Potential IQ owner's concerns
A potential IQ owner was concerned about creativity and using the computer to help in custom work. I do all custom quilting and I was surprised by how much I prefer to use my computer to stitch borders, motifs and sashings. It does take a little time to set this type of work up but not much more than it did for me to mark then remove the marks. I can also just stitch one motif and record it as I stitch. IQ can then stitch all the others but they are exactly like the one I stitched - they have my signature in their curves. If I don't want all the motifs to look the same, I stitch and record two or three times then I have three different versions of my style to use. Likewise I can stitch a motif then record the filler stitch as I do it behind the motif. I am doing the work of manhandling the machine once. The filler will again have my style built in. I can then set up IQ to stitch all the other motifs with the filler. (I get really bored stitching the same thing over and over so IQ has taken that boredom from me. I would find excuses not to work on quilts like that - IQ doesn't complain!)
Another potential IQ owner said she was concerned about adding extra weight to her Optimum head. IQ rides on the machine head, so I was concerned about adding an extra 4 pounds to the needle end on my small Premier. I noticed a little difference but not much. I could still do a small meander/stipple with the same control and without feeling too much extra weight. 4 extra pounds should make a bigger difference to a small Premier than it would to a bigger Optimum. The quick change from computer control to manual control is very easy and quick on an IQ and I am constantly switching back and forth. It is an important feature for me.
Generally seams are not straight enough for the computer to stitch them so I do that but I was very surprised when I tried setting my IQ up to do stitch in the ditch. The quilt was pieced well and IQ did that SID fast and accurately - much faster than I would have done it. I was impressed! It also does continuous curve or line dancing beautifully.
Much of the creativity in quilting comes from deciding which design to use or how to modify it for a quilt. You still do that with a computer and can modify patterns much more easily on a computer - re-sizing is so simple, for example. I rarely use a pattern as is - they always need some kind of modification. The computer simply takes away the hard work - at least that's how I look at it.