Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: What used machines to look for?

  1. #1
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    645

    What used machines to look for?

    I have a local thrift store that keeps an entire ROOM of sewing machines. They are usually $15 or $20, never more. They have so many, I get overwhelmed! Literally hundreds! I don't have a lot of money, so this is about my only option for getting a decent machine.

    Im thinking to look for the "big" names like Berina, Pfaff,etc? I am currently using a cheapie Brother that was still in the box, never used, from there for piecing. It does fine for piecing.

    I'm using an old White for quilting, and it's about to fall apart,lol! I want something that the feed dogs drop, that would work decent for quilting.

    What should I look for? I wish I could take you guys with me! I know there's some real gems just waiting for me!

  2. #2
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington, playing with my fabric stash!
    Posts
    6,397
    Blog Entries
    44
    Wow, I rarely see a vintage machine in the shops around my place. You are blessed. Singer 301 and 401 are great. The 401 has zigzag if that is important to you. The 301 is a straight stitch only but easy to change bobbin, service yourself, weighs about 16 pounds so great for taking to classes.

    Click on the link below, it will take you to the Vintage Sewing Machine Shop on this site and put you on its last page. There are hundreds of pages you can glean from for all the info you could want about machines. Careful though, it can be addictive!

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage-antique-machine-enthusiasts-f22/vintage-sewing-machine-shop-come-sit-spell-t43881-892.html

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Illnois
    Posts
    403
    What’s the model of your "cheapie" Brother, it may not be the "cheapie" you think it is. Brother makes many great quality machines. You might be surprised at just what a gem you might have.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ginaky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Richmond, KY
    Posts
    447
    I'm curious where you are in Kentucky with that room! I'm in Richmond, and I haven't seen anything like that around here. And I love my 2 Pfaff machines.
    Regina in Richmond, KY

  5. #5
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    905
    Used Singers, Viking, Bernina, Brother, Kenmore, Pfaff...any of these would be good IMHO.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Carmel Indiana
    Posts
    458
    Where it Kentucky? Time for a road trip LOL.

    I would be very surprised to see a Bernina - remember the sewing machines in that thrift store were bought new 20-50 years ago. Bernina is a brand for very well off ladies, as far as i know. (I have never seen a thrift store bernina around here, lol) I would look for the very best Singers: 15-91, 201, featherweight, etc.
    Long arm quilting in Carmel, Indiana http://quiltcycle.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member stefanib123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    645
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginaky View Post
    I'm curious where you are in Kentucky with that room! I'm in Richmond, and I haven't seen anything like that around here. And I love my 2 Pfaff machines.
    It's called "Charity Thrift Store" in Pikeville, Ky. I'm going tomorrow, haven't been in forever. I love that store, I find all kinds of awesome things there!

    THanks for the link, Linda, off to check it out.

    1000projects, I know, right? LOL! A girl can hope......

  8. #8
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    9,363
    Blog Entries
    1
    OMG! Sounds like vintage machine paradise!!!

    Vintage Bernina's are absolutely wonderful machines and have all the glamour, as far as I am concerned. Vintage Pfaff, Singers and Viking can be outstanding. You may want to limit yourself to looking at a particular brand (Singer is popular) that has the feed dog and other characteristics you want (post here so people can give you the model numbers to look for).

    I would probably bring along a very long extension cord (so you can plug a machine in and make sure it works without having to lug the machine over to an electrical outlet), some machine needles (standard Singer from JoAnn's and also the more modern machine needles), thread, threaded bobbins (I would purchase a few bobbins for class 15 machines and also class 66 machines; both very common for Singer and other manufacturers), scraps of quilting fabric, small scissors, and a cheap needle threader.

    In terms of narrowing down your search and keeping costs down, I would start by eliminating any machine that is not complete (you need both the electrical plug-in and the foot controller). I would also skip over any machine whose wiring is brittle, damaged, or really really old. Obvious rust would also probably send me to the next machine.

    Next test would be to look for the bobbin case (unless it's a top-loading bobbin). Bobbin cases can run $25 to $35 with shipping to replace; sometimes more for authentic vintage cases that tend to be better than reproduction cases. The bobbin case is what you put the bobbin into.

    The next thing I would do is turn the hand wheel to make sure that the needle goes up and down. If you can't turn the wheel by hand, go to the next machine.

    Next test would be to plug the machine in and make sure it turns on. At this point I usually remove the needle and then run the foot controller to make sure the foot controller works.

    Last step is to actually thread the machine and sew on fabric, to make sure the machine forms a stitch. If everything else is okay but the machine does not form a stitch, this usually means a trip to a sewing machine technician to get the timing reset on the machine.

    With that many machines to check out, you could determine before your visit exactly what model of Singer you want to look for. That would help reduce the time you spend looking at machines. Me, I'd be looking at any Bernina's first!

  9. #9
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cadillac, MI
    Posts
    6,561
    Blog Entries
    19
    If it's a quilting machine you want, then it's a Singer 301.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    264
    You are so lucky to have such a resource for vintage machines. I have a Singer 15-91 as my back-up machine and a vintage Bernina 830, which is my primary machine. I agree with the others-- if you see a Bernina, buy it.

    There are some Class 15 machines made in Japan that have the same functional design as the 15-91, but often have different paint colors and interesting badges,etc. I would love to buy several of those because I could use the same accessories but could keep them out on display. You may find several of those. The Singer 15-91, Class 15 clones, and the Singer 201 have a nice sized harp for FMQ or straight line quilting. I'll be testing mine out in a few weeks on a queen sized quilt.
    Elizabeth

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.