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Thread: Pennysgirl says hello!

  1. #1
    Member
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    Post Pennysgirl says hello!

    Hi! I am a self taught sewer who recently fell in love with quilting. I found this place when I was looking for advice on buying a new machine. My Singer Quantum feed dog bolt broke and they discontinued the replacement part (what??.) So sad! I was in the middle of free motion quilting for my first time (I usually just stitch in the ditch, do x’s, or lines... simpler stuff.) I don’t make perfect quilts- mostly for myself and close family- because we appreciate them. If anyone has advice on a good machine that would be great! I really don’t want to spend more than 500 but will if it’s worth it... definitely want to keep it under 1000.
    -best regards,
    pennysgirl

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Welcome to the board. Janome and Brother have a fairly good reputations, even on the low end. There's also a new brand, called Sparrow, they also have a good reputation. Personally, I wouldn't buy any Singer younger than the 60's. LOL

  3. #3
    Power Poster
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    Welcome from Ontario, Canada. Buy the best machine you can afford. If you plan on FMQing, get needle down function and large throat space. A nice buttonhole stitch for fused appliqué. I like doing ruler work with my ruler foot so a machine that can use a ruler foot in the future might be a consideration.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Don't rule out vintage or used machines, but be sure to take them on a good test drive. Dealers have trade-ins, Craig's list is full of "gently used" machines around here. Sometimes people are downsizing and you can get a heck of a deal on a cabinet system including the machine.

    I had a good modern sewing machine back before they went computerized, a major part broke and I could not get it replaced/fixed -- of course, it was not included in the warranty either. For the last 20-30 years I used the same vintage machine that was older than I am the originally belonged to a friend's grandmother. Just this past fall a friend gave me a modern Bernina that she didn't like, I have to say I love the advantages and options but they aren't strictly necessary. For me though, the big thing was the throat size of my old machine was just too small for quilting and other than the simplest things and small projects, I was going to have to find other ways to quilt stuff down.

    I don't know the Quantum so I'm not sure of the features you are used to, I can see how it would be sort of hard to go from a modern machine to a vintage one, but the very simplicity has a lot of appeal. You can do your own maintenance for example. Really all a quilting machine needs is a good steady smooth straight stitch, everything else is gravy. Nothing wrong with liking gravy and going full smothered and covered though! And, if you do anything fancy you need a machine that can do fancy stuff. Me, mostly I just straight stitch but I'm trying to learn the new machine.

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Welcome from western NY and happy quilting
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  6. #6
    Super Member Thumbelina's Avatar
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    Welcome from NE Ohio.

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    I have Brother sewing machines and am very pleased with them. If you intend to do FMQ, get the largest throated machine you can afford. Have lots of fun on your quilting adventure!
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  8. #8
    Super Member
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    Welcome from Tennessee. I have a Brother that I love also. Not high end but good for me

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Welcome from North Carolina! I had a high priced computerized Viking H. that broke down after about 3 or 4 years and it couldn't be fixed. No repair person would look at it. They all said that it wasn't worth fixing. I bought a Singer Heavy Duty one at Walmart for $99 and it does everything I ask of it. I sew about 6 to 8 hours a day and I've had it for several years. It just chugs along without a problem. Sometimes less fanciness is much better.

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Welcome from Southern California! If you have a local sewing machine dealer go in and test drive a few different machines. I have a Janome MC6600 that I fell in love with during a test drive. It had a lot of bells and whistles I never used before so was very worried I was spending a lot of money for something I would never use. But I took the classes that came with the machine and learned to use. them. So now I do. So I agree with the idea that buying the best machine you can afford. (That does not mean spend more than you should, just be willing to stretch yourself not your budget.)

  11. #11
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    Thanks Iceblossom! I had a 25 year old kenmore that my husband bought me before we were married, just so I could hem pants for our soon to-be family... as it turned out, that machine served me well, and I made many things, including costumes as well as clothing. I decided to upgrade a few years ago and sold that machine at a garage sale for$40!!! I wish I had it now, in the interim... as I try to decide on a new machine! I totally agree that a good straight stitch is what I mostly need, but even though I only quilt 70x90 size or under, having a large throat area makes it so much easier! I had a lot of stitch choices with my quantum machine but honestly didn’t use more than a few of them... and since I mostly used my walking foot, I probably didn’t realize how poorly my feed dog function was working!

  12. #12
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    I Love that idea, quiltingcandy... to stretch myself, not my budget... this concept applies to many things in life!

  13. #13
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    thanks for all the advice!

    Wow! I didn’t expect such a quick response and so much good advice! Thanks everyone for your help so far! I plan to investigate more in the next day or so and make a decision soon! I will probably have more questions when I narrow my choices down...

  14. #14
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    Welcome from NJ. Agree with everything that has already been said. Not sure where in PA you are but if you are near to central NJ I would highly recommend my dealer. PM me if you want details.

  15. #15
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    Welcome from Michigan!

  16. #16
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    Welcome from Texas. Good luck in your search for a new machine. I have a Janome Magnolia 7330 which I bought in 2009 for $329. At the time I was just beginning to quilt & didn't know what I wanted but DH was insistent that I get a new machine for my new hobby. I like the machine a lot but sure wish the throat was larger (it's about 6 1/2"). Also, it's hard to get my hands in to thread the needle. Now, it does have a needle threader which makes that function easier. Even though I don't use a lot of fancy stitches, I wish it had more to select from. It does have a needle up/down feature which I Love & a slide that allows to change the speed of the machine. I have heard a lot of great things about the Ever Sewn Sparrow machine but I don't know anything about them other than what I've read online.
    Have fun with your new hobby. This board is full of encouragement & help. We also love to see pictures...hint, hint, hint.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-08-2019 at 05:45 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  17. #17
    Power Poster Boston1954's Avatar
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    Welcome from Oklahoma.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

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