Hello everyone. Hope you can help me out. I want to purchase a new/used or refurbished sewing machine with all the features to make my quilting easier - hopefully within the next 6 months. I would love to have a computerized machine, but I'm not able to spend a whole lot of money. If I can find one at a decent price though, I'd get it. My problem is that there are so many choices and so many conflicting reviews of each machine when I search that I'm so confused and don't know where to turn! I think I can rule out Singers and definately the Brother 6000, (but there are great reviews on that one too). I've read that BabyLok's can be quite tempermental, so I'm going to avoid them. I have read a lot of great reviews on Janome and have also been told by another quilter that they don't like their Bernina! I have read reviews on many different machines and half the people love that particular machine and the other half hates it. I have also read that top loading bobbins cause a lot of problems with thread binding up than front loading bobbins (from a quilting book, not from a person). I would absolutely love to have a self-threading machine.
Here we go:
1. What machine/s have you used and what do you like and dislike about them? What is your favorite machine and why? Suggestions on what brand or machine to definately stay away from would help. Also, can you give me an estimate on cost of a good machine to "grow with"?
2. I am not only a beginner quilter, I have yet to finish my very first quilt. (I just need to add the border and finish it off). What features and accessories do I need (it seems there are millions of them)!? What features are on your machine that you absolutely can't live without? What features are on your machine that you never use when quilting/sewing and wish you hadn't paid the extra money for?
3. Of course, I'd love to have the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles - but again - money restrictions. I want to learn as much as I can so I can become a great quilter. I want to eventually do embroidery by machine as well.
4. I know that I should "test drive" any machine before deciding to purchase it and what to look for - ease of use, easy to understand, especially for a beginner, how it sounds when working, etc. I'm just trying to get input from other, more knowledgeable quilters. We have a few, but not a lot of sewing machine dealers here in Virginia Beach, VA (and the surrounding areas), that sell new, used and refurbished machines and also service them and the variety of machines are limited. I also want to be able to take it in for service without waiting weeks to get it back. I'm really close to Northeast NC and am willing to go there to find what I'm looking for.
Any and all feedback would be so appreciated! I'm willing to travel an hour or two if I can find what I'm looking for and get an awesome deal. I know this request is kind of lengthy and I apologize. I'd appreciate it soooo much if you could spare a few minutes and give me some feedback and any and all suggestions!! Also, what machines do your quilting friends use that they absolutely love?
Thanks so much! CherylR, waving hello from Va. Beach, VA.
By the way, is there ANYBODY out there from the Mid-Atlantic region of the country? Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton, Franklin, Portsmouth, (VA) or northeast NC? I feel so alone!!!!