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Thread: FMQ machine on a budget

  1. #1
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    FMQ machine on a budget

    And when I say "budget", I mean cheap!

    I don't like vintage machines. I've tried FMQ on a bunch of different machines, and only had luck on one and it broke! I have a good sewing machine, but it skips stitches when I use free-motion. I need a very inexpensive machine - new? - for around $100. Extra throat space is not too important, because I'm used to what I have on my Janome now.

    I'm seriously considering a Project Runway machine. Either the Brother CE5000 ($110) or the Brother LS2300PRW ($50). Does anyone know if they are good at free-motion?? Or have any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Not really sure, do the feed dogs drop for quilting?

  3. #3
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    The feed dogs don't have to drop for quilting, just set the machine at no stitch or 0 stitch length. What kind of needle are you using in your Janome? Perhaps a different type, as in Universal, or top stitch, or embroidery or something along those lines would work better, sometimes the hole size will make a difference with the stitch so I change the needle on my Janome Kenmore. I use Schmetz and have a variety of needles available.
    Sewbeadit
    Montesano, Washington

  4. #4
    Super Member Helen S's Avatar
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    I recently bought a Brother 80-Stitch Limited Edition Project Runway Computerized Sewing Machine from Walmart. It was priced at $149, but I had a coupon from something else that brought it down to $109. So, if I had to say anything about the machine it would be that it's cheaply built. BUT, for the money, guess I can't complain. I bought it to use for classes, and because my Pfaff was in the shop at that time. I think I'm spoiled by my Pfaff and just had to put it back in the shop for repairs again so am using the Brother PR again. I still am not crazy about it, but it sews, and the feed dog does drop on it. At least I can keep working on my current project. The Brother is very light weight, so moves around slightly when sewing a lot. The thread spool holder can be annoying in that you have to remove the end cap before you can put the holder into the closed position if you want to put the machine in a case. The needle area could be a bit higher...it's difficult to get your fingers in there to change a needle or to grasp the thread when threading the needle. Oh, and let me not forget to mention that it comes with a little...little round "screwdriver"! It's a round disk, about the size of a silver dollar and has a small hole in the middle and one edge is slightly protruding. This is supposed to work as a screwdriver...uh...NOT! Again, the area you need to work in is very tight and the "screwdriver" is difficult to hang on to and keeps slipping out of the screw head. By the time I can get the screw loosened I'm not in a very good mood! lol The feed dog seems a bit "off"...seems to push the fabric to the side. The foot pedal doesn't always engage the machine, but when it catches the machine "takes off"!!! Anyway, I'd have to say it's a very basic bottom of the barrel machine. BUT is a backup if needed. I haven't tried FMQ with it. (haven't tried FMQ with my Pfaff, either! lol) = (
    Being skinny isn't easy, so I gave up and opted for being sexy instead. (aunty acid)

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If you buy cheap you get cheap. I don't know of any new machine for $100 that will do machine quilting for very long. All new sewing machines for $100 are sold to be craft sewing machines. You may find a vintage 301 for a couple of hundred and that machine is great for machine quilting.
    Got fabric?

  6. #6
    Super Member Sienna's GiGi's Avatar
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    I just brought a LB6800 that I have to send back to Amazon for a replacement. It malfunctioned out of the box and I am so sad because I had time to play with it but couldn't. I hope the replacement works right.
    Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

  7. #7
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I paid $100 for my used Simplicity Quilter's Classic and do lots and lots of free motion on it. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get good results - you need to spend wisely. What needle are you using? Thread/weight? Skipped stitches are more than likely an issue of needle/thread combination, needing a new needle, or a nick on your needle plate.
    Valerie Smith - Pumpkin Patch Quilter
    Obsessed Quilter and APQS Long Arm Machine Quilter
    www.pumpkinpatchquilter.com

  8. #8
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I've liked my cheapo brothers, excellent for piecing. Haven't tried quilting, but I know some on here with these machines have. For 100 bucks you are not going to get much. I would say if you are looking for something nice I would at least save up a good 500 will buy you a more durable machine that will last longer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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    I like my cheap Kenmore that was about $179 new 5 years ago and it does a good job FMQing. I understand some Kenmore machines are made by Janome? Maybe find a used Kenmore?
    Beth

  10. #10
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I have plenty of used machines, they just aren't working out for quilting. I'm saving up for "the big one" but wanted something I can use NOW. I have too many projects that straight quilting lines aren't going to look good with!

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