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Advice for machine shopping

Advice for machine shopping

Old 10-16-2013, 12:46 PM
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Default Advice for machine shopping

I think I'm going to upgrade my machine for Christmas. I have a Janome Jem Gold, which is a tiny little powerhouse - I love it. But it is very small and I want to start making larger projects. I'm inclined to stay with Janome because I love this machine so much. I don't want a fancy machine with lots of computerized stuff. I want to piece and FMQ and that's about it. I've heard that the 1600 series is great - does anyone have one? I've also heard that Bernina's are the gold standard - should I look into that? Is there a line of theirs that is big, but not loaded with features I don't need. I could really use the group's wisdom on this, as it will be an expensive purchase. Thank you all!
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:43 PM
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I have a Janome 6500 and have had lots of problems with it even though it had great recommendations. There are no perfect machines out there. You need to determine what you need on a machine, make your list and go try them out. I would suggest taking a look at Juki machines. I love my new Juki and you seem to get more machine for your money.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:54 PM
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I know you don't want computerized, but check out the janome 8900QCP. I LOVE IT!
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:54 PM
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I just ordered a Juki. I can't comment on her yet, but the main thing that sold me was that it is a mechanical machine rather than a computerized one.

PS: Your avatar cats look like a Snail's Trail block!
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:14 PM
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It's so hard to know! There's a great quilting store in Manhattan that sells a lot of Bernina machines, but I don't know where else I can try out other brands. I can tell this is going to be a big headache.

And then there's Brother! They're supposed to be good too!
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:19 PM
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The Juki 2010Q is definitely a workhorse, I regularly go to my mom's and use hers as I sew on a Janome Gem Gold as well... I just purchased the Janome 8900 QCP, and will update once I get to know him a bit.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:45 PM
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Just be sure you test drive as many as you can. I kept a notebook with me when I shopped, and I devoted a page to each machine I tried. I was particularly looking for a quiet machine, so my needs were a bit different than others. I made sure I noted what I liked and didn't like about each machine.

I really only drove about 8 machines, but I kept going back to "re-drive" the ones I was really interested in. I took my own pieces of fabric, which made sense to me but probably wasn't necessary.

Good luck. You might consider buying locally so you could have it serviced where you bought it.


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Old 10-16-2013, 03:02 PM
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I would advise you to set your budget, make a wish list and spend time researching. I recently bought a new long arm machine after researching online, trying out friends' machines and attending quilt shows to try the machines there. That was the biggest help! In NYC you have Sewmark Sewing Machine Inc on 38th St, they sell a range of machines for both industrial and home use. They will also service your machine. There's also Crown Machines on Broadway. They also carry many different brands. A good machine is essential to enjoying sewing, so you should try them out and get the one that feels best to you!
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:22 PM
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Fix you budget and wish list. One of my machines has loads of pretty/fancy stitches yet I haven't used most of them.

Then try them all out. Do you have any handicaps such that certain features work better for you such that a knee lift/control or IDT might be best?
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:52 PM
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I have the Janome 6500 and love it. We also have the Janome Jem Silver and several other Janomes. If you want a plain machine maybe look at the Juki straight stich or a vintage singer 15-91 or singer 201. The Singer 301 is nice too as it is light enough to take along. all those machines do is straight stich. Some of the other ones with cams can do fancy stitches.

Oh I would take the Juki over the Janome 1600.
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