I Say Sew Quilter

Questions before purchasing a Millie

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I used to own an APQS Ult.ll, I ended up buying an HQ Amara and decided that I would like to go back to APQS and have put money down on an APQS Millie, I was wondering if anyone could answer some questions about the Millie before I purchase it. I know there's lighting over the needle bar area, but is there lighting in the throat of the machine? Is the light dimmable or can it be shut off while using the machine?  Also when adjusting the tension is it by feel only or does the machine have a digital reading so that you know exactly where your tension is set and can use those numbers for specific threads. Example, the Amara you turn the tension manually and there's a display that the numbers go up or down depending on which way you turn the tension. I know where my tension needs to be set at for what type of threads that I'm using. One last question the alarms for thread break or low bobbin, can they be shut off?

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Not really. I've been working with Angela Huffman in Ky. however I live in Ohio and it's about a 5 hour drive each way. I went there over 3 years ago, but at the time I was comparing the machine to an ULT. ll , I'm now using an HQ Amara, which I love the bells and whistles (but they don't have a lifetime warranty, it's 10 years, but labor is only a year), My dream machine has always been a Millie, but I'm giving up a lot of bells and whistles that I love on the Amara like the side thread stand, it's  really nice not to have to walk around to the back of the machine every time I want to change the thread. I like having the digital display so that I know where my manual tension is set at and I can perfectly dial the tension to the thread that I'm using without second guessing.  I like the batting hammock. dimmable lights, dual load frame and being able to move the handle in multiple directions, not only up and down, but I can move them in a veridical position to alleviate wrist strain, But I love APQS' lifetime warranty and I know that I can retime the machine myself if need be and I don't have to take it to a dealer 50 miles away (Like the HQ, which is  a sealed unit) and pay to have it retimed if something happens . I'll be giving up  the programmable micro stitich lock feature, all the accessories that I already have for the Amara, I'll have to repurchase the ones for the Millie, which will take the price up even more, . So  although I know that APQS has quality machines and outstanding customer service, not to mention a lifetime warranty,  It' is  A LOT of money and I want to make the best decision.  Here's the way my husband summed it up, it's like having a Ford escort with all the bells and whistles compared to a Cadillac with very little bells and whistles. Some of the bells and whistles are just that bells and whistles, but some are very nice. No easy answer I guess. 

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Are you looking at a new Millie or a pre-2019 one?  There are some differences, especially relative to your questions.  I'm guessing new, since you mention lifetime warranty.

I'm curious (and we can take this offline) about your decision to go back to APQS from the Amara.  I had been considering an Amara (and saw your ad) as a backup plan, but I have not been able to find one to try.

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I would not worry about purchasing a used Mille with all the bells and whistles.  

While the lifetime warranty is outstanding, the machines are built to support that warranty.  That is to say, they are quality machines.  They are designed to run for hours day after day, month after month, and year after year with minimal maintenance.  If they were not, you would not see Ultimate I's coming up for sale.

If you had to replace the motor on a Millie, it costs $300.  A crydom relay costs $118.  Laser module $90.  A hook assembly is $215.  I would ask Angela, and APQS tech support how often they have seen these higher priced items replaced.  

The side mount vertical cone holder you desire on your Millie costs $90; https://shop.apqs.com/products/product-4036-01-vertical-cone-holder-by-hartley-mfg.asp

You will not get digital tension setting on an APQS machine.  That being said, after a few times of using your Millie, you will be more than able to manually set your tension.  If you normally use the same sized thread, I would hazard to guess you will only have to make minor adjustments to your top tension.  A TOWA gauge can help you set your bottom tension.

While my DSM has digital tension, I cannot say setting tension on my George is any more difficult.  I quarter turn left or right, check the tension, and adjust again.  Not that different than increasing the tension by 0.1 or 0.2 on my DSM.

Millie will give you a 26-inch throat verses the 20-inch throat you presently have.  Millie weighs 46 pounds, while I could not find what your Amara weighs.  

If you can find a used Millie that fits your budget, I would not be scared of purchasing it.  They money you save verses purchasing new, will more than likely offset any warranty savings you would expect in the future. 

My used George was about half price of new.  I purchased a few wear parts, which so far I have not used.  I did spend about $600 upgrading the fixed hopping foot to the new interchangeable feet.  Other than needles, George has run rock solid.  

Hopefully some used APQS buyers can share their experiences.  With their inputs, you should be able to make a more informed decision as how to proceed.  

Best of luck.

Cagey

 

 


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

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I'm very familiar with APQS' reputation as I used to own an Ult. ll, it was around 20 years old when I sold it and it's still running, but it didn't have a stitch regulator and I wanted the ability to step up my quilting and couldn't do it without one. My dream machine was a Millie, but I let a local quilt shop talk me into an HQ Amara, which I had nothing but problems with and the dealer up and closed shop. HQ has been outstanding in dealing with the issue and that is why I have a brand new machine sitting in my quilting room and I'm selling it so that the new owner can have the full warranty on it. Otherwise there would have already been an APQS Freedom or Millie down there, the issue now is that I kind of like some of the features of the Amara that the Millie doesn't have and I'm going to go back into a lot more debt getting the Millie. I'm going to lose about $3,000 in accessories with the Amara that can't be used with the Millie, so I'll have to re purchase the hopping feet and extra bobbin cases all over again, so once I do that and add the side thread holder were adding an additional $500 on top of the already $20,000. That's all kind of scary to me. BTW the Amara without the handlebars, tablet or carriage weighs between 60-70 lbs. It's a very heavy machine, but it does glide quite nicely on the table, surprisingly easy and smooth. 

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56 minutes ago, mkc said:

Are you looking at a new Millie or a pre-2019 one?  There are some differences, especially relative to your questions.  I'm guessing new, since you mention lifetime warranty.

I'm curious (and we can take this offline) about your decision to go back to APQS from the Amara.  I had been considering an Amara (and saw your ad) as a backup plan, but I have not been able to find one to try. The original Amara that I had had issues and I think the shop owner knew it, they did fix the big issue of a new brain and circuit board, but then closed up shop and I had one issue after another, HQ sent me a replacement demo and I had no issues with it other than they sent one that had cosmetic damage and had been painted over, but when they found out that it had been sent to me that way they stood behind it and sent me a brand new machine and that's the one I'm selling. They have a 10 year warranty, but only one year on labor. The unit is sealed, so the only place that you oil is the bobbin area. If it was bigger and had a longer warranty I'd stay with them. I have to say that they do have exceptional customer service and as far as stitching it does wonderful work. I wouldn't consider selling it in good conscience if I thought that this new one was a bad machine. I do have someone who came and looked at it  and messaged me that she wanted to buy it, but if she doesn't I'll repost it because I cannot buy the Millie without selling the Amara.  I did end up having to set up the new Amara and did about 3 quilts with it and and haven't had a single issue. So my demo may have been a fluke. I'm just a die hard APQS fan as my mother was she did so much research and bought 2 APQS machines back when Jeff owned APQS and it was a fairly new business. She actually drove to Iowa and picked up the machine. I too have done research and the Amara has very high customer ratings, but I can't seem to get away from APQS, it's my Cadillac. lol

 

Honestly I'm not sure, it's a demo, I was told it was a 2020. What are the differences?  Better differences I hope. 

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11 hours ago, I Say Sew Quilter said:

Honestly I'm not sure, it's a demo, I was told it was a 2020. What are the differences?  Better differences I hope. 

2019 and newer APQS improvements

The above should have some of the details to answer your questions :-)  Throat design (more space) and LED lighting strip under the entire head (that switches to blacklight if needed) are 2 of them.  Quick-change feet shaft as well.

 

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On 8/23/2020 at 9:00 PM, mkc said:

Are you looking at a new Millie or a pre-2019 one?  There are some differences, especially relative to your questions.  I'm guessing new, since you mention lifetime warranty.

I'm curious (and we can take this offline) about your decision to go back to APQS from the Amara.  I had been considering an Amara (and saw your ad) as a backup plan, but I have not been able to find one to try.

I've always wanted an APQS Millie, I love the idea of having a bigger throat space. My Amara hasn't been registered yet and therefore whoever buys it will get to register it in their name and have a full warranty.  I was selling this new in box, but I had to set it up because I had to get a couple of quilts done. The Amara runs perfectly, no issues whatsoever. I just wish I hadn't been talked into buying it, when what I really wanted and still want is a Millie. 

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On 8/25/2020 at 5:49 AM, I Say Sew Quilter said:

I received a message this morning that my buyer cannot come up with the funds to purchase the Amara, so it's for sale. I'm only going to keep it up for a week or two as I'm paying interest on the down payment of the Millie, So hopefully it will get sold soon.  you can message me if you're interested. Thank you.

So sorry to hear that for you :-(  Have you tried HandiQuilter's board to post it?

I am waiting (and hoping it's not too long) for the next Lenni or demo sale to get a 2020 Lenni with full warranty.  I hear the next sale might be for the Lucey, which I don't have room for - wish I did but even the Lenni table is a squeeze in my space.  Hopefully a fall Demo sale or a Lenni sale along with the Lucey one will happen soon.

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Hi,  did you get the info you needed for a Millie.  I haven't been in the forum for awhile.  Are you close to Michigan or Indiana?  I'm in Michigan,  2 hours from OH.  There's some dealers closer.  

 


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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Yes, I did. I've not been able to sell my new Amara yet, so I can't buy a Millie until I do. Hopefully it will sell very soon. It's a new machine and lots of attachments that someone would pay over $18,000 for if they bought it from a dealer and I'm only asking $13,500. 

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