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Thread: Need Advice on Purchasing a Quilting Machine Please

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I have a VERY lightly used Universal Sewing Machine, model KAT. I have used it over the years mainly just to hem pants and skirts. I have not learned how to use it for anything else. I'm now at the point in my life that I want to learn to quilt. Is this machine good for quilting? If not, can you guys recommend good features to look for, and perhaps some specific mfr/models priced under $500? Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to trying my hand at machine quilting.

  2. #2
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    I think the best thing for you to do would be to go to different places and try out their machines....ask alot of questions..let them know what you plan to use it for...make sure you get all the attachments needed for machine quilting and piecing, etc. The 1/4 inch foot is one necessity as is a walking foot.... Good luck with your hunt for the right machine for you! and good luck with your quilting!! :D

  3. #3

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    Feb 2007
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    Thank you so much for the tips!

  4. #4
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    Well, I just re-read your original post and realized you asked if your current machine would work for quilting...the answer to that would be ...if you can get the right attachments for it, it should work just fine! I was able to purchase a walking foot for a machine that is over 30 years old and it is now the machine I use only for machine quilting...I have a newer model I use for piecing... that way I don't have to switch feet, etc all the time. So find that out and you may not have to purchase a new machine at all!!

  5. #5

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    Jan 2007
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    Debbie, I agree with what Country Quilter has said. The machine you have is probably fine to piece a quilt with...you only need a straight stitch for the most part and a 1/4" seam guide. I would probably not buy a new one until I had made a simple quilt using the machine I had and make sure I really enjoyed making quilts...(and you will!!LOL) then go from there. That's just MHO.
    Gay

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Are you comfortable with the machine you have? Is the tension truly adjustable? (Are you lucky enough to have one that uses a bobbin-case instead of a simple drop-in?) If so, don't rush out just yet for a new one. Make a few quilts first. As you proceed through your projects keep a list of features, special stitches (e.g. blanket stitch), and feet you wish you had but don't. Start dropping the loose change and loose $1 bills you accumulate into a jar or can.
    In the unlikely event you decide quilting isn't your cup of tea, you won't have spent any extra money. Eventually, you'll have a list of must-have feet and features you can use to focus your shopping.
    You might only need to buy a few extra feet. If you decide you need a whole new machine, by the time you figure out what you need and which machine you want, you might even have enough in the can(s) to pay for it.

  7. #7
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    I just bought a walking foot for my 1970 machine, I have two others that are older. I have no problem quilting with any of them

  8. #8
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Patrice, what is the deal with the bobbin? drop in or case, what difference does it make?
    kathy

  9. #9
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Bottom tension is factory set on machines that use drop-in bobbins. The only thing you can adjust is top tension. That's why it's so hard to get it just right.
    Although having to pop your bobbin into a case, then stick both into the machine is a bit less convenient, there's a little screw on the case you can use to adjust bobbin (bottom) tension. It's especially helpful if you want to use specialty threads to do the quilting or to embellish. I've held onto one of my oldest machines especially for those purposes.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    You guys have been so very helpful. Thank you so much. I put my bobbin in a case and put that in the machine, so I'll learn how to adjust the bottom tension when the occasion arises. I "think" I already have a 1/4" foot. I'll look at some online stores for photos of a walking foot to see if I have that. The machine came with a lot of attachments that I have never used.

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