Which APQS longarm machine is the best buy for me?

September 14, 2022

If you’re dreaming of owning your own longarm quilting machine but aren’t sure which APQS model to choose, it helps to explore your own quilting style and goals to find the best fit for you.

Start by answering these questions:

When I buy a longarm, I want to quilt projects….
a. Just for myself (and maybe some friends or for charity)
b. To earn a little money as a hobby
c. To earn a living

I want my longarm to be….
a. Easy peasy—no bells and whistles
b. Simple to use, but I wouldn’t mind some creature comforts
c. Full-featured to save me time but simple to operate

I think I’d use my longarm…
a. A couple of times a month or so
b. A couple of times a week or so
c. Nearly every day

The quilts I make tend to be….
a. Small, but I occasionally make larger ones up to queen-size
b. Bed-size for the most part
c. All over the map for size and shape

My favorite quilting design style is….
a. All over designs (but I might like custom quilting some projects)
b. I like both all over designs and custom quilting about the same
c. Custom quilting (but I might like all over designs on some quilts)

My budget for a longarm is…
a. Under $10,000
b. Between $10,000 and $20,000
c. Anything I want because I’m worth it!

If you answered mostly As

If your answers were mostly “As,” then a simple-to-use machine like Lenni or Lucey will be just right for you. Both machines work extremely well for overall quilting designs, and can also do a great job of custom quilting.

Lenni longarm quilting machine from APQS

Lenni and Lucey machines are easy to use with simple controls and include our precision Stitch Regulator so that your quilting stitches will be consistent, even if you don’t touch the machine for a month or longer. Just flip the machine on, turn on the stitch regulator, and press the “Go” switch to begin quilting!

The Lenni machine provides 20 inches of throat space to handle even big patterns and blocks, while the Lucey provides an additional 6 inches of space for even bigger patterns, on-point blocks, and more room for helpful tools like guiding templates and rulers.

Both Lenni and Lucey can handle small and large projects, depending on the table length you choose. Select a 12-foot table if you think you’ll make any king-size quilts out to 126 inches. Otherwise, you can conserve space with a 10-foot table, which will handle up to a 104-inch-wide queen size quilt. We have an 8-foot table available, too.

Lucey longarm quilting machine

Home hobbyist quilters often choose a Lenni or Lucey machine as an affordable way to reduce their UFO pile while regaining the fun of making their quilts from start to finish. However, both machines also work well for someone who is thinking about quilting for others on a part-time basis to earn a little spending money.

If you answered mostly Bs

If you answered “B” to most of the questions, then either the Lucey or the Freddie models would be a great fit for you.

Both machines are the same size with 26 inches of throat space. Each one will do a fine job of all over quilting and custom quilting. And both would serve a cottage quilting business well.

If you prefer to have a few more creature comforts at your fingertips, then consider the Freddie, which incorporates more time-saving features.

APQS Freddie longarm quilting machine

The low bobbin indicator, thread break sensor and simple one-touch panel controls combine simplicity with functionality. These features are a lot like automatic car windows. While a crank gets the job done, once you have a car with power windows turning a crank seems prehistoric!

Freddie comes standard with a deluxe table with extra sturdy single-piece legs, heavy-duty 2-inch fabric rollers, and the ability to add more helpful features such as a power quilt fabric advance and overhead lighting. Lucey can be upgraded to a deluxe table for an additional $2,000.

If you answered mostly Cs

If you’re considering starting a business with your longarm, OR you simply want to start out with a machine that has everything you want right at the start, then FreddieMillie or Millie30 will fill the bill.

Millie – our top-of-the-line model – adds two more sought-after features to save you time and increase your quilting comfort: a lower bobbin thread cutter, and electronic locks for straight line quilting horizontally or vertically. Or, step-up to a Millie30 which has all the features of our top-of-the-line Millie plus four extra inches of throat space.

Both the Freddie, Millie and Millie30 models are excellent for overall quilting, but their unique features also make custom quilting much more enjoyable. The Quilt Glide (only available on these three models) really makes custom detail quilting effortless and more precise.

Quilters who quilt professionally or who want to compete in national shows most often choose a Freddie, Millie or Millie30 model. But just as many hobby quilters choose Millie because it is simple to use while offering special features that make it a machine that they will use for a lifetime.

The Quilt Path computer system can be added to all APQS machines, so hobby quilters and professionals alike can create intricately stitched quilts or simple overall designs with ease and precision. Adding a computer system makes even a weekend warrior look like a quilting rock star. And the great thing is that you don’t need to be computer guru to turn out stunning quilts.

Additional resources

We’ve developed a comparison chart of all machines and their respective features on this page. This is a useful tool as you’re considering which machine might be the best fit.

We also recommend you stop by our YouTube channel to check out our videos about Millie, Millie30, Freddie, Lenni and Lucey. These will give you a good sense of each machine’s unique features.

Of course, the best way to get to know us is to take a test drive. You can do that at our Road Shows, a number of national quilt shows or allow one of our fabulous retailers to walk you through the features of our machines.

If you have more questions about our machines, we’d love to hear from you. Give your local dealer a call or call our toll-free number at 800-426-7233. You can also download or order a brochure with more details about our models.