Well, my Millennium has finally arrived! Truthfully, it was shipped out far quicker than I had ever anticipated it would be. To say that I am excited, in love, over the moon - not only is a given but the understatement of the year!!!!!
For curious minds - this is a certified used 2000 APQS Millennium that I purchased directly through APQS. I have for the past two years been quilting on a 1999 Ultimate 1 that had no stitch regulation - really no additional features outside of the one stitch button.
I am not going to lie I am in love with my new machine...but the Ultimate I was really good to me. There are not a lot of companies I will stand by in this day and age...but I must confess to you...and I tell you this in the spirit of total truthfulness as other than being a loyal customer (and somewhat of a forum stalker LOL) I am not affiliated with APQS in any way...I get no kick backs or payments or benefits for liking their brand...but they have been nothing less than AMAZING. I bought that Ulti from a private seller - I was the third owner of the machine. When APQS says they offer lifetime support, no matter what number owner you are or where you bought it - they really mean it. Even though I didn't buy directly through them and was a total nobody special in the long arm world when my machine came home...they answered my questions and took their time to help me...I never felt as if maybe I wasn't as valued as any of their other customers.
I bought the Ulti 1 because it was what I could afford to get started in long arming...and I really built a foundation on it. Now that it's been a few years I could afford the upgrade...and I am SO happy I was able to do that directly through the company. I was able to get a warranty which is a HUGE relief for me buying a used machine. Also it's come directly from their factory so I know it's been given a good testing to make sure all is in good working order. I am now familiar with the machines so I know there are many repairs I can make myself...but I can sleep at night knowing the big scary things that I cannot do myself are covered by APQS. I also now have experience shipping a machine and it's really taking the fear out of that for me or ever having to send it in to Iowa. It's always a gamble buying independently...and if you can buy direct, even used, I 'd say DO IT EVERY TIME!
In any case I now have features I only dreamed of having. I feel like I've graduated to a big kid machine! I plan to continue upgrading as I can afford and I will not forget the over the top customer service APQS has given. I have never felt alone with this company even though they are several states away! That's a big deal in 2015 where it's hard to say that about anyone really. Is there a company you could say that about anymore? Though APQS is well known and highly respected in the realm of quilting...we're talking a small handful of folks who handle the day to day operations. It just says a lot about them - and it's something I'm willing to pay for and really give my loyalties to.
Anyhow enough of my love affair with APQS. I'm just one very happy girl. Here are some of my first stitches on my "new to me" Millie. We have named her...Millie Mouse!
The accuracy I now have with a stitch regulator is amazing. It's not that this kind of work was impossible on the Ultimate 1...but now it is just SO much easier. I have the ability to move in a way similar to how I move no my sit down machine and oh...it's just wonderful! I am also really impressed with the quality of the stitch regulator. I nearly purchased a Handi Quilter the first go round - and even considered it again before buying the Millennium...I think HQ machines are wonderful and I certainly don't want to diminish their quality...but I do think the stitch regulator on my Millie is far better (at least to the Avante that I tested when shopping). I would be sad to pass that up had I gone to HQ.
Here is my Ultimate 1 getting ready to be sent back to APQS...she will be pieced out and become a part of making someone else's dreams come true!! I will never regret this machine. It toughened me up, made me brave, and opened up a whole new world of quilting.
Oh and the best part...Millie came with a bow!!! I have seen them on the new machines but didn't know if they'd put it on my used one...they did! It made it so special!!! Quilting is my business and my absolute passion. I am keeping the bow forever with my quilting ribbons! LOL! I so appreciate that they do that!!!!
So that is my exciting news and I am so tired from a very busy long day getting Millie set up that my brain is a bit mushy today. I have a bit more playing planned and then I'm loading up customer quilts and getting back into the routine of things. I will try and share a video in the next day or so with a little more detail on Millie's features and some of the new advantages I now have!