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Thread: Good Machine for a beginner?

  1. #1
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    Question Good Machine for a beginner?

    Ok I've searched and there are tons of threads on this, but none of them seem to really come to any conclusion or are old enough that I'm not sure if the information is still relevant. If there is a great thread that I've missed - please point me to this!

    Now - to explain my situation and get your opinions on what might work best for me.

    I'm a newbie to sewing and quilting. I'm still working on piecing my first quilt top, but really enjoying it! I'm currently using a hand me down machine that sometimes has some quirks and doesn't have some features that I really would like to have (a bright light, a 1/4 inch foot or guide, a needle down option). As I get more into the quilting thing I definitely want to try free motion quilting on a home machine. There is no way anytime in the near future that I would be able to purchase a large quilting long arm machine, so a domestic machine will have to work for me. So, with that in mind, I'm thinking possibly I should invest in a machine that already has a longer than normal arm so that quilting will be easier?

    Does anyone have any suggestions on a machine that might fit the bill? Yes, it needs to be on the lower end price range. I just can't afford something majorly expensive. If I can buy it second hand and have it work well, that would be fine as well. Mostly, I just don't even know how to being narrowing down the field.

    Here are two machines I have been looking at and considering, any thoughts on these?

    http://www.brother-usa.com/homesewin...i#.UGeTeU3A-5Q

    http://www.joann.com/singer-confiden...ne/xprd687328/

    Thank you for any help and suggestions!

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    The brother is a popular model and gets good ratings. The SQ-9050 comes with some nice features and has all the quilting feet the other model you listed my bil girlfriend got and didn't have the 1/4 inch foot. I think the singer would be comparable but have never had one so can't speak on their reliability. The brothers have always been very solid for me

  3. #3
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    What most people will tell you is to go to a dealer and look around! Don't discount a nice, used machine as a dealer will often extend you some kind of store warranty. Avoid big box store junk and if you can't afford an expensive machine you can also look into a nice, sturdy, vintage machine.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for your suggestions and information. I'm not sure I'm mechanically inclined enough to go vintage. But I do love how they look.

  5. #5
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    A machine with a wider throat area is definitely nice for free motion quilting, but you can be successful at FMQ with a standard machine. I wouldn't be opposed to a used machine - my daughter just got a great deal on a Brother machine which she found on Craig's List. You don't really need a bunch of extras to make quilts. If you want to do your own quilting on your home machine, make sure whatever you buy has a good free motion foot and the ability to raise and lower the feed dogs.
    -Chris-
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    Blessed are the children of quilters, for they shall inherit the quilts....

    It does not do well, Harry, to dwell on the dreams....and forget to live. - Albus Dumbledore

  6. #6
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have a Viking Sapphire with a 10 in throat. Bought new years ago so used it should be alot cheaper now.
    It is a great machine and has alot of good quilting applications like needle down and a pop up foot when you stop sewing. This is great for chain pieceing and applique.
    Has tons of stitchs that I will never use.
    Has a 1/4 in setting but to big a seam for me.
    No repairs so far.

  7. #7
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    The Jem Platinum has the needle down function, a 1/4" seam bar on the foot and a way to set for a scant 1/4" seam allowance. Comes with a carrying case. My LQS threw in the walking foot too.
    It's made by Janome and costs somewhere around $400.

    It's become my sewing-room everyday machine, replacing my Bernina 1030, which I've loved too for close to 20 years.

    I could not recommend a machine more highly.
    I'm not new to quilting, began in the 70s, but I do not sew, cannot make anything, just quilt tops.
    Last edited by gollytwo; 09-30-2012 at 05:39 AM.

  8. #8
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    My DD has the Brother you mention. She makes quilts and has also sewn thru multi-layers of decorator fabric with no issues. i've sewn quilts on it too and really like it. yes it is from WM, she has had it several years now and it is still going strong. comes with a warrenty. I haven't used the Singer, but my good friend has one and liked it so well she bought one for her DD. they are both quilters with a bit of home dec. sewing thrown in . Theirs came from Joann's.
    Personally, I would put my money toward a new machine over a used one any day.

  9. #9
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    The reasons you don't see any conclusions because its an individual choice. You have to find out what's right for you. Go to the different quilt stores and see what's out there in your price range. Once you start checking them out you'll see the different features they each have and what you really want. Make sure you get good support from a quilt store. I started off for yrs with a Singer which my daughter now has then a few yrs ago when I was getting back into quilting I got a Kenmore made by Janome and it's a good machine with lots of features and what I could afford. I then bought a Viking Mega quilter and a Ruby machine w/embroidery. I love my Vikings just as others love their Janomes, Brothers, etc but you'll have to try them out and see what is a good fit for you. Good luck on chosing.
    Judy

  10. #10
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    thanks again for all the suggestions and opinions. I'm going to heave to research the local stores and see about going to them to try some out. I feel a little overwhelmed when I go into them as I'm so new I don't know the right questions to ask and I'm worried I'm going to be labeled "newbie" which in some store terms means "easy to make money off of"! hahahha

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