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Hi from Fairfax, VA

Hi from Fairfax, VA

Old 07-12-2019, 06:45 AM
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Default Hi from Fairfax, VA

I'm a relatively new quilter, and have been making do with a 10-year old Brother CS6000i that has been a truly faithful workhorse. Now I'm ready to get a new machine and it's worse than trying to buy a new car. There's a million choices and my brain wants to just shut down. So I found this website and hope to learn a lot from you, and maybe even make a decision without questioning myself a million times.

I've pretty much decided on a Pfaff I think, because I love the automatic walking foot thing and definitely want the tie off/thread snip function. But there's still too many choices. I went to the local dealer yesterday and think I'll be back there today!

Last edited by eviltwin; 07-12-2019 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:37 AM
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Over the years I have had a number of different brands. Some better than others but I did find that for most of the bell and whistles many machines have the majority are not used. Now I look for a good 1/4" needle placement, since I do a lot of quilting. I look for a number of different zig-zag setting. I also look for good feed dog settings and then a good bobbin winder with and easy access bobbin and casing that I can clean easily. I also want a metal (steel prefered) crank shaft with mimunial plastic parts. Talk about hard to find any more. I also ask what is a usual part that breaks. If the dealer can't answer that call a local certified repair person and ask. This person is also a good person to ask on how often he sees the model you are looking at in the repair shop and what the life span of that model usually is. It is not alway "you get what you pay for" with sewing machines when it comes to durability. Also asked about how often the machine should be taken in for maintenance so as not to void your warranty. (that happened to me once). IMHO the less computer parts the better. That is often one of the first major parts that go bad on newer machines. Now that I have totally scared you have fun playing and looking for a machine that will last you a lifetime.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:03 AM
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Hello Eviltwin and welcome to the boards.

I've been using a vintage machine older than I am (pre-1960) for most of the last 20-30 years. I maintain that all we need as quilters is a good strong straight stitch. However, If you wish to do your quilting with your DSM (domestic sewing machine) you do want a large throat space as well.

About a year ago now, a friend of mine gave me her replaced modern Bernina 820 "sewing computer" and it's been interesting coming into this century. My friend loves her Berninas and sewed on this one for a few years with no issues but got a new one with slightly different features. Overall, the public reception of this machine was low and there are some really negative reports, it was discontinued relatively quickly. Even with all that and used it still goes for around $3k which I consider a lot of money.

I really love the knee lever to move the presser foot up and down, but that's a feature my friend didn't use. I've grown to love the thread cutter, partial seam blocks are much more fun and I am less covered with threads. This particular machine has an extra large bobbin which is noticeable to me. The throat is huge and it is well lit, which is important to me as well. I'm enjoying have the needle down feature available by tapping the power foot or by pressing the button on the machine.

The biggest thing for me in day to day use is the automatic threader, I have vision issues and need some sort of assist. But even my cheapo low end Brother for traveling at least has an assist if not a full threader.

I've quilted down a couple of crib sized quilts using the various options of the machine, it has basically a built-in walking foot feature as well as the BSR (bernina stitch regulator) and I've just done straight lines with the regular foot. All the techniques worked well.

It is nice and easy to use. The 1/4" foot and lines work for me and there is less pull than on my cheapo Brother, feeds in and stays nice and straight. I've had no problems with it, despite the negative reviews. Hubby says it is quieter than my old vintage machine. I'm trying to use it to its best advantage but I still haven't done anything other than adjusting my straight stitch length and trying the various quilting options. Chances are extremely good that I'll never make a button hole or use 99.9% of the stitches, although I do have an idea where I'd embroider out some numbers.

Some brands are much better about interchangeable feet. I think most Brothers use feet that can snap on the proper shank, but Bernina is sort of known for having to buy all the feet for each machine each time and no portability between them.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:27 PM
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Hi and welcome from North Carolina! After a very long time... many years..., I have found that expensive and fancy machines are not always the best way to go. I had a Viking computerized one with lots of bells and whistles, but it gave up the ghost after only a couple of years. No one would repair it. The repair guys all said that it wasn't worth the fixin' , so I ended up with a $99 Heavy Duty Singer from Walmart that does everything I ask it to do. No problems. Just keeps purring along.
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Old 07-12-2019, 02:38 PM
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Hi eviltwin! Welcome to the board from another new member whom is also in the process of shopping for a new(new to me) sewing machine that will meet my needs!
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:02 AM
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Welcome from Michigan!
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Old 07-13-2019, 05:49 AM
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Welcome from NE Ohio .
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:36 PM
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Welcome from Canada
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Old 07-16-2019, 02:54 AM
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Welcome from western NY and happy quilting
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Old 07-16-2019, 03:36 AM
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Welcome to the board! You will enjoy it here.
I just returned from Alexandria where our son lives. We are thinking of moving that way. Love it there!!!
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