I spent Saturday at the New England Quilt Festival, formerly MQX. I forgot my camera, but I did post a couple of pics to Instagram of some of the quilts. The show features more traditional quilts, but with some phenomenal machine quilting that any quilter can admire. The vendors didn't have a ton of modern fabric, and I only came away with a couple of yards of fabric from Sew Fresh Fabric.
I did come away with a new toy though...
I had been thinking about buying a long arm for a little while now, and after test driving a bunch of brands, I narrowed my search down to Gammill and Handi Quilter. I spent quite a bit of time at both booths at the show, test driving the machines again and talking to the folks in the booth about the machines.
I really liked both of them and probably would have been happy with either, but ended up going with Handi Quilter for several reasons. First, they had a REALLY good deal going on. Second, the rep and repair folks I would be working with were out of a shop I'm familiar with and have a good reputation for machine repair. Third, the Avante had a more flexible table. With Gammill, I could only set up the table to one size and that would be it forever. With HQ, I could set the table up at 4', 6' or 10' and can buy additional 2' sections if I needed it.
So, I have to wait for this to ship to the store and for them to set it up, so I likely won't be able to play with it for a few weeks. So expect to see me practicing on a bunch of panels and the like. I have a bunch of old quilt tops that have yet to be quilted that I'm sure I'll practice on as well.