I have a hinterberg, a summit frame and voyager 17 with SLR.... look on hinterberg.com (nolting took them over last year) they are AWESOME and the price is great compared to the BIG boys out there. The summit frame is awesome in that it has wheels and cranks for the take up bar, so I can raise it a smidge if I need to, it's easy to load etc. and never had a problem with the V17, the manual shows you how to re-time the machine by yourself, which I have done twice since I got it ( one time a needle was too loose and dropped into the bobbin case and I had to retime it) PLUS I'm part of a hinterberg yahoo groups that's VERY helpful, hinterberg themselved/nolting have GREAT customer service too.get the deal with the summit/v17, SLR and leaders etc.... let me know if you have any more questions
I wouldn't hesitate recommending the HandiQuilter 18 Avante -- I've had it since the end of May and have been having a ball. I got the 10' Studio Frame at the same time. Now I'm hoping Santa will provide some $$$ to buy the Micro Handles for it :-) Please contact me privately if you want info re cost, etc. (very good price, no shipping, personal delivery and set up, no tax, from my dealer -- of course, depending on where you're located).
I love my longarm (APQS Millennium) but the very best advice I can give you is to take your time and find what fits you. They are all good but they are all different and what may be perfect for your best friend may not feel right to you. Go to shows and test drive the machines and the companies. Longarming is great but it's a totally new skill so don't expect your free motion skills to transfer magically. It takes a lot of practice but it's a great deal of fun!Judy Laquidara wrote a series of posts a while back about buying an downing a longarm. I highly recommend reading them:http://www.patchworktimes.com/2010/02/20/longarm-posts/
What machine you choose, and is best for you depends on your quilting style. Vicki's advise is excellent and the more you try, and the longer you try them for will help. I have two long arms - an APQS Millenium and an A1. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and I use them for very different styles of quilting. If you want to e-mail me privately to ask further questions please feel free to do so.
Really! OMGosh! Advice? I've never had one, I dont have room for one and I probably dont have the coordination to operate one. LOL My advice is ............. get one before he realizes how much space it takes up and changes his mind. oh yea, maybe one breakfast in bed. Lol
Yeppppppp I have the BAD experience of NOT having one.......giggle. Can't wait to see what you get and how you like it.
That's awesome! I have an original Grace frame and and Juki TL98 ... it's ok but I dream of having a long arm system someday! I can't wait to see what you end up picking!
I will echo Vicki and Delsey. I started with a table top frame and a juki machine, quickly upgraded to an HQ16. After a year of that set up, I sold the whole kit and kaboodle to a friend and purchased a used Gammill Classic. I was grateful for the experience of the smaller set up. I learned alot as I went along and the Gammill was easier because of it. Try as MANY as you can get your hands one. One will call your name (and your budget!)
I'm SOOOOO excited for you Sue!! I've been following along in your progression as a quilter and you are definitely deserving of one!! That's interesting what someone said about the skills not transfering. Thats why I was considering sticking to a sit-down model with a set-up kind of like how Caryl Bryer Fallert does it. Have you seen it? I think she uses the table machine "george" and uses a pully system to hold the weight o the quilt up from the ceiling. She has photos of it on her facebook page. I'm getting a Juki for Christmas and I'm super excited. . . this will be my transition to longarm heaven ;c)
Let me say one more thing. Ever since I started dreaming of a longarm, I wrote all the longarm companies online for brochures. I am on all of their mailing lists. Occasionally, they send out emails that they are selling the machines used in the shows at a very low cost. Some of the really expensive APQS machines I've seen under 10K so you should check that out too if you haven't already.
I agree with testing them out before buying one. I bought one that people who have them either love them or hate them. I didn't know about the hate part until I had mine and found out that there was a youtube battle about the machine. I don't exactly hate mine, but I had major problems and the company was not the best to deal with. I would have definitely done things differently if I had tested them out before buying.
My best advice is find a quilt show near you and you will get to try them all. Most dealers have one or two set up with fabric and you can quilt on each machine. It really comes down to a personal choice. Good luck!
I would love to hear from you, comments and questions welcome!