Friday, April 5, 2013

The BIG annoucement!

Are you sitting on the edge of your seat yet, waiting to hear the rest of the story? Yes I'll admit that it was a little mean not telling it all in the My Quest post but that one was long enough already and I didn't want to not tell the full version just to shorten up the post.

So the machines I was researching and considering were by Gammill, Bailey, APQS, Handi Quilter, Voyager, Nolting, Tin Lizzie, Innova and Baby Lock. I had a post all drafted to discuss the various options and to ask for your opinions, if you have a long arm machine, why you chose that particular one, your thoughts on how it works for you, the pros and cons that you have learned since owning it, and your recomendations. I figured that I'd be able to take all of your feedback into consideration while working towards making the decision as to which one would be best for me.

Then late one night recently, about 10:30 pm, I came across an online ad for a machine with a 10 foot frame, one of the brands that I was considering but listed in a really obscure place, not on any of the typical used machine as sites. I literally sucked in my breath and honestly didn't believe that it was a legitimate ad or more than likely that if it was in fact a real listing, that it was already sold and gone. But the ad did list the sellers full name and phone number. It certainly wouldn't hurt to try, right? It was too late to call him (I'm not that crazy) but I went to bed excited about the possibility. To say that I had a hard time falling asleep that night is a huge understatement.

The next morning I was up early as usual, before 6am for sure, and waiting until a reasonable hour to call was killing me. I dialed the phone at 8:15 am and since no one answered, left a message and headed off to work. I had also replied to the ad through the listing site so I hoped that I'd hear back one way or the other very soon. At work I checked my email A LOT. Nothing! I tried to concentrate on what I was working on but it wasn't easy.

At lunch time I called again and this time the owner answered! We had a nice little chat, the machine was not sold yet and in fact I was the first person that had called about it. Amazing, six days after he listed it it was still available. After a few questions were answered, I told him that it is sold, site unseen!

Are you dying to find out what I bought?

Well, here is the answer!

A Voyager 17
She will be sitting on a Hinterberg Stretch frame that looks like this.
This deal was way too good to pass up. Although I hadn't planned on buying for many, many months to come, I would have been really crazy to let this one slip through my fingers. She is currently in the Philadelphia area so it is within driving distance for me. The current owners, a husband and wife team that both used it up until just a few weeks ago, have recently moved to a smaller retirement place and don't have the space for it in their new home. Their loss is my gain.

One week from today, my sister Tina and I will be taking the road trip to pick her up. I can't wait, as you can imagine. I've figured out where she will go in my studio and I hope to get it painted before I bring her home.

A Voyager 17 was definitely one machine I was strongly considering. My good online friend Bea has one and I've picked her brain to death asking questions about them. I know that although they don't have all of the bells & whistles of some of the other brands they are one of the lesser expensive options for starting into long arming, they are real work horses and are simpler to operate and maintain which is perfect for a newbie like me. It is the heaviest machine available in its class, weighing 75 lbs (because all of the parts are metal not plastic) but on this frame and carriage it glides like butter. I've seen Vanessa of Crafty Gemini's YouTube videos and I've seen her operate her Voyager with just a few fingers guiding one handle. My new baby has a stitch regulator so I know that will help in my learning curve.

She is officially a mid-arm machine since she is under 18" throat space but I know that she can still do plenty as far as available quilting area. Her harp isn't as tall as some of the others either but if Bea and Vanessa can quilt large quilts with their machines than so can I. Might I want to upgrade to something bigger and fancier in the future:? Maybe or maybe not. I might be plenty happy with my Voyager for a very long time. I'll just have to wait and see. The one thing I've learned is to not try to predetermine where my quilting life will take me. It has already taken me farther than I ever dreamed of in the beginning.

Now all she needs is a name. Nothing I've thought of yet feels just right so suggestions are more than welcome!

15 of you added your own colorful comments:

  1. Wow! It looks like an amazing machine and doesn't seem to take up a lot of space! I don't name machines but this one reminds me of the Storm Troopers in the movie Star Wars - hahaha

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  2. YAY!!! I am SO happy for you!!! That is SO awesome!!

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  3. I'm so jealous...but so happy for your new acquisition! Can't wait to see your work on it!

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  4. Hmmm...how about Victoria or Vanessa? I just purchased a HandiQuilter Sweet 16. I don't have space for a big frame, and I like the idea of sitting. Have fun with your new Toy!!!!

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  5. That's amazing! Happy for you. You will have so much fun.

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  6. That is awesome! Do/ will you do custom work (can I send you a quilt to quilt up)?

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  7. awww I see you already got a customer!! I know Vanessa loves her V17 too, we got ours about the same time.

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  8. Congratulations! Have fun on the road trip and bring her back safely! I look forward to seeing all the quilted items coming of that beast!

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  9. Ohhh congratulations you'll have a blast,how about vera ?

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  10. well done x have a fun time when you go to collect her x

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  11. Congratulations Michelle, I almost bought one of these myself!!

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  12. How fun!! I know you will enjoy it. How about Molly?

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  13. She definitely looks like a "Vicki" to me!! Am so happy for you! I love my HQ Sweet 16 (Ms. Sweetie). The sit-down style is all that my room will accommodate (with all the other machines I have set up) but even if I had the room, I really like manipulating the fabric rather than the machine, so as long as I don't have any physical restrictions I will continue with it! It isn't the least expensive but seems easy to use. The only issues I have had appear to be ones that the HQ parts vendors quality/exactness is somewhat lacking and the QA at HQ appears to be equally lacking. Really quite a sad situation since I think it is basically a very good product and one I would recommend with the above stipulations. CanNOT wait to see what comes out of your studio!!!! Hugs, Doreen

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  14. How about "Lindy"? Yes, I am trying to stick to the "L" considering the other machine is Lucille and Mine is Loretta.

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I enjoy reading each and every comment that you share. And isn't that what it is all about....sharing.