for a starting machine, I bought this one http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Afford...2848121&sr=1-1 [but got it at WM]. I like that it has the quilting features, needle threading, and lots of stitches. It forms stitches very well. It also feeds points through without eating them down the hole. I found, though, that I had to adjust where the 1/4" mark is- it takes more than 1/4 directly at the mark on the foot, but I found I just follow where the light shines on the foot instead - very easy to get used to. The light on the machine is not bright enough for me - I put another lamp at the back of the machine to help my tired eyes.