I'm sure this has been asked a dozen times, but please give me some suggestions about which sewing machine to purchase. I've gone through a general purpose Kenmore and Janome and want to get one with more features and durability.
I piece quilts constantly, and occasionally machine quilt some. I do general purpose sewing as well. I don't want to spend too much money, but I want ideas about what to get and brands that are good.
I would appreciate any responses and help about this. Thanks.
Suzie ~ You will get dozen of answers. Myself, I'm a Janome person.
The best thing that I can suggest is to find a good local machine dealer. Test various machines. Only you know what you want and what your price range is. Sometimes dealers have some super deals on trade ins that have lots of bells and whistles. A good dealer is worth having, not to mention the extra support they can provide. Not so with the big box stores.
good luck on your hunting
Thanks. I think that is a good idea. I have really liked my Janome, but I think I just didn't get one that was quite enough for the work I put it through.
I like my Husqvarna Freesia. I'm relatively new to quilting but I have been using it for years for various household projects (roman shades, duvet cover, bedspread etc).
I bought it over five years ago and haven't had any problems. Its keeping up with my piecing and quilting too.
If you could narrow it down to your price range and the features you are looking for (e.g., needle down, embroidery stitches, auto needle threader, thread cutter, etc.), you could get better recommendations of machines to look at. Based only on what you posted originally, I would suggest looking at used Berninas. Some of the older models, such as the 830, are workhorses likely to last forever. Better machines like this have the power to sew upholstery materials, etc. too.
If you are looking for a newer machine, new or used, I suggest checking the reviews at http://www.patternreview.com before actually buying anything you find. You get to see the older reviews if you join, and joining is free. The reviews are very honest about pros and cons of machines. Your biggest issue will be that many reviewers don't test out a machine for years before posting about it, and one of your concerns is with longevity.
If you have been purchasing lower-end models, then you may find that mid-range or higher models in the same brand lines will be fine for you. I can't imagine one of those konking out after a few years of piecing and a few sets of curtains......
Thank you for all that information. I will check out those things for sure. I think that my problem is that I have been buying lower end machines and because of how much I use mine, I really need to go with a better quality one.
I love my Bernina, but like others said, cost it a big factor. Do a search on "what machine do you prefer" on this board.
Since you already sew/quilt, I am sure that you could easily list the features you wish you had. Why not start there. Make a list of all the MUST HAVES and add the WOULD BE NICE TO HAVES.
For me it has always been about needle position, low bobbin indicator, built-in walking foot, and a nice blanket stitch. I own 3 Pfaffs, so you can tell where I landed. There are some things I am not impressed with on mine and that is the relatively poor lighting. I added an Ott-lite and the problem got solved.
You can check your list of features against the different brands and eliminate some right off. Then I would go to a dealer and start test driving.
I love my Bernina. Yes they are a bit more costly but they last forever. Go on ebay and you can find some really good deals on them.
I will agree with you on the older Bernina 830. It will sew through anything. I have upholster sofa, chair, etc and it always did a beautiful job. If you are going to quilt with this machine, you may need the walking foot. Bernina has some of the most wonderful feet. I also, have several other machines that I like, but only used them on regular fabric. I feel the newer computerized machine will have more services calls then the older mechanical machines.