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I have only had my machine since January, but I don't think I'd let others use it.  I have let my friends and family play on a practice piece, and I have been right there with them.  Even though mine is used and much less expensive than what many others on this board paid for theirs, it was a HUGE purchase for me so I'd freak out if it broke!

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Well I am considering teaching and renting on my Millie. I have screwed up so many things and fixed them I guess it all can be fixed. I wound a rag in the hook assembly not too long after I got her and had to replace it and retime her and then changed out the hopping foot and had to do it again. Plus other normal stuff. So I guess if they don't use her my way they wont be welcomed back.

Shirley

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I have a couple good friends that use my machine. Usually it is to do IQ pantos, and I charge them a small fee. I'll help them set up and load it, then we have a sewing day and bonding time while IQ is stitching away. I enjoy that time with my friends. As long as I don't have anything on there, they are welcome to use it.

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  • 1 month later...

Well...I am a newbie, getting my machine soon (not soon enough).  Hubby wants me to rent the machine.  I am getting the 14' table.  What size zippers should I get?  All I have found so far is 144".  I also have an old (unused) set that is small.  Can I put multiple zippers on the leaders?  I pinned on my old machine and large quilts took almost as much time to pin as to do overall quilting!

 

Several of you mentioned a class for the renters.  Is there a lesson plan around?  I am moving up from a HQ16, but a long time ago I rented and took the class but I forget what was covered.

 

Thank you in advance for letting me pick your brains.

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Your 14' table will have leaders that are 144", so that is the correct size. 

If you decide to rent, one necessity will be to have your renters purchase their own renter's set of zippers. You can direct them where to purchase or you can have them available to sell. This allows your customer to attach the fabric on her own time, using her own pins or sewing them on herself. That way she can take the quilt off if she needs to come back another day to finish. 

 

A class for renters should cover all the basics that you learned when you started out. A nice handout would include the thread pathway, how to adjust the tension, load and advance the quilt, set and use the stitch regulator, etc. The machine rental web sites I've seen usually give a 3 hour hands-on class and can cost $60 to $100. 

Remind your hubby that for safety sake and for your peace of mind someone will need to supervise the whole time someone is renting.

Go back through this post from the beginning for lots of great advise--and the pitfalls of renting. Some have great success--especially those with two machines. One for them to use and one to rent or add a computer system to.

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I have 2 long arm machines I use for my business - a Millie in my home and a Lenni in my store that was bought for the intention of renting time on it.

 

In the 2 1/2 years, I have very little interest in long arm classes/renting, so I have stopped these classes and renting time. With that being said, I would not allow anyone to use either of my machines. It's too much of an investment$ 7,000 - 17,000 each machine to let someone else "play". My time is better spent working on other things rather than "supervising" people.  Sorry, if it sounds harsh.

 

FYI, I'm going to sell about 10 of my brand new 10' zippers (the renters set) that I won't be using in the near future. I'm only asking to recoup what I spent on them.

 

Good luck in your decision!

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I let a friend who is a LA'er, has her own business use my machine when her machine has a problem and isn't working (this is a rare occassion). I know she can use it with no problems and will care for it as her own. I did let another friend use my machine once, the machine ended up with a burr on the throat plate from her moving the machine too fast and bending the needle. It was an easy fix to the problem. I realized letting someone use my machine makes me too nervous, so I don't do it anymore.

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I have one very close friend who has used my machine 3 times in the last 2 years.  She is meticulous and very careful and has only used a panto graph and the pattern boards.  I am with her, usually sewing on a project of my own, the whole time.  We lived near each other in London for many years and our kids did lots together.  Now she is back in NJ and I'm in VT, our kids are grown up and we don't get to spend much time together so this has been good 'playtime' for us.

 

I have thought about renting out my machine - I have never been asked - but I don't think I would do it unless I could manage to get another machine just for renters.  I would insist that they take a beginners class from me first, that they buy their own zipper set from me and after seeing this listed earlier in this thread, I would also require them to buy their own needles and bobbin case.  What a good idea!  I imagine I would have to be in the studio with them all the time or I really would be a nervous wreck!  Maybe just as well this will probably never happen!

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I have allowed several friends  play on my machine; just try  it out as you do at a show.  All went well.  Another friend came and wanted to try it out.  After much instruction and demo by me she took hold of the handles, stepped on the floor pedal and advanced the machine as she tried to sew.  She broke the needle, stalled the machine and I almost had a heart attack as I tried to stand there calmly and say  "It is o:k , you didn't hurt anything."  She didn't mess up the timing but it did make a different sound as  the needle went up and down.  I cleaned and oiled it  thoroughly and sewed slowly for one whole quilt.  All is well now but I would certainly move the foot pedal out of reach for anyone who wants to try out my machine.  She thought she needed to step on the foot pedal as she does  on her dm  machine. 

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I've had hundreds of folks use my Millie (the old one and the newer one) at shows - gotta watch out for those folks who want to step on the pedal :P AND 9-year-old boys! :blink:  The only person who's managed to break anything has been my DH: I stepped away from the booth to look at the quilts in the show, and my dear hubby tried to advance the quilt with the needle down - AND the SR on and the "go" button engaged!  Poor machine didn't know WHAT to do, jammed the needle so hard that we had to get out the needle-nose pliers to pull it out.  I cringed, changed the needle, then did some test-stitching..... and it sewed like a champ!  Needless to say, I started traveling with a full repair kit and a spare hook assembly after that.....

 

And even as I type, my sister-in-law is quilting a denim wedding quilt for her son - minimal supervision on my part, although I am staying in the room, just in case.  In the last week, I have had three renters on my machine, for a total of seven quilts done by them.  Yes, it impacts my own projects - I can't put a full custom quilt on between renters, since I don't have zippers on.  But these ladies don't have other access to rental longarms and love using mine.  I charge a scandalous $7 per hour - I consider it "bait" for those who might someday buy their own machine - and one woman and her mother might even buy my 2009 Millie, allowing me to upgrade to the newer heads!  I've never had a renter "break" anything on my machine, but I have the technical training to fix anything that happens, plus spare parts of all kinds.  So renters don't scare me none...... ;)

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