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I am thinking about getting Bliss on my Freedom that I bought new in November 2011.   Wondering what the thoughts are from those of you who had an APQS without Bliss, and then if you added Bliss, can you really tell the difference with it?  I do quilting for customers and I do both Edge to Edge and Custom.   I seem to struggle with getting my swirls smooth if the design is a smaller more desnse design.   I do ok if I am working on a larger design.   What are your thoughts?   Would it be worth the $1000 to add it to my Freedom or not?  I don't want to spend the money on it if I won't be able to tell any difference.  I was hoping there would be an APS Road Show soon in my area but I don't see one scheduled.   I guess I just have to be patient and wait for the MN Quilt Show in June to try a machine with Bliss to see if I can tell any difference in the movement.   I suppose it would be wise for me to take a small dense panto along so I can actually try it.  I would appreciate anyone's thoughts.  Thanks.

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Well,

 

I am a newbie...and I got bliss....and I couldn't figure out why I was not as smooth or as easy as I had hoped....but then during the end of my practice session yesterday....decided to look and see if I could see any issues as to why I seemed to be fighting the machine....what I discovered was that the machine moved very easily going side to side...but was much stiffer going forward and backward and even was making a little rubbing sound...well, I finally figured out that I had used the channel lock to make a straight line down my practice piece and I had thought I had released the channel lock ...but in fact it still was making light contact....DUH!  So I twisted it up a bit more and now she moves easily in any direction and I just have to give it a light push side to side and forward and backward and she moves easily....so that is all I can say as I never used an APQS without bliss....and now I have to "practice" again without the channel lock slightly engaged!  The little bit of circles I did after I solved my problem where much easier and smoother...However, from the feedback I read on this formum before ordering bliss...it seems like most folks found a real difference in using it and found it easier although....there is a learning curve as it moves easier.....funny how we need to adjust to any changes even if they make things easier.....Oh...I have a Lucey....Lin

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I vote go for the Bliss.  I drive a 2006 Millie, and love her to pieces.  When Bliss came out, I really couldn't justify the expense, thinking that it would really make that much of a difference.  In Nov. 2011 I was able to play with Bliss at a show, and the difference was amazing!  I would spend the morning at home on my machine, getting a little stiff, but no biggie, to be expected at my "advanced" age.  Then I would spend the day in the booth driving the different machines, all with Bliss and not be at all stiff throughout the entire day.  Do yourself the favor and spend the money. Its an investment in your quilting career that will most assuredly pay off by extending your ability to quilt.  There is a learning curve to Bliss, as things seem very "loosey goosey" when you first get it.  Also, the additional cost for Bliss for a new machine is $1000, but $3,000 if you already have a table.  You will need to replace the rails and the carriage with the Bliss upgrade. Again though, worth every penny.

You might try talking to other people in your area to see if they have Bliss and would be willing to let you try before you buy.

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I upgraded my 2008 Millie in December. Since she was that old it cost the full $3000. It took me all of one morning to get used to it. I'd had my machine for almost 2 years and was feeling pretty good about my skills, but just adding Bliss made me able to SID horizontally without rulers also vertical-although that is a bit harder. In a pinch I can do diagonals without the ruler, too. My feathers are better and easier, too. That was a lot of money for me to spend, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Oh yes, I can follow outlines freehand without any trouble, too. I'd say do it.

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The only way to know is to try it for yourself. I will tell you that I have been looking at "big girl" machines for about three years and have always come away feeling like I didn't want to trade the easy movement of my midarm for the advantages of a longarm. I went to a roadshow and I was sold on the bliss table immediately. I was making round circles and curvy feathers on my first try. I never had that experience on all of the machines I tried (and I've tried them all several times).

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I just upgraded to a bliss and the hydrolic lift. If I had to choose I would go with the lift but I do love the bliss. Being able to raise and lower the table eases back tension and ease in stitching. High when ditching and ruler work , down when stitching flowing swirls and edge to edge. Could be eyesight has something to do with it. :)

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