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Deb:

 

It all comes down to personal preferences.  Though for me it, was what my used George came with.  In my case an L sized bobbin.  Back to helping you make a decision.

 

L size bobbin cost -  $0.90

M size bobbin cost - $3.00

 

L size bobbin case -  $11.95

M size bobbin case - $54.00

 

What is a few less or few extra bobbin changes worth to you?  

 

Cagey

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I got a Lucey around the time the M bobbin first came available....I opted to stay with the L bobbin as at the time, the M bobbin was new and there was some thoughts that the M bobbin might give more tension problems as the thread on it was used up.  Seems folks who got the M bobbin like it because of needing fewer bobbin changes and sometimes I wonder if I would like the M better...but it really doesn't take too much time to insert a new bobbin and get going again especially if you have pre- wound a bunch of them or are using prewound ones....Lin

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I have the M bobbin, glad I went with the larger M size. The bobbin cases however are rather expensive. I've searched online but haven't found a better price. For me, with the CAN/US exchange rate plus shipping it almost doubles the cost.

Leslie

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I haven't experienced  a change in the bobbin tension as it winds down. I check the bobbin tension with a Towa tension gauge with every bobbin change and in between if I change threads or the top thread breaks. I have a APQS turbo bobbin winder which loads a consistently tensioned bobbin.

Leslie

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Thank you for your response. Everyone is so helpful .

When I was looking at past posts a few days ago, I only found a couple from 2012. I'm new here and found more comments that I missed before.

I looked on eBay and saw M bobbins and cases for reasonable prices, but have no idea how good they are.

I'm hoping to test drive a Millie in the next week or two. I'm also thinking about the Gammill and Handiquilter. I'm leaning strongly towards a Millie. Nothing is in the budget right now, but maybe in the spring.

Deb.

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Deb - I do not have the M bobbin and have never had it, but I will say that I also have a Juki and I find the L bobbin on my long arm to be really handy because it makes my bobbins interchangeable.  I sometimes free motion small projects on my Juki when I have customer quilts on the frame...also I can use up leftover bobbin thread practicing a design on my Juki.  Just my two cents...

 

Also - Sheila, I do have a side winder and in March when I upgraded to a Millennium I got a Turbo Winder...the side winder does ok, but the Turber Winder is every bit worth the cost and winds a bazillion times better!  It winds tighter so you can get more on your bobbin, if you have an L bobbin this is a big deal.  :)    I only keep my side winder now as a back up as I had an old turbo winder with my old Ultimate I that bit the dust after about a year...now I have one of the newer Turbo Winders and it is AMAZING. 

 

I bought a new Lenni, not delivered yet, some quilters recommended the L bobbins. Also some friends have the sidewinder bobbing winder and said it does not do a good job. Do any of you have any comments on this? I am really new at all this and would appreciate any help.

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I just have the sidewinder deluxe and I did have problems with loose winding at first.......but the deluxe has a screw on the tension disk ...and I have tightened that pretty much and it seems my bobbins are winding tighter and more consistently....the part that is supposed to stop the winding when full has not worked well for me so I just watch the bobbin until it looks full and stop the winder....it does bug me that there are both start and stop buttons to get the winder going but I have to hit the "start" button to get it stop and then have to hit both buttons again to wind another.....but ....it is working for the moment....I have considered getting the turbo winder....but I have been spending my money on things like DVD's, rulers and more thread.  :)  Lin.

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You should ask about the technical workings of the M verses the L. When I had my machine, APQS only had the L. I have been talking with the dealers about the new machines, and when I ask about the M vs L, the reason they give makes me want to stay with the L bobbin. Now, don't ask me what they say, because for the life of me, I have no idea  :P

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APQS originally promoted it's L-bobbin over the other machines M-bobbins because there was "less backlash", which meant less tension problems and better stitches.  I haven't kept up on the info since APQS started offering M-Bobbins.  Maybe Tony or the others could chime in here?

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I was told that supposedly the L bobbin was better for small detailed work.  For me it was what was available on the used market.  Though I am glad I have the L bobbin as the cost is so much cheaper than the M size.  I was able to get some 100 bobbins, and 10 bobbin cases for $35.  You always seem to need bobbins, and I like having a few bobbin cases for different threads or for testing when I have tension issues.  Plus, I was able to sell a few of them to my "George" guild friend, which lowered my cost and supply that I would probably never use.

 

In the end, I think you will be happy with whatever machine and whatever bobbin size you get from APQS and grow accustom to using.  There would not be so many different bobbin sizes, if it were not for so many different opinions from different quilters.  Everyone is always looking for the "best" ruler, marker, thread, machine, when in many cases they all are about the same (APQS warranty exempted), while good old fashioned practice with whatever you have would produce better results than always trying the "best" new thing.  I am sure Jamie Wallen, Angela Walters, Claudi Pfeil, and our own Valarie, Ardelle, Charolette; just to name a few, could take any old quilting machine and perform real wonders with it.  They have skills we all desire to have immediately verses taking the time to develop through hard work and time.  

 

Decide what you want, buy it, never second guess your thousand dollar decision, and practice, practice, practice.  Best of luck shopping.  

 

Cagey

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I bought a certified used 2014 Freedom this year from APQS. It had an M bobbin...and I had all kinds of tension & thread break problems. I have since changed to the L & am so glad I did. I'd rather change bobbins more often that get so frustrated that I want to chuck my machine out the window (I felt that way many times before I changed).

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Thank you so much for all your thoughts. You're right Cagey, I have to decide and not second guess.

Right now I'm trying to get as much information as I can. The forums here are great. I have a stretched machine I'm using now on a Hinterberg frame. I haven't used it a lot, but I'm getting some practice in. I need so much practice, but I'm improving. It was not too expensive, and you get what you pay for. But I didn't know if I would like longarm quilting. It is good for me now to practice on until the the Millie or Freddie fit into my budget. I rearranged my quilting room to see if I can fit a 14 foot table in there. It will be a bit tight with everything else in there, but I think it will work. If I get too frustrated with it the way it is, I can get a 12 foot table instead.

Deb.

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I just bought the Millennium in September with the "M" size bobbin and I love it.  No issues with tension.  I just quilted a small quilt, 46" x 56" and used a magnetic "Fil-tec" M size pre-wound bobbin.  The tension was perfect and I used one bobbin only for the entire quilt. Tension was great all the way down to the end. I also quilted a couple of large size quilts and no issues with the tension at all, three bobbin changes only.  I say, "GO BIG"!  Love the "M" Size bobbin.  Yippee!

 

Shawn

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  • 2 weeks later...

As Cagey mentioned, I was told at the APQS road show that if I did a lot of fine stippling or "micro-stitching" the L bobbin would give me better results. So I went with the L bobbin.  It's so easy to reach under and change a bobbin that it really didn't seem to be that much of a big deal to have the bigger "load" of the M bobbin. 

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Deb:  I have an Ult 2 that originally had the L bobbin system, and I converted to an M.  Having the same machine with both systems gave me unique insight to relative performance.  I never saw a difference in stitch quality.  The M sews every bit as good as the L.

 

In my experience quilting, the chance for performance issues comes primarily at bobbin changes.  The occasional tension/stitch quality problems come after a bobbin change.  Since you have twice the amount of thread on an M bobbin that you have on an L, your bobbin changes are half as often.  So you reduce those problems by half.  Bobbin changes also slow you down.

 

I wind all my own bobbins.  I use the commercial bobbin winder that I think came with my machine originally (bought her used so I really don't know) and never have any winding issues.  It's too bad APQS stopped providing that type of winder with their machines.  In fact I have two bobbin winders.  One set up for Bottom Line (tex 23) the other set up for tex 40 thread. 

 

While the cost of an M bobbin case is higher than the cost of L, really how many bobbin cases do you buy?  I have the original Haya bobbin case I bought when I did the system conversion five years ago, set up for Bottom Line, and a second Towa bobbin case I bought three years ago set up for tex 40 thread.  Both work fine, and neither has worn out.  I don't remember what I paid for the Haya, but the Towa, which would be my choice of bobbin cases, cost me $41. 

 

As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't even consider a machine with an L bobbin system.  To me there is no "up side" to the L, only "down side".  I hope my experience helps you with your decision.  Jim

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