I bought my Innova from Val at Virginia Longarm and I am in love with my 26" with AutoPilot and Lightning Stitch. I have a 12 foot frame. I have had my machine for a little over a year. While I like to do free motion quilting, I find that my autopilot is super for pantos and I love to be able to design my custom quilting "on screen" before I start quilting. I "audition" designs and try out different looks so I get the best quilting on my quilts. Auto pilot has a learning curve but I don't think its steep. You just have to spend some time playing and being comfortable with it. Every time I do another quilt I learn something. I am a hobbyist and do not quilt for others so I get to play without worry. Innova is the best machine as far as I am concerned. Michael is absolutely super to deal with -- no problem is too small or too big -- and he always either answers the phone (any time -- day or night) or gets back to me in minutes. I had another machine (actually two) before I bought my innova and I could not be happier now. Hope you end up with an Innova!
I live in Delaware and purchased my Innova in 2011 at the Lancaster AQS Show after trying every longarm machine in the place several times over a few days.
As part of my purchase I was offered a 3-day class from Teryl and I went out to St. George and took advantage of this. Great class and I highly recommend you take her classes. Obviously being in Delaware I couldn't turn to Let's Quilt for service and Michael and alll the folks at Innova have been there whenever I have needed help. This help has been 24/7, and yes, I have even used it at 2am on a Sunday morning. When I purchased I was told about Innova's 24/7 customer service and it was the icing on the cake so to speak that sealed the deal. Amazing knowledgeable help.
But what attracted me to step into the Innova booth was its solid construction---I'm an engineer. The frame is solid. As I tried other machines I couldn't get over their vibration and the flimsy frame construction. Innova's frame is solid. I found the machine itself to be light-weight and easy to move. I have a 26" and even with the larger machine, it's easy to move.
The Innova permits me to any use thread I want, and I could quilt in any direction while maintaining great thread tension. At two competitor booths the sales folks *yelled* at me to 'GO SLOW in that CURVE' so that the thread tension would be OK. I was *yelled* at to slow down as I moved from right-to-left too. I was also advised as to what threads worked best in *their* machine. I don't need to do that with my Innova, I just quilt in any direction I want, with any thread I want.
And Innova requires us to oil only the bobbin so there isn't any fear of oil dripping onto our lovely quilt top.
I also purchased the autopilot because I quilt for others. It does what I need it to do. I didn't look at other computer systems so I don't know if there are features present or missing that other systems have.
My only regret is that I didn't purchase an Innova years ago.
I have had my Innova long arm quilting machine here in Basel Switzerland for over a year now and wanted to write to let you know how pleased I have been with the investment. There is always a quilt loaded in the machine and each quilt gives me a new experience to help perfect my quilting. The lessons I took last June from Teryl Lloy were an invaluable start!
I have been wondering if you do any shows in Europe. The Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork in Sainte Marie aux Mines France is a huge show every September. This year its Sept . 12-15. It may be too late to consider it at this time but possibly for future years. This is a HUGE show spanning 4 rural villages and has a several retail tents. The show is held in the Alsace region of France which is right at the intersection of France, Germany and Switzerland. People come for days from all over France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands for this show. I did not see you at the show last year but I would highly recommend you consider showing the Innova at this show in the future if at all possible.
I also wondered if I can be of any service to you as an Innova representative here in Europe as I live in the center of the continent and most places are not that far of a train ride or drive for me. I am very sold on your product and would be honored to represent it.
Please let me know if I can be of any service to you in this regard.
I have had my Innova for 2 1/2 years. I love this machine. I have never had any trouble. But this week on Tuesday evening, after 10 P.M. the Hook Drive Belt broke. Have you ever broken this belt? Of course my beautiful custom quilting work was then forestalled.
Lucky for me, I live in Virginia. First thing on Wednesday I called Valerie Schlake at the Virginia Longarm Network. She is my Innova dealer and with blazing speed Valerie was able to set me up with an on site service call on Thursday. A wonderful young man named Greg came and replaced the broken belt, and had my machine put back together in no time at all.
My machine has been busy quilting long into Thursday night and started working first thing this morning. I'm so lucky to have Virginia Longarm...If my belt had broken last year at this time I'm not sure how long I would have waited for service, because we did not have an Innova Dealership in Virginia.
Kudos to Valerie and the Virginia Longarm Network. Great customer service, knowledge, and speed.
If you are nearby, I hope that you can visit Valerie and the Virginia Longarm Network Showroom and Trainning Center. You will find it in Oilville, VA at 2085 Valpark Drive. Here is the phone number. 804-708-0741. Or you can visit on line at www.VirginiaLongarm.com.
Again, ABM International demonstrated their great customer support. After I reported, on the Yahoo group, my problem with the needle overshooting and staying in the fabric when I stopped, Michael called ME and talked me through fixing it. All fixed.
I'm sure glad I don't have to lug my 18" Innova in for service all the way to Texas!!!! Or any where else, for that matter.
Thanks again, ABM International for a great machine and great customer support.
Michael -- it was so fantastic that you were available to answer my call today. Once you helped Aimee find the bracket under the carriage that was hanging up the motion, she saw a big improvement in the Innova's responsiveness and ease of movement. However, it was still not where she expected it to be but she sounded convinced it was something peculiar about my machine. She said she was still very much interested in the Innova and will either go down to Amy Hunter's shop in Kansas City and try hers or wait until the Omaha Quilt Show when I believe Amy Hunter has a booth (I am checking on that).
The reason she is looking to switch from her A-1 to something else is that she has had so many maintenance issues and is not happy with customer service -- they have changed out the head three times and they still can't find the problem. I told her that would never happen with an Innova and then you proved that ABM customer service is the greatest. She was impressed. I will be at Paducah in April and will try free-motion on the show machines to see if I can tell the difference. Since I am doing all computer quilting, I don't have a problem. But if the Innova dealers want to send potential Omaha area customers to me for a hands-on trial, I need to make sure the machine works well.
Wow, thank you for sending Keith over the divide.Other than the tension issue, he got the rails equal distance apart, leveled or lowered, the wheels, checked the timing, and tuned it up a bit and lowered the back take up rail. The machine is so smooth now. It used to feel like it was trying to jump off of the table. Keith installed the new tension unit and worked as hard as he could to get it to mess up. It was GREAT! I know why I purchased an Innova and all of the owners are not wrong ABM is the best, Thank you for your help.
I know that you are probably away and that you probably don't remember me. I live in Virginia, and I bought the machine factory direct from you over the phone one Saturday morning... I just want to tell you that I love my new machine. It is awesome. It's quiet...I love the open toe foot...The stitches are super. The table is the best. I'm so happy. Also I want to say thank you for the gift package that you sent. I love the little oil pen gizmo, the SITD ruler, and the Pam Clark book and stencils are wonderful. And the INNOVA pin...I will wear at my next quilt show.
Do not hesitate to call Mr. Wonderful...when I posted a problem last week, within minutes my phone rang and guess who it was..LOL..I tell you the man doesn't sleep and he loves to help us....I will NEVER buy anything but an ABM Innova...their customer service is #1.
I just wanted to let you know how happy I am with my Innova. Keith did a fantastic job of installing my machine. He answered all my questions and he was extremely patient. He arrived promptly and worked non-stop the entire time. He's extremely professional and an all around nice guy. I have a question or two for Michael but the machine runs as smooth as silk.
Thank you for your assistance in getting the install scheduled in spite of everyone's busy schedule. I misplaced Heidi's email so please thank her again for me.