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 longarm machine

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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:45 pm

I have the grace majestic metal frame and want to get a mid to long arm machine to use on it, something larger than the 9 inch juki I use now. I was thinking of the Babylock Crown Jewel but have been told I can't buy it stand alone it has to be sold with a frame, I already have a good frame. I have heard that Kathy Quilts has come out with a 14 inch mid arm designed for the grace frames called the Block Rockit 14+. Has anyone heard of this machine or know what company makes it? It sells for under 3,000 and the price has got me thinking I should try it. Or does anyone have the majestic frame and what machine do you use with it?

http://blockrockit.com/

quilterchele
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TxMaryQuilts
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Number of posts : 9696
Age : 57
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:47 pm

I own a Tin Lizzie and after having some difficulty the first year or two, I got all the bugs worked out and learned what to do. I like my machine.

I checked out the one you posted. If it is everything the ad says it is, that is a nice machine for the price. It has a stitch regulator and ports to attach things like the QBot, etc, if you are ever inclined. Very nice options. The only thing I can think of that you might want to check into is it's ability to do pantos. I don't know if you want to use pantos but to do so you have to be able to work from the back of the machine. I saw no way to move your handles or add handles. It seems you would have to turn the whole machine around. And you would need to add a laser to follow the lines.

14" is really not that big of a space, but for the price it is not bad. Mine is 18" and I am pretty happy with that. It always boils down to what features you really, really want and what you can afford.
Good luck in the decision making.

_________________
TxMaryQuilts    

Always in a Texas state of mind.
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TxMaryQuilts
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Number of posts : 9696
Age : 57
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:48 pm

One other mis-giving I have is the "newness" of it. You would essentially be one of the guinea pigs testing out a new product and having to get the bugs fixed.

_________________
TxMaryQuilts    

Always in a Texas state of mind.
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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:56 pm

I was just on the Kathy quilts website and she has an upgrade available for 95.00 to add the rear handles so I would definitely spend the money for that but you bring up a good thing, don't know if I want to be the guinea pig. I want a good machine so I can quilt, with the hours I work I want to get in there and sew every spare minute I have  sewing2
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Luvsquilting



Number of posts : 2736
Age : 62
Location : Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Check QBee. She has an HQ16. I have a Voyager 17 on a Hinterberg frame. Very low end, but it really fits my purpose. I don't want to quilt for anyone. Just want the machine for myself. Also could only fit a 10 foot frame in my house.

If you think you'll want to do pantographs, 14" in not much space. That's why you would want the rear handles.
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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:58 pm

We have a big quilt show about an hour from me the end of March, I'm thinking I should just hold off making a decision and see what demos they have at the show. I may be able to get a good deal on an 18 inch. I have the pattern perfect templates for my grace majestic so I will want the rear handles. There's so much out there to pick from it's hard to decide what to do.
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Luvsquilting



Number of posts : 2736
Age : 62
Location : Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:12 pm

I ended up lucky and picked up a used Voyager 17 on a Hinterberg frame for $1800.  If you buy a refurbished one at a dealer, they are $4,000.


Last edited by Luvsquilting on Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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QBee - Mary Ann



Number of posts : 4205
Age : 66
Location : Granite Falls Minnesota
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:29 am

I did not have a good experience with Kathyquilts, when they sold me the Majestjc frame for my HQ16. "The frame was made for your machine in mind." It was only thanks to wonderful help from Handiquilter that we cobbled together a system that would make my HQ machine and the frame work together. I wouldn't buy a spool of thread from Kathyquilts.

My machine has attached wheels and a stitch regulator. It doesn't work on the Majestic carriage.

I think for you to wait and look at the quilting show is a great idea. Get as much info as you can before making your decision.

My HQ works great and I'm very happy with my set-up now, but 16" is still somewhat limiting.
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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:51 am

Thanks QBee for your input on Kathy Quilts. I haven't really used them for much, I think I purchased a set of leaders from them before I learned how to make them so my experience with them is very limited. It makes me lean more against the Block Rockit machine since that is exclusively their machine.  I think I'm going to use my old trusty Juki 9 inch on the majestic frame for now, not planning on any big quilts in the next few months. I am leaning towards saving some more money before the show and checking into the HQ Avante. It will allow me to upgrade to the pro-stitcher down the road if my RA flares too much. It's more money than I was originally planning on spending but from the reviews I'm reading I think HQ is going to be the one I want and should last me many, many years. I can always sell my majestic and juki once I get the HQ. Keeping my fingers crossed that HQ has some good show specials!!
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TxMaryQuilts
Moderator


Number of posts : 9696
Age : 57
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:25 am

Qbee, I forgot that that was where you got your frame. I do remember all the trouble you had with them. It drug on a long time. Don't think I would do business with them either.

Chele, going to a show is one of the best ways to find out what is available. And show prices are usually pretty good. Not as good as a good used one, but good. One bit of advice. Don't play with a $25,000 machine. They really make the others look bad. LOL Stick with machines in your price range.

_________________
TxMaryQuilts    

Always in a Texas state of mind.
http://s1309.beta.photobucket.com/user/TxQuilter59/library/#/user/TxQuilter59/library/?&_suid=136183123861005557608880981697
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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:33 pm

I can't afford a 25000 machine and I'm doing my homework now so I will know which booths to steer clear of.....way clear of lol. with all the research I've done the past week and talking to y'all I think I want to look at Handi Quilter. all the others hide their prices online and HQ posts theirs. the 18 inch Avante is running around 10000 with king metal frame and the 24 inch fusion is running 13000, I can add the pro-stitcher at a future time for another 9000. to get just a machine head I'm looking at least 6000 and no guarantees it will work with my majestic frame. my majestic is still in the boxes and I can return it and get my 1800 back so that puts me near the Avante price. Thinking I will return it and keep saving until March, I can work on quilt tops and have several made by March so I will have a lot of time on the new frame once it gets here and is set up. big money decisions are so stressful.....I just want to quilt LOL. Thanks everyone for your input!! loving this forum and everyone is so nice!
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quiltermarynel



Number of posts : 11559
Age : 72
Location : Trinity Co. California
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:01 pm

My guild bought a used, reconditioned machine from Nolting for $7K. I use a Janome straight stitch (mid arm) for almost everything. I don't have any place for a frame, however.
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memaw4



Number of posts : 9468
Age : 61
Location : South East Ohio
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:39 pm

I don't know anything about reconditioned machines.  To me that's just like buying someone else's problems.  And if I'm going to spend  $7,000+  on a machine its gonna be a new one.  UNLESS, I personally know and TRUST the person I'm buying it from.
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QBee - Mary Ann



Number of posts : 4205
Age : 66
Location : Granite Falls Minnesota
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:25 pm

Chele, A couple more thoughts. . . If you are not stuck on keeping your Majestic frame, maybe you want to look at Babylock, too. I'm pretty sure HQ makes the BL Crown Jewel. It certainly looks just like mine. I see HQ no longer makes the HQ16. When I bought mine I bought it from a dealer for a much better price than what was shown at the HQ site.
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Mamu



Number of posts : 4566
Age : 64
Location : NW Montana
Registration date : 2008-09-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:09 am

Okay.... here is my two cents worth.

I have a APQS long arm machine that was made in the '90's.  I purchased used and i did have a few problems starting out as I had to learn on the fly. But, I have issues ironed out and am humming along nicely now.  I do quilt for others and so I needed a frame that would do king size quilts. I have a 12' frame and it works for just about every quilt unless the quilt is 120'x120".  I also have stitch regulator on my machine, which I would highly recommend to make sure you get.
There are many forum sites that support different long arm machines.  You can learn alot about the type of machine you are looking at through these forums. I would google the name of the machine and see what forums are out there.
I commend you for doing your research.  Also, waiting to go to the quilt show is a very good plan as they usually have many, many different machines there that you can look at and try.  I know that Gammil, A-1, APQS have machines that start around $9,000 with all the things that you would need to start out.  You can always upgrade later if you decide you want to do that.  I would check into the resale value and/or trade in value before purchase.  Once you get going you might want to upgrade and you don't want to be blind sided by what you can get out of your machine used.
For myself, I wanted a machine that had a minimum of 12" actual quilting surface.  This means that I needed a machine that had a throat length of 20". Once you get your take up roller inside the throat and start rolling your quilt (adding thickness as you roll) it takes alot of your throat space away making your actual quilting surface less.  Keep this in mind when you are looking for your machine.
Most short arm machines only have around 5-9" quilting surface.  So you end up having to roll your quilt alot and are limited in the size of pantographs that you can do.  Also if you are doing a free hand custom design on a 12" sq, you have to stop...roll...and restart your design.  This can make for a frustrating experience.
There are many very, very nice used machines out there that have been carefully taken care of. Most are being sold because of health issues, moving or someone not having the time to use the machine. You can get some fantastic deals on used machines and I would not hesitate to purchase one...actually I did purchase one.  Currently on the APQS forum site there are several very nice used machines starting at $2,000..this includes the frame and some include patterns, thread, templates, pantographs too.  Sometimes the asking price might be higher than you want to pay, so make an offer.  That is what i did.
Also, one of the biggest issues is the customer service to help you when you have questions or problems. Make sure that you have good support and possibly have someone close or by phone, that can help you out. This is so important. You don't want to get a machine, have questions/issues and find out that you have no support. I have to say that APQS has a track record of having top notch support and all of their machines are made in the USA, which can be a big issue when needing parts.
I see that this posting has gotten quite long, sorry... if you have any questions don't hesitate to pm me.

_________________
**** MAMU ****

Laura living in NW Montana

<<< "Quilter's share a common thread" >>>
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TxMaryQuilts
Moderator


Number of posts : 9696
Age : 57
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:17 am

Good point about customer service. Tin Lizzie support- so so. Factory tech guy is very nice but severely over worked and can take a long to get back to you. Guy I bought it from has lost several of his dealerships so you know what he's worth. But then, I just don't have much of anything in the way of dealers around here.

_________________
TxMaryQuilts    

Always in a Texas state of mind.
http://s1309.beta.photobucket.com/user/TxQuilter59/library/#/user/TxQuilter59/library/?&_suid=136183123861005557608880981697
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missmommy



Number of posts : 732
Age : 67
Location : NY state
Registration date : 2008-09-02

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:19 pm

I have the HQ16.  Bought it years ago and maybe it has 4-5. Hrs on it.  I have been having  someone quilt my quilts.  I just.never got any real training, nor do I have the patience to be a beginner.  I'm way to picky to satisfied with my own work.  Very sad,  makes me feel guilty for spending so much money.
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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:52 pm

I bought a longarm today, my DH is going to add on a room for me to set it up in since my spare bedroom is too narrow and it won't fit. Will be about 30 days before we are ready for the dealer to come deliver and set it up but their schedule is flexible that far out so I can pick my day. I got the Babylock Crown Jewel on the grace majestic frame with the 2 foot extension and added the micro handles. I didn't get the pro-stitcher but it can be added down the road if my RA becomes an issue. DH and I have been outside today measuring the area where we are going to add onto the house and it's looking like it will be an 18 by 32 room. I have my sketch pad out trying to decide on where I want to put everything so he will have an idea where to put outlets and overhead lights. any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I need to figure out storage for fabric, quilt books, batting, patterns, etc.
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Jill



Number of posts : 4400
Age : 67
Location : SE Ohio
Registration date : 2010-11-15

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:48 pm

Wow, how exciting quilterchele! 18x32 is a great size, mine is 12x12 and it's ok, as I have everything I need at hand, but it's far from roomy. I'd make sure you have plenty of light. I'm sure others will add their recommendations based on what they have, what they've seen, or what they wish they had. An important thing to me was a cutting table (I use a banquet table on bed risers) and an ironing table. I keep them free of clutter so that I don't have to stop and clean up things in the middle of a project.
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memaw4



Number of posts : 9468
Age : 61
Location : South East Ohio
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:27 pm


I think I'd want one wall of nothing but windows.  All that natural light would be fantastic. You could always have storage bins/shelves built under the windows.  Of course you'd want shades of some sort or I would anyway.   And yes,  a big cutting table!   (I also use a banquet table on bed risers.)  I wish I had a larger ironing table too like my cutting table. 
 
 Undesided  I have an extra table.  I wonder if I could cover that baby and make it into an ironing table?   Just now thought of that......
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Gimpy Cat
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Location : Edge of The World - Tasmania, Australia
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PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:29 pm

Id go for a wall of windows too with bookshelves and shelving below to store all my stuff, patterns, books etc. Id leave a space for a design wall area. I have my fabric on an old shelf unit and I put a curtain rod across the top so I can use clothes pegs and hang a quilt top Im working on or hang some fleece/batting to use as a design wall when I want. I personally love the adjustable shelving, wouldnt be without it, the idea of a big wall area filled with it, wow. Its metal rails you screw to the wall and then you can put brackets in at any height you choose as they have slots up and down them, then you sit your shelves on. Like they use in stores, best thing I ever put in my sewing room. I just picked up a folding table for a cutting table, if mum is sewing or laura then we jam it between the machines, easier to have a separate table.

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"My will is mine.....I shall not make it soft for you"  Aeschylus, Agamemnon
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memaw4



Number of posts : 9468
Age : 61
Location : South East Ohio
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:35 am

Oh I'm sew jealous!   Just joking.  I'm sew happy for you Michele.
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Luvsquilting



Number of posts : 2736
Age : 62
Location : Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
Registration date : 2008-09-27

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:23 pm

Make sure you don't have so many windows that it's hard to heat or cool the room. Also make sure you have one black wall to put cabinets with doors to (1) store fabric in a closed, dust free environment and (2) doors to attach styrofoam wrapped in flannel or batting to become a design wall. If you are the type to have more than one quilt going at a time, the cabinet door design wall would be great, PLUS you'd want a big one too. My design wall is 8 x 8, but I'd sure like 2 small ones for interim projects.
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TxMaryQuilts
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Number of posts : 9696
Age : 57
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Consider putting outlets at waist height instead of close to floor. I get so tired of crawling under things to plug stuff in. Also, even if you are going for closed cabinets, put outlets on those walls anyway. That way if things change in the future and the cabinets are removed, outlets are already in place to make the room user friendly for other things.

Congratulations on your purchase. I think you will love the Jewel. It seems to be a good machine. And congrats on your quilting room. That will be nice. Be sure to share pictures of the work in progress.

_________________
TxMaryQuilts    

Always in a Texas state of mind.
http://s1309.beta.photobucket.com/user/TxQuilter59/library/#/user/TxQuilter59/library/?&_suid=136183123861005557608880981697
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quilterchele



Number of posts : 871
Age : 49
Location : Leesburg, Florida and Marietta/Belpre Ohio
Registration date : 2014-01-04

PostSubject: Re: longarm machine    Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:53 pm

change in plans, my local quilt shop probably wishes they had locked the doors and closed the blinds when they saw me coming  lol! I have switched from the Babylock Crown Jewel to the new Juki tl-2200qvp virtuoso it allows me to get the QuiltMotion software package now for the same price as the Crown Jewel and Majestic frame without the Pro-Stitcher. After watching the demo of the QuiltMotion and the Juki I think it will be less complicated to use and the local shop will handle any warranty issues and services the machine and makes house calls.

Also had to go to plan B on the new room, I will use the new dining room we are adding on for now for the longarm. The building department is requiring more than we thought for the new quilt studio addition so it will probably take us 6 months to a year to jump through their hoops and get the room on. frustrates me, they let us draw up our own plans as owner/builder for the dining room but they want engineered blueprints for my quilt studio. so we have to hire an architect to draw them up and pay an engineer to review and stamp them. Then we submit them to the building dept and they will review them and approve them. It comes down to more steps thru the building dept and there's a fee for each step so it's more money in their pockets. too much red tape, glad DH handles all of this! Thumbup 
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