I have been distracting myself with thoughts of upgrading the quilting system by spending HOURS on line looking at the various systems available. Steven and I took a drive out to South Glens Falls yesterday to visit a HandiQuilter dealer there. Adirondack Quilts
Bill and Shannon are absolutely lovely people. If money were no option, I would have bought the system then and there just because I liked them so much. But I am really not ready to spend a small fortune on a hobby. I learned a lot, though. Bill brought out the service manual and showed me photos of the insides of the machines. He explained that the bearings are treated with a heat sensitive grease that lubricates as the bearings warm up. He tried to assuage my fears about the electronic components of the machine. He showed us the features of the Studio Frame; strength and ease of use. I was sold. I just don't have the cash. (I did buy a lottery ticket in a silly attempt to raise the ten grand. I lost. No quilting machine for me, sigh).
Bill claims that Handiquilter makes the Baby Lock Crown Jewel and others. I suspected as much. I saw the Baby Lock when I was in Asheville last week . It looked just like the Handiquilter. I also saw a Husqvarna sit down model at Joann's that was identical to the Handiquilter Sweet 16.
I was talking to another Long Arm dealer who also teaches Long Arm quilting. She advises that beginners start without the stitch regulator. Most stitch regulators add close to, if not more than, a thousand dollars to the price. The Bailey Sew control is 675. I took her advice and disabled the Sew Control on the Bailey. I had to put the original handle back on the machine and use the original power cord/foot controller. I had to find a place for the foot controller so I taped it to the top of the sew control. It looks funky, I will attach it with velcro sometime, but it is a perfect place for it. When I am at the front of the machine I can use it to position the needle. I gently press down on the controller to slowly place the needle up or down.
I put a small quilt sandwich on the quilt to see how I would do "naked." I like it. Let's just see how I do with a whole quilt. The OBW is up next.