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Rent time on your machine?

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I saw a blurb in the new Dwell magazine about quilts from a company near Chicago called FunQuilts. when I looked at their web site I noticed that they rent time on their Gammill. The prices seem reasonable to me, and the whole idea makes sense because it keeps their equipment productive. Their web site on this is at http://www.funquilts.com/gallery/classes/classes.html. They also have a PDF file on preparing your quilt.

Maybe this is a solution for some people who are still building up their business....?

I have no affiliation with them. I have no idea whether their prices are high/low.

(I confess to being a non-owner who reads this forum because I learn so much about quilting here...)

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Honestly, I couldn't imagine anyone other than myself or my daughter using my Precious.

I have had customers come into my store and ask to look and I am more than happy to share all my information in regards to the Millie and APQS. Most of them are very enthusiastic (sp?) about just getting to see the machine. When I tell them to push it along or turn it to see how easy and light the machine is they are completely floored!

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This thread has come up before. And I was in favor of

letting others use my mahine. My two cents worth comes

from both sides of the fence, now.

My machine is used ($9k or so) not new. When I got it, I

did not plan to use it for business, just for fun. 3 or 4 of my

quilt buddies have always wanted to try a longarm, so I l

made the decision to let them quilt one of their own. It made

me feel good that they enjoyed it as much as I do. One of

them gave me a big hug when her quilt was done. She was

so proud of her work. Then I got the Intellistitch (stitch

regulator) installed.

OK, now the down-side.

When somebody else uses your machine, no matter how

much you trust them, you almost have to baby-sit them.

They'll be going along and have a question or a problem

that requires you to stop doing what you were doing.

Then, since they do not quilt very often, they forget what

you have already taught them once or twice.....

One of my quilting buddies likes to go very fast. That is fine

in constant mode but not in stitch regulator mode. She

outran the machine and jammed a couple needles and finally

broke one. So you know that's not good.

I ended up taking it to the local industrial sewing machine

repair shop. It wasn't as bad as I expected, they were able

to rub/polish the burrs off the hook that were caused by the

jams. But the hassle involved. I had to pull the machine off

the table/rollers, take it to the shop, wait 3 days to get it

back and install it again.

Then I was so worried that the IntelliStitch (IS) had gotten

damaged by the jams that I was afraid to use it. I was so

fearful of wrecking my machine that I had lost my confidence.

I had a bit of a 'meltdown' when my husband tried to help me

re-tune the IS. The instructions are simple, I was just so

afraid to try. I think I felt conflicted, I wanted my friends to

enjoy my machine but did not want it to get broken.

My DH saw it more clearly and told me that I just had to

stop letting other people use it, it was taking all the fun

out of quilting for me. He was sure that my friends would

understand and they did.

So nobody uses my machine but me. It was a hard decision

but a more realistic one.

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I let someone help me once with my machine...I was quilting some lame' for her and being it was over 30 yards long I needed some help handling the slippery stuff.

In the process I learned several things... but the most important was that I would never let anyone else ever touch my machine.

I have used a sewing machine all my life and I stupidly thought everyone knew how they worked or at least how to sew....surprised I was when I learned that isn't true. She got the bobbin in the bobbing housing wrong and not only could she have hurt herself when it shot out of there like a bullet, but it messed up the timing so bad I had over $200 in repairs....it was then and there that I decided never again.

Since then I also learned that if you let someone use your machine, the accident insurance policy that you should have on your business is so high its not worth the trouble to take the risk...

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I was just listening in to this thread and had some thoughts....I was seriously thinking of starting a long arm rental studio at one point since I thought the demand would be huge in my area. I think this business model works out best if you own two machines, one for yourself, and one for rental, and, when you require people to take a class first to become certified on how to operate it, but I also recognize, it would be critical to be personally supervising in the studio while people are using the machine as well. For me, I would see it as an opportunity to teach, share, support, etc. and help people fulfill their dream of quilting with ease on a long arm, without the investment of owning one. I really do think there is a large market out there for that waiting to be developed for the right person and customer base. However, that said, I don't currently own one, so I may feel differently if I did.

Just my own personal thoughts......I'm sure they are very different from others. I totally respect how you would feel if you did not want to share your machine. There is a quilt shop in my area that is renting out a long arm and providing studio space in their classroom area, with a Nolting (on a Hinterburg frame :o I haven't heard anything about how its going yet.


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Guest Linda S

I'm in the 'no way, no how' camp. I have enough experience trying to help others who actually own a machine to know that teaching someone who has never touched one before would not be a good thing to do on a regular basis. Plus, Eowyn is my baby. I'm very protective.


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In order to let someone use my machine I would want stand over them. In doing that I'm sure they would be most uncomfortable. I've decided if I can't afford to have the machine only for myself I need to sell it. I'm sure this sounds selfish but it was a big investment. bj

PS. A local quilt shop in my area has one (not an APQS however) that they rent out and it's broken half the time. I think to many hands spoil the pot. :D

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I hold very firm to the advice...........................do not let anyone else use your machine! There is no way that I would trust anyone to use my machine. There are just too many things someone can do to damage it if they do not know exactly what they are doing.

My guild is in the process of selling their machine. It was a rental by the hour and was always broken due to people not knowing what the heck they were doing.................they also had a required class to learn the use of the machine.

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I wouldn't let any one use my machine either. It is an expensive piece of machinery...I like mine to keep running smoothly.

I think I read somewhere that Linda Taylor rent out her machines once upon a time and stopped because of all the problems that incurred.

Cheryl Mathre

Stone Creek Quilting

Sandy Hook, VA

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I was just wondering? Of course it's none of my business, but did the person that caused the problems with your machine offer to pay for the damage.

If it was me and I broke someone's property I would either pay to have it fixed or replace it.

I sure hope she did.

Have a wonderful day.



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Now way, no how for me too: I think the Millennium is too expensive to just letting any quilter try to work on it. I don't know what their skill level is, and how careful they are with their own equipment, but never with mine!

Because my Millie is in my shop, I have a low wall builded around it, where I can stash my quilt fabrics, which were replaced after setting the Millie up. This means I have a 'room' around my machine, and people can watch, but not touch. I would not think what to do if someone should work ont he machine, and something went wrong. The machine is not for personal use, but for my business: different when the machine is just private I think.

Sylvia Kaptein



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I have allowed several others--friends-- to use my machine. However, I practically HOVER while this is going on. I do the thread; I do the bobbin. They get to move the machine, and that's about it. I do not leave the room unless to make a cup of tea, always have something to do that lets me be close. This has worked for me. I would not, however, go looking for people to use my machine.

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I fully agree with what everyone has said. I do let my niece use my machine to do her quilts, which have amounted to 2 in the last year. First I had her take a class with me. I watch pretty closely, and I like to change the bobbin or take care of any problems that might pop up. She will be the only one that uses it. Most people are afraid to use it anyway, so it has never been a problem. I do have to slow her down a bit as she is much more aggressive than I am. But in the same respect, she is less afraid of the machine than I am. But I'm getting better. She is very good about taking suggestions and does not get offended when I give them. I told her when I die she gets my machine. LOL

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The biggest reason NOT to do this, especially in your own home, is the liability. What if that person hurts themself or does irreparable damage to their own quilt? You would have to have additional liability insurance, and I know I could not get it, because I am not zoned for commercial business, so I could not get commercial liability insurance. And it's expensive!!

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MaHubs, I haven't read this entire thread but the ones I did read didn't metntion any insurance issue. Before renting your machine you really need to check into liability insurance. If someone would happen to get hurt using the machine or even walking into your studio carrying a load of their quilting things and fell it would be your responsibility. I have heard about some quilters who quit renting their machines due to liability problems. Personnally , i'd be really nervous. jeri

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