I had tried an Innova at a show and remembered that I liked it so I looked for a place to try one out. I was surprised to find that the Mid-Atlantic dealer [The Longarm Network] was only 18 miles from my house.

The good thing about trying a machine after you have owned one is that you know how you quilt so you know what to test. I took my rulers and my threads and played for a couple of hours. I went back another time with my Mom, and we tested some more.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I bought it right then. It was not an easy decision. When I bought Willie {my old machine], I expected that I would own that machine until I died. I could not imagine ever buying another machine. But we trade in our cars when they no longer work for us. I can do the same for a machine that no longer works for me. It was better for me to cut my losses and upgrade to something that I’d use than to have a machine that I would avoid using for anything other than pantos.

FloMo [my Innova] arrived October 8, and I knew immediately that I had made a good decision and that it’s not just about having a machine that “fits,” it’s also about having the BEST MACHINE.


I have so much control that I can put every stitch exactly where I want it. It’s easy to stitch over previous lines.

My stitching lines are SMOOTH. No bumps, no jags.

The stitches are amazing. They don’t lay on top of the fabric. They meld into the fabric. This may not seem like something you need to test but there really is a difference.

Tension is easy to set and stays set. I test my tension on a scrap on the side and I don’t have to check it again. I use TOWA and set the bobbin at 250 and I’m good to go. This is the back of one of the quilts I shared yesterday. The top thread is a dark variegated thread and there’s not one speck of the top thread on the back or of the back thread on the top. I could never mix dark and light threads reliably on Willie.

But the best thing is the ruler work! I can stop the machine in regulated mode and it stays where I put it. I have so much control with this machine that by the time I was at the end of the DWR that I could do the SID on the curves without a ruler.

Did you catch that? SID WITOUT A RULER! I have my right hand on the handle and my left hand on the post above the needle with my pinkie finger gliding on the quilt.

It was a big day when I realized that my problems weren’t me after all. I am a good quilter. I just needed a better tool. With the right tool I can see that I am getting better with every quilt I quilt. Because now I’m working on building my skills and not working on compensating for the machine.

(Post excerpted from Vicki Welsh's 4/1/15 blog, with permission)