Anniam

Millie vs. Freddy ?

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Seriously considering a long arm purchase.  Have studied, I think, every page on the APQS and Gammill websites and have lurked here a bit.  (And, have cleaned out my space--just need to convince my better? half that my soul has a longarm-sized hole).

 

My question:  aside from the absence of a bobbin thread cutter (and $1,000); is there a difference between Millie and Freddy?  And, if so--what's the difference?

 

Thanks in advance for your input, and sorry if this should be posted elsewhere. 

 

Annie


                AnnIam

Tulsa, OK--2009 Freedom as of 3/31/2016

named Gertrude for St. Gertrude the Great. 

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Annie, I have a Lenni, so I can't really speak to your question. But if you haven't decided between APQS and Gammill, let me share something my guru of a sewing machine service master told me. When I was deciding  on a brand of longarm, I asked him what he would choose for himself. His answer was APQS, hands down. He said that not only is it a great machine, but servicing it is much easier than the others because everything is easy to get to and easy to service. And, besides, he said, "APQS never breaks down." Of course, I haven't needed him for anything for my longarm. Someday, I will make the same choice between Millie and Freddie - So I'll be looking for the answers you get from others.

 

Happy shopping!


Sharon

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Annie

The other difference is the Freedom doesn't have the electronic channel locks.  I believe it has a manual horizontal lock.  I know from watching Brenda with her Millie she very seldom uses the vertical lock but does use the horizontal quite often.  Neither of us ever use the thread cutter.  I have yet to see anyone demonstrate the benefits of having the thread cutter. If we were buying a new machine now it would probably be a Bliss Freedom with Quilt Glide, second choice would be Bliss Lucey with the Deluxe Table and Turbo Bobbin Winder.  On the other hand maybe you would get the thousand dollars back when it comes time to sell. 

 

My opinion only

Nigel

 

Forgot to add Power Fabric Advance (love it)


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Nigel is right about no vertical channel lock and a manual horizontal channel lock on the Freedom.  I have a Freedom and use my horizontal channel lock to baste the batting at the top of every quilt, because it gives me a square line for attaching my quilt top.  I have occasionally wished I had a vertical channel lock, but found that I can use heavy clamps on either side of the wheels on the back rail and achieve the same result. 

 

I have never missed having a bobbin thread cutter.

 

I don't know how Millies compare to Freedoms for resale value, but that $1,000 will buy you nice extras for your new Freedom.  I don't have Bliss, but love my power fabric advance!


Betsy

quilting with Emmeline, a 2011 Freedom SR

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A little over a year ago I was struggling with the same issue. I ended up going with the Millie because I did want the vertical channel locks as well as the horizontal. With the Millie you access both channel locks with a button on the front of the machine. The Freddie's horizontal lock, if I remember correctly, is accessed by moving a lever at the back of the machine. I have only used the thread cutter a couple of times to see how it worked. I didn't particularly like how short it left the tail of the bobbin thread and it was just as easy for me to pull the bobbin thread to the top and cut it with scissors so I haven't used it since. I do use the vertical locks with almost every quilt. If you are considering adding a computerized system (Quilt Path or Intelliquilter) you would have electronic channel locks by using the computer system however I like being able to use the channel locks without having my IQ on the machine. I think there was one other difference between the two machines but I don't remember what it was and for me the deciding factor was the vertical channel lock. After talking with my bank, the extra $1000 wasn't going to make that much difference in my payments so I went with what I wanted.

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Thank you for your thoughtful and prompt answers--you guys are the best source of information. 

 

I don't understand what quilt glide is.  Is is part of the bliss thing? or something extra? 

 

Thanks again. 

 

 

(editted to correct grammar)


                AnnIam

Tulsa, OK--2009 Freedom as of 3/31/2016

named Gertrude for St. Gertrude the Great. 

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Quilt glide is different from Bliss. Bliss is a part of the rail system and works with ball bearings instead of wheels on the machine(I think). Quilt glide, when activated, allows you to do micro stippling, small circles, etc with the stitch regulator on and smooths out the curves. That's probably not the best explanation but I can say it makes a huge difference in my stitches when I am doing small curvy freehand stitching.

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MY suggestion is that you don't ask other people.  Go to a road show and try them all--play on them and decide what is necessary for you, and what you can live without.  I went determined to buy a Lenni, but ended up getting a Millie.  And the discounts/specials I got for attending the free road show paid for the difference. 

 

And by the way I love my bobbin thread cutter. 

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Yes.. go to a road show. I played with all the machines. You will have all the time you need. Good discounts also. I had pretty well decided on a George before I attended. I wanted a sit down. I think it's good to talk to other Pele though. Listen to all but it's your machine so please yourself. Enjoy.


Judy Day

Love My Georgia  (aka George)

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I have been to a road show and would encourage that to anyone.  I went to the state quilt show, thought I was researching for a Lenni, came home with a Lucey.  I hadn't planned to buy that day!  Be sure your checkbook is full when you look, you never know when the deal is too good to pass up. 


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Annie:  It would certainly be good to try each machine out at a road show or some other significant display event.  That will give you some idea of the feel of each variation.  However, I would listen carefully to what others say about the features of the different choices.  Things like bobbin size (L or M), bobbin winders, channel locks, thread cutters, power advance, batting access systems, take up roller adjustments, power lifts, light systems and the like can make a great deal of difference in how convenient a machine is to use day after day.  A test "drive" would likely not make those things apparent.  I've found some things I thought would be important, not to be so, while others that I kind of ignored, turned out to be of great importance.  Unfortunately, not everyone will have the same list of needs.

 

My lists of musts would include M bobbin system, industrial bobbin winder, electronic channel locks, easy batting access, good LED lighting, responsive machine movement, and a good thread management (guides and tension device) system.  I have good reasons for this list.  Others, maybe not so much.

 

The reason for the M bobbin:  In my experience most thread/tension issue occur in association with bobbin changes.  So, the fewer changes, the less stitch issues.

 

Channel locks:  I use both my horizontal and vertical channel locks quite often.  I used manual ones before I installed electronics on my Ult 2, and found them to be quite combersome.

 

Industrial bobbin winder:  I wind all my own bobbins, so how they wind is important to me.  Others use only pre-wound, and winding bobbins is not an issue for them.  Winding bobbins well and conveniently requires a good winder, and some machines come with really poor winders, be they part of the machine, or stand alone.

 

Batting access system:  I frequently have problems with wrinkles in my batting and feel like I have to easily get to the batting to smooth it out.  There can be a big difference in how easy it is to get at the batting from one machine/system to another.

 

Power advance:  I don't have a power advance system on my table.  I know some folks wouldn't be without them, but for me, it doesn't seem so important.  That being said, if I had ever used such a device I might have a different opinion.  But I know at least one person here on the forum has removed his power advance because it was an unnecessary complication that served little purpose.

 

Now I've listed a few of the things that are important to me.  They are important because of the way I personally quilt.  You'll have to think about how you plan to use your new system, and think through some of the benefits and disadvantages of each feature.  Good luck on your quest.  Jim  

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I had a Millie several years ago. I sold it and took a break....7 years...wow!! This week I purchased a used Freedom AKA Freddie. The only difference in these machine is the vertical channel locks and the thread cutter. When I had my Millie, I removed the thread cutter, and I would do it again if I had another Millie. So that leaves the vertical channel lock. Is it worth the $1000. I don't know. I just purchased the Freddie....so I will tell you in a few months. They are pretty much the same machine. Just make sure you get Bliss, whatever you do!


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Annie:

 

As you can see there a number of issues that only you can address.  Take your time to decide exactly what you want.  Got to a road show filled with all the input and views of others here and on other sites.  Then ask the experts at the show to clarify your concerns.  For example

 

Bobbin size:  Look at the cost differential between the two.  They are rather great.  Some say L is better for small stitching, while others will so no.  Do a search of the forum, and I am sure you will find all kinds of input.  

 

Bobbin winder:  If you get a new machine, or a used one you will hopefully get something better than the Sidewinder.  If not, again search the forum for a good high quality winder.  

 

I cannot address the other issues as I only have a George, but I am sure if you search the forum you will find tons of input as to what other options are best.  In the end, it will come down to what you think is best and what you can afford.  If we had all won the lottery this week, we would have a few new quilting machines, but since that did not occur we have to make decisions what is needed and what is not.

 

Best of luck to you.  Once you get your new toy, just do not second guess yourself and be happy with your baby.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Taking in all of the advice and attending a road show next weekend.  Can't wait!!  Thanks again for all the input.  I'll let you know. 

 

Annie


                AnnIam

Tulsa, OK--2009 Freedom as of 3/31/2016

named Gertrude for St. Gertrude the Great. 

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Oh, Annie,

You will have a great time!  And they'll let you play as long as you like on all the machines.  So move directly from the Freddie to the Millie and back again.  The Millie is likely to have the Bliss system on it--you'll notice the difference.  According to the comparison charts, the Freddie weighs 4 pounds less...but I can't figure out why.  

 

And for the record, I use the bottom thread cutter every single time I quilt with my Millie.

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Thread cutter is probably close to 4 pounds, but there is also whatever makes up the channel locks, but I don't think that would be much. I have had a chance to use my Freedom (aka Freddie) and I really like her a lot. I have not had a lot of time to play with her, because my husband just had a knee replacement and building up to that, we had a lot of things to get done, that he will not be able to do in the coming weeks. 

 

If you plan to be an APQS dealer someday, I think a requirement is to own a Millie. So if that is in your future, then there is that. Otherwise, if the choice is Millie or Freddie, I would test drive, then at the very least get Bliss on which ever you choose.  All the really good quilters tell me you don't need Glide, but after trying it out, I really think I like it. I am a little out of control when doing freehand, and I think Glide helps me a tiny bit. I think control will come back to me once I have a chance to get in the grove....or maybe I am just totally out of control :P  :D


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Enjoy trying them all out. I have a Millie and I love this machine. She is a dream. There are a lot of great machines out there but APQS is the only one with a Lifetime warranty. Also. you can't beat the service. Even on the weekend, I've had fellow quilters help me out with troubleshooting when the factory was closed. I got my machine new in 2008 and it came with the power advance and Quilt Glide. I use them all the time. I also use my thread cutter. Of course people on this forum will recommend APQS, but I have talked with other quilters who have had other machines and ended up with an APQS machine. To me, that speaks volumes. Good luck with your future machine, You won't be sorry. It is a lot of money but money well spent. 


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Went to a road show on Saturday.  Was a little disappointed.  There were too many people there for the space.  There were only two machines.  I didn't get a chance to try a machine, partially my fault because I had to leave at about 3, but the show was supposed to end at 3:30 and people hadn't started trying the machines yet.  The dealer would have been better off to host a show two weekends in a row with fewer people. 

 

Oh well.  I've made a deal on a used Freedom, so I'll be long arming soon. 


                AnnIam

Tulsa, OK--2009 Freedom as of 3/31/2016

named Gertrude for St. Gertrude the Great. 

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Oh WoW!!  I just opened up the flash drive that was in the road show goodie bag.  The trip to the road show was worth it for that.   :)  LOTS of great info. 


                AnnIam

Tulsa, OK--2009 Freedom as of 3/31/2016

named Gertrude for St. Gertrude the Great. 

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