As National Education Director at APQS I have the pleasure of traveling to many different quilt shows each year. But no matter what part of the country I’m in, quilters who are considering adding a longarm to their studio invariably wonder about the very same things:
How much space do I need?
Not as much as you think! First think about the size of the quilts you like to make and then you can allocate space for a machine that fits your needs as well as your space.
For example, to comfortably use a 10-foot frame that can handle queen-size quilts you’ll only need to set aside 80 square feet. If you prefer to sit to quilt, George takes up only 10 square feet of space. You can quilt king-size quilts on a 12-foot frame, or you can tuck an 8-foot frame in the corner and easily quilt up to full-size quilts. APQS will even make custom-length tables at no extra charge, so you can find a spot in your home that works best for you.
What is the warranty?
In this day and age it seems like nothing is built to last anymore. But an APQS machine is an exception to that. Every new APQS machine comes with an unbeatable lifetime warranty. We take great pride in hand-building each one at our Iowa factory – so we stand behind every single product we make. Of course the warranty covers the “basics” – but it goes far beyond what you’ll find elsewhere. It even covers the electronics, circuit boards, motor and switches for the life of the machine.
That typically leads to another question – how long will the machine last? Since APQS machines are built for industrial use, you don’t have to worry about “wearing it out.” We designed it for heavy use in decorator workrooms and factories 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. The machines we first sold when the company was founded over 30 years ago are still going strong – you can quilt forever. Even if you go into business and quilt for others you can be confident that your investment is protected. You can read more about our lifetime warranty by clicking here.
How easy is it to maintain and service?
If I’ve got my quilting mojo going the last thing I want to worry about is a complicated service routine or not having help when I need it. It’s super-simple to keep an APQS longarm happy. Just rub your finger over each of the five oiling wicks at the beginning of your quilting session and add a drop of regular sewing machine oil if a wick is dry to the touch. That’s it! No messy oil reservoirs to potentially overflow on your quilt, no bearings to oil, no belts to check. Keep the bobbin area clean and add a drop of oil to the hook after several bobbins just like many home sewing machines and you’ll be good to go.
If your machine ever needs some troubleshooting, requires service or you simply have a question – you’ve got the entire APQS family ready to help. APQS customer service and support also last a lifetime. It’s easy to contact us for support. Our factory technicians, certified field technicians and dealers provide technical and educational support around the globe. You’ll also find tons of helpful information on our APQS Education and Support pages, and even our fabulous APQS customer family members share hints and tips through our active public forum. As you can tell, we’re big on “family” and when you buy an APQS machine we treat you like one of the family, too!
How do I load a quilt?
Using a longarm frame means you no longer have to baste your quilt layers together – which is a huge time saver. We’ve made our table frames super easy to use so that you spend less time loading a quilt and more time actually quilting it! Each roller is labeled to remind you where to attach your quilt layers.
Since every quilter has pins in her studio, pinning is an easy way to get started. This blog post shows you how. Simply pin your backing and quilt top on to the marked rollers, slip your favorite batting between the two layers, and then attach the layers to the pick-up roller. Add the side clamps to keep your backing smooth and you’re ready to quilt.
During your free beginner class included with your machine purchase you’ll learn about several additional ways to attach a quilt to the frame so that you can find the best method for you.
How much can I earn quilting for others?
You can easily make your quilting machine pay for itself by quilting for others – and it doesn’t take long time to recoup your investment. If you charged $0.015 per square inch and did a basic design on an average queen-size quilt, you’d earn about $135 for just 3-5 hours of work.
An APQS Larry quilting machine starts at just $8,900 – so you’d only need to do about 1.25 quilts a week to pay it off in a year. And our top of the line Millie at $18,900 could be paid off in just a year by doing about 2.69 quilts per week. Click here to learn more about running your own quilting business.
Even if you just want to quilt your own quilts, take our advice – sneak the machine into your home under the cover of darkness … because once people find out you have an APQS quilting machine, absolutely everyone will want to be your “friend!” 🙂