Well I can tell you where not to look. I am so beyond frustrated that I don’t even know where to begin. I have had my HandiQuilter, an HQ16 to specific, for (I think) 7 years now. It has been nothing but trouble from day one. I have had it repaired no less than 4 times this year alone. The stitch regulator is always going off, the tension goes off for some reason or another, an no amount of adjust on my part will fix it. The stitch regulator has always been a problem. Getting them to admit to that is another story. But even worse than that is the horrible customer service. The only god-send in all of this has been my amazing repair gal I found this year.
What I’m most disgusted with is the customer service. I have contacted HandiQuilter over the years for help with my machine and my contacting them via their website has always gone unanswered. Until this year, when telling them that I was in the middle of writing a book and had a load of quilts to quilt on a machine that wouldn’t behave, after dropping $160 to repair it, did someone finally call me. And then they proceeded to speak to me in condescending tones and treat me like a child. Quite possibly the worst customer service I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter. I’ve heard others have had the same experience. After 7 years, I know how to use my machine. I know how to tension it. If I can’t tension it, something is wrong.
I’m sorry to say that I’m probably not going to be longarm quilting for a business anymore. Everything I make from quilting is just going back into repairing and that just doesn’t make sense. Longarm’s are very expensive and I can’t afford to purchase a new one. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do about my own quilts. Possibly find somewhere locally to rent time. To say I’m sad about this is an enormous understatement. I enjoy quilting so much and especially “doodle” quilting and now that more and more clients are interested in that, quilting was getting to be so much more fun and not just work.
I don’t like to talk bad about about anyone or thing, including companies, but it has been problem and after problem after problem that I wanted to make sure to share my experience with others who might be looking at HandiQuilter for their next longarm purchase. Don’t go based on what I have to say alone, do your homework and check it out. It’s been almost 7 years and a lot can change in that time with respect to machine performance. There are many companies out there these days and their prices are all getting to be within the same realm, so test drive and talk to other owners and go with your gut. Always ask about customer service, because in my mind, that is number one. And for me, it has been a major fail when it comes to this company. Customer service isn’t only about support over the phone, but also about backing up your product and taking responsibility for it.
And now for something happier. I like to end on a happy note. My kitty boys. Newman (on the left) is saying “Don’t even try and kick me out of this room.” I don’t allow kitties in the room when I’m quilting for clients. I de-cat-hair the room before I even start, change my clothes before I begin quilting, roller myself a few times. He was having none of it. He was coming in that room. I imagine he was thinking “Mom, I promise to be good and stay right here on my favorite quilt. I wont move. I promise!” Norman (on the right) kills me with his rabbit feet and curled toes. He’s such a little “princess”. He has to have his head on a pillow. We have a new kitty that will be joining our household next month (fingers crossed). I bombard Instagram with my kitties, so I’m sure there will be a collective groan when the new boy on the block starts making an appearance. Hint: He looks like Newman. I just hope he will be as big as him. Here’s a photo of Newman for perspective with my 4-year-old.