Another Liberty vs. Millennium


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Hi ladies and gents,

My husband and I went to Oakland on Saturday to see and

test-drive the APQS machines. My husband has told me that I can choose the one I want. Yippee! The problem is, I'm the queen of "hem and haw". I like the visibility and quilting space of the Millennium. But I absolutely love how the Liberty handles. I see that some of you love your Liberties, and some of you have traded up for Millies. So, I was wondering, do any of you ladies with a Liberty ever have visibility problems? The one that I tried, the table was too low for me and impaired the view, so it was kind of hard to tell what it would be like at the right height. Also, how do you like the verticle handles?

Those of you who have upgraded to the Millennium, do you like the horizontal handles better? And did you find the view space of the Liberty limiting?

I would love some help out of the valley of "acid indecision".

Thanks for any help,

Jackie

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Hi Jackie

I love both machines but would say since the introduction of CQ that you would have more options with the Milli. I really appreciate the extra throat space and for re-sale I think it would be easier to sell a Milli.

I set up a Milli today and it glides just like a Liberty you wouldn't notice the weight difference.

I find I adjust the height of the handles regularly according to the type of quilting I'm doing and I never have back or neck pain.

Go Milli!

Sue in Australia

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I have a Millie, and have never had a Liberty, so not much help there. I can say I love my Millie. I have tendonitis in my wrist and elbow, but I don't think the Millie is a problem for that - it was happening long before I got my mahine. You have probably already read what others have written on this site. I know some have said that they have to roll the quilt to finish a block - that would drive me nuts, but that is just me. It may not be that big of a deal. I went for the Millie cause it had everything I wanted and more, I am very happy with it.

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Okay, I have a question here.

I wasn't as crazy about the Millie, during classes I've taken, as I was about the Freedom. It seemed to move easier and the description says that it weighs about 10 lbs less than the Millie. Idon't know how the Freedom compares to the Liberty in weight, but it's the same as the Millie in handle set up and throat size.

I would love to hear from Freedom owners and see what their experiences are.

I love my Proto, but it's heavy, same as Millie and Gammill. I'm seriously considering making a switch to a lighter machine and right now it's between the Freedom and the A1. I'm planning on some serious test drives (and classes) at MQS, but I'd love to hear from the Freedom owners. Are you happy with it? Or do you wish you'd gone with the Millie or Liberty instead?

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Hi Tracye

I know that there was a misprint in some of the brochures printed a few months ago regarding the weight of the Milli and perhaps one of the techs or dealers will jump in here with the correct weight of the Milli, but the Freedom would be about 3 pounds lighter than the Milli and this is roughly the weight of the thread cutter that is standard on a Milli.

With our wheel system we can make the machine tighter to the track or looser to suit the person's "feel" preference. It could be that the machine you tried was set with the wheels tighter to the track. I know I used to have mine set that way but now have adjusted them a little looser and can move the machine effortlessly in any direction with only a gently push.

Perhaps you can talk to the person whose machine you tried to see if they can make the adjustment or you could try out a Milli somewhere else.

Let us know how you get on.

Sue in Australia

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Thank you Sue and Myrna for your replies.

I don't know where I was using a Freedom at, MQS or Myrna's classes in Colorado. I just remember that I'd used several different machines, several that I know were Millies, then one just handled so much different and felt lighter that I looked on the side thinking that it must be a Liberty (I didn't know at the time they had different handles) and saw that is was a Freedom.

I'm not taking any classes on APQS machines at MQS, but plan to test drive the heck out of them up on the show floor:D

My machine weighs 52 lbs I think, I thought I'd read somewhere that the Freedom weighs 43 is that correct? If so, then with what you guys said the Millie must weigh about 46. Is that right?

I can't wait to go play on them at MQS when I'm paying attention to machines and not just the

class.;)

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Myrna, I don't recall anything being hard to move at your class. I just think that the Millie's didn't feel any different from my machine, so I didnt pay any attention to the machines. I just remember starting to quilt on a machine and thinking "wow this feels different, what machine is this?" and looking around and seeing it said Freedom on the side. Maybe it was your class!

I went in and test drove the new Millie at High Country Quilts in Springs, afer a woman who wanted to come look at my machine said that when she took a class on the Millie there her circles were square the machine was so stiff. I went and drove it and it was stiff and vibrated a bit. I told her that that was not the norm, that the Millies I'd taken classes on all moved fne they just seemed as heavy as my machine.

Mark, maybe someone should tell them at High Country how to adjust their wheels, I know they are very new dealers.

Also does the Freedom really weigh 43lbs? If so that would make it 9-10lbs lighter than mine, no wonder I noticed.:)

Look forward to seeing you Myrna!:D

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Jackie,

I have an Ultimate I, the predecessor of the Freedom.

I test drove several machines at the San Diego quilt show last year. The show did not have an APQS booth, :( . I found the A-1 Elite to be very smooth and lightweight. It just seemed small to me. I'm a big girl. The Gammill was sluggish at the show but that same machine in the shop moved much better.

It is always fun to test drive these machines at a show, like test driving a car. But just like test driving a car, the seat and mirrors need to be adjusted for the new driver. Plus, in shows, I would think that they have limited machine setup time. And if a machine is sluggish in a show, it is probably not a good idea to adjust it in public view. ;)

I don't think that the weight of the machine would be a significant factor. Of course, I can muscle any machine around. But look at Myrna or Hester. These are tiny folks and they don't have any trouble moving a Millie. (Myrna/Hester, that was not a short joke, OK :P)

For me, the difference between the Freedom and the Millie is the Stitch Regulator. The Freedom sounds cheaper, same throat size as Millie but $7k cheaper. You can get the Freedom SR (for another $5k).

I recommend that you test drive at shops or dealerships once you have decided on the features that are must-haves. This is a big investment, you need to be sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have the opportunity to buy a used Liberty, it would be my first LA machine, I currently own a Mega Quilter and a Grace Frame. It would definitly be a big step up and I am already disatisfied with the Mega Quilter and its limited throat space. Could any of you current Liberty Owners give me some feedback please? Whatever you would like to put into words would be welcome. Its a big step and a lot of money, but I think it will be worth it....I am worth it.

Thanks

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I'm just a wannabe, but I tried the Millie and the Liberty at Quilt Odessy last year. First of all, I must tell you that I have a pretty bad neck (lots of bad discs and bone spurs) so my comments wouldn't apply if you have no problems. I really felt the Millie pulling on my neck, but not so much with the Liberty. I thought about the limitations of the smaller throat, but don't think it would be an issue since the APQS automatic feed goes both forward and backward at the push of a button. A foot pedal button, no less, so you don't have to stop what you're doing! The only thing standing between me and a Liberty is $$$$$. If I didn't have spine problems, however, I'd go for the Millie.

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I'm a wanna be also, and I've decided on the Millie with the hydrualic lift which will allow me to to raise and lower the table as many times a day as I need to. I don't want to compromise on quilting space, rolling the quilt back and forth and maybe having to re-align the pattern or any of that, I want to quilt not continaully be making an adjust ment of some kind. I have Rhuematoid Arthritis in every major joint in my body. I also have arthritis in my lower back and neck and shoulders from an old fall, my neck bothers me all the time. I was concerned about being able to do this until I tried a Millie with the hydraulic lift on it. I was able to raise the table enough that I was able to stand straight up without stooping at all (lower back), or "hunching" my shoulders. I'm 5'10 " so that is saying a lot to get it that high. Also, I can lower it enough to sit and quilt when I need to rest my legs or hips. Usually a combination of sitting and standing will keep me going a long time. I tried a couple of Millie's, one must not have had the wheels adjusted very well because I could feel myself "moving" it. But the next day I tried a different one (same quilt show 2 different machines), and it just glided without any effort on my part. When the thought struck me "I could do this all day!" I was sold right there. What might be a little push or pull for some is a big deal for me, the joints in my fingers will not take much punishment or I can't use them for days.

Just my 2 cents. There is a topic called LAing and Diabilities that I started when I was still in the resesarch stage. Her's a link:

http://www.apqs.com/quiltboard/viewthread.php?tid=3695#pid28700

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Jackie,

I have had my Freedom since November '03 and I love it!!!!!! I was able to test drive the Millennium and two other models that day but chose the Freedom because it was soooo much easier to move. I really wanted the longer throat space, too. I think the stitch regulator would be nice to have but the learning curve for mastering the steady movement of the machine is the same wheather it's stitch regulated or not. At least, that's what seasoned professionals who have had both tell me!!

I have a small home-based machine quilting business. Someday I may upgrade, but for now, I have exactly what I want. I love the creative outlet of manually operating the machine myself to create beautiful works of art. :)

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