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Hi everyone: I just joined this group and am looking forward to learning and trading tips with other machine quilters. I have been sewing and machine quilting on and off for 25 years. Since retiring last year, I'm now able to spend a lot of more time in my sewing room and as a combined retirement and 50th birthday gift, my husband has suggested I buy myself a new sewing machine. My budget is $5,000. and I would like to buy a good quality machine primarily geared towards quilting, but I'd also like to experiment with embroidery. I figure my budget is large enough to also let me purchase some sort of quilting frame set up as I'd like to quilt my larger quilts at home instead of farming them out. I'd love to hear any recommendations from experienced machine quilters. I have my eye on the Husqvarna Quilt Designer II and the Pfaff Performance 2056 but I'm confused over the various quilting frame systems. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Attached are a few samples of my quilts.

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I just bought the Pfaff Hobby Grand Quilter with frame and stitch regulator...it was a floor model and got it all for around 2.500. The frame is sturdy, made by Tin Lizzie and the machine sits on a platform and rolls the width of the frame...the stitching is gorgeous and even, smooth running...it only has a 7" space though, so I roll a lot. When I can, I'll upgrade to the Pfaff Grand Quilter 18.8...that thing rocks!!!

Your quilts are very pretty! I've only been machine quilting for about 2 1/2 years...can't even imagine what pretties you must turn out???
Hi Rhonda,

Thanks! I haven't made any quilts on my quilting frame just yet... still getting used to the new Bernina. I'm with you on the throat space, though. My Bernina only gives me about 6" of quilting space and although I thought I'd be happy with just putting the Bernina on the quilt frame and not having to push my quilts around in the tight space, I find the 6" just doesn't cut it, so I'm now shopping around for a true long arm. That's a great price for a floor model machine and frame. I priced out the HQ 16 and the Tin Lizze 18 at the Tampa Original Sewing & Quilt Show and they're both at about $7,000. So I guess we'll have to same our pennies... :)
Cecile, I know some dealers do NOT ship to Canada or other places outside the U.S. but if you check on ebay there are a lot of deals on "Tin Lizzie" machines. They come with their own frame. The 18 LS is a dream to operate as best I could tell with the 3 test drives I gave it. I want my own so bad I can almost taste it.....................
Hi Gayle, Yes, I saw a Tin Lizzie 18 on e-bay recently for about $7,000 CDN which really isn't all that bad a price. I would LOVE to own one but right now, I need a new car, so I'm thinking of getting a cheaper car so that I can spend the money where I really would appreciate it - on a new long-arm quilter! We'll see... I'll let you know what I end up doing. :)
I have a Husquvarna Designer SE. It is a great machine. I am able to quilt with it as well as machine embroidery. When I bought mine two years ago it was considered the top of the line for Viking. It has been replaced by bigger more expensive machines though reconditioned ones can be purchased at Viking shops at a much reduced priced. I would give my SE a ten thumbs up.
Hi Cecile, I had lots of problems doing free motion quilting on my home sewing machine so I bought a quilt frame that allowed me to use my home sewing machine. I put my Janome on the Hinterberg frame and quilted away but it was very limiting with only a 9 1/2" throat. About 2 years ago I bought the least expensive longarm I could find, also through Hinterberg, the Voyager sewing machine with stitch regulator. It does not have all the "bells and whistles" of the expensive machines but it gets the job done well and the whole set-up is close to your budget. The expense was all I could justify since I am a hobby quilter and have no plans to expand to a business. My Hinterberg/Voyager set-up has a laser to do pantographs and a multi-pattern template board, both of which I used until my confidence and skill level improved. My friend recently traded in her Hinterberg frame for the new Hinterberg Summit frame and she raves about it. Hinterberg's customer service is excellent. Most vendors are usually at the big quilt shows and you should try out the machines/frames you are most interested in before making any decision. Casey

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