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Thread: $600 budget - what machine should I get?

  1. #26
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    I fired up the Brother 1500 tonight and I really like it. I didn't try quilting on it but itsewed a nice seam right out of the box. It isn't much bigger than my Pfaff tho and I was disappointed in that. It is about 8 and a half inch from needle to arm. A great value IMHO

  2. #27
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I would look around and find a vintage Singer 15. Feed dogs drop and she will be your friend for life. Pocket the rest for fabric!

  3. #28
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    I'm a Viking person and I bought a used Lily 550 several years ago and love, love it. Never been in the repair shop and sews like a dream. Check Viking dealers for trade in's that's how I got mine at about half price. The lady that traded it in had only had it about 6 months.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  4. #29
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    It is important to decide what you want. Straight stitch? Decorative stitches?

    Decorative stitches, I agree with the ladies, you can't beat a good used machine. My first was a used Lily 550 from a dealer and my second was a Quilt Designer off eBay. Both great machines, very happy. Gave Lily to a friend and the QD is over on the desk.

    Straight stitch. You have gotten some great advice. Either a vintage machine, I have a Spartan hand crank I use for paper piecing. Love it! Or, a modern straight stitch machine. I love my Juki TL98E. She is a work horse. I keep her oiled and she keeps on doing what she does. Really fast! I first bought the Juki to put on a frame. I loved it so much I bought a mid arm. I almost sold the Juki. So glad I didn't. Super awesome piecing machine, came with a walking foot.

    Think about what you want. It might be, that with a little finagling, you could get both a vintage straight stitch machine and a modern used machine with loads of pretty stitches.

    I hope you get what ever it is that will make your heart sing and your creativity soar!

  5. #30
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    a Singer 301, AND a Janome Gem platinum

  6. #31
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    a Singer 301, AND a Janome Gem platinum
    Agree, both of these machines are dandy. I know cuz I have both.

  7. #32
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    Buy a used quality machine such as Pfaff or Bernina instead of a newer cheaper machine. These good machines last for a reason.
    And I'd look into a Juki, as well. I've heard very good things about them.

  8. #33
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    Check out Amazon and OverStock.com, you can get some really good buys at both those places and gently used one is a good idea if all the attachments and instruction books are with it and it has been well taken care of. I have a Brother and love it and I just inherited a Phaff from my sister-in-law that passed away but I haven't tried it yet. I hope you are able to fine what you want.
    Texas raised, Texas Proud

  9. #34
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrhaigh View Post
    I prefer Pfaffs due to their built in walking foot. I sewed clothing for 40 years on sewing machines without a walking foot, but when I started quilting I found much better results with the Pfaff. I was frustated using my "clothing" sewing machine for quilts. At the end of quilt strips I would always be off (ends not matching). So, I bought two used Pfaffs off EBay - they are the best machines I have ever had - I love them. I got a Pfaff 1475 and a Quilt Edition 7570 - both wonderful. The newer Pfaffs are now made in China, not Germany, so I prefer the older models. All the gals in my quilt friendship group have Pfaffs and would have nothing else. I would recommend going on EBay and seeing what is up for auction. I bought mine using the "Buy Now" method and paid around $600 for each machine. You just have to be patient.
    Just something else to consider. I have a friend with a Pfaff and built in walking foot. She is unable to FMQ with this particular model - as confirmed by the dealer. something about not being able to get a FM foot that would work - can't disable the dual feed. They tried every adaptation they could think of. She ended up getting a low end Brother and is extremely happy with it.

  10. #35
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    Janome, all the way. I have 3 and LOVE all of them

  11. #36
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    Well I am very happy with my Babylock Quilters Choice Plus and I cannot say enough about it. It has the built in walking foot, like several of the newer machines. Now this was a floor model, and it came with everything that you get with a new one, but a much lower price. All 15 of the feet were included, the extension table, etc. Most of the stores around here have a "Christmas in July" sale, and I bought it then. IF it were going new, I would lean towards the Juki's and I like the harp space, and the nifty foot pedal (it clips the thread for you) but what ever you choose make sure you have a dealer that will give you lessons, and will be there to help you with it.
    Amythyst

  12. #37
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    I love my brother pc420 for general sewing or if I want the computerized features. That one was $420 on amazon. I also have a singer featherweight for piecing ($100 at garage sale. Usually can be found for about $200) and my grandmothers singer 15-91 for quilting (often under $100 in cabinet on Craigslist).

  13. #38
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My Daughter has the Brother 1500 from All Brands With extra goodies and loves it. Freight free and was $600.00 with the extras. She can quilt a queen size quilt on it. I own 2 straight stitch machines and love them both, they are more money than $600.00. I would rather get a new machine than a used one. Just how I am.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  14. #39
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Have to say I love, love, love my Singer 15-91! Straight stitch only, mine has reverse. I have pieced/quilted a king sized quilt on it. It does not have an auto-threader or thread cutter (which is really important to some) - but I don't mind. I find her relaxing to sew on, and I absolutely love how it feels when I FMQ on her.

    I also have a Janome MC4800 (have had for about 8 years now). I use her occasionally, but prefer my Singer.

    Additionally, I have a Singer 401 that I like as well. I have to replace a plug on her that I messed up, so haven't been able to use her for a bit.

    Good luck in your search - lots of great ideas of what to look at here!
    Dawn

  15. #40
    Senior Member PurpleBecca's Avatar
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    The Artista 180 came out about 7-8 years ago if I remember correctly. They were $3000 new (without the embroidery module, $4000 with the embroidery module). I helped a friend buy a used one on Friday, at our local dealer.[/QUOTE]

    Time flies when you love your machine Christine - I bought mine 12 years ago!!!!!

    Generally good advice here - I think a used machine would be a great idea - I also agree that you need to play on a few machines, that will help you decide which functions you 'need' (!!) I love the needle down and speed control for the learner quilters I teach. A few decorative stitches can be fun and EVEN quilters sometimes want to put a few buttonholes in thier quilts!!!!!
    Last edited by PurpleBecca; 06-12-2012 at 09:58 AM.

  16. #41
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    The Artiste 180 came out 12-15 years ago. I know because I bought one where we last lived and we've been here for 10 years. It's now my travel one and the one I sew one at home is a 550. I love,love,love Berninas though they are expensive when bought new. I only buy them when Bernina has free financing for 4 years. They are having a speacil promotion June 16, 2012 with 4 years free financing. So if anyone is in the market for a new expensive but excellent quality machine get thee to a Bernina dealer June 16th.

  17. #42
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    JenelTX.. Hope I'm not out of line, or offend the Pfaff lovers..Looked up previews of some Pfaff machines mentioned here..I see the owners of older models have a hard time finding parts, such as gears. That is a serious consideration..Or/ machine costs a fortune to repair...I have considered the Janome HD3000, for a straight sewing machine...($399). Haven't made the move, but looks like my little Janome 2007 needs a new foot pedal..I do love the Janome...berni

  18. #43
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    About 5 years ago I bought a Pfaff 1222 E(has IDT) for $300, has 8" of throat space. Its great for piecing quilts and also quilting. It does FMQ and also straight line quilting, I like that I don't need to buy a separate walking foot for this machine; as its built in. This machine was new in 1980. I love this machine.

  19. #44
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper View Post
    Just something else to consider. I have a friend with a Pfaff and built in walking foot. She is unable to FMQ with this particular model - as confirmed by the dealer. something about not being able to get a FM foot that would work - can't disable the dual feed. They tried every adaptation they could think of. She ended up getting a low end Brother and is extremely happy with it.
    Its very simple to disengage the dual feed, you just grasp the lever and pull it up. I have had 2 Pfaffs and have no trouble doing FMQ.

  20. #45
    Senior Member QuilterGary's Avatar
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    There are soooo many good deals out there for used machines that is the way I would go. You could check out a good dealer for service or if you watch C'list if you can check everything out and feel like you can get a deal at low $ you can still take it to a dealer for a tune up. As for brand check out several and find one that meets your needs. Most sewing machines are made by two co. under different brand names.
    You will get what you expect to get.

  21. #46
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    If you are going to buy a used machine, please get one from a dealer. That way it will have been checked out and they may even offer you some kind of warranty. Janome has one, I'm not sure of the model, but I'd be sure to check with the local Janome dealer. I have 3 machines and a serger and LOVE them all!

  22. #47
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    Jenel,
    Call Amy Smith at Brubakers ..site is brubakerssewing.com I have purchased three machines from them. Two were slightly loved.....they have machines during quilt markets that they sell for great prices after using them for demos.
    I purchased a 6600 from them that was only a few weeks old....the customer decided on the 7700. they gave me a great price and warranty...They also sell all machine accessories at reasonable prices, then you get 15% off if you belong to the janome 6500 yahoo group. They provide great service and take care of their customers. No sales tax and most of the time free shipping. I am not connected with them, but wished they were in Texas, I would shop there all the time. They do have other machines besides Janomes, check out their site. I have a Janome 3160 with auto thread cutter, which is a must for piecing. It is light weight. I take it to quilt classes and love the features. I know you have a budget, but since you know you want to quilt, I would look for a used 6600. I have two, one for cabin, other for home.
    Call Amy.
    Diana in TX

  23. #48
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Oh wow, tngal22! That's a great price! I'm excited that dealers sell used machines. I think that might work out very well for me!
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  24. #49
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    That's a great point, Lori! I also think those super-fancy machines have more opportunity to break. They're just more than what I want or need, but I do want something quality and powerful.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  25. #50
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Thank you, Robin! That sounds wonderful. I'm heading to eBay now, just to see what's there. I think I can set up an alert to let me know when something comes up, too.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

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