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Thread: Best sewing machine for quilting

  1. #1
    Junior Member geeblay627e120's Avatar
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    Best sewing machine for quilting

    I am thinking I would like to try machine quilting. I don't need anything big and fancy. I am a beginner and have lots of ideas, but just barely enough time to do even the piecing. I have several tops started and none finished. I don't think there is enough time in my lifetime to do by hand all that I want to do. So I am thinking maybe to machine quilt is my solution.
    I piece with a Featherweight, which I have been told is not good for machine quilting. True? What would be a pretty good, reasonably priced sewing machine for quilting?
    Thanks,
    Gloria in Kansas City

  2. #2
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    The new Juki is suppose to be a great machine for FMQ and under $1000.00 but only sews straight stitch. I just purchased an Elna 7700 that only does straight stitch and it works great. I also have a Bernina 230 that is wonderful.

  3. #3
    Junior Member geeblay627e120's Avatar
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    Thank you CaroleLee...but I am hoping I can find something that does an adequate job in the $300 range. Maybe there is no such thing. I don't mind used equipment. I love my little featherweight. I am too much of a beginner and don't spend enough time at it to invest much in my machines right now. I thought perhaps there was something cheap enough that I could give it a try, maybe learn a little and some day when I am retired and have had a chance to find out if I will stick with this, then buy better equipment.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    It's not that the FW isn't good for quilting, it's that it is not easy or enjoyable about the small throat and forcing a quilt through that tiny opening. There is no "best" quilting machine. There is only the better machine for you. Everyone's different. Go test drive machines at your dealer to find which one you like best.

  5. #5
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I have recently started quilt-as-you-go and have had good results with my Brother SQ9000. Jim bought it for me two years ago and it was just $199.00 at that time. As far as trying to do a whole quilt with a regular machine, I think that would come down to how it was folded or rolled. I wish you luck.
    Anne L. Fulton

    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake.

    If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it. - Jonathan Winters

  6. #6
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I recently took a workshop with Rita Fishel at Shipshewana, she uses her FW for FMQ; she has a generic low shank darning foot, leaves the feed dogs up, turns the stitch length to "0" , adjusts the top tension by using that little metal button on the top of the machine (sorry don't know it's name), I haven't tried it yet, but it sure was working well on her sample. It was only about 12" square and she says she doesn't use it for anything larger than a baby quilt. I think this is the shop she's from, at least they have some of her patterns. http://www.creationssewclever.com/

  7. #7
    Junior Member totosmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geeblay627e120 View Post
    Thank you CaroleLee...but I am hoping I can find something that does an adequate job in the $300 range. Maybe there is no such thing. I don't mind used equipment.
    If I were you, I'd be looking at vintage machines. I love my 301 longbed, and my SMG says that the Kenmore 158 series are great machines. I have found both of them in cabinets for under $300 on Craigslist, but you do have to be patient. I recently got a Singer 201 in a cabinet for less than $300 from my SMG. Love the cabinet because it provides support and can be put away for the night. Keeps things a little neater. But I agree -- unless you're doing small quilts, the FW is really small for quilting.

    Good luck and let us know what you come up with.
    Dorothy in PA

  8. #8
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I love my Singer 301 for FMQ. They can be found on ebay fore much less than your limit, though they are going up. Not many under $100 anymore. I've heard a Singer 15 does a good job, too, though my first attempt wasn't successful. Any vintage machine with a vertical bobbin is worth a try (the 201 is horizontal).

  9. #9
    Senior Member Sarah in Brooklyn's Avatar
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    I have a Janome that was about $250 on Amazon, and so far it's been great for piecing and straight line quilting.

  10. #10
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    I know vintage Singer 15 series machines are well-loved for quilting.

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