RebeccaGrace

Best APQS machine for both IQ and hand guided quilting?

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I'm planning to start a longarm quilting business in the next few months.  Found a great dealer who sells both APQS and Intelliquilter.  I'm planning to invest in Intelliquilter so I can jump right in with computerized E2E without the learning curve (as this is my first, and hopefully last longarm purchase!) and I know that from a business standpoint, larger frames and wider throats are best for computerized quilting because they allow you to quilt a larger area with each advance of the quilt.  However, I know that I want to learn to quilt freehand as well, if only for myself, and it seems like the longarm quilters whose work I most admire are using smaller machine heads.  When I demo'd the 26" Millenium and the 20" Lenni, I felt like I had much better control and better hand guided results with the smaller machine when I was quilting swirls, teardrops, pebbles, etc.  I know I can take the 5 lb. thread cutter off the Millie and that will help, but I'm wondering whether the Millenium is too big and unwieldy to be an ideal hand guided machine.  Or, will I develop that control over time through practice? 

Basically, my question is whether experienced quilters find the Millenium to be "too big" for hand guided or free-style quilting.  I'm tall and I have long arms, so reach isn't an issue -- just noticed a big difference in my demo quilting on the two machines.  On Lenni, I can already do a decent meander, but on Millie I couldn't keep those curves consistent.  Both machines I demo'd had Bliss Track systems.

Any suggestions or feedback greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Rebecca Grace

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Rebecca Grace:  I own an APQS Ultimate 2, and a Gammill Classic.  While I really like my Ult 2, I think you'd be better served buying the larger machine.  The small machine is probably easier to get used to initially, but it's size is a little limiting, and since you intend to do computer driven E2E as well, the bigger machine is probably a better choice.(you must use smaller pantos on the Lenni, which limit the design somewhat, and slow down quilt completion)  Gaining control will simply be a matter of using the machine.  I must admit I do more custom work on my Ult 2 than on my Gammill, but I have more tools for the Ult 2 than the Gammill, and that's probably why. (If you don't know, the Gammill Classic is a 26" machine like the Millie)  Just my thoughts.  Jim

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I would recommend you try the Lucey.  She is the same size as Millie, only lighter in weight.  She moves like a dream for free motion quilting.  Since you plan to get the IQ, you will have channel locks within the IQ system, so no real need to go up to Millie for those.  I would highly recommend trying Lucey and I would upgrade to the Deluxe table ( Millies table) and get the fabric advance.

 

 


Patty Butcher
Katydids Quilting Studio ~ APQS FL Store
IntelliQuilter Dealer
EdgeRider Wheels Dealer
Brooksville, FL (Central FL)
352-397-4959, 850-502-0272 Cell
http://www.katydids.net
patty@katydids.net
New Generation Millennium W/IQ; 2015 Lucey with Quilt Path: George

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Thanks, Patty.  I looked at the Lucey  but I thought the Quiltglide was a worthwhile feature, and I don't think that can be added to Lucey?  My dealer said the auto thread cutter that comes on Millie weighs 5 lbs so if I take that off my Millie would be closer to Lucey's weight.  What are your thoughts about Quiltglide?  Obviously the Lucey would help my numbers work out better, too...  just don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish.

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I totally agree with Katydids.  I think it's great you want to try some hand guided quilting but IQ has sooooooo many capabilities you will be spoiled. 


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


sewsweetgator@aol.com
http://www.yoursite.com
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I own a millie without the bliss system and all I do is freehand and ruler work. In doing pebbling, and other small type work, I do tend to work up close to the belly bar and towards the middle of the throat space, but in doing large freehand, more modern quilting, I often go towards the back, and I'm only 5'4".  I also have the 14 foot frame and so glad I have it because I've quilted some pretty large quilts! I usually always have my extended table on also.  All that being said, I do work out and swim and I think that helps with my shoulder strength and endurance when quilting.


Debbie

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I love Quilt Path!  It's very user friendly and the support is amazing!


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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I am 5'3", own a Millenium..no Bliss..but with Quilt Glide.  I do heirloom quilting with tons of stitch in the ditch.   I manage my Millie just fine.  In fact I just tried out Bliss and am on the fence about it since it seems to "slop around" too much for me.  I can do the majority of my SID without a ruler because Millie tracks perfectly side to side and front to back, no ruler necessary.   The machine does not seem heavy to me.  It's on wheels, after all..and moves with two fingers.  But you should try them all.  In 8 years, not a single issue that I couldn't easily adjust myself. 


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