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Long Arm Sewing machines

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Granny M posted on Wed, Aug 3 2011 6:53 PM

I have been saving and saving for a long arm which is almost within my reach.  At least I am at the research stage of the types of machines.  I know several of you have gotten long arms in the past year.  Would you share your experiece.  The good, bad and ugly.  This is a big investment for anyone, for me it will be a one time purchase so I want to be really sure when I buy.   So tell me about the features, cost, ease of use, problems anything else you can think of.  Really appreciate the help.  Also if anyone bought on line.   I am also wondering if there is a handiquilter discount through QCA

Granny M

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Hi Granny M,

I have a Baby Lock Jewel and have been quilting for 1 1/2 years.  I love my machine!  I really suggest that you go to any and all quilting expos and try every machine that they have, which is what I did.  I chose my Jewel for ease of use. Also keep in mind that  those machines are already set up and tweaked for you so that you will fall in love with them.  When you get it home there is a lot of set up and stress that goes into personalizing the machine for yourself.  I hope you have a very handy Hubby or the dealer that you purchase from sets up your machine for you, then you can tweak it to fit your needs. The biggest thing that all who I have spoken too have said is that space needed.  It takes a lot of space.  

Judylee

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Good advice Judy, but I do not live where there are expos.   The small quilt shows here never have long arm vendors.  I am traveling to a dealer of baby lock tomorrow for a demo.  It is the closest shop that handles any type of long arm.  The rest I have called on are 85 to 100 miles away. 

Is the Jewel and 18 inch throat. 

Granny M

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Hi Granny M.

  I have a Gammill... the 18 Inch throat.. I luv my "Gammi... your choice of long arms should be after you try as many as you can.. I took me a couple of years to decide which one to get... Good luck.... any machine you choose Im sure will be great...I choose mine for ease of use and great customer support and company longevity..  Gammill has a great rep...

have fun searching..

 

 Kelley

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I have a question. It seems we are getting a lot of members that own longarm machines now, so my question is " am I the only one that would like to have a longarm machine group? " 

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Yes that would be great to have a long arm group...

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Granny M,

I bought a Tin Lizzie this past Spring.  I did what has been suggested here - tried alot of them before deciding.  My favorites were the Tin Lizzie and the Gammill and liked them equally but the Tin Lizzie was about 2000 less so I went with that one and so far really like it.  If at all possible, get it from a good dealer who will do set up and come for repairs, if needed.  I live near Chciago and bought from a dealer in Toledo(about a 4 hour drive which they said they do often.  (they told me they have sold to and set up for folks as far away as Florida.- They drove here for the set up took which took about 3 -4 hours to put together the frame and spend time with me going thru how it all works and letting me play while they were still here.  So far I love it but wish I had more time for working on it.  Downside - the frames take ALOT of space.  Good Luck!!

 

 

 

Margaret

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So, how do we go about getting a group started?

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Great idea!  I learn alot just by reading what every has to say!

Margaret

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gini replied on Wed, Aug 3 2011 11:46 PM

send a post to admin requesting a group

gini in north idaho

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I bought a 17" Voyager 2 years ago.  It does everything I ask and except for a little thread breakage from time to time (user error) it's been great.  My advice above what's been posted though is to make sure you have a support system in place.  I purchased through a local dealer who led me to believe she was very knowledgeable and would supply any support I needed.  WRONG!  Within a month I knew more than she did and there was no support.  The biggest problem I have is keeping the tension aligned when changing thread types to prevent thread breakage and keep quality stitching.  If you don't have longarm support ask your local sewing machine dealer if they would be willing to provide some technical help from time to time - make it clear they have to come to you though.  Right now I stand alone and it's very time consuming when technical issues come up and you just have to "fiddle" with it to find the solution.  The comments are right about space.  The longarm frame takes up an enormous amount of space.  My frame is literally wall to wall but it's worth it.

namcdowell

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Thanks Gini, I think it would be great to have a group to share information like, where do you buy your thread, tools and etc. First I would like to hear from all those interested before I bother adm. Wouldn't want to start a group and then see it fall on it's face. You know what I mean. Not enough interest. 

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a group is a great idea.  I have a HandiQuilter Fusion and I love it, when I have time to use it, which hasn't been much.  It has the most quilting area I could get on a machine that could be serviced relatively localy.  which is important. you don't want to slog your machine for miles and miles to get it serviced.  they are heavy and awkward. That left the Gammil out for me, I didn't even look at it.

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Hi Vivian, It is 65 miles to my gammill dealer but I have found they can work miracles over the phone. I have the tech's direct # and there is not much they can't do over the phone. They have walked me through a couple spots. All I can say about gammill so far is , if you have a problem they are there for you.

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Great idea Joan L,

judylee

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