Gamill Statler Stitcher vs Innova AutoPilot

I’m looking at upgrading my Tin Lizzie / PCQuilter system in the next few months.  Why?  The system works great, but there are two reasons:  1) The Tin Lizzie is an 18″ throat, and many of my clients’ blocks are large, 15″; if they are on-point, I can’t get a single motif complete without having to break it up.  2) The PCQuilter is a little slow; it only stitches as 0.5-0.75″/sec, and this can mean a detailed quilt takes a long time.    (Plus there’s 3) it’s always fun to upgrade, but I’m not sure I can use that as a legitimate reason! 🙂 ).  So, I am looking to upgrade to the best computerized quilting system on the market.

Right now, the clear leader is the Gamill Statler Stitcher; you can combine the computerized system with a 30″ Optimum Statler sewing head, which would be a fantastic system.  There are people using this system world-wide and a large network of users.  This was the obvious first choice.

Then, I found out about the ABM Innova AutoPilot system.  It is brand-new; there are only a few in existence.  Normally, this would be a bad move, since you never know how well new companies are going to support their products.  In this case, however, ABM has been making commercial quilting machines since the 1940’s, and just recently got into the home market.  So, they have some history, and thus legitimacy.  I sent an email to the generic “contact us” link on their homepage, and got a long, detailed email back from their president with his phone number!  So, I called it.  After talking to him for a half-hour, he cited enough interesting facts that makes the Innova system sound pretty interesting.  Interesting enough, in fact, that I am flying down to Houston at the end of the month to check it out.  I’ll post a report when I return.

Anyone have any opinions?  It’s certainly going to be interesting!


5 Responses to Gamill Statler Stitcher vs Innova AutoPilot

  1. vivian says:

    I just purchased the Innova 18″.
    I’m certainly impressed with the smoothness of movement and consistent stitch. I do art quilts with free motion, so I’m not interested in the auto pilot system. However, it would make bed quilts easier to do with amazing accuracy.

    • quiltingbyjeanne says:

      Personally, I was impressed with how fast I could freehand without overwhelming the stitch regulator. It was very difficult to get uneven stitches on purpose! 🙂 I know there will be a system on display at the Rocky Mountain Sew Expo in Denver this weekend if anyone local wants to check it out.

  2. quiltingbyjeanne says:

    The only thing about the intelliquilter is that it does not have location sensors tied into the head. I think that is an advantage; also, having the development of the robot in the same company as the quilting machine is an advantage as well.

  3. Hi Jeanne,
    I own an APQS Millenium and been longarming since July of 2007, I am happy with it and APQS has a very good Customer Service.
    I have not personally handled Innova but I have seen it at MQS last May. One well known award winning longarmer/teacher sold her machine and bought an Innova system, I was intrigued and got more curious when another member of my Chat room/forum bought an Innova System.
    I called Innova and an engineer from their office talked to me about their product and pretty much the same thing you have related in your blog is what I gathered.
    Someday I would like to have a computer assisted Longarm Machine so I will surely visit the Innova booth in Road to California come January show. This is my very first time to blog.

    • quiltingbyjeanne says:

      I think I heard that Innova will not be at Road to California; I’m trying to check. There are some dealers in California, or feel free to contact me offline (see the contact page) and we can talk about your options!

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