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Hi,

I am new to all of this and you all sound very informed. I am looking for a good starter machine and am on a limited income. I make some quilts for the grand kid but most are king quilts. It has gotten so expensive to have them quilted I just make tops now, in hopes to find a machine one day. All help welcome..

I just found a 12 frame and am going to look at it tomorrow but then if it is ok what kind of machine should I get? So many questions from one who knows nothing.

Thanks

Granny from NC

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I think you shouldn't buy a frame until you decide which machine you want. Better to find an already assembled system that works than buy pieces that need altering.

Check out Longarm University for used machines.

Have you looked at Lenni's with a 12" frame? Those can handle a backer up to 120" wide.

And used machines are available all the time here and on other brands' sites.

Which systems have you tried? Would you opt for a mid-arm?

Good luck with your search and if possible, list a "looking to buy" ad on any sites that will allow it.

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I tried out several at quilt shows and one friend has the Gammill and the other has the kenquilt I have found lots of mid arm in the area but all on 10ft tables... I promised the lady I would come and look so I will go and take photo's, I believe when she got it she was told she could used her mega quilter with it with a small adjustment???? I thought I would jump in here and get some good advice. OH btw I found .... Proto Longarm Quilting Machine, 24x12 throat, 14' table and stitch regulated he says and in fantastic condition. My friend with the Gammill says it is one of the first models they came out with? He wants $6,500 obo. The guy that ownes this machine is in the same area and I may go test it out. LOL what you think???

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I would make sure to test it really well. Find out how old the wheels are, what maintanance issues it has had, what is the stitcing space. I started on an older system, it was an old rotary machine that was stretched to go on a table. I quickly out-grew it's features and size. I wanted to be able to comfortably do a 15" block without having to roll the quilt and I wanted a stitch regulator because I did a lot of ruler work and it is much easier to do with a SR.

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Honestly ,if you can afford even the 6,000 you would be much better off saving a few more bucks and purchase only one machine ( I bought a 2000 millenium ) ,thought it was a 2003 model but requested the serial no. to verify its age and history ,.I have had no issues with the machine ,its a dream to quilt with ,just wished I would have waited a little longer for a newer model only because they changed the style of the frame but it came loaded with pantos and thread and other assorted things that I would have to have purchased seperatly and it was located close enough for me to test run because I had never test run any longarm machines but had done enough research to know that it was the easiest to maintain and plenty of customer service after the sale even though I bought it used . What I have learned since my purchase is that the APQS machines can take a serious lickin and keep on ticken and parts are cheap and easy to install for the most part .I bought a whole new tention assembly for 15.00 ,couldnt even tell mine was bad for the most part ,just caught it from doing routine maintance ,stitches are awesome .Good luck in your search ,house of hanson also has them listed ,also craigslist too but when I was looking I made sure it was in a reasonable driving distance for me to rent a u-haul to bring home .

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Hi all,

I went and tried the machine and took some photos. I like the hydrolic lift on the take up roller I don't know if this is standard on all machines and or frames? The roller do not have gears they lock in on the end and roll with a touch of a button forward or reverse. It has the locking thingys, I forget what they are called but so you can sew streight to align the quilt I think? Let me know what you all think it is very important to me. The machine was traded to him for a new one she was a dealer. They have new machines now for around 17k they were impressive also

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Take your time and test drive as much as you can, rent space on a LA to ensure you really like the process (lots of practice is required). I wish I had waited to buy an APQS, but like you I had low$ and my desire rushed me into purchasing anothor brand (it's good, just not an APQS and the stitch regulator is not as good. Don't jump too fast. There will be the right one come up soon.

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Sounds like channel locks is what are on that machine. I use my horizontal channel lock when I'm loading a quilt. I don't use the vertical too often but they are handy. The one feature I really wanted was a stitch regulator and I would hold out for that but it depends on your quilting style. I do a lot of custom and lots of SID so I use it a lot. I don't know anything about this type of machine. I'd make sure I could test drive it 1st.

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A1flower: I'm sure the Proto is a good machine. The only thing that would concern me is customer support. If you're really interested in the machine, get the phone number of the manufacturer's service center, and call them to see. Get the SN and ask them to date the machine for you, ask some questions about parts availability etc. You should get a feel for how supportive they are. I haven't seen very many used Propos for sale, so I don't think they sell too many, or maybe the owners never part with them. I wasn't sure they were still making them. It looks like a feature packed machine. Good luck in your search. Jim

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Hi Heidi,

I am about 1 hour from Mary Jo's LOVE that shop I get my fabrics there. Can you bring me a machine on your way LOL Have a great trip.

Marcella

LOL I don't think it would fit in my RAV 4. Hopefully we can make it in 13 1/2 - 14 hours! It is just over 12 hours but that is with no stops! That won't happen. The quickest I've made it is 12 hours and 15 min. and it was the perfect drive. Usually 13 1/2 does it. We'll actually have another 4 hours to drive the next day to Wilmington but it should be a pretty easy drive.

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Thanks anyway Heidi I am waiting on response from several that are on here, I hope they are getting my messages!!!!! I forgot to ask what are you going to Wilmington for? It is a nose problem I have hahahaha

My son lives in Wilmington along with my DIL and beautiful granddaughter, soon to be 2 granddaughters! We come down 2 or 3 times a year, hopefully more. My daughter was just married there in Oct. She lives here in NY with us. I'll be glad when I can retire from my day job and spend more time there.

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