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Thread: Beginner machine?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LoupEsprit's Avatar
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    Question Beginner machine?

    As of right now, I have no sewing machine at all. I do EVERYTHING by hand, and actually like doing it that way. BUT I know once I get into quilting, I will get to certain points where I will want a machine (like the actual quiliting part!).

    I don't want anything too fancy or expensive; basically something cheap(ish) that will get the job done if I don't ask too much! Is this a 'decent' machine to start with? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Singer-Con...chine/17167244

    Thanks!
    Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/K9Creative
    Happiness is a new quilt and an old dog.

  2. #2
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    I have a friend who bought a Brother sewing machine at WalMart and likes it for a back-up machine. Don't know about the Singer. You might want to consider the size of the throat area if you will be quilting on it. I have done a number of Queen size quilts on a machine that has an 8 inch throat and would not want to work with one smaller than that. Suggest you look on Craigslist or something similar for a good used machine. I use Bernina and Baby Lock, have friends who have Janome and are very happy. Shop and try out before you buy.

  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    If you want something simple and relatively inexpensive, look at the Brother machines. Brother has a good reputation and doesn't charge as much, for the brand name.
    Neesie


    By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.
    ~Richard Dawkins

  4. #4
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    Personally I wouldn't buy any new Singer machine, especially a low end one. I would recommend finding a dealer and possibly getting a higher end machine that's been traded in, plus they know what they sell unlike machines sold at a big box store. I would check into a Janome or a Brother, they have a fairly good reputation.

  5. #5
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    I got a Kenmore by Janome refurbished on Overstock. Made a good number of quilts on it. Check out Overstock.com. Low shipping, no sales tax.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LoupEsprit's Avatar
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    The other two machines I was looking at were Brothers. Someone mentioned an issue with throat size, so I'm not sure about that, but this is them:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-XL...achine/6005475

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-70...ebate/15029529
    Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/K9Creative
    Happiness is a new quilt and an old dog.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by liont View Post
    I got a Kenmore by Janome refurbished on Overstock. Made a good number of quilts on it. Check out Overstock.com. Low shipping, no sales tax.
    I also have a Kenmore by Janome that I got at Sears and it does a great job. It's not picky on thread and I've never had to adjust the tension either. I now have a top of line one but this one stays set up in my room and used too.
    Judy

  8. #8
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    The throat size is the area from the pressure foot (needle) to the right side of the machine. Just remember if your are gonna be quilting you will need room to stuff a huge quilt through while you are quilting.

  9. #9
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I have a Janome and recently bought a Pfaff. However, the Singer you mention won the overall 'Best Buy' award on the UK's No.1 consumer magazine when they did the Best Sewing Machine test.
    Lang may yer lum reek.

  10. #10
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Check reviews on Amazon before making a decision. Many of the reviews provide valuable information about the reliability of a machine, tension sensitivity, etc. You can also look up reviews on http://www.patternreview.com

    I looked at the Brother links you provided. They both look as if they have unusually small harp (throat) sizes, which would make it difficult to fit a quilt under.

    I'm not sure, but both machines look as if they have all built-in stitches. You really want the ability to change stitch width and stitch length on all stitches.

    These machines would probably be okay for piecing, but maybe not so good for machine quilting or for machine applique (because you want to be able to modify the stitch length/width).

    I went on Amazon, did a search on Brother sewing machines, selected the department of "sewing machines", specified between $100 and $200, then ordered the results by average customer review (machine with highest rating is listed first). This is the Brother I came up with:
    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Afford...dp/B000JQM1DE/
    I believe I have seen others on the QB mention that they are very happy with this model. It does look as if it has a small harp size, however, and I'm not sure if it has adjustable stitch width and stitch length. Looks as if it has 3 needle positions, which is a nice feature to have.

    You may want to check if a machine has the needle-down option. Love that on my machine!
    Last edited by Prism99; 11-05-2012 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Sorry. Posted wrong link initially!

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