Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quilting Machine Survey - Part 1 - The George

Happy New Year to everyone!  We had a nice quiet new year's eve going to bed early and trying to recoup from our trip out west.  

The new year is a time to freshen things up and for artists this often means cleaning the studio, restocking supplies and buying new equipment.  So with that in mind I want to share what I received in the way of responses to the quilting machine survey.  The response was not large but those who responded did a wonderful job and the manufacturers of the various equipment would be thrilled to hear how happy you are with your equipment.

Today I'm sharing the survey response from a reader who has an APQS George.

APQS George

Questions and Responses

 1.  What brand and model of machine do you have? (please tell us the arm size)

I have an APQS George, with a 20" throat. It is a sit-down machine, in a table, and does not come with a stitch regulator.

 2.  Why did you buy this specific machine?

 I like hoppers like George, since I can control the stitch length more accurately. Machines that hover the foot over the quilting area are more difficult for me to keep an even stitch length. I also like a sit-down machine, since I have been machine quilting for about 16 years on a domestic sewing machine, and I didn't have to learn new skills.

 3.  What did your machine costs?

George cost me around $6000, with the table he sits in. I had a discount of around $600 when I bought it last summer.

 4.  How long have you had the machine?

I bought George in June 2012. I have about 120-130 hours of quilting on this machine.

 5.  What type frame do you use for the machine if it requires a frame?

George doesn't use a frame.

 6.  What features have been most useful?

The hopping motion is very natural to me. I can thread the machine in different ways to increase or decrease the top tension, in addition to adjusting the tension with the tension spring. I use a Magic Genie washer that controls backlash and allows me to quilt with quite a variety of threads. I also can change to a smaller needle, about a size 80, without resetting the machine timing.

 7.  What features have been least useful?

Although there is a knob that sets the top speed of the machine (when the pressure foot is totally depressed), I tend to use it at one midrange setting. I slow down and speed up by changing the pressure foot position and the corresponding speed of fabric motion.

 8.  Is there any feature you wish you had?  This can be something that is available or not.

APQS has been talking about a stitch regulator for George, which is not available. I may want to get this feature, as long as I can still stitch without the stitch regulation. There are times when I'd like the stitches to be very uniform. I also wish that there was a dealer or service person for this machine within driving distance (2-3 hours), in the event that I need it serviced eventually. I'm considering going to Iowa and taking APQS' machine service class, but it's a long drive (15.5 hours).

 9.  Have you had any serious mechanical or computer issues with your setup?

No problems at all. There is no computer with this machine, just an internal circuit board to control the machine timing. I have been religious about oiling and cleaning this machine.

10. Would you buy the same equipment again?

Yes, I'm very happy with George. And APQS has been a good company to deal with.

11. Would you recommend your machine and frame to your friends?

Yes, I highly recommend this machine.


Thank you George Owner for responding.  This machine looks like a great choice for someone wanting to sit while sewing and build on their experience with a traditional home sewing machine.

There are a number of videos on You Tube you might enjoy.  Here's a link to one which shows a nice view of the hopping foot used on the George.

Stay tuned in the coming days as I will present additional responses for a couple of other machines.

Happy New Year again and
Thank You
for spending time at
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  1. I still want to know why they named that machine George instead of Georgia or Georgette or Grace! Does it have to do with machines and men being strong? Phooey!

    1. I have no idea about this but I do recall when this machine first came out the company had a video with a man sewing on this machine and I believe his name was George. Maybe we should write the company ;-)