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Old 05-15-2020, 08:44 AM
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Join Date: May 2020
Location: Wauwatosa WI
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Hi all. Ive been quilting for 40 years. I currently have a Bernina 150 virtuoso which is still in good shape. My only complaint is the 7.5 throat. Ive never done machine embroidery but am tempted to try it. (See if an old dog can learn new tricks.) Im looking at two machines, Janome M7 Continental (sewing with 13 throat and the Babylock Unity (embroidery and sewing with 11 throat) the prices are similar. Any thoughts on either?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:51 AM
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Location: Near Seattle, WA
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Hi Annie! I've also been quilting for about 40 years although it doesn't seem like all that so long ago.

Everything else being equal, get the biggest throat you can! But if you can, actually sit at and do a test drive on both machines. Some times we just click with one brand/machine than another. I think Babylock fans (in general) are more diehard than Janome fans (who are out there too!).

I was given a modern Bernina 820 with a huge throat and it makes such a difference, I can't go back to my trusty old vintage machine that I scrunched quilts through for 20 years.

Although for piecing I like the machine on table top height, for quilting I wish I did have a drop down top to make it all flush and I'm watching Craig's List for an affordable option for me -- I do have the acrylic plate but that 820 is such a huge heavy beast.

edit/also: Check on what designers are carried for embroidery designs. I've had friends make their choices solely on that, they wanted a particular set of characters and that limited them greatly.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:03 AM
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Location: Clarksville, In
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Welcome to the quilting board from Southern Indiana! I'm not familiar with either machine, so I can't help you but I'm sure someone here can...and will. The quilting board is the best place to get answers to your questions!
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:04 AM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Welcome from Ontario, Canada. I only do hand embroidery and a few alphabet letters with my machine for labels so I can’t offer an opinion.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:13 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Welcome from Southern California Annie Laurie. I've been sewing even longer than you, but you've been quilting longer than I have. I have a Janome Horizon which I'd be happier with if it fed fabric through more evenly and would give me a more consistent stitch on a quilt sandwich. My Babylock serger is a pleasure to use. Good luck with your choice, and what fun to get a new machine.
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Old 05-15-2020, 05:30 PM
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Welcome! I guess I'm just a baby -- only been quilting for 20 years.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:41 AM
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Welcome from Michigan!
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Old 05-16-2020, 04:37 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Waterford Michigan
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Welcome to the QB from 'SE Michigan! I am unfamiliar with either of these machines. What I do know is the longer the neck, when quilting, the better and to have the ability to embroider as well is the best. Look at how you plan to sew for the majority of the time. I like my longer neck machine, even though it is down right now, for quilting. I pull out my embroidery machine when I want to embroidery. I wish I had one that did it all. It does look like the 13" throat could do the trick.That is the direction I would go. Again Welcome to the QB! Looking forward to seeing a lot of you here.
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Old 05-16-2020, 05:09 AM
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Sunny Florida
Posts: 3,163

Hi and welcome to the boards!

Of course you can learn machine embroidery! It is fun and can be quite creative with different projects. Either machine would be a great addition for you. Consider the dealer support and if they offer classes. It is easier to learn by doing the actual projects in class so someone is available to help you.

Don't be afraid to take on a project that may look quite intense. You will learn step-by-step how to use your machine.

Check to see if the machines have the latest "upgrades". These are extra features that can be purchased. There are also machine "updates". These are usually downloads from the manufacture and free. There is a difference in these two terms.
Does the machine come with software, thread kits, extra hoops, or stabilizers? These can be items to sweeten the deal for you. Does it have a rolling bag? These machines are heavy and you will need a bag for transport.

I have brother/BL machines and a serger. No issues with any of them.

Good luck!
Rhonda K is offline  

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