Delivery date

I’d debating setting the Gammill back up and quilting another top this coming week but now I have a delivery date for the new Innova longarm for Wednesday so I’ll just finish gathering the items that will go with the Gammill when they take it with them and I’ll keep working on the HST Diamonds.

I’ve had a lot of questions about the new longarm. Why I was getting a new one? Why an Innova? Is the new longarm computerized? So I thought I’d answer those questions here.

My Gammill is 12 years old and I don’t have a nearby dealer and, when we sold our Big Canoe condo last year, Keith agreed to let me keep some of the proceeds to purchase a new machine. My 3rd and hopefully last longarm purchase.

The first machine I bought was a 26 inch stitch regulated Gammill on a 12 foot table in 2002. When we moved to Minneapolis in 2006, I needed a smaller machine that would give me more flexibility as I knew we would be moving it from place to place and I couldn’t count on having a room large enough for the big machine and table. I was able to do an almost “even” trade for the smaller 18 inch stitch regulated Gammill Premier on a 10 foot table, basically just paying delivery and taxes on the new machine. I thought it was a very good deal.

So why did I choose Innova? Besides the fact that they have a good reputation with longarm quilters these are the features I wanted when I chose the 18 inch Innova, with lightning stitch (an “upgraded” stitch regulator) on a 10 foot table.

Pantovision – I am NOT getting a computerized machine. Pantovision is a system that will allow me to quilt pantographs from the front of the machine, using digital files. I love the idea of being able to change the pattern sizes to suit my quilt, to adjust the spacing between rows and have more control when I want to insert a row in quilt or to combine patterns but I will be the one quilting, not a computer!

I wanted a newer machine with a nearby dealer – less chance of having issues and if they do occur, someone to come out and fix them!

Self leveling take up bar – my Gammill table has to be manually adjusted on both sides of the table. It’s a pain and while I looked at upgrading the table years ago the cost was very expensive.

No oiling other than bobbin area – No more messy oiling of the machine above the table/quilt.

Lighter weight – I really hadn’t had a problem moving the Gammill but after my surgeries last year and with the suppression therapy, I have been having tachycardia when I’m working on the longarm – I’m obviously working harder than I realized so a lighter machine will be a bonus.

More quilting space – even though both machines are 18 inch throats, the Innova has a 15 inch quilting space versus the 12 inches I have on my Gammill. That means less rolling when doing freehand and the ability to use larger pantographs.

The Innova 10 foot table will allow me to quilt a top that is 105 inches wide. Right now I can squeeze 102 inches on the Gammill table but I have to create extensions to my leaders to do it. I don’t make many queen or even king size quilts but occasionally I need the extra inches.

So I’m excited and a little nervous and I’ve been studying the pantovision manual – I can’t wait to get started!


  1. Thank you for the explanation of the different aspects of the various machines you’ve owned/used. My daughter is looking into buying a longarm, and I don’t think she’s aware of some of the points you’ve mentioned – so hopefully she’ll be slightly more educated when she starts her search!

  2. I never doubted that you had carefully chosen to suit your needs. The differences seem to be good for your current life and include your possible future to the best of your ability. Quilt on!

  3. Thanks for the information. I quilt on a midarm and look forward to the day that I’ll be able to purchase a longarm. The pantovision sounds like a dream! I hope you’ll continue with the updates!

  4. Another advantage to your Pantovision is no more storing rolls of patterns! You’re going to love doing them from the front.

    I purchased an Innova in 2008. I upgraded to add the Lightening Stitch in 2015 and I absolutely love it!

    This machine also has a different tensioning system so you’ll need to re-train yourself when bringing up the bobbin thread at the end of stitching; you can’t just push the machine away, you need to bring out some thread for slack before moving the machine.

    Congratulations on your new machine!

  5. It definitely sounds like some wonderful features. Good for you! I always think that when making big purchases – cars and sewing machines included – you have to consider location of support, repairs, etc. One of my cousins keeps telling me I need to drive a Subaru but since the closest dealer is 80 miles away it wouldn’t make sense. Same with your machine – having a dealer close by to make adjustments or repairs is smart.

  6. I am looking forward to your review on Pantovision. I’m thinking it sure would help to not look down going across a pantograph. Sometime my neck bothers me after a long stint with a panto. I to have a 10 ft. table, but my long arm is 24″. Stitch regulation is wonderful of course!

  7. I know nothing about long arms but that all sounds exciting. If I were younger I would definitely invest in one. For now I just need to learn to do quilting on my big Bernina sewing machine. Supposedly it can be done. I am looking forward to seeing your new long machine and how it works. They are fascinating to me.

  8. I hope you will love it as much as I love mine! I don’t have the same problem that Connie mentions about bringing up the thread. I just move the machine out and back to get the extra thread length.

  9. I am very eager to hear your feedback on the change over to the Innova machine. I, too, have the 10 ft. table with Gammill Vision 2.0. I bought it about 8 years ago, and got a lemon!! I lived in Oregon at the time and had a fantastic dealer who helped get the machine running. However, soon after I purchased my Gammill he was suddenly no longer their dealer!! He’s now selling and servicing Innova.☺ Unfortunately, I now live in Alaska where the only dealer I’ve found handles APQS, a good machine, too. But your info about the panto set-up tweeks my curiosity! Keep sharing your thoughts on this machine, please……and thank you!

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