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Thread: Advice on what brand of machine to buy

  1. #26
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    If you want to quilt, check into a Pfaff with an integrated walking foot. It's perfect to keep layers of fabric from slipping when quilting, but also great for other fabrics, too. I use it all the time! Plus, with the integrated walking foot system you can use other feet with it, unlike a regular walking foot attachment that most other machines have. So you can use the stitch in the ditch foot and the open toe, etc. WHILE quilting and not have a problem. I've had a Pfaff for over 20 years, and he integrated walking foot is the reason. Plus it's an excellent machine!

  2. #27
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I bought a Bernina last year, although I bought one with embroidery since I do that too. I've had Singers and Babylocks, and loved them when I used them, but Bernina is by far the best I think. I have the stitch regulator for quilting which really helps with free motions quilting, but it is expensive. Bernina takes trade-ins so you may be able to get a deal on a slightly used machine. They always service them before they resale them too. I had my machine serviced under warranty recently, then decided a week later to upgrade. When I took my machine back as a trade in two weeks later, they were still going to service it again, even though I'd only sewn on it for about a week. Good luck with your decision!

  3. #28
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    Don't forget to go try the pfaff most all quilting and allplying the bindind will tell you to use a walking foot the pfaff has a built in one I use mine all the time it works great you might go to a dealer and find a recondioned used one you will love the walking foot better known as the IDT foot

  4. #29
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Sorry I posted on the wrong post!! Didn't anyone wonder what a Betty Crocker sewing machine was? LOL! It was meant for the bread machine recipe page. LOL!
    Loretta: I actually did wonder what Betty Crocker was doing making sewing machines but thought "What the hey, only my grandkids think I know everything"...I decided maybe I had missed the BC machine! :lol:

  5. #30
    Super Member Feathers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    Here is an example why it is important to purchase from a local and reliable resource:

    I just remembered a story about my first sewing machine research.

    DH and I went to Wards because we had credit there and they carried sewing machines. The sales guy from the mattress department came over and was surprised that I wanted to test a machine. Of course, none of them were complete to the point of actually doing that (testing). Mr. Mattress went in search of a bobbin and he climbed into the storage cabinet looking for I don't know what. (He had NO idea what a bobbin looked like - lol) In the meantime, I had pulled a bobbin from one of the other machines and loaded it into the machine I wanted to drive. The sales guy apparently did not like my assertiveness and informed me that it was HIS job to do the setup CORRECTLY.

    Drumroll please: He then yanked about 2 feet of thread out of the bobbin and tried to PUSH the thread up through the throatplate. I don't think I ever laughed so hard (internally).

    NO, I did not buy a machine from WARDS.
    *******************************
    I DID buy a machine from Wards back in the very early 70's and it was a work horse. In 1991 I bought my New Home Memorcy Craft and sent the Wards machine home with our daughter who used it and used it. At Christmas this daughter said she finally RETIRED the Wards machine as it needed work that the repair person told her would be more costly than buying a new machine ...between us we got almost 40 years of very good service from that machine and I think I paid something like $169.00 for it new. DD is now ready to take possession of the New Home !

    When I bought my New Home I got it through a dealer and WOW, did they ever go all out to give me instructions and had an 800 number for phone support and would even call me periodically to see if I had any questions. I stopped in the store about a year ago and they were still just as quick and ready to help me out. I like doing business with them and when I replace the New Home I'm pretty sure I'll be going back to this same dealer.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feathers
    I DID buy a machine from Wards back in the very early 70's and it was a work horse.
    I didn't mention that the reason I did not get a machine at that time/place was that it ran rough like a tractor. :D ....but the salesmanship didn't help either. ggggg

  7. #32

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    Buy the best you can from local dealer where you can get lessons and service if needed, I used to sell them and service is always needed at sometoime and lessons very helpful if new to sewing and to get the most from the machine . Good Luck :)

  8. #33
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Mine is a Janome6500, a bit less expensive than the Janome6600...but I love it cuz it has a larger throat area for stuffing that quilt in there to quilt, LOL, and needle up/down, auto thread cutter, auto threader, lots of decorative stitches and more.

  9. #34
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingbee12
    I am not recomending a sewing machine, because I only have old ones. But, stay away from the newer singers, unless it is the XL-Quatam or whatever its called. I do not recomend Computerized because while I have never sewed on one, they are very expensive to repair if you are sewing and there is a power outage you have a big issue. Etc.
    I do second the Elna. I know someone who loves the one she has, and they have some great features.
    I TOTALLY DISAGREE about the computerized machines - I have 3! Use a surge protector, and a power outage won't hurt you. Same as for your computer. And they are only expensive to repair if something happens to your computer board, which is virtually never. Servicing (the once a year thing you SHOULD have on any machine you use a lot) is only $20 more at my dealer for a computerized machine.

    I have used computerized sewing machines since they first came out. My first was a Viking in about 1988. Now, I have 3 Pfaffs - all computerized. We have had power outages, and my machines have NEVER been damaged, because they're plugged into surge protectors. The plusses with computerized machines are fabulous.

    My dealer sells Brothers, Vikings and Pfaffs. The quilters love Pfaffs because of the built-in 'walking foot.' They call it 'even feed' but it's the same as a walking foot without the hassle of putting it on and taking it off, and you can use the fancy stitches with it, which you can't do with a foot you have to put on and off. Makes machine quilting a dream.

    I do agree with everyone who says TRY OUT EVERY MACHINE you are interested in. Take samples of the types of fabric and battings you use, and use them on the machines. Even if you don't have a local dealer, you will have to have your machine serviced occasionally. That makes the dealer important. Dealers stand behind their machines. You may not live close enough to take advantage of their classes, but when you buy the machine, they should take the time to teach you how to use it!

  10. #35
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that for quilting all you need is a great straight stitch. The rest is gravy.

  11. #36

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    I have a Pfaff quilt expression 2046. It's great for quilting because of the integrated dual-feed that feeds the fabric evenly. It also has a switch to lower the feed-dogs for free-motion quilting (instead of having to install a plate). I agree with the other ladies that you should try the machines out at the store first and buy local so you can get service.

  12. #37

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    I bought a Viking 300 and I would stay away from that one. If you want to do embroidery the attachments are too expensive. I haven't quilted with it yet. Also, I purchased the machine at JoAnn's and they no longer have Viking or the representives.

    Tennessee Rose

  13. #38
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    So much good info, said there was no need for me to reply, but I will confess I didn't real all the way to end.
    My priority list:
    Machine first. Do not buy a machine without test driving it. Take your own scraps, different types, threads, and scissors. your dealer may not supply these, but you don't want to be handed all cottons. you want to know what it would do on all sorts of things.
    Dealer, right behind, machine. Is he close enough? Do you feel comfortable enough with him, and is he good? Did he answer your questions, knowledgeable about your machine? (if not, why would you want him to work on it? Janome dealers get certified...don't know bout others)
    Pay attention to height of presser foot...will it accomodate several layers? Take some denim fabric with you and put at least two pieces together, and see how easy it is to maneuver under there.
    My number one all time feature, I have to have now...speed regulation.If I can't control speed, then I can't control quality of my work.
    Probably more, but most important to me, once I get my machines home? Heavy duty, surge protection.
    not a little strip with cord...no, an industrial box with usually 8 outlets, made for offices.
    We have lots of power surges, and have lost a computer, mother board, due to this. You may have them rarely, but one, can take away your new baby. It's worth the $50.00 to have that protection, I also unplug my machines after using, now.
    Insist on using it, on your own fabrics, and just suggest that they go back to what they were doing, don't mind me, I'll holler if I have a question...so you can relax. I usually spend at least an hour trying a machine. I use the instr. book, and try out different features.
    If you get the bum's rush, and lots of fast talk, say I'll have to think about it, or even say, I will talk with my husband,...then even if you want a machine like that, think hard, about using that dealer.
    Don't be coaxed into an impulse buy. It's too important. There are a lot of impressive machines and features out there, and you want a good fit. :D

  14. #39

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    Elna and janome are almost the same, owned by the same company so wherever there is a dealer near you is a good bet. You will want somthing with quilting as the focus. Needle down, auto threading, scissors built in, and the ability to put the feed dogs down. You can always buy extra feet for whatever machine you end up with. It is fun to shop, take your time, it is an important decision. I have Elna's quilters dream pro and I am happy with it, although I wish I had a Bernina with stitch regulator, I couldn't affor it. Good luck with you search

  15. #40
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feathers
    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Sorry I posted on the wrong post!! Didn't anyone wonder what a Betty Crocker sewing machine was? LOL! It was meant for the bread machine recipe page. LOL!
    Loretta: I actually did wonder what Betty Crocker was doing making sewing machines but thought "What the hey, only my grandkids think I know everything"...I decided maybe I had missed the BC machine! :lol:
    Yes! I said, "What?" then thought, maybe she's joking? Then, like Feathers, figured, well, what do I know...but was thinking, I wouldn't buy a steak at a sub shop, so not buying a sewing machine from Betty Crocker, lol. I have done this too!!!

  16. #41
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wraez
    Mine is a Janome6500, a bit less expensive than the Janome6600...but I love it cuz it has a larger throat area for stuffing that quilt in there to quilt, LOL, and needle up/down, auto thread cutter, auto threader, lots of decorative stitches and more.
    not to usurp, you wraez, but just suggest you at least try both the 6500 and the 6600.
    I did, and went up the 300.00 more, bc of the accufeed etc. and figured it would be my last machine, since I already had another janome 6260. It's about what you want, and how much you want to spend. I looked at how many years I expected to use it and divided the extra money by that...um, 20-30 years? for an example...divided by 300 or whatever your dealer's difference is...can be as little as 7-15 dollars per year, but accufeed, for me, is a dream.
    just want you to have the benefit of choosing. :D
    if you are happy with 6500, who cares what I think is good for me? it's your money :wink:

  17. #42
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    thank you so much for the great advice! i am taking notes about what everyone says so that i will make the right decision.

  18. #43
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    we have a local shop in the area..it is a main carrier of babylock..which I personaly love...but the fantastic thing about this shop, is it's all trade in's and once used ( for trade shows and such) machine...so they are all a quarter of the price..many of them barely touched...plus they offer the classes and such...I realize this isn't realistic for you...but you can go online, and search the refurbished babylocks, and machines of that sort..and get a great nearly new machine..for often times really cheap! My machine I bought used, it is an older model, a babylock esante...it is a quilting, and embrodery machine... fully computerized I love her..I spent under $500 for her.

  19. #44
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Hi Quiltncrazy....

    I HAVE a Janome6500 and LOVE it... The difference in price between it and the 6600 was not worth it for me to go the extra $. I had to put it on layaway for 6 months cuz I could not buy it out of pocket. Hubby and I are retired and on a very fixed, fixed income, so being able to afford the 6500 at all was a dream but hubby said to go for it. If I actually only had to pay $7-15 a yr, than it would be a consideration, but that is not how you get to pay for things.

    When I win that all evasive lottery, I will buy all my dream machines including a long arm, LOL.

    sue

  20. #45
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    Jamie
    Does your local shop have a website that I could check out! That's an awesome price for a sewing machine of that brand name. Let me know. Thanks

    Lee

  21. #46
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wraez
    Hi Quiltncrazy....

    I HAVE a Janome6500 and LOVE it... The difference in price between it and the 6600 was not worth it for me to go the extra $. I had to put it on layaway for 6 months cuz I could not buy it out of pocket. Hubby and I are retired and on a very fixed, fixed income, so being able to afford the 6500 at all was a dream but hubby said to go for it. If I actually only had to pay $7-15 a yr, than it would be a consideration, but that is not how you get to pay for things.

    When I win that all evasive lottery, I will buy all my dream machines including a long arm, LOL.

    sue
    I completely understand where your coming from, wraez, we are on a fixed income too. We have an emergency fund, and hubby had to "dip" for a tree, before it fell on our house, so I figured, now was the right time to bring it up, for me...later down the line, it wouldn't be feasible.
    It is a luxury, but I do a lot of sewig, I don't just quilt. Having either one of these, really is a dream. :D

  22. #47
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie
    we have a local shop in the area..it is a main carrier of babylock..which I personaly love...but the fantastic thing about this shop, is it's all trade in's and once used ( for trade shows and such) machine...so they are all a quarter of the price..many of them barely touched...plus they offer the classes and such...I realize this isn't realistic for you...but you can go online, and search the refurbished babylocks, and machines of that sort..and get a great nearly new machine..for often times really cheap! My machine I bought used, it is an older model, a babylock esante...it is a quilting, and embrodery machine... fully computerized I love her..I spent under $500 for her.
    Jamie, sounds like you got quite a bargain, but did you buy online? I could have saved some money, or got a cabinet with mine, but afraid to buy something that I've only seen pics of and a list of features, otherwise, sounds fantastic!

  23. #48
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltncrazy
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamie
    we have a local shop in the area..it is a main carrier of babylock..which I personaly love...but the fantastic thing about this shop, is it's all trade in's and once used ( for trade shows and such) machine...so they are all a quarter of the price..many of them barely touched...plus they offer the classes and such...I realize this isn't realistic for you...but you can go online, and search the refurbished babylocks, and machines of that sort..and get a great nearly new machine..for often times really cheap! My machine I bought used, it is an older model, a babylock esante...it is a quilting, and embrodery machine... fully computerized I love her..I spent under $500 for her.
    Jamie, sounds like you got quite a bargain, but did you buy online? I could have saved some money, or got a cabinet with mine, but afraid to buy something that I've only seen pics of and a list of features, otherwise, sounds fantastic!
    You may save money buying on-line, but you don't have the service of a dealer if anything goes wrong. You may be sorry. I would be uncomfortable buying a used machine on-line without a recommendation from someone I knew who had bought from the SAME on-line place.

  24. #49
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    I did not buy online...I went two seperate days, trying it out, and many more..compairing prices and such...but what the lady told me is a lot of the major dealers of machines all offer the refurbished..or barely used ones online, i spent a great deal of time doing searches, because I initialy bought one i wasn't happy with then had to return it a couple of days later ( bought the singer quilter, and it wasn't quite what I wanted, but it was inexpensive)...so if you have an idea of what your looking for it would be very easy to just get it online.

  25. #50
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    Hi, montanaquilter!

    I currently have a Pfaff Expressions 2030...have had it for about a year and a half and use it for both quilting and sewing. It has many of the features you are looking for. My older machine is a New Home (now Janome) Memory Craft 6000 and I would still be using it, but it's over 20 years old and the computer is giving out on it. I agree with all the other ladies in this great group...DO buy from a reputable dealer to get the service you need. The only reason I didn't go back to a Janome is because the dealer for them is over an hour away. My Pfaff dealer is 20 miles away and I work in that same town. Do I like my Pfaff? Yes!

    Jojo

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