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Advice for a friend--Viking Mega Quilter


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Viking Mega Quilter with the Inspira frame--is this a good hobby machine? I friend has found one--used less than 2 hours--for $1250 and wants my input as to ease of use and if that's a good price. Anyone have one or start out with one? Home use only (she says) and no business planned. TIA

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Hi,

 

That is what I had for several years...I still have it..taken apart...I paid 2800 for my set up new...it has a 9 inch neck...can be used off the frame as well as on it...mine came with a large surround and knee lift also...the machine just does staight stitch...has a needle up down and cutter....I got the add on stitch regulator for it....I did 30 or so quilts on it mainly meander because doing anything else was a challenge because of the shrinking size...no leveler bar...the quilt needs to be adjusted as it is rolled by turning knobs and sliding the bars up or down...there is a learning curve..need to have a finger's tip space between the quilt and bed of the machine....the feed dogs on the machine don't drop..there is a cover plate...some folks just removed the feed dogs when using the machine on the frame....my frame was the original inspira frame which had the panto table on top...the table and bars came in two pices so it could be set up at an 5 foot or ten foot length....my bars started to sag so I was dragging the quilt when in the middle of the frame....over-all...I am glad I got it because of the low price....but....yikes...I need more space and no sagging rollers....if the original inspira frame is the one it has...that company is no longer in business so replacement parts are hard to find unless you can find a used one, no longer in use.....I haven't yet decided for sure that I want to let mine go...because the machine itself is supposed to be an awesome piecing machine off the frame......and I have thought of just setting my frame up at the five feet where the sag won't be a problem to do small quilts...but...I gotta get to know my Lucey better before making that decision....at this point....if I sold my set-up....It would be the machine that would have the price on it.....I would throw the frame in free.....I think  just the machine was 1000-1200 new if I remember correctly.......how is that for a review.....I did learn that I would love to longarm while I was using it ....and I did do those quilts on it....Lin

 

Oh, I would think I would try to get the pricing lower....I have seen them offered for less.....and also...if she decides to get it...keep in mind, that for the larger quilts....it really is a challenge...down to just a few inches of width for quilting....I did do one queen on it...but...meandering is the name....the two fancier queens I pieced..I had another longarmer do them because of the limited space on my megaquilter and frame....

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I started with one and got rid of it at bargain price after 2 weeks of utter frustration.  The lady buying my Freedom has a Pfaff grand quilter...same this, different name, and has nothing but frustration with it.  Some do "okay" with it, but more often than not "you get what you pay for".  i suggest she does a lot of test driving to make sure it works good.  these machines are not "long/short/mid arm quilting machines".  JMHO

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I had the Pfaff Grand quilter with Inspira frame, same as the Viking.  The first time that I used it I knew the quilting space was too small.  It was a PITA to advance the quilt and keep everything even.  I quilted 10 - 15 quilts on it, the last being a king.  It took months for me to finish the king because I hated using the setup.   By the time I got to the last borders I quilted what I thought I remembered I had quilted on the first borders, but of course it was different.  As the quilt rolls on the takeup roller it consumes throat space and you could end up with only a couple of inches of space to quilt in, so quilt motifs have to be small.  I was a very new quilter at that time and did not know much about the quilting process.  The machines are good but the Inspira frames not so much.   I have not kept up with the advances in hobby quilters but I think that they have come a long way since the days of the Mega and Grand quilters.  If she spends some time shopping and is willing to spend a little more money I think in the long run she would be happier with a different setup.

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Thanks for the great advice. I'll pass it along to her. She's an avid piecer and DSM quilter who works at my favorite LQS. She is ready to take the next step, but I don't think she'll be happy with this set-up.

 

A local sewing machine dealer has her Millie for sale with a 14" table for $8500. I steered her in that direction because the Millie is off the table and sitting in her shop window--no way to test it so I think if it sits there for a couple of months she'll take a lot less just to move it. Anyone interested in this Millie, shoot me an email and I'll direct you to the shop (Olympia, WA).

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I paid $1199 for my Pfaff Grandquilter new, years ago. The Viking is supposed to be the same machine. I adored my PGQ. It did an fabulous good piecing and quilting on the frame. But the 9 inch throat was really limiting. I wish I had kept  it for piecing.

 

I, too, would steer her towards a slightly larger throat. There are so many used machines to chose from these days at great prices. I bet she will find something she loves!

 

Linda, it seems there was a gal in the town of Brookings who was selling her Millie in case your friend is interested. It may have sold already but possibly is worth a shot.

 

http://forum.apqs.com/index.php?/topic/29080-new-lower-price-of-700000-2000-millennium-for-sale-on-oregon-coast/?hl=brookings#entry449412

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I bought a Juki on a Grace frame--same concept.  Sold the Juki to a friend who like me didn't like the small throat space and I happened to notice a used Freedom on this forum within driving distance of us in Montana.  The friend is totally thrilled with her new to her Freedom.  Another friend of ours bought the Juki and Grace frame--husband and I set it up for her.  So far she likes it but I can also see a longarm in her future too.

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Linda, do you happen to know what year the Millie for sale is??

 

She said it was 7 years old--but she was so scattered she couldn't remember the name. Her employee had to tell us it was a Millennium and she was "pretty sure" it had a 14' frame. It sounded to me like she didn't use it very much.

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I have a friend that purchased a Pfaff Grandquilter last spring.  This is the one with the computer for quilting designs.  I think that is probably why she bought it.  She has had nothing but problems with it. 

I tried really hard to steer her away from this system as the quilting area is so small and for the price she could have gotten a long arm system. 

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NNNNNOOOOOO!!!  I had the MegaQuilter, paid over $3,000 for it new (supposedly "half price"), ended up selling the machine for $500 & throwing in the frame for free, because I could not justify taking money for it.  As far as I know, the buyer has never set up the frame.  The machine itself, off the flimsy frame, was not too terrible.

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I'm another one who started off with this machine (Mega Quilter/Original Inspira frame).  It was the first & only frame machine that I'd ever seen - around the same time Kay got hers.  It was good enough to get me hooked on machine quilting on a frame.  Mine worked fine, but after you had rolled the quilt a few times, you were down to less than 3" quilting space.  I sold it for $1,500 I think, or maybe it was a little less to somebody in my guild.  I also went to her home, checked her set up and gave lessons to her & her 3 friends.  She hasn't come back to me with any complaints. She didn't want to spend more money at the time on anything bigger & figured that she could always sell it at some point in the future.  I did remove the feed dogs. There is so much more available today.

Buttonflower

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I would really encourage your friend to explore other options. If she is looking for something "entry level" to just quilt for herself something like a second hand fun quilter on a hinterberg frame might work for her. Very user friendly, decent SR, nice stitch, runs any thread, great Nolting support and like apqs they don't care that you are not the original buyer. The frame is inexpensive but very stable and sturdy. Between the limited quilting and the wobbly flex those frames have, I think she would be frustrated and quickly outgrow what she is looking at.

Claire

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Linda:  I've used several different longarms over the last few years, and this is what I've found.  Unless the machine is of industrial quality, and the table likewise, you will eventually end up being dissatisfied with it.  The "bells and whistles" that come with the machine are not nearly as important as the design and manufacturer's support.

 

What I tell my friends is, to only buy an APQS, Gammill, Nolting, A1-Elite, Prodigy, Innova or Ken-Quilt, and then only the big aluminum purpose built machines, not any "streched" machine.  I say these because I know they will perform and that the tables they come on are up to the task.  To me, it doesn't make any difference how old the machine is, and if budget is an issue, an old unregulated machine like an APQS Ult1 or 2 will work fine.  If you can't afford one of these, save your money until you can.  Buying anything else will just frustrate you, and Lord knows there are enough frustrations with good equipment.  All of these machines have good reputations for customer support. If I had known this when I began, I'd have saved myself a lot of money.  But then I guess, we all have to pay for our educations.  I don't like the Tin Lizzys, HQ's and the rest of the second line machines, even the purpose built ones, because the frames/tables just don't measure up and I don't think the customer service does either.  Who can do good work on a flimsy platform?  Well there you have my fairly well informed, I might add, opinion.  Jim

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I used the Pfaff and original Inspira frame with cruise control for about 15 quilts and had zero problems. I wanted to have more quilting space. My bars did not sag but could see how they would if the quilt was too tight. Kept the machine because it is an industrial machine and great for piecing and putting on binding. No bell and whistles so less goes wrong.  I wouldn't invest in the setup again because of the limitations but would keep the machine for piecing.

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ummmm....i just had a thought this morning....as I posted before my Mega Quilter and frame is sitting taken apart and I am thinking about keeping the machine for piecing....just had thought...that maybe that light weight little frame would make a great roll batting holder...the rollers all are easy to remove and I think you could use three of them to hold rolls....I haven't order any rolls of batting yet but have been thinking about...now to see if I have the room for it....it really is not very wide.and I just may have room to set it up.....without the machine...I will have 10 feet of roller length...the poles are stronger than a shower curtain...just thought I would would share this in case some of you still have this little frame lurking around somewhere or I think you could pick one up fairly cheap!  Lin

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  • 1 year later...

i have had my Viking Husvarna Mega quilter about 6 years now and even if it has only 9" throat space, you never have to worry about "strings on the back of the quilt top like you do on the long arm quilters. my sister has one and she is forever calling in a tech to repair it beacuse the strings backlash and it is a big mess...

I am moving and need to sell mine and I have over 3000 yards of fabric, about 500 or so of batik fabric..

 

If interested..

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Hi pj3799.

If you want to sell your machine and fabric you'll need to add some contact information and location. PM on this site is cumbersome and it's much easier if you add an email address.

Are you outside the USA? That would make a big difference to someone in the States if they were interested in a purchase.

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Hi Linda...

I'd advise her against it.

I've known 2 gals who've had them, although it was several years ago, and had nothing buy frustration and trouble.

Not enough quilting space, tension nightmares, vibration.

I think its a dud of a design.

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  • 1 year later...

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