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Thread: Help me pick a new sewing machine for beginner-intermediate quilting

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    9
    Hi,
    I'm a beginning quilter who has been sewing for about 9 months and quilting for about 5 months- I'm a newbie! But I'm already looking for an upgrade to my current sewing machine, a Kenmore 16231, which has already broken down twice in the 9 months I've owned it. :cry: I don't think it's up to daily sewing... I want something I can count on!

    Could you please help me decide on a new machine that would be an upgrade, but cost no more than $700 - $800 at MOST? I haved looked at:

    Janome DC 2010 - nice, but not much of a step up (My Kenmore is made by Janome, and I'm not too happy with it - will there really be enough of a difference to justify the new machine?)
    Viking Emerald 118 (mechanical, but possibly more reliable than what I have?) and 183 (computerized, with lots more features)
    Brother NX 250Q (quilter's edition) or others in the Innovis line (wide range of prices, not sure how powerful they are) (I guess there are similar Babylocks, like Designer's Choice?)
    Pfaff Select 3.0 or 4.0 because of the IDT, but it's completely mechanical... (Doesn't have as many features, but is it good for quilting?)

    I'm afraid the Berninas are out of my price range, as is the lovely Janome 6500 or 6600 that I'm so interested in for the future (tested it, beautiful! If I got the Janome DC 2010, I could upgrade from the lower level Janome to the 6500 or 6600 at that dealer later). Any advice appreciated. Help!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    You should be able to get an elna that has quite a few bells and whistles in your price range. I have 2 elna's, 1 a mechanical(said to be top of the line) and 1 elna Quilter's Dream with a bigger bed. I am very happy with both of them, have had no trouble at all with either. But this is my 2 cents worth of opinion.

  3. #3
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    May I recommend that you visit the Janome.com website and take a look at the Quilters Companion range. I have been using the 6125QC for seven years and it has been absolutely brilliant, but I am now looking to upgrade to a computerised model. I would love the 6600, although one drawback is that it is does not have a free arm. or my dream machine the Bernina, Aurora 440 but they are way beyond my budget. I am looking at the MC4900QC. The 6260QC is a good price and well worth looking at. Good luck.

    PS: My daughter is still using my old Janome which is over 20 years old.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    That's a good suggestion. My local Janome dealer does not carry that line, though... Are they all mechanical? I need to find a place to test them out. I believe one of them did well in consumer reports, the 6260QC.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    My Elna dealer is teeny tiny and I haven't spent much time there, but I should check it out. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome from Southern California.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    9
    Thanks! This is a great board :D
    Now, if I could just get a working machine, I'd be all set!

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    One thing you might want to factor in to your decision is what dealers are in your area. I have only Viking or Bernina in my area besides Brother, Singer (neither of which interest me). I had my old Viking for 15 years and loved it! It was computerized, but never gave me a problem and was not tempermental. Turn on and sew. When I finally worked it to death, I started searching for a replacement. I didn't see anything of interest in my price range at the Bernina dealer. I did not want to drive 70+ miles to buy a machine in case I needed/wanted to go back for assistance.

    They have a Viking dealer inside my local Joann's, but they aren't very friendly there, so I went further south and bought from a different dealer. She's very nice and includes unlimited "know your machine" classes (Joann's offered 2).

    I bought the Viking Sapphire 830 ~ next choice would have been the Emerald. I liked both, but it was only $100 more for the Sapphire, so I opted for that because of the 9" throat. I love it! I did have a little trouble at first, but it was user error. I was trying to use the free motion spring feet that I had from my old Viking. But the Sapphire has auto pressure foot sensor, so I think that was what the problem was. I took it back to the dealer and she had me try another foot, which worked perfectly! I would have purchased it, but she gave it to me. The other problem was tension, but I found that there were times the foot wasn't all the way up, so the tension hadn't released properly. Again, user error. Now that I'm aware of that problem, I know what to check.

    If you do machine quilting, bring a small quilt sandwich when you test drive the machines. If you test it doing what you mainly are sewing, you'll get a better feel for it than just checking out the pretty decorative stitches like I did. :)


  9. #9
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    I have two brothers and love them, the first one I bought was a CS6000i Bev has one too. Which is under $200.00 then I went and got a used brother ULT2001D for the disney characters, which I love!!! This machine was about $1000.00.

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    There's nothing wrong with a "mechanical" sewing machine. The only thing you lose are some of the extra features. My first sewing machine was a Viking "Emma", which was near the bottom of the line ($500). That machine had no trouble sewing through 3 layers of leather and a zipper. I used it to sew my first quilt, too. I loaned the machine to my sister to sew up a new canvas boat cover. She loved it so much, I bought a new Viking Platinum 755Q and gave that one to her for Xmas.

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