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Thread: Sewing Machine Savvy

  1. #1
    Junior Member Maggieloe's Avatar
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    Sewing Machine Savvy

    We have had a number of discussions about what is the best/most economical sewing machine for quilting with lots of people weighing in. Having become frustrated with the fussyness of my Sapphire 870 I recently purchased a mechanical straight stitch Brother PQ1500S just for quilting. Excellent machine. Not fussy at all, any thread, no expensive servicing (can easily clean and oil yourself), powerful, and I have finally been able to freemotion quilt and really enjoy it.
    OK - so yesterday I was at a dealer (taking a class unrelated to this) and I noticed the Baby Lock "Jane". Interestingly, an identical machine right down to the cute cartoons in the instruction manual. The only difference is the name. Baby lock, of course, is a bit more "upscale" than my humble Brother. But, like I said, these were completely identical machines.
    Price? I paid $529 including shipping from Amazon two months ago. It has now gone up to $699, ouch. Have seen it as high as the 9 hundreds. The Baby Lock Jane - $1899 plus tax of course.
    I think when making sewing machine purchases, it behooves us to try to do our homework and not be impressed by impressive names (and prices). The manufacturers do their best to keep us from comparison shopping by not publishing prices or giving them over the phone etc. But I think we need to recognize that there is a lot of game playing in this business and avoid being taken in.

  2. #2
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    the Brother machine may have plastic in side were as the Bock Lock for the price should be metal. You maintence man would know the difference. Just cause things look the same does not always mean they are.

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    for quilts twins or smaller- & home dec /clothing items i quilt on my 1956 singer...it has an absolutely beautiful straight even stitch- is really a dream machine- very easy to maintain- no fancy bells & whistles to deal with- and cost me $20! you do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to be able to quilt...you only have to practice with what you have. as long as your machine has a nice/even stitch it will do (it's part) your part is the practice.
    i do also have a long arm for large projects- but even that is a very basic machine.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I use a Juki TL98Q, which looks like the Brother 1500. My Juki is metal and a real, non-fussy, workhorse.
    Nancy in western NY

  5. #5
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    Very interesting. After a little digging I found this article: http://www.ehow.com/how_4734304_sewi...-machines.html and another one that said that BabyLock agrees that they are the same except that they add more software and do quality checks.

  6. #6
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    Brother makes Baby Lock.....They just don't advertise it.

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I love my Sapphire but do not like my Jane.
    My Sapphire 830 does everything except embroidery. Never have had any problems with it.
    The Jane is complicated to thread and has the under machine bobbin which is awful.
    I have two Brother machines that are great and simple to use and cost very little. Both have drop in bobbins.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Also Jane is set up on a long arm table. I do not recomment a 9 inch throat machine on a long arm table.

  9. #9
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    My OSMG told me that sometimes what we think are plastic parts are really nylon and they are very strong. Could this be a mistake on his part?

  10. #10
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Don't let them fool you. I questioned my repair guy and this is how he explained it. Brother makes Baby Lock and usually makes a twin to each Baby Lock in the Brother brand. They are the same. An example is Brother's Laura Ashley NX 2000 (I own) and Baby Lock's Symphony. Baby Lock usually runs a little higher for the same machine.

    Now, Brother does make a lower line with plastic inters machine, but not all Brothers have plastic inters. Baby Lock just doesn't carry a lower line. Baby Lock is a bit "snobby." But, lower priced, lower lines serve a purpose too. They give people a chance to try out sewing to see if they like it. Most people wouldn't try it if they had to purchase a $900+ machine right off the bat, not knowing if they were going to like it or not.

    Shopping around is a great idea and getting to know your repair guy is also important.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

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