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Hi,

This is my first time in a chat room. I have been thinking about a long arm for about a year, but haven't made they plunge... how did you all start out?? Did you buy a mid arm and work your way up? or a used long arm? or did you just go for it??

I plan on taking as many classes as possible @ the Manchester,N.H. show in the spring. Do they sell floor models @ a discount @the shows?

Any suggestions about classes/teachers??

Thanks for your thoughts.

Vittumhill::


Connie

APQS Discovery

Eliot,Maine

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Guest Linda S

Hi and welcome to the site. I hand quilted for years, then did a couple (maybe 10?) quilts on my regular sewing machine. I could tell that the strain on my neck and shoulders would be too much to keep that up, so I decided to look for a longarm. I did a lot of research on line -- didn't really try too many machines -- and bought my Liberty. I've never been sorry I did it!

Linda

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Hi

I had only hand quilted and never tried a longarm before. I drooled over them for a couple of years before making the plunge. I went to an APQS convention with my hubby one day and he had told me "We aren't buying anything today! We are only looking!" I readily agreed. I was excited just to get my hands on them. I tried out all their machines as did he....imagine my surprise when he said, "Let's do it!" We ordered our Millennium then. I got my machine on Easter weekend and really love it. Have only done a couple of quilts on it, but have practiced alot. It takes a lot of practice to get comfortable...for those like me. Others take to LAing like a duck to water. Whatever you decide, GOOD LUCK!"


Anchor Bay Michigan

new Millennium owner!

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To Eliot, Maine!

I am the APQS Rep in New England.

I am in Portland. Please call me and I

would be happy to show you my Millennium

and answer any questions you have about

the different machines!

Mary Dacey

773-0085


Gone Quilting, Mary Dacey APQS New England Rep 207-773-0085

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Hi,

I started with a short arm (Brother PQ1500 and Handiquilter) for several years before buying a long arm. Depending on what you want to do for quilting should determine what type of machine you should buy. Are you just interesting in doing a simple type of stitching on quilts for yourself and family? Are you interested in doing quilts as a business?

I teach short arm classes and usually my students are doing the quilts for themselves and family. For this a short arm is perfect. But in doing more elaborate freehand stitching, larger quilts and quilts for a business, you need to look at a LA.

Don't overwhelm yourself with the classes the first time. You will walk away more confused than anything else. You need time to digest what you have learned in class so you can be more informed as to what to look at on a machine. There are a couple of books that would be good to get and look at before going to convention. Both are designed for beginning LA quilters, one by Carol Thelan, the other by Linda Taylor.

Charlene

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Hi,

I also started with a shortarm (HQ and Juki TL98E) and I'm glad I did. I learned a lot about loading the quilts, tension, pattern design and problem solving ;) on that system that helped me with my confidence on the Millennium. I used the shortarm for about 3 years - enough to know that I liked the method and that I was pretty good at controlling the machine movement. It helped me determine the features on the LA that would be most important. I am thrilled with my new machine and I think my practice on the HQ really helped me with learning the longarm.


Vicki Welsh

APQS Willie

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Boy where to start.....

I've only had my Millenium since January. I did lot's of research online so that way I would know what I was looking for when I went to the show and tried the different machines. I also knew in advance, because I wrote a business plan that I would need the best. I live in Regina, SK in Canada and I can tell you this has been the most stressfull yet most rewarding thing I have every done. They aren't kidding when they say Practice. It's also important to know that not every machine will work the same. In other words each machine has it's own personality and I can finally say that after 9 months of consecutive use, including reseting my timing, I am profficient at taking care of my machine. I am confident in my ability, and am finally making a good income.

I love my business and I love my millenium and I can honestly say that the ladies involved in LA are the most wonderful, kind hearted, and helpfull ladies on the planet. I did go to MQS in May and met many wonderful people, and I will be going back in 2006.

The best advice I can give is know what you are going to do with your machine, and that will help you narrow down you choices. And taking a classes or classes once you have your machine will cut down on the learning curve.

Sorry this was so long, but if you have any questions about a business plan you can send me an email. So far 4 ladies that have used my plan have been able to get financing. My plan isn't perfect but it will simplify things a whole lot.

Good luck and happy quilting

Tina Caderma

The Quilt Lady

the.quiltlady@gmail.com


Tina Caderma

The Quilt Lady

Authorized APQS Sales

Regina SK Canada

email: the.quiltlady@gmail.com or arnisador@gmail.com

webpage http://www.quiltlady.ca/

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I dove in head first! Unfortunatly I did not have the best luck with my first machine.

Now that I have an APQS Millie I am happy as can be!

Longarm Quilters tend to be confident and independent individuals. This helps when joining the Longarm Revolution!

Cheryl


Cheryl Uribe

Livermore, California ~45 miles east of San Francisco

APQS Representative/Educator

Since 2004

Sales, Demonstrations & Education

www.gizmogirlquilts.com

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Guest LA

Hi Tina!

Sounds like you certainly have become a "seasoned" quilter! ;)

Once you master the tension scenarios, poorly pieced tops & the like, during those first few months, you have earned a purple heart!:D

Just as in other things in life, it just takes practice, & finally it comes! I have to tell my boys that when they are taking music lessons!

The good news is that it just keeps getting better!

No matter how good we may be at anything in life, there is *always* room to grow, and that is exciting!:D

The *other* good news is that APQS has already established Long arm quilting with a financing firm as a viable business. No need to do a long drawn out business plan, or pleading with a banker! It is based on credit history only, maybe two paragraphs long, at the best interest rates!;)

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I continue to look for a machine. I am trying to see all that is out there. I went to VT. for another look at machines. They too had alot of bells and whistles.

How do you know if a molded frame or welded frame is the best?? How do you know if a belt driven is the best?? Everyone has a good argument for the product. Also what comes in the APQS starter package? ?Batting, needles? thread? There are alot of decisions and choices. I plan on seeing the APQS product this week. Thanks


Connie

APQS Discovery

Eliot,Maine

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Classes are a great way to start.

After taking several classes, I purchased a vintage machine and then took more classes. I wanted to be well along my learning curve before getting my dream machine. It has worked well for me because I feel completely comfortable with tinkering with my machine.

The two things I consider most important in my decision - performance and protecting the quilt from inadvertent harm.

Your judgement of performance can only come from hands on experience.

I wanted a table that did not put me in the position of leaning into the quilt top or exposing the quilt top to casual contact. For me that meant a table that did not allow the quilt top to be exposed over the side of the table.

There are many more considerations but, in my opinion, if these two are not met it doesn't matter what was welded, what was molded, or what bells and whistles are available.


Pam - quilt doodle smith

practicing in PA

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Over 20 years ago, we lived in Des Moines, Ia and attended the State Fair. APQS had a display that attracted my attention as being a huge monster, and remember saying "Who would have room for that huge thing?"

Well, five years ago, I purchased a Mille. We did need to add onto our garage to have somewhere to put it, but I'm very glad we made the purchase.

It hasn't been smooth sailing with learning to use it, as I felt pretty much on my own. Marilyn Badger lived in southern Oregon at the time and was very helpful to answer many questions at her day long workshop.

Since then, I have taken a maintainence class from Connie at APQS, and things are a lot better. The little improvements they have made in the past five years have made a big difference.

I really enjoy my Mille, and am teaching some of my friends to use it to do their own quilts. They love being able to tell their friends they 'did it themselves'.

Grace

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I'm not sure this is the right place for this message, but here goes. I have not gotten my machine yet, so I am in wait/planning mode. I am buying my machine from the LA'er in my guild, and intend to do this as a business, but at the same time, I feel like she might think I'm trying to "horn in" on her turf. I did a lot of research, talking to LA'ers all over my county (San Diego) and none of them seemed to think that there was not enough work or room for another person, and my APQS rep has never said anything, but I wonder how she really feels about it. Am I being paranoid?


Robin Kinley

Vista, CA

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We all make our own way. There is always room for a great "artist". Put your time in, prove yourself and all of the quilters will be happy to have you. You'll get out of it what you put in. Competition (healthy) is a great thing. The quilters in your area will benefit greatly.

Another thought. Sometimes Longarmers retire, take breaks, or decide they only want to quilt for themselves. A LA friend of mine has semi retired to spend more time on writing a book, raising her kids and quilting her own quilts. I myself quilt for customers on a limited basis, due to teaching, traveling etc. My point is, Longarmers cycle in and out. No need to be timid. Be gracious and hopefully you can network with the other LA's. You may want to refer customers with the really large quilts to someone that has a 14 ft. table. You may do custom work or tapunto really well and they will in return refer to you.

If this is something that you are serious about, be confident and humble (is that an oxymoron?!). When your heart is in the right place you can make it happen. Always be friendly and kind to all of the other LA"S! You'll be fine.

Cheryl


Cheryl Uribe

Livermore, California ~45 miles east of San Francisco

APQS Representative/Educator

Since 2004

Sales, Demonstrations & Education

www.gizmogirlquilts.com

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Thanks, Cheryl. I have been kind of getting that sense, but wanted to see it in writing. Cindee Ferris is a friend of mine, my house is 5 minutes from hers and we are in the same guild. I only wish I could go to her open house. I will be at a band tournament that day in Los Angeles. I think a longarmer's friendship group would be fun.

Different subject: I have the idea that for practice, I could buy a bolt of 108" muslin, cut it in half, roll it on the machine and go at it. I'm also planning to do a bunch of cuddle quilts from the guild and have been collecting my own tops, of course. What do you think?


Robin Kinley

Vista, CA

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You can also get some cheater cloth from Wal-Mart. I do like to use quilts though. I really like to quilt on my guilds community quilts.

good luck!

Cheryl


Cheryl Uribe

Livermore, California ~45 miles east of San Francisco

APQS Representative/Educator

Since 2004

Sales, Demonstrations & Education

www.gizmogirlquilts.com

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