Hello, Millennium!

New Sewing Adventure


After examining options, I have made a big change to my sewing room. I purchased a used APQS Millennium long arm sewing machine. Here we are getting to know each other in my newly rearranged sewing room:

Hello, Millennium!
Hello, Millennium!

I spent 2.5 hours testing her out in the home of the seller with an APQS representative / mechanic on site on Saturday morning. The seller had owned the machine for 10 years, but she had barely ever used the machine. In getting the machine set up to photograph for sale, several thing were mis-installed, and she broke a needle testing it out after getting it set up (thus scarring the hook mechanism – more on this later). Right away I was impressed by the APQS representative for his cool, calm, and reasoned approach to troubleshooting difficulties with the machine. I could stitch for about 3 inches before the upper thread would break. We methodically worked through everything from type of thread to bobbin casing to tension adjustments, and in the end he installed a new hook. I kept the old hook and my husband and I should be able to file it smooth again to have on hand as a backup. The new hook cost $95; what a vast cost difference from the $600 for the new hook that was just installed on my Bernina. And note that the hook on the Millennium fixed the problem; no one knows what is really wrong with my Bernina after over a year of troubleshooting.

Another interesting thing about the machine was that while I was testing her out, she was MUCH stiffer moving side to side than she was in and out. When we got her home, my husband and I took a lot of time and great care to level the frame and adjust the rollers. We even switched out the cam rollers on the side to the new “M&M” style that have less friction. She is now really nicely tuned so that I feel like it takes the same effort to move side to side as it does in and out. We moved the stops on the rail so that the machine will not bash into the rollers. We are going to have to do a few more minor changes, but it is a dream come true to have such an industrial item that we can work on, though, and it has been fun spending time working on my sewing room with my husband since we got her home on Saturday night.

Ready to Take Home in a 14 Foot UHaul
Ready to Take Home in a 14 Foot UHaul

We rented a 14 foot UHaul trailer, and it worked out perfectly to transport her home. Her leader fabrics are in wonderful condition, and having the shipping box for the head was a wonderful bonus!

Will it Fit?
Will it Fit?

We had done a lot of measuring before making an offer on this machine, and we were confident a 10 foot table would fit (just barely) in my sewing room. In the photo above you can see part of the frame laying in the floor of my old sewing room set up. Obviously a lot had to change in the room for us to get the Millennium set up.

Beginning of Sewing Room Remodel
Beginning of Sewing Room Remodel

The room that I use as my sewing room was built as an “optional” fourth bedroom. There is a recess where a closet could be put in to finish out the room as a bedroom. Previously, I had my paternal grandmother’s china hutch in the recess. I kept all my current WiPs in the china hutch. The china hutch will no longer work in the new sewing room, and I am going to have to look into selling my grandmother’s dining room set (a shellacked cherry set including a drop leaf table, 6 chairs and china hutch). In the recess, we are installing a custom work table where I will be able to cut fabric and sew at my Bernina. It is going to be set at counter top height (which is perfect for me for cutting as I am fairly tall) and I plan to stand to sew a lot more often now. I also have a bar height stool that I can use to sit on, but I will need to create a step stool / box to put my sewing machine pedal on when I sit down to sew. I am also planning to move all my fabric storage into the sewing room. This is going to force me to face my stash and work to contain it instead of keeping it tucked away in a separate room!

Sewing Room - Work in Progress
Sewing Room – Work in Progress

For now it is a tight squeeze to fit my sewing machine off to the side so that I can continue to do some piecing work this week while the new room design begins to take shape. I am really excited about this new adventure in sewing, and I can’t wait to go load up some fabric to start learning and playing on the Millennium. I think it is time for that right now!

Linking up to Monday Makers @ Hug-a-Bit Quilts.


  • I am so incredibly excited for you! I cannot wait to see what you do with your new machine. I hope you will keep us updated on your remodel. I recommend practicing on whole cloth quilts. They are still useful without worrying about something you spent a lot of time piecing.

  • The machine looks brand new! And it sounds as if you and your husband will make it so! I am thrilled for you. Today, I test drove a mid-arm, and it was so much fun after my Juki. We shall see…..

  • My millenium’s name is Pete! Mine was purchased new in 2007 and has quilted thousands of quilts. You will get a lot of use out of yours! You might want to put coasters under yours so it won’t dent your floors and you can push it around to get behind it easier. And you might find you will like to quilt without the base plate for less drag – I only use mine if I am using long rulers. But you will develop your own way! I have found that everyone loads, quilts and swears by different rulers. Have fun!

  • I am so very excited for you Yvonne!!!! I have tried a long arm at a quilting festival here in Canberra and you should have seen my face when I wrote my name and made some feathers! I was squeaking OMG! OMG!! and laughing-dont know why I laughed so much, must have lost me nerves because of all the excitement LOL. I am looking forward to reading your new quilting adventures!!

  • I am beyond thrilled for you!! Sounds like you have a great plan for your sewing room and I can tell how excited you are! Have fun getting to know your new machine!!

  • Brilliant! It looks like you will have lots of fun.
    I am also in love with the quilt ladder. Was that homemade?
    The cat looks unimpressed. I hope you have set aside space in the room remodel for the cat bed!

  • I am excited for you too! (And super jealous!). Can’t wait to see what you start producing on it!

    That was great you had access to the rep during the sale. When I was looking at upgrading my sewing machine last year, the one I really wanted was out of my price range brand new, but on a buy/sell site someone was selling it within my budget. I was too scared to buy it from a random person though on the off chance something was wrong and I wouldn’t have the warranty and guarantee to have it fixed (though from your experience buying machines brand new don’t have that guarantee either…).Seems like long arm dealers have a better grasp of servicing.

    Agree with Carla that there better be room for the cat bed πŸ˜‰

  • Have fun with your new machine – what a dream! I’m not sure about the facing your stash aspect of the process – that’s rather worrisome, but you have to do what you have to do πŸ˜‰ Cute kitty … I think I can read the speech bubble: “And just what, human minion, do you think you’re doing in MY room??!!” πŸ˜€

  • CONGRATULATIONS, Yvonne! How very exciting!! I cannot wait to see where this new adventure takes you πŸ™‚ You are so talented and this new ‘tool’ will surely allow your creativity to sore to new heights (no pressure there right?? LOL). Taking an AQS rep with you was ingenious! Good for you for being so meticulous in a purchase that could be so plagued with those pesky “I have to have it no matter what” thoughts (at least it would be for me!! haha).

  • I’m so glad your sewing machine saga has the beginning of a happy ending!!! And I’m super excited to see what kind of magic you work on the new machine. πŸ˜€

  • Oh congratulations!!! Thanks for sharing the details of your purchasing process – it was helpful to hear about your troubleshooting. I hope you have many hours of creative inspiration and good fun on your new machine!!!

  • An enormous congratilations is in order! This must be terribly exciting for you. Thank goodness I don’t have room for a long arm otherwise it probably would be at the top of my “impulse buy” list. Well not really but a quilter can dream, can’t she?

  • Wow, that is really exciting! I hadn’t quite appreciated how big they are before, and what a great husband you have! Looking forward to seeing your quilting on there.

  • Congratulations!! What an exciting purchase, especially given your quilting skills! Also, how nice for you to have such a handy and supportive husband too! I’m looking forward to seeing the quilts you quilt on that lovely piece of machinery!

  • Oh, that is so exciting, congratulations!! The new longarm looks great and I am glad that looks like it will solve your quilting frustrations. Have fun with it!!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)