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Two years ago at Houston Market I was looking for a long arm quilting machine to buy. Like most first time long arm buyers I knew little about long arm machines. I was use to quilting (on a rental basis) with a Gammill Optimum which is a large machine but I really couldn’t afford the cost of that machine. I had planned to check out all the machines available but being slightly timid at the time I only actually approached one other booth where I was quickly told the price, about financing, and asked if I wanted to buy one. I promptly left, went to the Gammill booth where I talked to a very nice lady, played with the Optimum, checked out the next smaller machine which was still out of my price range, then played a bit with the 18” machine they offer which was closer to what I could more comfortably afford. I planned to “sleep” on the decision and buy one the next morning.

When I got back to the hotel I told my friend that I was going to buy the Premier the next morning but that I was really bummed that I was only getting an 18” machine. It amazes me that I would be bummed about getting a new toy, a toy that was about ten thousand dollars, or even more so now that I was willing to spend that much on something that really wasn’t what I wanted. My friend told me about a new machine that she had come across that day and to please go check it out first. She is a shop owner who had been looking for a machine for which to be a dealer for about fifteen years and had never found one, ‘til that day, that she felt comfortable recommending to her customers.

I went to the ABM International booth with her the next morning and tried out the 18” Innova. It was a really nice, sweet machine but it was still just an 18” machine and I had never heard of ABM International. Well the President of the company happened to be standing near by while I was telling my friend that, and he told me he did have a larger 26” machine and all about his nearly 70 year three generation family owned commercial industrial machine manufacturing business. It was when he told me I could get that machine for under ten thousand dollars that he really got my attention. I played with the 18” machine some more and decided I would take the leap and commit to the 26” Innova. I did have to wait a few months while ABM developed and engineered their really awesome heavy duty pro frame but it was well worth the wait.

I love my Innova, the frame, and the company. My Innova has performed flawlessly. I have never had to time my machine in the nearly two years I have owned it. Maintenance is so simple, just a little oil on the hook. It sews with a multitude of different threads, has awesome tension, and a great stitch regulator with idle speed control. It goes where I want it to go, I don’t get pushed around by it. 

The frame/table is sturdy. I have stood on it to install lights on my ceiling. I use the table for my sewing machine and serger, and also as a cutting table when I am not using it to quilt. It is all perfectly straight so my machine glides smoothly in every direction. The frame is made with extruded aluminum so it is very rigid but still lightweight enough to move easily and will not rust. It has a front lifting bar so I can easily check out my batting and remove unwanted loose threads and I love the two bar take up system not to mention the roller brakes.

The company, ABM International is first rate. Their customer service is second to none, seriously, ask any Innova owner. They provide 24 hour tech support via a 1 800 number that they post right on the machine! Customer satisfaction is important to them. ABM International has developed an array of accessories for the frame and machine that quilters have asked for.

Two years ago at Houston Market I was looking for a long arm quilting machine to buy. I was so lucky to have found the Innova and ABM International because knowing now what I have learned about long arm machines in the past two years, all prices aside, I would choose the Innova over every other machine.

Heidi Farmer

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