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terrijeb

Wanted long arm machine for beginner - bought a new LUCEY!

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I want to get into long arm quilting for my personal use. I have several quilt tops that need put together and would like to do it myself. If anyone has a long arm for sale or any suggestions as to which long arm to buy please let me know.

Thanks

Terri:D

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Terri: I don't know what exactly you have in mind. As you probably already know, longarms, even used ones, are expensive. That being said, here's my suggestion. Establish a budget, and buy a used machine.

I made several mistakes when I started. I bought two machines that were converted from other type machines for longarm quilting purposes. Buy a machine designed and built specifically for longarm use. I would not buy a machine with an arm less than 20". You give up too much with the shorter strokes. Buy a first line machine. That way you can be confident that there will be product support in the future. I would only buy one of the following machines: Innova, APQS, Gammill, A-1, Nolting, Prodigy, or KenQuilt.

Look for extra features. While they are not absolutely necessary, they are nice, and make using the machine more "friendly". Needle up/needle down and single stitch is very desirable, as is a stitch regulator. The addition of a stitch regulator significantly increases the cost of the machine. Don't be fooled, not all stitch regulators are created equal. The machines I mentioned all have good ones. The older unregulated machines made by APQS, Gammill, Nolting, A-1, and KenQuilt can be upgraded with a factory installed system, or an after market Intellistitch.

Unless you are really space challenged, I wouldn't consider anything smaller than a 12' table. The short ones are just too limiting. If you have the budget for a regulated machine ($7000-$8000) buy one. If not, buy an unregulated with the thought of someday upgrading it with a stitch regulator (costs $3000 to $4000) Other accessories and tools are nice, but not really necessary. You will be pleased with any of the machines mentioned above. You can eventually change tables or add aftermarket products if you wish, but you won't have to replace the machine unless you want to.

Now what you have to do is SHOP. Constantly look. This forum is a good beginning (it's where I found my machine). Nolting and Gammill also have user groups with for sale listings. Long arm University has machine listings, and does House of Hansen. The national Craig's Listing is also a good place to look (and in fact probably where the best values are found). When you find a machine you want at a price you're happy with BUY IT! Great values don't last long. You can't ponder the purchase for days and weeks. Someone else will buy the machine. Except for the electronics, nothing much goes wrong with these machines. They are industrial machines with very long useful lives. Anything that is damaged or worn, can be repaired rather inexpensively. I'd avoid any machine made before the early '90's. The machines were evolving in design before that, and a lot of these machines are no longer supported, or can't be upgraded. You need to look every day. Don't get anxious and buy something you don't want. Similarly, don't get fixed on a certain machine without a good specific reason for wanting that particular model. There are good and bad points to all these machines. There are some really good values to be had, but you need to be patient and decisive. Good luck with your search. And remember look every day. Regards. Jim

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Terri: One more thing. Buying a machine that is not local seems daunting, but pick up and delivery can be worked out. There is an on line shipping service called U-Ship that can take care of those details. Independent haulers will bid on your job. You then choose the bid that you like best. It's expensive to have them shipped ($500-$800 maybe a bit more) Consider that a cost of the machine. I had mine shipped from Florida to Texas. It cost me $550 in 2010, and was a very nice experience. Good luck. Jim

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Available.

Millennium

2001 - $9,600

2002 - $10,100

2004 - $10,600 - SOLD

Freedom

2008 - $12,000

2011 - $13,500 - SOLD

George

2007 - $3,900

2010 - $4,600

2011 - $4,800 - SOLD

Green Lucey - $9,900


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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Hi, I just wanted to let you know I bought my Ultimate I machine used and have since then added the Intellistitch ($2950.00) and upgraded my table with newer legs that Dawn found me at the factory. My machine is is from 1989 or 1990, not sure because they don't have records back from then :o)) and my Mona runs just perfect. So age may not be as much an issue as how it was taken care of, and of course, the quality of the brand you try out. I wish you the best finding your new (to you) machine.


A865FFE96B99D13D2E3C09AF2B8376EA.png
2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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Good luck on your decision. I am totally biased but you just can't go wrong with an APQS machine.


068AE7983835931B5513447E68ECA1B3.png

Bekah

Shepherd's Garden Quilting

APQS Sales Representative

APQS Millenium

www.shepherdsgardenquilting.com

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I be may biased too...but you cannot go wrong with an APQS machine. I wouldn't own two of them if I truly did not believe that!

Customer service can't be beat...and this forum is so helpful. I love the stitch regulators and stitch quality on these machines. Tension is no trouble either. I can use various threads without a difficult time adjusting to the perfect tension. Did I say I love my APQS machines? These machines are built to last.


Kristina at website http://withakquilting.blogspot.com/ and personal blog http://froggybottomquilting.blogspot.com/

 

Hoppily quilting along with FROGGER - my Green Millennium, and TOAD - my Liberty. Quiltazoid equipped too!

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I have three APQS Milleniums and one Freedom. I quilt for others and also rent time on the machines, allowing people to come in, take a class, and quilt their own quilts. Two have a Compuquilter on them and one has an Intelliquilter. The computerized machines allow me to do edge to edge work (or pantographs) without me standing behind the machine and physically moving it. I also use these for custom work. I love doing free motion custom work from the front or a combination of computerized and free motion work.

My machines vary in age from 2006 to 2010 and all work wonderfully. Whether you choose a new or used APQS machine, you can't go wrong. They are workhorses!! Maintenance is quite easy and the customer service is phenominal!!

I would like to sell one of the machines as I am a rep for APQS and should have the smaller machine, Lenni, here for people to try out.

Good luck with your search and call if you would like to chat with someone about the various machines. I can tell you what the renters have commented when learning to use the APQS machines. Try out as many brands as you can and see what fits your needs.


Lucy Drinkall

o2b Quilting, LLC
APQS sales/rental and custom quilting

1025 Industrial Drive, Suite A
Spring Valley, MN 55975
www.o2bquilting.com
lucy@acegroup.cc

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Originally posted by terrijeb

Jim thanks for all the information. What do you think about the Tin Lizzy brand?

Terri,

It is great that you are taking the steps you need to educate yourself. That is half the battle!

No matter which brand you choose, be sure to read- actually read- their warranties. Super boring stuff but INCREDIBLY important. If you are going to spend this much money on a machine- make sure you have an incredible warranty to fall back on. Click here to read the APQS warranty.

Then, talk to owners of the machine- not just dealers. Go hang out on the brand's forum and see what people are talking about. Every brand will have people who encounter questions/issues. Pay attention to how those questions/issues are addressed.

Take a look at resale value. You want a machine that is going to hold it's value for you so take a look at how much used ones are going for. My very first longarm was a used APQS Millennium and I sold it 2 years later for $500 less than what I'd paid for it! Then I bought a fully tricked out APQS Millennium with every accessory known to man! :)

Not all longarm brands hold their value but APQS certainly does. That's important because if life happens and you need to get out, you don't want to have to take a financial bath to do it. BTW- holding value all leads back to the quality of the machine.

Finally, put your hands on one. Find a dealer close by or a quilt show and go drive it. Picking out a longarm is an incredibly personal thing. You want to know how it feels to YOUR body.

If you are looking at used machines like these: know that they come with a one year factory warranty- again, read the warranty at that link above. (New APQS machines come with an 8 year warranty.)

Millennium (10, 12 or 14 ft table included)

2001 - $9,600

2002 - $10,100

Freedom(10, 12 or 14 ft table included)

2008 - $12,000

George

2007 - $3,900

2010 - $4,600

Green Lucey (10 or 12 ft table included)

$9,900

Here are some questions that may help narrow down which machine is the "best fit" for you:

Are you just quilting for yourself or are you looking to start a business?

What is the largest size quilt you intend to do?

What size space do you have to put it in?

You have come to a great place to chat about your choices. You'll won't find bad mouthing of other brands but what you will find are APQS owners who have been in the same boat you are in right now and after wading through all the choices ended up with APQS and LOVE it!

I'd be happy to chat with you more or look up your local dealer and chat with them. Click here to find your closest dealer.

HTH!

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Terri, as you can see you have come to the right place to get great advice in assisting you make an informed decision. As Angela posted all our machines include the table and every thing else you need to start quilting except batting and fabric. Our used machines come with a one year warrant and our new machines come with an eight year warranty.


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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Terri: I wouldn't buy a Tin Lizzy. I have a friend who has one and loves it, but to me they just aren't a first ling machine. Most are 18" machines which I feel is too small. They have been building a 26" machine for 2 or 3 years now, which would be big enough, but I don't care much for their design, and their stitch regulator isn't up to snuff as far as I'm concerned. I don't know what their product support is like.

Likewise I wouldn't consider an HQ. They too are now building a 26" machine. I don't like the flimsy table they're built on.

You'll pay nearly as much for one of these as for a first line machine, and end up with an inferior product. My first 2 machines worked OK, and I quilted a lot of quilts on them, but they just weren't in the same league with the APQS, and Gammill I now use. I bought my APQS Ultimate 2 for $2000. I've done a lot to improve the machine, but if I hadn't, it would still be a really good unregulated machine.

Just be patient and shop. There are good deals on good machines out there. You just have to look for them. If you buy one of the first line machines I mentioned you won't be sorry. For instance a while back I saw an A-1 923 unregulated machine offered for $2000. Just a couple of week ago I saw an unregulated 24" Nolting offered for $2700. Either of these machines would have made a great platform to begin with. Last summer I found a 22' KenQuilt Princess in a custom red color with I/S Turbo stitch regulator that a friend bought delivered for $6500. BTW, all of these machines I found on Craig's List.

If I were buying new, I probably would buy an Innova. I like their design, and they seem to be a bit less expensive than the other machines. If you're buying new, check out all the first line brands and pick out the one you like most. Good luck. Jim

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Congratulations! You are going to love it! I did a year of research before I bought my Millie two years ago and have never been disappointed. The quality of the machine and the service are wonderful. Actually I haven't needed service other than a couple questions when I set the machine up. You will learn so much from everyone on this forum. I am on it almost daily and learn something new constantly. It's like an extended owner's manual. Have fun!!!


Pat C

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You are going to love your Lucey! Congratulations


Myrna Ficken A Quilter's Choice - APQS West, 5787 S. Gallup, Littleton, CO 80120;  Store 435-414-2026 Mobile 435-229-2703  myrnaf@q.com  www.aquilterschoice.com community. Look me up on Facebook   A Quilter's Choice - APQS West

 

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Congratulations on your Lucey! Welcome to our family. Get lots of rest between now and her delivery date and it is never to earlier to PPP, practice, practice, practice. A white board and eraser are great tools to have around while you are waiting.


068AE7983835931B5513447E68ECA1B3.png

Bekah

Shepherd's Garden Quilting

APQS Sales Representative

APQS Millenium

www.shepherdsgardenquilting.com

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Originally posted by terrijeb

I want to get into long arm quilting for my personal use. I have several quilt tops that need put together and would like to do it myself. If anyone has a long arm for sale or any suggestions as to which long arm to buy please let me know.

Thanks

Terri:D

Terri, I have a 2008 Lenni on a 10 ft. table for sale. The machine makes an excellent stitch and is in very good condition. If interested, I would be happy to send your pictures. thanks, CiCi

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Well Ms. LuLu has arrived but her room i.e. THE DIVA DEN still isn't finished but when it is WOW!!! My own sewing room with a door and lock!!!!! I took over the spare room above the garage (450 sq.ft) and painted it a light peach and my hunk of burning love (my husband) is done with the laminated flooring and starting on trim. Ms. LuLu is going to be soooo happy in her new room and I can't wait to get her to work!! Daughter is leaving for the Air Force Tuesday so Ms. LuLu and I will be doing alot of theraputic bonding.

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Congrats, you will have so much fun. I envey you having so much room. I get the bonding thing, when my daughter left for the navy I couldn't go in her room for 3 months. The first 8 weeks is the hardest. But you must and should be so PROUD of her. Congrats on you Daughter as well. But you have a new best friend "Ms. LuLu" You can talk to her and she does roll her eyes and most of the time she will do what you tell her to do. ENJOY!!!!


 

Judith Washburn

Quilt Studio     

Houston, Texas         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

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