The response to this informal survey was not large but all who responded were very satisfied with their choices. All of the equipment reviewed was very high end and all very well known. These are machines that require a real commitment in resources including money and space but appear to pay the owners back with great performance.
Here are a few other machines you may want to consider if you are in the market.
Martelli - This company has both a standup and a sit down version of their longarm machines. They have some interesting features including a "space-age" plastic frame.
TinLizzie - I remember looking at this brand of machine years ago. The styling was very different and more interesting. Now the styling looks like everybody else. The too have both a standup and sit down machine and a long list of features. Interestingly they do not list prices. You have to request pricing. Perhaps this is due to the costs of features but I would have liked to see a base price.
Nolting -Nolting is another very well know company with a good reputation. I mentioned them recently in regards to their buyout of Hinterberg. They have a full range of machine sizes along with standup and sit down versions. They have a neat app which allows you to select the size of a machine and a couple of other options and it gives you a price. They also sell used equipment and I feel confident you could purchase these machines and know they work well. Nolting also makes a nice small machine MAQ. Here is a nice brochure from a retail store.
A-1 Quilting Machines - I had not heard of this company until finding their website. The machines and stands look well designed and again, many many features including a lift system which seems to be a new popular feature. Their Beginnings Package costs $12, 500 with a list of suggested features totaling around $5,500. I confess the prices of the equipment blows me away but if you are quilting as a profession or have the financial means to buy these machines they are fabulous.
Janome Artistic Quilter 18 - The home sewing machine company Janome has a new long arm that comes in both an 18 & 26 inch version. It seems it may be a bit more "stripped down" but likely it functions nicely. Because these machines are not generally sold online but through brick and mortar stores, there are no prices given.
Bailey's Home Quilter - I wanted to find at least one machine with an 18" arm that was under $2,000 but I didn't succeed. I did however find this companies 17" quilter that is around $2,500 and they also have a 13" and a 15" that are under $2,000. This price does not include a frame but they have some packages that include the frame and are still under $2,500. Perhaps the biggest issue with this machine as well as some of the others is the lack of opportunity to try them first hand if you don't live near a retailer.
Well I hope this is information you can use to get you started on "the hunt" for your perfect quilting machine.
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