It's Sew Rite, the local Janome dealer who also has a Tin Lizzie in store which they rent out for a very reasonable fee ($10/hr!)
This is perfect for me!
* I don't have to invest $10K to have one of my own
* The rental rates seem very reasonable
* They offer training and support
* They are right here in town
* I don't have to make room at home for a long-arm set-up
* This gives me the chance to try it out before investing so much into it (only to find out it's not for me)
* I have something like 5-6 tops waiting to be quilted
This will be a while new era in my Quilting Adventures. Whoo-hooh!
First night -- it really didn't seem all that difficult. I thought loading the quilt onto the machine might be difficult, but they showed me a method where you baste the quilt back onto these long zippers that make it easy to remove. Then you zip the backing and top onto leaders. Although it was an introductory long-arm class, it was not a beginning sewing class. What I know already was very helpful and somewhat transferable. I can already think of several ways to make threading the machine a little easier.
Now I'll be looking at pantographs and long-arm classes and on and on and on!
So I ordered a 1/2 set of the zippers, and will decide on a "starter quilt" with pattern quilting motifs -- though maybe I should do a cheap and easy practice piece? What do some of you seasoned long-armers recommend?