Sewing Machines at IQF
During our visit to the International Quilt Festival, I got a chance to look at several different models of sewing machines. I think most brands were represented and accounted for, although I looked at only two of the major brands.
My stop was at the Husqvarna/Viking booth where is was shown the Platinum 16. It is a sit-down long-arm quilting machine with 16” of throat space and 8” of vertical space. It offers an included 36” x 30” table and a separate bobbin winder. I specifically went looking for this model and brand because I already own my Husqvarna Lily model – which was the last model made in Sweden (I wasn’t aware of that!) and really showed how dated it was.
I was able to sit down and do some free motion quilting, which was very easy to do in this short demo. Although I was apprehensive to try, the quilt police did not show up and arrest me. ~smile~ Thank heavens! I am sure it is common to all of these type of machine, but I actually floored the foot pedal and the machine was pre-set to only sew at 50% of its power. That allowed me to not have to concentrate of the speed of the machine per se, and instead worry about moving the fabric around as I desired. The stitches were neat and precise, and the design not too wobbly considering the inexperienced driver.
The second demonstration I received was from Juki on model QVP TL22000. This is another model I sought out because we received another short demonstration while visiting the Madison-area shop called Mill Hill Quilts (click for more info on that visit). Chris was kind enough to demonstrate the model, and give me a chance to try it out. Again, as before it was very easy to move around to fabric in a meandering stitch in free motion quilting.
This machine offers a 18″ throat space and a 10″ vertical height space, which is a little bigger than the Viking. It offers a built-in bobbin winder, and a thread cutter. Chris also was able to show me a ruler template demonstration, which you can see in the picture above on the left. It also offers up to 50″ Wide Table (with optional leafs) on adjustable height metal stand with wood top and leaf for left or right side, 30″ overall depth. I am not sure of the size of the table without the optional leaf, but I suspect it is near the 36″ size of the Viking model.
While I like both of these models very much, and they are similarly priced, neither of them are sold/serviced within a 25 mile radius of where I live. While it is not a huge deal when a machine is new, we all know that where our quilting machine needs service or repair we want it to be fixed quickly so that we can continue on with our projects.
One other comment worth noting and certainly sharing is that both companies offered show pricing for these models. I don’t recall the original pricing on the Viking, but the Juki price was reduced approximately $2,400 by purchasing it at the show. I will certainly do some additional research to see if there are any other sit down long-arm quilting machines I should consider, along with where they are sold/serviced before I actually purchase one. And, if one is purchased it may be at a quilt show to take advantage of the show pricing.