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Forum > Sewing Machines > Test drove a new Tiara ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Test drove a new Tiara
No room for a long arm? You might like this!
KPM
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Date: 10/21/12 5:29 AM

I got to try a new Babylock Tiara yesterday. If you've been wanting a long arm quilting machine but would need a new house for it, you might want to check it out. Instead of the machine moving all around, it sits fixed at the center back of its included table, with the needle towards you. The small display screen is directly in front of you, and you have a good view of the whole area of the quilt that rests on the sturdy folding table, which is roughly the size of a card table. You can't get the feel of this machine by the photos online - you need to actually sit down at it. I kind of felt like Captain Kirk, especially when I went into warp speed (1500 spm). Even then the stitches still looked BL great, top and bottom. I was also able to maneuver well in small sized stippling. It has a stitch regulator option which I didn't try as I prefer to work without one. But the one they offer is very different and is not connected to the needle area at all, if you're interested. The (very) heavy metal machine's arm opening is 16" long and 8.25" in height. It takes a large sized M class bobbin. It does not offer any kind of design programming, but I think it does have some kind of cruise control which I didn't know how to set up.

I think most everyone has room somewhere in their house to set up a card table, if they could fold it up for storage when not in use. But you might need to hire Mr. Universe to set it up for you, as the machine weighs 53, the table 56. (Maybe you could get him to join you in the hot tub afterward.) It does have an industrial machine aura, so I would bet on it lasting your lifetime!

So, what do you think? I think BL may have found a nice marketplace niche. However the MSRP may be a bit high, I think it's in the $4G vicinity.

------
Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

LynnRowe
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In reply to KPM <<
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Date: 10/21/12 7:22 AM

Is that MSRP for the machine, or for Mr. Universe?

I could dip into my line of credit...

------
I heart Panzy, Pfaff Creative Performance, the sewing machine love of my life!
And Baby (Enlighten serger), Victor (BLCS), Rupert (Pfaff 2023-knits expert) Ash (B350SE-Artwork), Kee (B750QEE-Panzy's BFF), Georgie (B560-Kee's baby sister) and the Feather-Flock!

Most of all, I heart Woo (HimmyCat). Until we meet again, my beautiful little boy. I love you.

TessKwiltz
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Date: 10/21/12 9:24 AM

Looks very similar to a HQ 16 with sit-down table

------
Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

KPM
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In reply to TessKwiltz <<


Date: 10/21/12 1:17 PM

Yes it does. Maybe they're made in the same factory. Looks as if Babylock may have a better price point though, plus local dealer support if they're in your area. Is that HQ brand sold in local stores?

------
Let's just say all modern sms are well represented in my studio.

TessKwiltz
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Date: 10/21/12 1:28 PM

My Bernina dealer also sells HQs. My Babylock dealer is not as nice.

I play with the HQs every year at Quilt Festival, but I am holding out until I have room for a frame. Maybe another 10 years til retirement and away from the city. Sigh.

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Tess

On threadpainting flowers: "How many colors are in a flower? ... How many do you have?" - Ellen Anne Eddy

ZugZug
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Date: 10/21/12 5:55 PM

I also tried out the Tiara at my local BL dealer. Yes it is the same as the HQ Sweet 16. However I love my BL dealer and have no clue about an HQ dealer locally. Price point is about the same on the machines, just a little difference. MSRP for the Tiara is $5500, stitch regulator is another $999, one advantage if you have been stalking the HQSweet16 is that BL usually has their no interest financing. Also as previously posted, local dealer support is always a bonus...shop for your dealer, not the machine.

I tried the Tiara with the stitch regulator and without...I prefer without, which was suprising since all this time i was almost certain that was an option I NEEDED...but I can not get over the "sound" of stitching with the regulator. I am very auditory based. Sound is what tells me to shift gears in my car, motorcycle, when the lawn mower isnt working right, when the needle needs to be changed on my machine, when the bobbin is just a bit off...So the constant change in stitch speed and sound that the stitch regulator creates, causes me to pause too often and be worried something is wrong because I cant "get in the groove" of things.

I agree that the Tiara is an excellent option for limited space issues and also for those who can not stand for long periods to use a traditional stand up frame. I have plans to go to the local quilt show and inquire also if in the future I can mount the Tiara on a regular frame. If so, I will be even more apt to buy one now since space is limited but I know in a few years it wont be since we will be building a garage and studio for me. I figure this would be a great option to become familiar with the machine and its quirks and also have a machine that can literally "grow" with me.

shadelady
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In reply to LynnRowe <<


Date: 8/12/13 0:36 AM

I am thinking about test driving the Tiara tomorrow morning and what did you feel was the difference in it and the HQ ss ? The Tiara is much more in price but the dealer is closer to me by 25mls. I read alot on the Tiara having tension problems and is it quiet when running, smooth action on foot petal or any vibrations.? Please ASAP sure start in the morning after I have a few cups of coffee.

Linda

aslinnd

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Date: 8/12/13 9:20 AM

I have the HQ sit down, I love it I've had mine about a year or so. The stitch reg wasn't out when I bought mine and when it came out I thought wow now it perfect. But funny enough I don't use it - I'd already had worked out hat works for me. Had I had it from the beginning maybe I'd use it all the time.

It really is the way to go for fmq, it takes the stress out of quilting, the space is just terrific. It' expensive but worth it.

It's less than a TOL combo and weigh it up against the cost of the shishiko machine it doesn't seem so indulgent. I'm now a follower of the theory best tool or the job rather than compromising if I can help it.

PortlandMaine
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Date: 8/12/13 1:37 PM

Im glad you got to try out the sit down machine -

I subscribe to an online quilting video network called QNNTV.com It is not an expensive thing I think it is 24.00/yr.

There are lots of videos series of fonns and porter, quilt in a day and they make new ones for all types of quilters. One show I really like is "quilt it, the long arm quilting show" - the sponsor for the show is Handi-Quilter. So they use the machines in the videos.

One of the things I like about the company is they are very heavy on customer training. They have an onsite training place buyers can visit to learn how to better use their machines.

Thy also make use of the ever popular "webinar" model. And have videos online to teach people how to best make use of their machines.

But, again - I really love watching QNNTV because they are very good about teaching how to use the machines.

This video is not the same brand - but it is a sit down long arm.

sit down - long arm

The parent company, Handi Quilter is a really great co to work with and might know more about the specifics of the machines than a stand alone site would - but, that is only a thought.

Im guessing that Bernina will not be making their own long arm - Im excited to see what long arm manufacturer they tap tp be the model for their brand of long arm.

------
Quilting up a storm!

Kaktiki
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Date: 8/12/13 6:03 PM

Oh I lust after George… that is APQS George, not the other one! It seems a lot more natural with the machine positioned to the right, but I guess unless I can try both of them, I couldn’t really compare. I am reserving a spot for him in my future….

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Pfaff Performance 5.0
Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118

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