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Wanted first machine

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Probably not....

Entry-level SR longarms may be had for just over twice that.

Used machines are less but hard to find.

Scour all the used-machines-for-sale sites and hope to be the first to see a "desperate to sell" listing.

Older non-SR machines sometimes come available for closer to your budget. Never seen something considered a "longarm" with a SR for that little.




Rent a longarm locally to see if it's truly your want/need/dream.

Find something you want and put cash down and make payments.

Buy a machine with a friend. (Have a contract in place as to where it will be situated and an access schedule that is fair to both parties.)

Save up until you can afford a machine that fits your needs.

Enter on the APQS main page to win a computerized longarm! :)


Good luck with your search. Arm yourself with as much info as you can find and research all makes and models so you can be confident of your decision when you find that perfect machine.

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I do believe that you can find a longarm machine for your budget as long as you are patient.  Also, the listed price may not be what the seller will actually end up taking for the machine should you give them an offer. 

I was able to purchase mine, a used ULT2 with stitch regulator for what you are willing to pay.  However, I did look at all sites that list used longarm machines and took my time finding one that was close enough for me to drive over and pick it up.  The cost of shipping was way to high for me to pay and a real hassle to get things crated and arranged to be shipped.  My longarm throat is 20" and the table is 12'. I can do king size quilts and that was a concern for me. I also wanted to do pantographs and wanted to make sure the table would work out well for that.

You can get smaller machines, 16"-18" throat for less money.  However, you do have to advance your quilt a lot with these machines as the actual quilting surface will be less than the throat size due to the take up roller and the thickness of the quilt as you continue to roll your quilt.  I wanted to make sure I could quilt a 12" block without having to advance the quilt, so I decided to the smallest I would go is the 20". 

I tried to educate myself as to what I would need vs what I thought I wanted and found out that my needs were more suitable for my budget.  I would suggest educating yourself on what you really need, talk to those that have machines for sale and those that have that brand of machine, find out the pro's and con's of the machine and table.  Sometimes thinking you want a certain brand or type of machine ends up not being what you thought after talking with those that have these machines.

If you are in a hurry to get a longarm, you will have a difficult time finding one in the budget you are looking at. 

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I have been lucky enough to find 2 used APQS machines in your budget, one without SR and one with. You must be patient and ready to act when the opportunity comes your way. I will always be so grateful to the seller of my Millie for having such a generous heart and allowing me to buy her machine at such a price. I also have a sister with a truck who was willing to drive with me from NC to Chicago to get it!!! I am a lucky girl.


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You can find a smaller (16") longarm in your price range. It probably won't be an APQS machine though. I quilted for 5 years on my HQ16 and had no trouble. That was my first longarm. I didn't feel like I was advancing the fabric all the time because of the smaller throat space. I just sold mine without the stitch regulator for $2,800. I was finally in a position where I could advance to a larger machine and purchased a pre-loved Millennium ( my dream machine) from this forum. I looked for well over a year at different brands. Just be patient and do your research. Good luck!

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While you are saving a few more dollars, spend some time researching the different machines. Go try them out if you can, at dealer showrooms or quilt shows.   I knew from the Paducah show several years back that I could afford Brand X, but when I went to the show and tried those out they felt wimpy and awkward to control.  I decided right then to save more money and purchase a Gammill or an APQS.  About 6 months later I found the Ultimate II that I used for 7 years before I just traded up for a stitch regulated Lenni.  I love the Lenni, but looking back on it I realize my stitches on my Ultimate II after all those years of practice were almost as nice as the ones the Lenni makes.  And I had a lot more control of the Ultimate II.  The Lenni is still hard to "steer" and I am not good with intricate things with it.

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