APQS Quilting Seminar, Oceanside, CA July 27-28


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Longarm Quilting Machine Demonstrations coming to the Oceanside, California area!!!

July 27-28

American Professional Quilting Systems is bringing the showroom to you! Are you interested in learning more about longarm quilting machines and/or the machine quilting business? If so, then this is THE seminar for you to attend!

We're excited to offer these three-hour seminars to discuss supplier information, starting your own machine quilting business, and demonstrating our fine-quality, hand-crafted longarm machines.

As an added bonus, we'll be displaying some gorgeous, award-winning quilts done by APQS quilt artists from around the United States. You won?t want to miss these beautiful quilts or the opportunity to "test-drive" our awesome quilting machines.

Classes are free of charge but space is very limited, so call us soon to reserve your class time! You won?t need to bring anything; just join us for some fun and education!! We're looking forward to meeting you soon!

To register for one of these seminars, please call 800-426-7233 and speak to Brandie to register or email her at bmoore@apqs.com or Bob Ketcham at bketcham@apqs.com

Join us to experience for yourself the Quality and Excellence that IS American Professional Quilting Systems!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey! those are MY demo dates! How can you do this to me?? Oh, I see..... you mean you have more than one rep demo person and one set of machines? Oh...... Welll, that's ok then, I guess. LOL! I first looked at this because I was actually thinking maybe I'd be in California for this demo seminar thingy too, so could do two. But they're the very same days as ours here in Portland, so I guess I won't make it. Unless, of course, somebody invents a way to clone myself and beam the other me down there in time, LOL! Have fun!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Patty,

I just saw that Dawn Cavanaugh will be offering 4-5 classes that you can still register for at the Road to California website (Jan. 2008) if you really want to come learn more and visit California for a little fun. There is a fabulous demonstration class on feathers, and freehand background fillers that look really nice. All demo classes, no hands on, but I'm wondering if we could video tape the class for future reference, or at least take photos??

Dawn, you are the zen master of quilting! The quilt photos on the Road website are just leaving me feeling very inspired at the moment. Makes me want to hurry up and make a quilt with lots of white background space for practicing.

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Kathy,

Thanks for the kind word! I hope to see you in California! As far as I'm concerned, photos are just fine. I have not taught at "Road" before, but I assume it's okay if it's ok with the teacher :).

Patty,

I'm not sure which quilts you got to see in Portland, but I know that Mark and Carla travel with several quilts that I and other APQS long arm quilters have completed over the years. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Sometime I'll have to add some new ones to the traveling shows--but just need more hours in the day...you know how that is!

Hope you had a great demo! Looking forward to having you as part of the APQS family!

Dawn

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Hi Dawn,

Absolutely love the photos of your quilts on the Road to California website! You are truly an accomplished quilter.

At the Oceanside seminar today, I was surprised that after 1 1/2 hours we were still covering basics, ie. this is what a pantograph looks like.

I was also surprised at the location, a tacky roadside motel out in the middle of nowhere. We were in bumper to bumper traffic for hours just trying to get there.

The informational packet we were provided with consisted almost entirely of marketing literature from other companies. Another disappointment.

I've read ALOT of heartbreaking stories in this chat room about things gone wrong so I had ALOT of questions to ask APQS corporate and unfortunately, they took offense, rather than providing any meaningful answers in response to my concerns.

I didn't feel I was able to develop a level of trust and confidence with APQS after this experience. I think I will be going with a local Gammil dealer because I know when I need support or help, friendly, supportive people will be available, and right next door to provide the answers. I don't know about Gammil corporate, but this dealer was someone I could trust. They understood my concerns and they were there with the answers and no one felt threatened. In fact, they were thrilled to work with a customer that had done so much homework because they want to make sure when they sell a machine, they'll be satisifed for the long term with no unknown surprises.

Well, its been lovely chatting. This will be my last post in the forum. I've been sitting in for almost a year now, met a lot of nice people, learned from their heartbreaks, and became a better quilter. I wish the best of luck to everyone here on the forum.

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Kathy, I am sorry you had a bad experience today with some disappointments. I will miss you here on this chat. You shared some really cool web sites and resources that are unique and different. I wish the very best for you and happy quilting in the future. And please remember that you are always welcome here to visit and share any time you want to. Please come back to visit us, and check in every now and then to let us know how you are doing, OK? I wanna see more pics of your gorgeous quilts :)

Shana

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I'm sorry you weren't treated as you felt you should be at the seminar. I do know that the APQS crew has always been helpful to the extreme and supportive of everyone on this forum.

I am concerned about your perceived "heartbreaking stories" on this chat. Huh? "Heartbreaking"?? All I have ever read are mostly problems with business start-up and building a customer base. These things are not up to APQS to remedy any more than a tow-truck supplier would be responsible for a towing company not being successful. They only provide you will the tools, not the drive or the customer base.

Other problems here are about mechanical issues that are usually remedied from Iowa over the phone or some wonderful pro will chime in to help.

Again, sorry to see you give up on a great company, and good luck with your future business. There is room for many opinions and we all decide our own way. Please come back to chat if you can.

Linda Rech

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Kathy,

It's too bad that things didn't go as you had planned at the road show this weekend. I know that Carla (and Mark) are both professionals with over 25 years' combined experience in the long arm industry, and truly do know their stuff. They have worked very hard to create a thorough presentation that helps educate potential longarm owners about APQS machines and their features and capabilities. Their road shows have made it much easier for quilters across the country to see a machine in person and make an informed decision about what machine will be right for them when the time comes.

Just like anyone else making hotel reservations over the Internet, we have to trust that what we see is truly what we get. Of course we want to present our product in the best location possible that is convenient for most people in the region. Unfortunately, sometimes that isn't the case, and a location that was touting itself as a "Hilton-quality" hotel turns out to be a Motel 6 in real life. We do the best we can, given the fact that we may be 2000 miles away when we make our reservation.

I'm surprised that you found the informational packet disappointing. When I bought my machine years ago I would have been thrilled if someone would have told me where I could purchase thread, batting, patterns and all the other supplies I needed to get started. There was no Internet then, and quilters were not the "sharing bunch" that we have become today. They protected their "trade secrets" fiercely from the competition, almost to the point of rudeness.

When I set up my business, I was flying by the seat of my pants, making it up as I went along. Now APQS even provides a sample business plan geared specifically to the long arm industry that addresses areas like marketing, research, financing, and even disaster recovery issues. It's even up on the website so that anyone can use it as a starting point for their own business. Wish that had been around when I started.

The industry has certainly come a long way in the 14 years I've owned my long arm. Now you can shop for thread in your pajamas, chat with quilters across the globe, and even use a computer to quilt your quilt! We have grown to a community that shares freely, thanks in no small part to forums like this one.

We become "friends" without ever having seen each other face to face, trusting that the words we type convey our feelings accurately. Perhaps I'm a bit obtuse when it comes to interpreting comments or reading between the lines, but I haven't encountered many "heartbreaking" stories on the chat or in person, either.

Sure, there have been some mechanical issues (and there always will be). There have been thread issues, tension issues, customer issues (and there always will be). This forum is the perfect place to talk about those problems with other people who we think truly "understand." And because we all provide such broad shoulders to lean on here, I think we often read about the minor setbacks or frustrations that go along with any creative endeavor and have difficulty interpreting when something is at a crisis level or when something is just an irritation. We have no way to hear a person's voice inflection or see their eyes or face as they describe their "problem" to the chat, other than to use emoticons or yell with capital letters.

APQS has always done its very best to correct any problems associated with its product--service after the sale is one of the company's top priorities. They have tried to go the extra mile to make sure customers are satisfied with their APQS machine. But if we're going to be brutally honest, I feel that their "obligation" ends there. To take Linda's "tow truck" example a step further, Ford Motor Company can sell me a car, provide warranty service, and provide a manual that explains what each of the buttons does on the dashboard. But they are under no obligation whatsoever to teach me how to drive the car.

Likewise, a long arm company has no obligation to teach me how to quilt, how to know what design to choose, or how to set up and run a successul small business. APQS provides these opportunities as a service to its customers. Its team of well-trained representatives across the country does the same thing through periodic classes, demos, etc.

I can certainly understand you wanting someone right next door when you want help with your Gammill. It's always nice to know someone who understands is just around the corner when you have problems.

Of course, you're always welcome on the forum, no matter what machine you own. APQS loves all longarm quilters.

We wish you well in your endeavor!

Dawn

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I'm sorry you felt you had a bad experience also. Personally I have never had a problem with APQS. As far as the differences in the way Gammill's Corprate treats people and APQS Corp. treats people...ya just hear stories, so who really knows. APQS Corp has always been good and fair to me. War stories...all web sites have them. The heartbreak I have read on this site, usually has to do, like Linda said, with business startups, etc. You would have that no matter what the machine. I think there is a one year adjustment period no matter which machine you choose. I think that is basically the stories we read about here.

Do you feel you have to leave this site because of the brand of machine you are purchasing or are you angry because you had a bad experience with the sales demo? There are a lot of people that post to this site that do not have APQS machines. That is no big deal, it's okay with us if you stay on the site and contribute - that is what we are all about.

It is my hope that everyone that comes here feels that they can post their problems and conserns. I post my problems because I know someone out there has had the same problem and can guide me through.

Like I said, I'm sorry things did not go as you expected. Not every company is sunshine and roses...just keep that in mind. Also, they are in business for sales...all of them!! Customer service is just a great perk!!

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I attended the Saturday morning demo in Oceanside. It was a bit of a drive for me but the hotel was on one of Oceanside's main drags and pretty close to Interstate 5. We don't have an APQS dealer in southern California anymore so Oceanside is OK with me.

I didn't stay in the hotel but the conference center on the hotel grounds was convenient. The lobby was clean, the staff were courteous. The demo room was clean, coffee and water available.

Bumper to bumper traffic, you bet. ComicCon and Del Mar race season; I bet the traffic coming south on 5 was a nightmare. I came the back roads.

I can't comment on the packet, I haven't opened my bag. I went to test the Millie, the bag was a bonus. :D

I thought that Raquel and Carla were professional and gave a good presentation given the differing levels of experience of the group. There were about a dozen of us. We listened to the blurb and then got some hands-on time.

I know that it is normal to get frustrated with any new undertaking. And spending big $$ on a machine is scary business. You want everything to work and to quilt like a "rock star" (Carla's words) but it takes time and patience and help from friends. Friends like the folks on this forum.

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Linda,

You are thinking of upgrading! Good for you you deserve it. As far as the Road show goes. I am sure Carla and Raquel did a great job. It is a tremendous amount of work and coordination to get these machines out so folks can get a chance learn about them and get to try them out. I know I have worked a few road seminars. And yes we do like to inform future quilters of products available to help you I your new career or hobby if that is what you want it to be.

I'm sorry your were disappointed in the seminar and If you had as I am sure Carla or Raquel would have worked with you more one on one. But whatever your decision it is a big one and should go with what you are comfortable with. As far as the list you are welcome here and we are happy to help if we can. Enjoy your new adventure. It is a lot of fun and a lot of work:)

Myrna

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Originally posted by ramona-quilter

...And spending big $$ on a machine is scary business. You want everything to work and to quilt like a "rock star" (Carla's words) but it takes time and patience and help from friends. Friends like the folks on this forum.

Oh Noooo!!! Linda, now I have that hit rap song that's currently playing on pop radio...now the song is stuck in my head (Party Like a Rock Star) but I changed the lyrics to "Quiltin' Like a Rock Star."

So, here I gooooooooooooooo singin' that song... rappin' and a'quiltin'.....

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:P

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:D

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:cool:

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:cool:

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:P

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:D

Yeeeaaahhh.....

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:cool:

Quiltin' Like a Rock Star...:cool:

.....

.....

I am jammmin'... Anyone care to join me?

Party on...and let's all quilt like rock stars, baby! ;) Yah!!

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Myrna - I'm not the one who was disappointed by the seminar and quit the forum. I think that was quilterscafe. I'm sorry to lose her,too.

I know that I have felt her frustration level at times; but frustrated with myself, not anything else. My reaction to my lack of experience and talent was to have a few hissy-fits and then start taking classes to learn more techniques and improve my skills. After 2 years on a longarm, I think that I am a B- quilter. I might never get to be a Myrna, Claudia or JudyL. But I am OK with that. I'm still learning and having fun as a quilter.

Shana - ROFLMAO. You should take more vacation days. Did that come across as "you should get out more"?

I DO quilt like a rock star though I have to say that sometimes those darn sunglasses get in the way. :cool:

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Shana,

You are the NICEST person! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.:D I hadn't meant to post again here but somehow APQS sent me a link to this thread after I unsubscribed so I ended up seeing the bombardment of responses and was surprised at how everyone interpreted what I had to say in a way that seemed to misrepresent what my concerns were with the presentation in Oceanside. So here is a note I sent to Myrna for all of you to see that hopefully represents in better detail what my experiences were that caused me to no longer consider APQS. They have nothing to do with the lovely people in this chat room, and if your experiences with APQS were different from mine, I hope that you don't take this personally because I am not trying to invalidate your experiences and choices, but am simply being honest about mine:

Hi Myrna,

I just wanted to be clear about why I chose the Gammil and if you want to forward this along to APQS corporate, by all means, please feel free to do so. I had much higher expectations for APQS corporate and was really shocked at the lack of professionalism in Oceanside, based on both the team's inability to address genuine concerns that I had, after reading about real owner concerns shared in the APQs chatroom, and worst of all, their consistent efforts to "trivialize" these concerns which came across as attempts to diminish me as a person for having those concerns. They made it very clear to me that if I had any concerns, I was the one with the problem, because I dared to bring them up. It was also very clear to me that they were caught totally off guard and unprepared to address those concerns and had not had much experience addressing them at all. I'm just not into "blind trust" with a company I know nothing about but that is exactly what APQS is demanding from their customer prospects by putting someone like Carla out on the frontlines who isn't capable of addressing real concerns with an attitude of respect and professionalism.

Denial about the possible problems I might run into was just not an effective response or approach for me, whether it was out of a lack of knowledge about the product, or a deliberate attempt at wanting to avoid discussing them in front of other customer prospects who had no awarness of what might or could go wrong. I also came prepared to ask questions that I expected honest answers for on training for budgeting purposes, and many of the answers I received were attempts to paint a "rosy picture" that didn't seem to reflect the reality of many people's experiences shared here in the chat room.

Myrna, you are worthy of esteem, you work hard, you know your business, you understand longarm quilting, you are a seasoned veteren, you tell it like it is, you gave me straight answers, your quilting is spectacular, and I respect you enormously. I felt you were someone with honesty and integrity. You opened up a door for me that I felt was worth continuing to explore and evaluate. Unfortunately, I seriously came to question the abilities and judgement of APQS corporate, if they feel the presentation in Oceanside was reflective of how wonderful they are as a company.

Of course, you are going to want to defend the company you believe in and I respect that. If you have personally had a wonderful experience, more power to you! It just was not the case for me. From my own perspective, after having worked in business with executives in Fortune 500 companies and ivy league business consultants for more than a dozen years after getting my Ph.D., the presentation I heard in Oceanside made me realize that this was not a company that I could feel confident about.

I wish you all the very best and hope that you'll be joined by colleagues in the future that are more reflective of what you have to offer to APQS customers.

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Thank you for you stating your issues. Again I support you in your decision and want you to love your new adventure. It is so awesome to get up and do something you enjoy everyday and get paid for it;) Myrna

I am sorry for your disappointment and wish you the very best. Again you don't need to leave the list we are all supportive of each other. I want you to succeed. If you ever need anything you know how to get in touch with me. Didn't I meet you when I was teaching in Riverside about a year ago?

Myrna

Linda I was just say YAHOO to you that you are looking to upgrade. Still wanting to come down to your neck of the woods. It is so beautiful.

Myrna

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I hope you don't judge the whole of APQS by your one Oceanside experience.

I remember meeting you at Road to California. I know how busy the show was, but I hope you felt you were treated nicely. Marilyn is as about a gracious as they come.

The corporate that I know is very supportive, attentive, open an honest. I am definitely not trying to down play your feelings at all. I have had a bad taste in my mouth from situations and it ruins it for me, I understand. I'm just sorry you won't experience our wonderful Tech. Support of Amy. Or the professionalism of Alison, or Misty, or Mark, or Jim, or Bob, or Mike who are all "corporate". I love them all. Everyone I have ever seen them interact with they have treated with dignity and respect. I wouldn't waste my time representing them if they weren't the BEST. I'm not saying perfect, but BEST. Anytime a customer shows a concern on this forum or any phone call or email I've ever received APQS has been the hero like they should be and gone above and beyond. I just got a call last week from a nice lady we sold a machine to at Innovations a couple of years ago. She had bought a Millie, after using it all this time decided the Liberty would be better for her size (she's little). APQS is trading it at no cost. Yes, the Liberty is a lesser value but not much for a new machine! This is just 1 example of many that make me proud to represent APQS. I just don't think it is entirely fair to judge the company on 1 experience. I think you have been looking at our machines for awhile and talked to more of us than just the two people you mention. If your impression has been the same with everyone else I'm sorry. I hope after the time you've spent on this forum you'd have seen some positive "corporate" care and respect of the customers here. There are a lot more positive success stories than negative ones.

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Thanks Cheryl for saying what I was feeling.:)

Not a perfect world for sure, but I have got to say that we have a great team! If it "aint" right then well, we will make it right!

There is a great amount of pride & joy to know at the end of the day you did the best you could.

I love Carla as a sister & I know she cares & works hard at what she does. I could not walk one day in her shoes!

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Well, I must have had my head in the sand this week...totally missed this topic.

Wow....I am speechless....I have been dealing with APQS for over 10 years now, and I have never never seen, heard or experienced any of the stated comments. I haven't personally met Carla, but Mark has been like a life line more than once....And when Connie was still with the company, I'm sure she hated to see my number on the caller ID, but NEVER NEVER made me feel like it, and she helped me solve all my issues. Since then that job has fallen on Marks shoulders...I should apologize for his headaches as well. ;)

My personal dedication isn't because I have a perfect machine and have had a perfect 10 years of no trouble....there were some major problems with my set up. But because of the dedication of the staff at APQS, my problems were solved and it was just a few days with a little down time and I was up and running like new. Because of their honesty and not quiting till we all figured out my problems, is why I have stayed for all these years. I could have jumped ship years ago, but this staff is the reason I haven't.....

I wasn't there to see this....but I will say I am sorry you felt this way. I am still in awe that you had this experience. I know that when we all converge onto the booth with all our questions and they are trying to juggle five or more people who all have a agenda and all want their questions answered yeterday its a bit overwhelming not only on our part as a customer, but the staff's as well.

I do hope that once you get your machine, that you will come visit us again...we have lots of Gammill users here...for several reasons, they come play with us. There isn't another site out there like this one sponsored by a quilting company that will help you regardless of your machine flavor. Not all of us will be able to help you with your problems, because we all aren't familiar with your set up, but we do like to share photos and techniques. those don't change....so when you decide to come play, know you are always welcome.

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All right... I have to say this.

I experienced this exactly same demo session in Portland the exact same time. There was a woman in our class who did keep asking Mark questions about things that might go wrong, or things that might be done just as easily on a lesser machine (;) ). More than once I wished she would pipe down and let Mark get on with it, but also more than once I was glad she brought up a point. Mark answered every question without any hard feelings, and gave much information in the process. I was very impressed by the presentation by him and Sue Patten - so much so that I would have bought a machine right then and there if I'd had the money in the bank.

I do want to share, however, that I think we spent far too much time on the basics, as Kathy put it, and not NEARLY enough time playing with the machines, which is why we were there. However, THAT said, I want to simply add this teeny tiny tidbit for anyone who may be thinking Kathy didn't get what she paid for, and that is that the demonstration by APQS "corporate" was given ENTIRELY FREE OF CHARGE, for which I am extremely grateful. So if we expected more, oh well, at least we didn't lose any money on that deal. Yes, I rode through bumper to bumper traffic afterward, and yes I was disappointed not to see Lenni after the huge build-up the company has given him, but they never said Lenni would be there, and Portland ALWAYS has bumper to bumper traffic on a Friday evening in summer on I-5 South at I-205. So I didn't feel I really had anything to complain about ..... except I did complain LOUDLY about not seeing Lenni, which I probably shouldn't have done.

Ok, 'nuff said. THANK YOU MARK AND SUE AGAIN!!! and all you other FABULOUS APQS people, who continue to draw me even though there's a Megaquilter just down the road I could have tomorrow for $3600 (interest deferred, etc.) Yup. (But I hate the 6" quilting space, LOL!) 'Nuff said!

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