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Thread: I want a new sewing machine...

  1. #1
    Member
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    I want a new sewing machine...

    First off, I just want to apologize for the length of this post!

    When will this obsession end!? LOL Before I really started quilting, I got a cheapy Singer sewing machine on a Black Friday deal not even 6 months ago. It was $60! My thought process was "I may not even like sewing / quilting so why spend a lot on a machine." Plus, I had NO idea that machines could be so outrageously expensive! Okay, fast forward to today and I am just obsessed with getting a better machine. My problem is that I don't really have a lot of cash. I'm supposed to get a tax refund next week (good Lord willing and the creek don't rise)... and I have set aside up to $500 for a machine.

    Here are some of my initial thoughts...

    I have a Singer... it is cheap but I feel like it sews okay. However, the thread breaks a lot, the underside stitches get gnarled up and black looking at times, and I have a really hard time threading the needle. Not sure how it will do long term and I know I can't do FMQ on it.

    My aunt has a Janome. Not sure of the model but she said she paid $129 for it new from Hancock Fabrics. She seems to always have trouble with the thread breaking and it getting 'locked up'. It could just be the cheaper thread she uses though.

    Some things I'd like a new machine to have:

    Ability to SITD and FMQ and of course do piecing
    Automatic Needle Threader is a must! I spend several minutes trying to thread the needle sometimes!
    Drop Feed Dogs
    Comes with feet needed to do FMQ and SITD and a 1/4 inch foot.
    Decently large harp
    Drop In Bobbin
    Thread Cutter

    Some more thoughts.... I know some recommend a Vintage machine. I guess I'm just not "there" yet in my quilting evolution. I want something new or almost new. I am drawn to the Baby Lock machines but not sure why. LOL Also, I know some don't think highly of the Bernina Bernette, but they have a model 92C at Hancock for $300. It seems like a good deal for what you get, but I don't want a machine that I'm always having to take to the shop. Lastly... I live in a rather small city. We DO have a Viking dealer here and Hancock's is the only other place that sells and services machines. Do they even MAKE a Viking under $500? LOL To try out other brands, I would have to drive 60-80 miles. Just not sure I want to have to drive that far to take a machine to be serviced / repaired, etc.
    I feel like picking a sewing machine is a lot like picking out a car. I got a used Toyota Camry Base Model. It's a great car.... very utilitarian, but it gets me from point A to point B without fail, every time. I never have to worry when I get in the car if it's going to get me there. THat's sort of what I want in a machine. LOL

    THANKS so much for reading!! I will take any and all suggestions to heart.

    Candace

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Have you considered Craigslist? I got my Brother 1300 for $150 and love it. It is a straight stitch only machine, but it fits all of your requirements. Right now, in my area, there is a Janome 6600 for $750. I wish I had the $$$ to go after it. You never know what you will eventually find there.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I've been looking at Craigslist.... right now all I'm finding are vintage machines. I will keep looking though. i have also been watching ebay... just don't know what is considered a "good machine for the price."

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    I would recommend Craigslist as well. I just saw 3 computerized Pfaff's not too far from me for between $500-$1000. I realize that is more than you want to spend but just a 'for instance'. I have a Viking Platinum. Love it but it was about $1200 new. You may be correct that Viking might not have a new machine in your price range but you won't know unless you ask. A word of advice about needle threaders...not sure how they work on other, higher end machines than mine, but I don't even bother using it on my machine. Never have been able to get the hang of it. I just use a typical needle threader that I bent the wires on. Works like a charm. Be sure to test that function when you are looking at machines if it is important to you. You might have to wheel & deal a bit to get all the feet you've mentioned in any package as well. If you can get the machine at the price you want, don't throw away the deal because the feet aren't included. There are many online sources at probably lower prices than any local dealer will sell them for. My Viking also has a setting for the 1/4 in. seam so a separate foot for that was not a requirement for me.

    It might well be worth the drive for you to test out machines, if nothing else. I've yet to need my machine to be serviced/repaired so you might not have to make that trip too frequently and might be worth it if you can get the machine you want there. See what they might show online and make some phone calls first.

    Good luck with your search.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm... I went to the Viking website, and since it's "National Quilting Month" they are running a special on the Viking H-Class 100Q for $399! What do y'all think? I don't need a lot of fancy stitches etc... I just want it to quilt good. LOL Maybe I should call the Viking dealer here in town and see if they have one I could try out.

    Alternatively, I just found a Viking Emerald 183 on a NY based website for $520 shipped. It's brand new... hmmmmmm LOL
    Last edited by lovequilts722; 03-08-2012 at 06:00 PM. Reason: added info on another machine

  6. #6
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    Check out the dealer. That way you will have someone close to go to if you do have any problems.

    mltquilt

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Think about a used Viking or Bernina , if you get one from a dealer they will support the machine and probably give you some kind of limited warrenty. People upgrade alot and many a perfectly good machine can be had for very reasonable.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sally J's Avatar
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    I love Vikings and have had 3 and just bought another. None of them have had any problem. I have a D1 that I have had for years, but just bought a new Viking Emerald 183. Love it, needle threader, a 1/4 inch foot included and many stitches that you might use in quilting. It's light enough to take to classes and come with a 10 year warranty. My Viking dealer gives you free classes, that is really important for any machine because no instruction book will really show you how many things the machine can actually do. I'd go to the Viking dealer and see what their best price is. I've seen them on-line for $499 -$520. If your dealer won't go to that price, maybe you could ask how much they would charge for a class. None of my Vikings have ever had to be taken in for problems, just regular cleaning every couple of years. Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Thanks all for the input!

    Sally J.... If I could ask a question, how large is the harp area on your Emerald? Have you tried quilting on it? I'm going to the Viking Dealer tomorrow to check them out.

  10. #10
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have 7 vikings now and I love them all!!I have been a viking owner since the early 90's and have no complaints!!!

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