to MY style

[*]Service-how easy was/is it to get hold of someone at the factory or my local APQS Sales Representative

[*]Thread-Can I use ANY thread I want with only very MINOR adjustments to the single tensioner


These are only a few of my wants and not necessarily in any particular order of importance.

Also, just to let you know I have been LongArm quilting for ten years and have owned my Millennium for the last four years. Since then we have added to our list of machines and there is something about EACH machine that makes me love them!

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I have been able to test drive a few different ones (machines) and have found that the APQS does not vibrate as much as the Gammil does, it's also lighter in weight which, to me, makes a huge difference in fatigue of the upper body.

best of luck in your search.

Tish Marshall

Uniquely Yours Quilts

APQS Green Millie Owner

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I chose an APQS because the very first time I tried it, it moved so easily and others seemed so much harder to move around. I have artheritis in my shoulders and hands so it had to be easy to move or I wouldn't even have considered it. I can steer it with only a couple of fingers on the handles. Love it, Love it, Love it

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Guest Linda S

I chose APQS before even trying any quilting machines. How? I did a lot of research on the internet. I looked at longarm site and observed the troubleshooting areas, and saw very few complaints about APQS. Other brands had lots of frustrated complaints from owners -- didn't make them very appealing. Then I looked at specs - weight, quilting area, features. My machine had everything I could ever want, plus it is made in the USA and has the best stitch regulator out there. Next was customer service. APQS has the BEST customer service around. When you break down on a weekend and all the service people are at a road show and Mark calls you from the airport to get you up and going, you know these folks go way above and beyond! :D I did go and test drive the Millennium and decided it was just a tad too big for me -- great machine, but I have neck and back problems -- so I bought the Liberty. I have never been sorry. I love my machine. There are times when I feel like it is just an extension of my own hands. It does everything I want it to do!


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This is an APQS site, but I will tell you how I came to own 2 Noltings. They were close, familiar (I had rented them) and the price was right. I have done a test run on at a local Gammill dealer but the price point was way above my budget. The 'extras' that they offered were cosmetic and some of the ones that were 'working' extras, were actual not functioning properly during the test run.

Even though I've been to 2 LA conventions, I wasn't in the market so I didn't stop at the machine booths.

Through this site, I now see that there are many APQS dealers in my area and I will definately be making a trip to check them out before I make my next purchase.

Like with any major purchase, I will list those 'must haves' and 'would really like' so that I don't short change myself while my eyes are rolled back in ecstacy! :D

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Hi Canada,

Why did I buy the Millenium versus another - many reasons.

I never went to a quilt show, or to a dealer. I did all my research on line, and narrowed my choice down to APQS and Gammil. I was leaning towards APQS at this point, given cost and features.

I emailed both companies, stating my needs and my desires. The response from APQS was business-like, spelling out the features of the 2 machines I was interested in, and giving me the bottom line price for both with various options.

Gammil's local representative sent me a long religious treatise on how Jesus Christ had brought her to quilting, and she was sure Jesus Christ had brought me to quilting too, and wasn't it all wonderful! Not a single answer to ANY question I asked. Not even a price.

Now, personally, I found this a bit offensive. What if her prospective customer is not a Christian? I know Jewish quilters, I know at least one Muslim quilter. I did not like being put into this woman's personal pigeonhole.

I have no issues with someone having had God bring them to quilting, but when I ask business questions, I expect business-like answers! To the point, and addressing all of my concerns. I want a long-arm quilting machine, not a catechism lesson. I DID get this from APQS, and felt I could deal with them in a straight-forward manner.

So that's why I chose APQS.


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Hi Knotknut -

I don't want anyone to think I am anti-God, LOL, but seriously, a business shooting themselves in the foot by making assumptions about their customers (i.e., all quilters are Christians), just chafes my soul.

But I do think I got on my personal hobby-horse.

To the original poster, Canada, I truly did find the APQS team to exceptional in service both prior to and after my purchase.

Mind you, I have NEVER called for any question but one - the machine works that well!


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I had been looking for several years. I had tried several brands and had even taken a 4-hour class at our local Gammil dealer to learn how to use their machines so I could rent their's to quilt on. I had always thought I wanted the Gammil, but after this class I decided that it was not the machine for me. (I have a bad back and I was really in agony after finishing this class - the machine was just too heavy for me). I had previously tried other machines at local shows and dealers.

I had emailed APQS for information on their machines and they sent me good info. Also, about the same time, I found out they were coming to town to showcase their machines. I went and immediately fell in love with their machines. After discussing the pros and cons of the APQS machines with my husband, I went back the next day and ordered my machine.

What sold me on my Millie was how light it is and there was so little vibration. The people we met from APQS were very knowledgeable and helpful. Since my purchase, I have been extremely happy with the customer service APQS offers.

Try as many machines as you can prior to your purchase and you'll come back to APQS. They make wonderful machines.

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I didn't choose APQS, they chose me. I was looking for a used machine so I could get started in this business. I had gone to Paducah and tried them all. When I started seriously shopping for a machine I called around to see what kind of service and help I would get with a used machine bought from an individual. ONLY APQS offered me help, and believe me I needed lots of help those first few months. I think Connie cringed every time she saw my number come up on her caller ID, but I got the help I needed. My machine is older, not fancy, and does not have all the bells and whistles, but it runs great; and if I find something wrong with it I just call and somebody helps me fix it.

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I sort of have a similar experience like Mary...but thank God I didn't get the religious speech.

I too got on the internet, and shopped and then I got on the phone to call my final two choices, APQS and Gammil....keep in mind it was either 1996 or 1997 and there weren't the bells and gagits that we have today to choose from. My choices were only the ULT I or the ULT II from APQS and Gammil hadn't come out with their first stitch regulator yet either.

Anyway...when I called APQS the owner's mother (Barbara) got on the phone and helped me like you would never believe, there weren't any dealerships on the west coast and not many machines that I could just run out to look at. She first asked me to call and visit with Marilyn Badger and after talking with Marilyn I found out that her machine was being moved to her new studio and it wouldn't work for her, but then in turn she found someone who had taken classes from her and had a ULT II in California and he was willing to let me come watch him for a day....

While Gammil's founding owner basicly told me that if I wanted to see one of their machine I needed to hop a plane and fly to Missouri....well guess which one I have.

I came home from Michael's house and ordered the next day a used ULT II....its been a work horse and we have a special love affair that I'm not sure I will give up even if the time comes for another machine...a girl can always use two machines. Right!

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  • 1 month later...


I live in Georgia, and am looking at my options for a long armed quilter. I have tried the Handi Quilter with the Sweet Sixteen long arm machine, and was somewhat impressed, but want to explore my options. Since I live in Georgia, I am really at a loss as to where I can "try" the APQS Millie...which is what I would want along with the CQ...has anyone bought the machine without "trying" it out first? I know there is a dealer in the Tampa, FL area, which is about a 9 hour drive for me. Does anyone have any suggestions?



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I bought mine without ever trying one out. I just read all the customer reviews, and I decided I wanted APQS. I really like my Milli and am just blissfully in ignorance of all the other machines as to having test driven them. Mine was shipped directly to my store, and my 14-year old grandson (with a little help from Papa) put it together.

My ONLY problem with APQS is that I can never get them on Saturday or Sunday which seems to be the only time I ever need them. :( I guess even the best service techs need a day off.

Hugs, Joy

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I'm with a number of others who never really test drove all the other machines out there. What has really attracted me to APQS is the customer service and all the happy, satisfied customers.

APQS was in the Detroit area this past weekend and I got to meet Bob, Carla and Deloa. Even though I already have a deposit down on a certified used Millie, I went anyway. You can push the machine head around with your thumb. I wanted to take the demo Millie home with me right then!

I'm currently waiting for my loan to get approved and then I will request shipping. I hope to join the list of happy owners next week. Now if for some reason my loan isn't approved, I'm going to have a lot of egg on my face. :P Needless to say, I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed!


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Hey Gail!

Bob, Carla & Deloa are the best, & I am so happy that you were able to attend the machine seminar!

I know you gained a wealth of information, & you are off to a great start!

Keep us posted on the delivery of your new baby! ;)

Life is good!:)

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I have been a LA qulter for 3 years at a quilt shop with a Gammill. I finally decided to open my own business and started looking at the machines. I went to APQS at Paducah and asked why I should buy it instead of Gammill. They showed me everything from a motor and foot pedal that rolled the quilt for me (I have RA and twisting with my wrists really hurt) to the one step tension, to smooth stitching rather than Gammill's jumpy bumpy sew. Gammill has to have its bar raised to roll larger quilts up as you stitch row after row. The problem arises where it is raised so much that the quilt bounces instead of laying smoothly. The techs will talk to you all day to help ( which they did when my machine had major tension problems ) and they never seem to get frustrated or upset with me.

I asked Gammill at the same Paducah show why I should buy a Gammill instead of APQS. I was told most customers like colored heads so I could buy one in purple if I liked. I asked if they had addressed the issues I had about tension, bouncy quilts, difficulty in using circle center, thread boogers, and sloppy handling. Nope! But I could really get a pretty color. lol Needless to say, I'm sewing on an APQS

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Mariah.... where in Ga. are you? I am in NW FL between Pensacola and Panama City beach. September 25 -30 I am hosting Myrna Ficken for 6 days of classes. Myrna is an APQS rep and an awesome teacher. Unfortunately, most of the classes are full, but there will be machine demos on certain nights. You can see the schedule on Myrna's website . Click on the link for the Niceville, September classes.

If this is closer than Tampa for you, give Myrna a call and schedule for the demo.

We are going to have such a great time! It would be wonderful if you could join us.


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Hi Patty,

I'm located approximately 25 miles south of Atlanta in a small town called McDonough. We have been here for 5 years....moving up from Jupiter, FL. My husband lived in Panama City for many years working at Tindall (sp) AFB. Tampa is about 8-9 hours away (I have a sister who lives in Clearwater....and we make a trip down there to visit when we can).

We're trying to finish my sewing cottage and trying to get it completed before cold weather sets in, so traveling down to Florida right now isn't possible.

Thanks for the invite....hopefully I'll get down to Tampa before too long to visit my sister and be able to schedule a demo via Myrna. :)

Mariah ;)

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Hi Canada!

Since I too live in a "foreign" country, British Columbia, Canada, I wanted (make that needed!) a machine that was easy to maintain by myself. The idea of shipping a machine across the border for repairs and servicing didn't enthrall me too much. I like the simple, clean engineering of the APQS.

I had my first machine, an Ultimate 1, for 3 1/2 years without ever calling the plant for help. Part of it was stubborness! and part of it was the fact that I just plugged my new baby in and began to quilt. Any problem I had was solved by "reading the Manual", a very novel thought to many. LOL

In 2001, I travelled to Des Moines and the APQS plant with a friend from Seattle, just to spend a day with Mike Moore (the creator of the Millennium), to meet Jeff Jochim (the owner at that time), and to try to justify buying the new Millennium. While there, Jeff asked me if I'd like to be an APQS Dealer. Apparently I'd sold so many machines by word of mouth (unknown to me!), Jeff said I might as well get paid for it. Jeff made my dream of owning a Millennium a reality and for that I'll always be grateful.

So now you know how I got started. Still a very happy APQS owner and a proud APQS Dealer.

Give me a call if you want to chat more about the great features of the APQS machines. I really feel they're unique in the industry, and so is their incredible "after the sale" service. You can buy a used machine from a 3rd party and APQS will still look after you with patience and understanding. :)

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Hi Canada:

My husband, while recuperating from illness, spent many an hour on the Internet, researching the different long arm machines out there. It came down to the APQS Millennium and the Gammill machine. I had a list of "what I wanted" on our machine, what did consumer reports say about the maintenance, and most of all, in case of problems, how fast would a service rep be there to help, whether in person or on the phone. APQS stood far above, the rest on all counts.:D

I had never used or handled a long arm when I bought mine, and the grace and the ease of moving the Millennium across the quilt, has really sold me. The stitch regulator and bobbin thread cutters are a big plus also.

I met a lady at the 2004 MQS show, who stated she had bought a Gammill and had $30,000.00 invested in it, which included all the extra's, she had bought. Her machine stayed in the shop more than she could quilt and wished she had bought the Millennium, as I had done. Our machines were bought in the same year.

Don't mess with the success. Get the best! Go APQS!

Keep smiling, Lyn

from Florida, the liguid sunshine state:cool:

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