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What if I buy a Machine that doesn't have Stitch Regulator?

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Hi, I am thinking about getting a machine, but no way can I afford one with a Stitch Regulator. How difficult is it to learn the machine without a stitch regulator? What about quilting for others? Is it mandatory to have the stitch regulator??

How long will it take to learn the machine without a stitch regulator?

I am currently using a Juki with a stitch regulator (3rd party).

Will it be a waste of money to move up to a 18" throat from a 9"? Will I be able to tell a big difference?

Should I buy new or used?? I will have to get financing, so I am not sure used is an option.

Thanks in advance!!


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Do you have a machine in mind?

You have asked some very good questions. I\'m sure there are many, many answers.

First off, I think you learn to use what you have. If you don\'t have a SR you will practice on getting your stitches consistant and you will get good at using that machine. I think of Dawn Cavanaugh who does not have a SR and does totally beautiful work. But then, there is a local quilter here in my area that is a great quilter, but doesn\'t have a SR. The LQS owner has showed her quilts to me complaining about the stitch length. I always defend her by saying she is a great quilter, but it doesn\'t change the fact that her stitches are longer in some places than in others.

I have a SR and I know that some of the ladies on this chat that do not have one say that some customers will not leave quilts with them when they find out they don\'t have the SR. I have never had a customer ask me that question, so I don\'t know about that.

Use machines are fine, but financing would be a problem. I bought new, and went through the financing offered through APQS. I don\'t know if they finance thier used machines or not, but you should contact them and talk to them and ask lots of questions.

Moving up to 18" throat space from 9" is never a waste of money!! Oops, that was an opinion. Someone may have something else to say on that, but I don\'t think so. If you have more room to work, you will be rolling your quilt less often. You will be finished quilting faster and with less stress.

I don\'t know where you are located, but on the main APQS.com page there is a dealer locator. Find a dealer near you and talk to them.

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Thanks for the reply. Well, the Lenni is $9900 and includes a stitch regulator... I am sure there are some older used machines for less w/o the regulator. I also have looked at the Gammil 18" which is $7000 (inexpensive!).

The Lenni only comes with a 10\' table. Is this a huge deal if you want to make some money quilting for others?

If I do take the plunge on a machine, I definetely want to be able to make some side money to help offset the initial cost.

Of course, I work full time, so this isn\'t something I can dedicate 8 hours a day to.

There are just so many machine choices. I would like (like everyone), to get the most for my money with the least amount of regrets.

I live in Ohio. There isn\'t a dealer near me. I don\'t have anyone I can talk to, so I will continue to post here and will call APQS tomorrow to inquire about used machines.



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When I started out I was working a full-time job too. It is difficult to do both, but you can do it.

One thing to keep in mind, your customer quilts will come first. If you have family,such as husband, kids, etc, and your job, it can get a little stressful. Not trying to be discouraging, just something to think about.

Did you check for a dealer near you? I see that there is a dealer in Ohio, but maybe they are a long way away. Check neighboring states too, just to be sure. Or maybe someone from this chat will see this that has a machine and you can try it out.

I have used other machines, this week at MQS in classes and formed some very solid opinions. Let me just say before last week I was thinking that if I ever wanted a new machine I may look at another brand.....not any more. I have a Millie and after using 2 different brands, will stick with the APQS machines. I won\'t say what machines I used because I don\'t want to offend anyone else, and we all love our own machines. But I will stick with the one I have :)

In my opinion you could use the Lenni in business. I have a 14\' table, but most of the time the smaller table would work fine. Yes, call APQS tomorrow and talk with someone there, they will most definantly help.

Good luck!!

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Anke, truly I enjoy quilting without my stitch regulator. The times I really appreciate the SR is when I am doing ruler work, SID and around applique. But it is very possible to do all of this without an SR. Many people have longarms without a stitch regulator and do absolutely beautiful work, including SID and ruler work.

Anke, APQS does have some used machines in stock for resale with a warranty. You can contact the head office on this site for specifics.

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If money is an issue look at a used machine then add a stitch regulator. I have a wonderful Ultimate II and I do pretty well with out a stitch regulator but I can add one when I save enough for $3,000 which will bring my machine under $8,000 total cost.

Nice part is I had no loans to fret over and just enjoy the machine and learning quilting. maybe someday I will get a fancy all the bells and whistle system but for now it worked for me.

The Ultimates are great work horses!!

so find out a solution thats good for you.

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I think what the previous members have posted is true... you get used to what you have.

I think the table is a plus/ and a minus on the Lenni. Yes, you can put it away if you need to, but I really love the regular table that came with my Millenium. I started out with a full time job and it even though I did a lot of quilting, it wasn\'t as enjoyable to quilt in the packets of time I had to steal from my other activities. I am sure that stitch regulator is a definite definite plus. I started out not using it, but feel I can get the best results when I do use it. At times, though, I love to turn it off. Depends on the application.

I have a Millenium and even had the Lenni been available when I bought it, I would still have gone with the Millenium. I have been thrilled with the product and have had very few issues, most related to my learning curve, which you will have with any product.

I think only YOU can define your goals and your budget. One thing you can be sure of, APQS makes GREAT machine and you will be able to do well with any APQS machine.

Happy dreaming!:)

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I have a UII with all the bells and whistles and love it but there are other newer machines I would consider buying;););)For those of you who want to check out the other machine called a PINKY here is the e-bay site, they appear to be well built. Type in Longarm quilting machine or

e-bay 130222687669 or go to


:cool::cool:Remember it may be a new company, but APQS was a new company when I bought mine, now APQS has a different owner/s...Business happens;);)

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Thank you for all the great replies!!

I am thinking I will get a Lenni. One because of the table size. I don\'t have a whole lot of room. The machine will be in one of my spare bedrooms, but the rooms aren\'t really big. I think a 10\' table will fit a lot better.

I don\'t think I have ever made a machine that needs a bigger size than 10\'.... and if I ever thought about quilting for others, well, I guess a lot of those quilts aren\'t bigger than 10\' too.

So, I am going to save, save, save and then in about 12months, I will be able to order Lenni without a loan!!

Thanks again!!


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Anke, everyone is giving you great advice. Not knowing where you are in OHIO is a little difficult, but as stated if you\'re close to a border state check their reps. Another option is Quilt Shows, there\'s 2 coming up in PA (Hershey and Harrisburg). Just google "quilt shows" and you\'ll find many. If you locate the shows listing you can check the vendor\'s listing for APQS. LENNI is a great machine and you can choose from 3 different 10FT tables to fit your needs. I have a 10FT table with my Millie and I\'m happy with it. I would have to cut a hole in the house to utilize a bigger table. I know one lady that took out the bedroom wall to combine rooms. Please stay in touch with this forum and ask all the questions you can think of. Of course you can also call APQS, they are friendly and great on the phone.

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Believe it or not my room is very tiny I have a 7 foot wide room by 12 feet long I got a ten foot table and castors to push her around I did take the end closet doors off to make more room to get around her so now she is a perfect fit!! I kinda with I got a few more inches I can quilt up to 100 inches maybe 102 inches but I have a special quilt that needs 106 inches! I am thinking of having a new bottom carrage made narrower like Lenni\'s

Thats why I will upgrade her to stitch regulated one day but right now she is a perfect fit in that room!

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Anke, keep in mind that just because the table is 10\', that doesn\'t mean you can quilt a 10\' quilt on it! My sister has a 10\' table and can\'t do anything over 100". You have to deduct the width of the carriage on the right side of the table, and then deduct the offset of the laser on the other.

Just a note on something you stated in your first post about the Gammill Premier being only a certain price, which you felt was cheap. PLEASE check out all the extra costs when considering another company.

APQS charges NO crating charge, VERY reasonable shipping fees, and NO set-ups fees because our systems are PRE-TESTED at the factory, and it\'s easy to set up yourself.

I\'m dealing with a customer/student right now that was charged OVER $4000 in crating, shipping, truck rental, mileage, set-up & labor fees, over and above the cost of her machine!

So please make sure you\'re comparing the WHOLE picture, not just the price of the machine. From my research I think APQS gives you MORE machine for your money without all the added, sometimes hidden, expenses.

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With all due respect, I would stay as far away from buying a machine on E-Bay as I could get. I got a phone call early one morning from a very excited gal who had just purchased an APQS machine on E-Bay, saved a ton of money and now wanted me to train her.

Here\'s the first problem: AFTER winning the the bid on the machine, she was told it would cost her an additional $2500 to have it crated and shipped.

Second problem: The machine was stolen; purchased through a finance scam. The E-Bay seller didn\'t know this, but had bought it in a "lot" from a re-seller somewhere. Turns out the machine had originally gone overseas, been re-wired for their standards, then sold back to the U.S. where it had to be re-wired again, then resold again.

What looked like a good deal turned out to be a nightmare!

As for "new" companies ~ APQS has been around for MANY years, and I doubt anyone on this forum puchased a machine when the company was "new". Jeff Jochim was the second owner of the company, took on 3 new partners in 2001 or 2002, and they took over when Jeff retired a couple of years later. (I think I have my dates correct!) Anyway, APQS machines go back at LEAST 25 or 30 years and were originally used in the bedspread/upholstery industry.

There used to be machines available with 30" throats (Ultimate XX), and big long handles and "orbiters" and platforms for continuous feed batting systems under the table. We also sold a little "shortarm" that was made by Consew and marketed as the EZ-Q.

Of course there were no stitch regulators, or laser pointers, or ergonic handles (bicycle handles worked!), or bobbin thread cutters, or fabric advance systems, or hydraulic lifts, or any of the neat stuff we have today.

Thanks to Jeff\'s foresight, Mike Moore\'s genious, and the "new guys\' " open-minded business sense and engineering know-how, and all of US telling them what we WANT, we have the machines we have today. YEAH APQS!

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