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Thread: "quilting" Sewing Machines what's best?

  1. #1
    community benefactor stevendebbie25's Avatar
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    If price was not a subject, what would you consider the best machine for quilt-sewing? Especially if you've owned several brands, what would you compare, and recommend?
    I currently have a Baby Lock Ellegante II, and I like it just fine, but don't like having to change the needle plate and feet and embroidery table to quilt extension table with each project step. I'd like to leave one for embroidery, and purchase another that can drop feed dogs and works well for machine quilting & piecing. I do have 2 other smaller Baby Locks without the feed dog drop options, they are good for simple sewing or craft projects, but not thrilled for quilting. Please Help

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Great topic. I have no idea and will be watching this. I'm still trying to get up my nerve to machine quilt :)

  3. #3
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    Personally I would go with a machine that has IDT. Integrated Dual feed. For years you could only get this on Pfaff machines, but now I do believe that Janome has it. So much easier than the clumpy walking foot....

  4. #4
    Kas
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    Super Member Kas's Avatar
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    Love, love, love my Bernina 640!

  5. #5
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Love my Janome 6260QC, as my workhorse. It is electronic but not "computerized." It goes through anything. Also has 60+ stitches for the creatively minded.
    I also have the Janome Horizon 7700. Love it too. But, being computerized, it 'shuts down' if I ask it to go through something too tough - like 4 layers of denim (LOL). The only other thing I'd change on the Horizon is the position of the lever for knee lifting the pressure foot. It's way too far to the right to reach it when your chair is centered in front of the needle.
    I love Janome. I find their products easy to use, and 'intuitive.' They also have a good solid feel and sew great!

  6. #6
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I have the Ellisimo and don't mind changing things out. I had to sell my Janome 6500 to be able to afford and justify the Ellisimo. I love my machine, but will say that Janome products are much sturdier and have more metal parts. For my money, I would go with the 6500 and use the attachment type walking foot though. I had the 6600 which had the dual feed system and it was extremely cumbersome to change the feet. It is nowhere as easy as using the IDT on a Pfaff (which I also had). In fact, I have owned at one time, every brand of machine out there except an Elna and Janome beats them all hands down for durability and dependability.

  7. #7
    Member etheriot's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina 630 w/embroidery module and BSR. I love the embroidery part but have not practiced with the BSR. I use V.5 and so far it has been okay. Takes time to learn the machine but is very user friendly. I have a small quilt that I am getting ready to practice on. Haven't decided exactly what to do on it but will post photos when I finish. Just shop around and buy what you think is best for you.

  8. #8
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    I have an older Pfaff with the IDT but it has the small throat and the Babylock Espire (now the Symphonie) with a large throat and an attachable walking foot. I love the Baby and am getting used to switching out the foot. Would not give her away for nottin'. If the Pfaff quality hadn't gone down (my opinion from personal experience) I would have upgraded to the Expression 4.0.

  9. #9
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    I have the Baby Lock Quilter's Choice Professional and I love it.

    Carole

  10. #10
    Super Member QuiltswithConvicts's Avatar
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    Since money is no object - I have the Janome 6600P. I paid $2000 for it 4 years ago. I love it. It is considered a mid-arm as there is 9" between the needle & head (called the Harp.) I use it for everything from piecing, appliquing and FMQ. It has a feature that could be likened to a built-in walking foot. It also has a knee-lifter that raises the presser foot while you are holding the fabric. The new Janome is the Horizon. Haven't looked at it as I don't want a new all-purpose machine. Would like a Handi-Quilter 18" though.

  11. #11
    Super Member sidmona's Avatar
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    I love my Juki TL98E. It is a great workhorse and has a 9" harp. I have quilted many a large size quilt on this baby. It has needle down, built-in thread cutter and it has a knee lift for the presser foot.

  12. #12
    Super Member Joeysnana's Avatar
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    I got the Janome 6600P in August and love it!! It has the Accufeed system which is similar to the IDT on the Pfaffs. I have never had a problem changing the feet. Once you do it, it is simple.

  13. #13
    community benefactor stevendebbie25's Avatar
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    Seems most have their favs on machines too.
    Has anyone bought one brand and then another, able to compare, and prefer one over another? What and why?
    I've heard Juke is a work horse machine, and Janome is one with the most loyal customers that won't trade away.

    I did research before buying my Baby Lock, and found many ladies who'd owned Bernina, Pfaff, and BabyL, said BabyL was more user friendly. Then did a consumer report compare and BabyL I got more feet, more hoops sizes and more user friendly plus saved thousands over the other top 2 brands.

    Now, with a quilting machine, I'd like one with no mechanical problems, user friendly, reliable.
    Thank you for your help here ladies.

  14. #14
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    I just bought Bernina 630 E Quilters edition 6 months ago and
    find it very user friendly it has a USB port on side to plug in quilt or embroidery designs just finished queen size quilt for mom can even flip designs I did that on moms pillow shams
    this is my second Bernina they are very fun to sew with has bsr foot for free motion quilting which is also alot of fun and something I,m just learning .

  15. #15
    Super Member mshawii's Avatar
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    I just bought a new Pfaff with the walking foot built in and it also has the larger opening for machine quilting . It has the automatic thread cutter and the pivot lift. It is the Expressions 4.0.

  16. #16
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I have Pfaff's and love them both. The Creative Vision is for embroidery and the other is for quilting. But really, I have recently gotten a Featherweight to take when I 'a quiltin go.

    As long as you can bond with whatever machine you get ... it is OK. Of course it helps if there is good service in your area too.

    ali

  17. #17
    Super Member mshawii's Avatar
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    I also have a featherweight and I also use it to take to classes. The new machine is heavier and don't want to take a chance of dropping it or having someone else mess with it.

  18. #18
    Raggedy Anne's Avatar
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    I am selling my BabyLock Jewel with QuiltMotion and QuiltCAD as well as the Grace Majestic Quilting Frame. I love the machine and hate to sell it but my DH was laid off and I need to save my home and sell it asap. I just bought the Jewel with the Grace frame the end of last year, and the QuiltMotion is only 2 months old. I have only quilted 2 Quilts with it and they turned out amazing! So it's pretty much still brand new. I am only asking $9,500.00 for everything! Great deal since I paid over $19,000.00 for everything just last year. My loss your gain.
    Here is what is included:
    This Auction is for a BabyLock Jewel Quilting Machine, QuiltMotion, QuiltCAD, and Grace Majestic Quilting Frame. All are near new and still under warranty. Less than 24hrs of quilting time has been used on this. It works great and in great shape!

    If interested email me with any questions you may have. [email protected]

    All that is included:

    1. BabyLock Jewel Quilting Machine
    2. Carriage with encoders for Grace Pinnacle Frame
    3. Electronic bobbin winder with variable speed
    4. Laser light and clamp for following pantographs
    5. M size metal bobbins
    6. Needles size 16 and 18
    7. Thread mast and washers
    8. Oiling Kit
    9. Needle Removal wrench
    10. Alan Wrenches
    11. Front and back handles both with LCD monitor screens and controls
    12. hopping foot
    13. QuiltMotion Software
    14. LCD display on swivel mount
    15. 15 USB cable
    16. housing/carriage plate
    17. 300 Built in Patterns
    18. QuiltCAD software
    19. QuiltMotion Quick Reference Guide book
    20. QuiltMotion Installation Guide book
    21. Grace Majestic Quilting Frame (King, queen, & Crib size)
    22. 4 king size leader polls or 8 crib size
    23. Cloth Leaders
    24. Velcro Leader Attachments
    25. Plastic Tube Leader Attachments
    26. Blue plastic leader attachment roller
    27. 1 Large pink spool of thread
    28. 1 king size Frame table or 2 crib size
    29. Jewel Track System
    30. And many many more extras!

    My Baby
    Name:  Attachment-126317.jpe
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Size:  42.8 KB

    My Baby 2
    Name:  Attachment-126318.jpe
Views: 125
Size:  44.2 KB

    My Baby 3
    Name:  Attachment-126319.jpe
Views: 117
Size:  41.5 KB

  19. #19
    Junior Member sew_sew's Avatar
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    My 2 year old BabyLock Espire was just what I wanted and needed. I believe they have renamed it, not sure what but it is a quilt/sew only machine. I also have a Pfaff 7130 that is about 8 years old with IDT but for some reason I have never loved it (although I like it). Now I am thinking that I would like to play around a bit with embroidery but don't want to spend a lot of money on a embroidery machine and doubt I would use it much so I am looking at the Babylock Sofia because I could also use it as my class machine (fairly light when the embroidery table is taken off)

  20. #20
    Super Member mshawii's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff with the IDT and a large open throat. It is the Expressions 4 and just below the huge one with the embroidery. I would never use the embroidery part so didn't go for that part. I love this machine. Highly recommend it. :thumbup: Jan

  21. #21
    Super Member
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    I love my elna Quilter's Dream.

  22. #22
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Babylock Espire hands down, I love it, can't say anything bad about it at the moment

  23. #23
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    My thoughts: Janome Horizon, Pfaff SmarterC1100 Pro, new Babylock Serenade or (outgoing model) Quest Plus, Janome 6600/Elna Quilting Queen 7300. All of those have built-in dual feed (IDT). I have the Quest Plus and LOVE LOVE LOVE it, especially the IDT. It was easy to learn, the stitches are superb, and it comes with the feet and accessories quilters typically want like a large extension table, 1/4" foot, and straight stitch plate. I would expect the new Serenade to be even better. I only didn't buy the Horizon b/c it was much more expensive, and I wasn't sure that I'd get back to quilting enough to merit the expense. I also have and LOVE a used Bernina 440 with BSR (which I haven't used much yet). I'd have a HARD time choosing between the 440 and the Quest Plus. I like having both!

  24. #24
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    One thing you can do to help you decide is to join the yahoo groups related to the machines that interest you. I've learned so much from the Horizon group and groups for modern and older Berninas.

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