It’s Official

I’ve talked about wanting a longarm.  Yesterday, Don & I spent most of the day in Houston at the quilt festival.  We visited with Susan, W Wanda, and Vivien.  I’m just sad I didn’t have more time to spend with them.  Charlotte, Jan, and Auline stopped by our lunch table to visit for a few minutes and we saw Myrlene as we were shopping.

I had prepared a lengthy, detailed spreadsheet for the machines I was interested in….ABM Innova, A-1 Elite, HandiQuilter Avante & Fusion.  The representatives in each booth were very patient as we asked questions, stitched and examined the frames, machines, add-on’s.  I was so glad I had taken the time to do some research before I went to the show.

There were positives & negatives about each system.  I like the Avante but didn’t like the way the Fusion felt.  They were both ruled out because of the pieced track system.

I love the way the A-1 Elite stitches.  It made absolutely beautiful stitches and moved very smoothly.  Don liked the frame but neither of us liked the toggle switches on the machine.  There were some really nice things about the Elite.  I loved the totally adjustable handles and the “tensionology” advance system that lets you electrically advance/reverse the quilt sandwich while maintaining the proper tension.  It also came with a hydraulic lift for the table which was very nice.

We visited the ABM booth 3 times.  Each time we asked different questions and looked at different things.  Don liked some of the other frames a little better but he said it will work just fine and that they have the best machine.  He isn’t an engineer but he knows about frames, metals, machinery, etc.  He was invaluable in this shopping adventure.  He watched as I stitched and even watched from underneath.   I tried out the Lightning Stitch.  I had previously tried it at both JoAnn and Diane’s homes and loved it.  I still love it.

We met Neal and his father Michael…the big guys at ABM.  We also met Sherry Rogers-Harrison, Heidi Farmer, and Renae Haddadin.  We looked those machines over every way you can look at them.  I even had Neal turn the machine head to the side so Don could see it.  He liked that for maintenance.

ABM has something new called PantoVision.  I’m not interested in a computer system that does the stitching for you.  I want to do the quilting myself.  PantoVision is an app that you use with a tablet on the front of the machine.  It allows you to stitch pantographs & designs from the “front” of your machine.  It is INCREDIBLE !!!

There’s a crosshair on the tablet screen that is the position of the needle and you just follow the pattern with that cursor.  If you’ve ever played one of those car/driver games that you turn a steering wheel and the road meanders and cars move around, that’s what it feels like to me.   Instead of turning a wheel and pushing a pedal to drive the car in the game, you move the machine to move the cursor and follow the pattern.  The pattern moves as you stitch…if that makes sense.    It comes with about 200 pantos and you can add ones you buy or create yourself.  I had so much fun testing it.

After spending most of the day with them, we sat down to talk turkey and we ordered my Innova !!!!  WooHoo!!!!

Here’s what I’m getting:

Innove 22″ with 12′ frame

Lightning Stitch—you can come out of a point/corner and never have a long stitch

Cross Hatch Ruler System

Batting Bar

Bobbin Winder

Laser & Pointer Stylus


Other goodies

2 day training with Teryl Loy in St. George, Utah

I am beyond thrilled.  We’re taking delivery in February in order to have time to finish getting the barn ready.

We also visited a few booths to pick up some other things I wanted.  I came home with a few new colors of silk thread for applique, 2 cones of different black threads for machine quilting, an open toe darning foot for a FW, a set of star templates for machine quilting, Linda May’s Rays—a template for curved cross-hatching, and a subscription for Machine Quilting Unlimited.   Oh, and a pair of Kai curved blade embroidery scissors for cutting threads while machine quilting.

We had an enjoyable trip.  We left Houston about 4:30pm, stopped in Henderson, LA at Landry’s Seafood for dinner and got home about 11:45  10:45pm.  Not too bad.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.  I carried a camera with me but forgot to take any pictures!  😦

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  1. quiltapillow

     /  November 6, 2011

    If I had known I would have recommended the Ken Quilter. I sure like mine.

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      I looked at them a few years ago. There are good things about each brand. It’s great we have so much to choose from. 🙂

  2. Congratulations!!! And the fun begins. I want lots of pictures posted……smile.

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      I’ll be in the barn with camera in hand while they’re assembling it. I’m printing a calendar so I can count down to it’s delivery!

  3. Debió de ser una experiencia maravillosa….espero ver pronto los resultados.


  4. Sheryl — You will absolutely love Teryl and John in St. George. They are who I bought my Innova from … wonderful people and the classes were so awesome … I learned so much! Congrats again.

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Thanks, Colleen. I’m really looking forward to my trip out there. I’ve heard great things about them. I’m really interested in some of their tools.

  5. Wanda

     /  November 7, 2011

    I am so glad you found the system you wanted. I am sorry though we didn’t get a chance to meet up, I know you were really busy with your investigating. Thank you for posting your experience, it will help me when I am ready to move forward.

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Hi Wanda. I was so sorry we didn’t have the chance to get together. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get your dream machine soon.

  6. Caryn Sakaguchi

     /  November 7, 2011

    I agree Teryl, John, and their assistant, Jason, are all wonderful people. Teryl is very good at answering emails. Tell me how you like the PantoVision.

    I want to get the ratchet system for sure and Pantovision sounds like the next great wish item.

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      Hi Caryn. I had e-mailed her once about something and she answered right away. That’s very important to me. I know she isn’t actually my dealer as I bought direct from ABM but since I’m taking training from her, she seems like my support system to me. 🙂

      I think I’m going to add the ratchet system. I can’t wait to use the PantoVision.

  7. I’m so glad you got your machine ordered. You’re going to LOVE it! So glad Don went with you and helped with the decisions from his point of view. I know how important it is to have his blessings. I didn’t realize Renae had switched over.

    I’m so happy for you!!

    • Quilting Tizzy

       /  November 27, 2011

      I can hardly wait to get it. It is going to be so much easier to use although I’ve learned to do a lot with what I have. I don’t know who Renae was with but she was working with ABM in Houston.


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