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!