chickenscratch

wanting honest reviews of Precise Pantograph system

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I know there are some reviews on her website, but before I spend $250 I would like some honest reviews.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much easier is it than just doing a pantograph the regular way?

 

How often do you actually use it?

 

How easy or hard is it to remove when you dont' want to use it?

 

Has it improved the quality of your pantograph work at all?

 

Is it worth the $250?

 

 

 

 

Thanks,


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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Teresa,

I'm actually going to have an opportunity to see it, and hopefully try it, today at the Boise Basin Quilt Show. I love looking at beautiful panto work but light custom is easier for me because I like to work for the front. Trinity had said I could buy her system and only pay return postage if I didn't like it. Now that's a great guarantee, but it's like ordering a panto or CL board without seeing it in person. It's hard to get a feel for the size and how it will look on your quilt when it's not in front of me. It looks like it would use small muscles where standing to do a panto is more of a large muscle, dance, activity, but I'm only guessing.


Heidi Patterson

APQS Blissed Millennium with Quilt Path

APQS Sales Rep - Educator - Authorized Service Rep

Boise, Idaho

208-861-5018 (cell)

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Heidi, Let me know what you think of it.  My concern is that it will use the wrist motions and aggravate what I suspect might be mild carpal tunnel syndrome setting in.  Some days my wrists ache after writing on the board all day, or typing all day. 


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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Teresa, I own it and I can give you my opinion.  I am happy I bought it.  It does exactly what Trinity says it will do.   

 

In the old days (mid 80's) I bought a "long arm".  It was a Juki with a 9" throat on a 12' wooden table.  Everyone was doing pantographs because you really only had about a 6" space and you could make a pass and roll the quilt then make another pass.  Towards the end of the quilt you didn't have much more than 4" space so the pantographs were difficult to maneuver.  I made large quilts even back then so I hated it.  I figured out how to SID down half my block then roll the quilt and SID down the other half.  I liked the look better and I didn't have to mess with making the pantograph fit so I never used the pantographs.  For someone who has never done pantographs this is a great product.  So, if you are very good at pantographs the way you do them now then this probably won't change things much.  It's not necessarily a faster way to do them...it's just a different way to do them.

 

I can't stand behind my machine at an angle without killing my back and anymore it's hard for me to stand very long at all.  This system allows me to sit and do pantographs. 

 

On regular pantographs you can probably just zip along without the Precise system, however, if you have never done pantographs before this is easier to learn and is more accurate.  You can do very intricate pantographs.  Have you noticed that they are getting more intricate?  And you can separate parts out to fill in blocks or empty spaces on your quilt.  My friend just did her very first pantograph using this system on my machine.  She really liked the results.  It was a southwestern design with very intricate parts...spikes on the cacti...intricate drawings on the turtles...etc.  She was able to do it, but decided she preferred a simpler look so we omitted all that stuff and it worked great for her.   

 

Mine was a tad bit harder to install only because I have a piece on my machine for my computer system that I leave on there so I had to work around that.  Otherwise it's a piece of cake.  I leave that part on my machine now and just remove the handle part.  It doesn't get in the way of anything.   

 

The price is great.  I think the micro handles for the front of my machine from APQS cost almost as much.  I bought them for doing more specialized things and I don't use them often, but they've been worth their price.  The Precise system will be much the same.

 

Hope this helps a little. 


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Serendipity: The discovery of something wonderful quite by accident while looking for something quite different.

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Thanks Oma.  That does help.  I am not good at pantographs. I don't have very good control from the back of the machine because the handles feel too low.  That's why I was wondering how this system would work for me. 

 

You mention the micro handles.  I bought some and they have never been installed.  I am finding that my customer likes all over designs and I can usally freehand something very quickly and make her happy. There have been times, however, when she wants something specific, but still an overall design.  That is when I have used a panto, but mine never end up looking like they are supposed to. 

 

I am going to talk to hubby and see if he thinks we have $250 to spend.  That might be tough. He still doesn't see the point of having the machine because I still dont' have any customers, other than the one lady.


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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I purchased the PPS and I really am pleased with it.   As stated above you can do more intricate patterns and I also like that I can sit and do the panto.  I am having some major problems with arthritis of my hands and this system does not bother that.  I think you will be pleased if you decide to purchase it.

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Oma is right- the PPS does just what Trinity says it will do. It gives you more control and is much easier on your body since it allows you to use both hands in tandem. I could do most pantos just fine, but avoided any patterns that depended on perfectly parallel lines or long smooth curves. When I got the PPS, the first thing I did was get out a panto that had been a total disaster for me. After practicing a while, I was able to do it at an acceptable level, but not perfectly. I also need to say that I have not been satisfied with the movement of my Milli for the last few weeks, so that was likely keeping me from getting the near-perfect design I wanted. The PPS is not magic though, you still need to use good techniques and put in some practice time. I also really like sitting down while quilting. I am in very good physical shape, but I quilt after work every day and it is really nice to not have to stand for another couple of hours at the end of a long day. I had to buy the stool at the same time, so the cost was closer to $400, but I am satisfied with what I have gotten for the $$$.

Carol

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Hi Teresa, here's my 2 cents.

if $ is a concern for you & the hubz, you should ask yourself if you think you will use it enough to justify the purchase.

Like you, I'm pretty bad at pantos.

But, I'm bad at them cause I never practice.

I never practice cause I really do not enjoy working from the back of the machine.

I almost ordered one cause I would love to do an accurate panto once in a while.

For me, once in a while was not enough to justify the expense.

And I know given the choice, I'll always freehand from the front.

Good luck deciding.


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

http://theonewiththreadsonherclothes.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/megfazio

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Meg, you make excellent points.  I will also always choose working from the front if I have the option. I like the creativity I have from workign freehand and putting designs where I think they should go.  I am going to continue to think about it and decide what will work best for me. 

 

Thanks for your help ladies


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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I already am pretty good at pantos but wondered about the system, too. I really wondered if my back and neck and arms would hurt more with the precise panto system. And would it be hard to do some of the pantos that are 10 or more inches. That's a long reach. Or the pantos that are double on the row, can you reach the second row?. Any input?

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Yes, you can do a 2 row panto. I should qualify that by saying that I use cotton or a cotton blend batting...never used the PPS with a wool or puffier type batting. They might cause issues with the unit as your quilt gets rolled onto the take up roller and is thicker. I would run that question by Trinity the designer of the PPS if this might be a situation you would encounter. That said, I am in love with my PPS. I was doing ok with pantos but found I was not comfortable while doing them and the next day my back, neck and knees were stiff and achy. Once I had this system on my machine all those problems disappeared. I figured out that I was holding my body so tense doing regular pantos and that I was speeding up as I went across a row just to get it finished. Then I would l take a break to loosen up before the next pass and sometimes it was a day or two before the next row was done. Needless to say, not a very efficient way to finish projects. Once I was sitting to do the panto, no problems with stiffness, speeding up at the end of a row that lead to inaccurate quilting or the need for constant breaks. I leave my unit attached to my machine. Have not had a quilt to do that would be so large as to necessitate me removing it. It really hasn't been in my way at all. Hope this helps you.

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My question would be............how do you see and watch what you are stitching on the quilt?   At least standing up, you can look over and see if things are going well, any thread breakages, etc.  I kind of like Terry's idea.  


Linda B.       :rolleyes: 

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I plan to ask for this system for Christmas. I do mainly heirloom custom. There are many quilts that don't warrant that type of quilting. And many quilts that don't warrant heirloom do warrant something more intricate than my E to E from the front repertoire. Many would also benefit from a motif repeated in several blocks. My panto quilter friends tell me I can do pantos and don't need this. No, I can't do them, and yes I do need this. If you want to grow your business you must get the tools to do that and develop the skills. Right now, you are limited to customers who want the E to E that you are doing. I only get those that want heirloom custom. Decide where you want to go with your business, then work toward that end. Customers love pantos, and they love precision. Barring purchase of a computer, this is a great tool that will produce great results with a bit of comfortable practice. A lot of things influence a customer's choice of a quilter. It's hard work to build a business. You have to go to every guild meeting, donate quilting for the guild's charity quilts for awhile. Talk to everybody, everywhere. Get business cards and hand them out to everybody. It takes about three years of trying very hard before it begins to pay for your investment. Tell the husband to have patience. He will eventually almost never see you anywhere other than at the machine.


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If you're bad at pantos because the handles are too low at the back of the machine, why not save up for something a bit more expensive, but something that will be of major benefit to all your quilting, especially as you age?  You can get an after-market hydraulic system for your table for about $800.  Go to www.suspa.com and look at Movotec Table Lift Systems.  Mine has been a lifesaver for my neck and back.  I work mostly from the front of the machine and, with a Liberty, it's sometimes hard to get your head around the head of the machine to have a good view of what you're doing.  The hydraulics really help.  I got them long before I finally got my IQ, and having the table at a better height was great for doing pantos.

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I am going to add here that it is unlikely that I would ever get enough panto quilts from customers to afford either hydraulic lifts or a computer. There are far too many quilters in my area for me to compete with the computer quilters for business. I think your focus should be growing your business so you can afford upgrades, whatever they may be. You need to identify what your competition is doing, and adjust your focus accordingly. In my area, I find that very few quilters want to do custom unless it is computerized, and believe it or not, many people don't want that. Have you checked out your competition??


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Lynn, there is not really any competition. There is a lady about an hour away that will do any quilt for $35. She does only pantographs.  The local quilt shop has a GAmmill with a computer system but I was told they are trying to sell it because they don't use it very much.  My quilt customer took one quilt there to see how much they would charge to quilt it and she left because she said they were way too expensive on their quilting.  I just found out yesterday there is a lady near Memphis (about 2.5 hours) quilting. She also has a Gammill with a computer system.

 

The problem here is there aren't tons of quilters. There is a guild that meets on Tuesday mornings at a local church, but they all do hand quilting.  I have had a few customers from far away, but just one time things. I have been trying for almost 7 years to build a customer base. This just isn't the area for it.


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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I just finished my first quilt with the PPS, and I'm extremely happy with it. Is it perfect? No, but it's better than anything I ever did before! I know pantos are not a problem for some people, but I guess there's just something about the type of movement required doing them the usual way from the back that didn't work for me. With Bliss, I improved a little, but I still wasn't happy with the results on more intricate pantos. I installed the PPS a month or so ago, but hadn't really had a chance to use it yet. Today was the day to experiment, though, and it worked great. I'm looking forward to doing more!


Louise

APQS Millennium

 

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I tried the Precise Panto at a quilt show yesterday. Using it was relaxing, with my arms and hands resting on the table, but there would still be a learning curve. I'm making a baby quilt for a friend and if I had the PP it would be real easy to quilt a coloring book picture on alternate blocks. It would be harder for me to get the same detail standing.

Why am I not purchasing one now? I'll either need to find alternate storage or use up the fabric stored under the back side of my table. Also, I wish there was a way to accomplish what I want to do from the front of the table, where I can see the quilt. Does that sound like saving up for a computer?

Teresa, Trinity makes it real easy to try the PP with her return policy. Return within two weeks for a full refund, minus your return postage.

Wish you the best with building your business. You're a good quilter. The quilting you have shared has been very pretty.


Heidi Patterson

APQS Blissed Millennium with Quilt Path

APQS Sales Rep - Educator - Authorized Service Rep

Boise, Idaho

208-861-5018 (cell)

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Teresa, I am not sure how far you are from a larger town, but I travel 40 miles to one guild, and 50 miles to another each month. That has produced nearly all of the customers I have. Generally, I pick up quilts at guild and return them at guild. You have to do custom quilting on your own quilts to show your skills during Show and Tell. As the saying goes, custom builds your reputation, and pantos and E to E make money for you. See if there is a modern quilt guild anywhere near you. They rarely want hand quilting. Maybe you need to take your business in a totally different direction. One longarm quilter in my area specializes in memory and T-shirt quilts. She stays busy constructing them and quilting them. If you have a larger town in your area, try advertising for a few weeks in their newspaper. See if you can exhibit at a craft show. See if your local library wants a quilt to put on display for awhile. If there are any quilt shops around, put your business card there, or trade quilting shop samples for awhile for a chance to display your work there. Enter your quilts in your county fair and state fair. 7 years is a long time. If you have done all of these things already, the only thing left is eBay...or realizing you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't have to make money at this, and my husband actually is supportive of my very expensive hobby. Its easy for some men to begrudge their wives a longarm while buying motorcycles, expensive trucks, guns, horses, hunting or golf stuff for themselves without batting an eye. Maybe husband re-education is in order!!


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Teresa, I have wondered if this system may be of help to me, as well.  I have permanent problems with my back, shoulders and elbows, and after having shoulder surgery last year I've often wished pantos would be easier for me.  Some time ago I posted pictures of the curved bicycle handles I put on the front of my Ultimate I since my machine had only the straight up handles (not the ergonomic ones like on newer machines).  After my shoulder surgery, when I starting to quilt again, my DH put some straight bicycle handle extenders on the left back handle to help me control my machine when doing pantos.  I can move the angle and space between them as needed.  It has helped me as I don't have to grip both the left handle and the back of the machine, which always caused tendonitis flare ups in my elbows.  Maybe you could try this and see of it would work for you, also. At the time being, the cost of the system as well as investing in a new chair just isn't feasible, maybe someday in the near future.  Plus, what we conjured up has worked well enough to keep me working more comfortably from the back of the machine. 

post-5120-0-91079500-1412100825_thumb.jpg


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2009 Freedom, and a 1989 Ulti I w/Intellistitch

 

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Marci is onto something with her handles. One of the best things about the Nolting 24 Pro is the handles are so adjustable. It makes quilting a lot easier on the upper body. I'm surprised other longarm machine manufacturers haven't made more user friendly adjustable handles.

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