As a Longarm Teacher and Mentor I have had the honor to run all the excellent longarm quilting machines available on the market today. In 2004 I ran my first A1 and was blown away. I had been a longarmer for 5 years and had “never” experienced the accuracy and ease of movement the A1 quilting machine was providing. I have now had my A1 since 2005, and I know that for me, there’s no other choice, it just keeps getting better and better. Thank you A1 for your on-going commitment to Quality and Workmanship that makes your machine THE BEST!
Check out Jamie's website www.jamiewallen.citymax.com/home.html for information on his DVD!
Without ANY reservations, the only brand of long arm machine that I would recommend is A-1. If you are considering a purchase of a long arm machine, please do not make a mistake! I was lucky to have a very good friend, a national award winning quilter, tell me the same thing when I bought my machine. She had owned two other long arm machines of different brands. She had just switched to A-1 after YEARS of hands on research. My friend personally tried every brand out there, painstakingly spending hours listening to the sales people and using the demos for several hours each. She was determined to make the right decision as this is a major purchase. She told me straight out, as I was on my on my way to purchase another brand with a $40,000.00 check in hand, “Don’t make a mistake!” Thank goodness I listened to her.
The fact is I could not love any machine more. It is an extension of my creativity and enables me to do the fine show quilting that I do. This is truly the smoothest machine available. The A-1 people are now family and I am the happiest long arm quilter on the face of the earth. I love my A-1 long arm sewing machine! Buy one and you WILL say the very same thing.
I have been a longarm quilter for about 11 years now. I purchased my A-1 Elite in January of 2008 after testing all the different machines at shows for approximately 4 years - I owned a different machine up until now.
With all the testing I was doing I kept coming back to the A-1, over and over again. I think what attracted me most was the cruise mode and the smooth ride it gave. Even though I like the idea of the cruise mode, it wasn’t until I had my own machine and used it on actual quilts that I realized its full potential. I can quilt feathers and any other design that has sharp points without having annoying thread burps on the underside.
I think the next thing I like is the control it allows me. When I speed up, slow down, backtrack – whatever, it gives me great control and accuracy. I really appreciate the smoothness of the A-1 – no bumpy trips across the table for me!
I was also happy to have the basting stitch back. I had an add-on stitch regulation system that had it on my first machine and I missed it with my last upgraded system before the A-1.
I love the remote control hydraulics that allows you the option of sitting down or standing up to quilt. It is a really smooth hydraulics and “if” you should ever have to pick something out you can raise the table to a comfortable height for doing that.
When I ordered my machine, I pretty much resigned myself to accepting the one feature I thought I’d never like and that was the quilt mounting system. It was so different from the system I had used from the beginning of my career that I had pretty much made up my mind that I’d have to accept it in order to get the other features I so coveted with the A-1 Elite. Much to my amazement, the more quilts I quilted, the more I got to like the way the quilt rolled through the machine. Now I like it better than my old system. I can keep the quilt rolling through the machine smoother and more evenly than I was able to previously. I am all about square and even quilts and am sure the customer appreciates it, too.
Lastly, I think I would like to mention the position able handles. Okay – this made two things I thought I would just have to accept but they are great. There are certain positions I like for certain executions and it isn’t a problem with these handles.
Life is good.
Carol A. Selepec
Create A Stitch
Author of the book Garden Branching writes:
I am happy to give you my reasons for the switch, but note that I am biased. I LOVE my A1. Whether it be an Elite (with the Stitch Regulator) or the basic longarm, A1 makes the very best machine available. It is well-thought out. Little details, like the table being constructed like a bridge... to help reduce harmonic resonance sympathetic vibration (my previous machine shook like an earthquake at the exact speed I wanted to use most).
The visibility is second to none. No more crouching and bending my neck at strange angles to see what I am doing. The Ergo Lift feature (which Stewart Plank originated on the longarm) is the most revolutionary idea to come to this industry in a decade. With the push of a button the table can be raised or lowered into any position that suits you. This is great for classes, switching from the back doing pantos to the front doing free-hand and custom. I use the Ergo Lift a lot because I like to have the table at a different height for using templates than for regular free-hand. The batting access on the A1 machines is simple to use and lacks the huge "clunkiness" of my previous machine. I hated the way the roller bars were positioned on my previous machine. I was forced to stand constantly. With the A1 I can easily sit at the front of my machine on a stool, drafting chair, or typist chair. With Ergo Lift I can adjust the table height to the height of the chair I want to use. The machine was built to the reach of an average sized woman, which means no more over-extending arms and shoulders, which was killing my neck and body. The A1 has approximately 2" less quilting space than my former machine, but I couldn't do a gorgeous feather way at the take-up roller anyhow.. I was rolling the quilt up with the other machine because I could not reach the area that was available to sew on. Bigger is not always better. Remember that longarm quilting is very hard on one's body. Anything that makes it a little more body friendly is a-okay in my book. The A1 uses the "M" size bobbin. I wouldn't want anything smaller than that. My A1 makes beautiful stitches and glides like a dream. When you are trying machines, be sure to try to make perfectly parallel straight lines, both horizontal and vertical... freehand. No other machine available has the sort of controllability that the A1 has.
In short, I am so happy that I made the switch to A1. Quality construction, innovation and fantastic customer service complete the package to make this machine the very best choice that is available today.