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Thread: Gonna ask the question

  1. #1
    Senior Member denise d's Avatar
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    How do you know what type of sewing machine to buy?

    I have a Brother; not an expensive one... just a simple beginner machine. I purchased it before I started quilting. Anyway, the thing is making a horrible clunking when I sew.

    So, I seem to be in the market for a new machine. I have no idea. I am guessing that my budget is going to be modest, but I would like a machine that I could use for FMQ and maybe some embroidery... maybe.

    Help this newbie out!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Have you taken the Brother in to have it checked? A repair might be less expensive than a new machine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I bought my first bernina 25+ years ago and recently traded it in for another older model then I found a New Home, Janome on craigs list that worked beautifully for 75. you might watch such places and go give it a test drive I love the New Home and it has a New Home with my BFF. I sure miss it though. I liked it better than my bernina

  4. #4
    Junior Member ogama's Avatar
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    i have a jenome 6500 and i love it. it does up to a king quilt for free motion quilting. and has all of the bells and more. i suggest you go to a near by sewing machine place and look around or you local quilt store and see what they have used as many trade in for a newer model. that is how i got my 350E emb. machine. it was a trade in for a newer model. and it was a greart price. plus it was unser warrenity also. good luck in your hunting. ogama

  5. #5
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    clean it good and oil it, change the needle as well.

    Then decide if you really need a new one!

  6. #6
    Senior Member denise d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok
    clean it good and oil it, change the needle as well.

    Then decide if you really need a new one!
    Thanks! Yeah.... I probably need a new one LOL ;)

    Actually, I will probably see about getting this one fixed and maybe another one that is 'fancier' to learn to FMQ on.

    Hubby is on board with whatever I decide, :shock: which is nice, since he is footing the bill either way! :lol:

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I agree. It might just need a good cleaning, especially the bobbin area. And by all means change the needle. Sometimes that's all it takes or the timing may be off and then you would have to have it serviced for the technician tell you the problem. If you decide to buy a new one, go try them all out to see which one you like best for your budget. Good luck...

  8. #8
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    As the daughter of one of the best salesmen whoever lived I can tell you the warranty is Very important. You can get a great machine that is used, but it is so important to buy one from a dealer who has reconditioned it and stands behind their warranty. So research your local dealers first then the brands of machines they sell. Good luck & get your brother fixed first. Use this experience to check out a dealer you're interested in and if you have a working machine you will be more patient in your search for a more advanced machine.

  9. #9
    Junior Member OCQuilts's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a good machine that does just about everything for a not too outrageous price. Look around for a Bernina 440. Bernina is introducing a new line of machines, and it is widely thought that a lot of 440's will be traded in or sold privately. This model gives you a solid machine, the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator) Which certainly helps with FMQ and It can do embroidery using your laptop. If you can afford it check out the new 580 machine which is just now rolling out. Nice embroidery features, very user friendly. Good luck in your search!

  10. #10
    Super Member TacoMama's Avatar
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    I love my Brother machines. I have one that I sew on and one that I do embroidery on. Don't know about the others.

  11. #11
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Now this is a very subjective question... I would get a vintage straight stitch machine to piece and FMQ on - and get an embroidery only machine. :D

  12. #12
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    What dealers are closest to you? That is a very important issue when purchasing a machine IMHO. If you like them, spend some time trying machines out. Sometimes a dealer can point you to a better deal or even have some refurbished machines which usually come with a full warranty. I think any Janome, especially the 6500, is a good machine.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kacklebird's Avatar
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    If you can afford it I would go for a Bernina or Viking :) You can get good deals on used ones via Craigslist or ebay. I haven't used any other brands so I can't comment on other ones.

  14. #14
    Super Member Gramof6's Avatar
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    A Dealer close by for any future needs is priceless. I would make a little quilt sandwich and take that & go try out several brands. That will help you decide. I love my Bernina's and the Dealer has been a joy to work with as well as all of the Sales folks. I wish you the best of luck in finding your perfect machine. Let us know what you choose. And hug that man for footing the bill. lol

  15. #15
    Senior Member denise d's Avatar
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    Now I am bummed.

    I called the LQS and they said that it will be about $70 to clean the machine, then they would trouble shoot the problem. She basically said that it was not worth trying to fix. :(

    Actually, I am not attached to the machine, I was just hoping to get a few more months out of it before I spent money on a new one. SIGH.

  16. #16
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    Maybe it just needs cleaning andcheckup. My Brother did same until I had it serviced

  17. #17
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    Are you sure she just wasnt trying to sell you a new machine? Try calling another shop and see what they say before you throw in the towel.

  18. #18
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    the last Brother I had would have cost more to have cleaned than I paid for the machine - so she probably wasn't "just" trying to sell you a new machine - although I'm sure she wouldn't complain :)

  19. #19
    Senior Member denise d's Avatar
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    I know.... I think she was trying to sell me a machine... which I would happily buy, but it just is not in our budget to do TODAY.

    I guess I will give the old girl another once over.... she does sew but sounds horrible.

    Guess I can practice using my treadle to finish my apron.

  20. #20
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    I'd figure out just what I wanted the new machine to do, and my price range and I'd look on ebay.

  21. #21
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    Thanks! Yeah.... I probably need a new one LOL ;)

    Actually, I will probably see about getting this one fixed and maybe another one that is 'fancier' to learn to FMQ on.

    Hubby is on board with whatever I decide, :shock: which is nice, since he is footing the bill either way!
    I have a few suggestions and comments...first I don't think any machine comes with FMQ "on it" it is the person behind the machine....lol. ;)

    I have just been down this road and have found a lot of advise about most brands by doing a search on this board and the internet for the ones I was considering.

    What I have learned that I thought was helpful and interesting is that almost all machine brands are made in China now. The exception being Janome and Brother/Babylock are made in Japan. Now there could be variations that others know about and will share.

    I was just at the fair and a couple stores to try out the machines. I liked both the Janome and Brother/babylock. I must say that with either of these brands it took some work to adjust the settings to get the FMQ to work pretty well - and it didn't ever get "perfect". That was with the help of the sales people....so I think that feature is to be improved upon.

    What I did find worked pretty well was the instructions from Leah Day's blog about leaving the feeddogs engaged and...you can find her easily on the web.

    That is my rant on machines... hope it helped a little.

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