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Thread: Advice on what brand of machine to buy

  1. #1
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    I want to buy a new sewing machine for quilting. I've been searching and reading for days!! I don't do any appliquing right now-exclusively quilt. What brand is the best one to buy? I do want to do free motion and fun stitches though.
    What do you guys use that work really good? Help!!!

  2. #2
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Hmmmm...depends on lots of things. What you want to "grow up" to be...do you want a "starter" machine or something you can grow into? What is your price range? Do you want to embroider also?? The list goes on...

    I have a Bernina and a couple of Singers. Love them all.

    I would recommend that you go directly to the dealers stores...spend lots of time sitting and trying out lots of machines to find the one that "fits" you the best. Have fun!!

  3. #3
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    Yes I want one that I can grow into. I don't want to spend 10,000 though. We don't have a dealer around my area at all-that's what makes this decision sooooo much harder. I don't think I'll need one that does embroidery. Price range, I'm not sure 2,000 or less I suppose.

  4. #4
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    Whatever brand you buy, I would only buy one from a local dealer so you can get service, support, accessories and classes.

  5. #5
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina and love it, I have had it since 1983, so starting to look at new machines, although I will keep my Bernina, but it is as heavy as a boat anchor.

    There are some other really reasonable priced machines, specifically for quilting. Find a dealer that deals in Baby lock and Janome, go try them both. They are great machines, I have tried both. the Janome is a little more expensive than the Baby lock for quilting. I am leaning toward the Baby lock. They have been represented at the last couple of quilt shows I have been to. Quilters are really happy with both.

  6. #6
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    I have a elna Quilter's Dream, it has lots of different stitches and a good size bed. I bought it used for $900, I think it would be in your price range, but like others, I strongly recommend test driving or at least buy from a dealer and not a department store.

  7. #7
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    thank you ladies for all your advice. this will help me out alot!! at least i've narrowed down the search some :D :D

  8. #8

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    I have had a TOL Bernina and now own a Kenmore. The nice thing about a company like Bernina is you can start low and upgrade. The nice thing on Kenmore you can buy high at a low price. I have less trouble with my Kenmore but it is a sewing only machine not a duel machine. Kenmore last. With the Bernina you get free classes at many stores and service to a certain time.

    I sold my Bernina years ago for it was way more than I needed and many other things were included in the reason. I just bought my Kenmore because one I could afford it and it had just enough to grown on without being too much. Also there was no close bernina store.

    What I would suggest is get on the manufacture website to see who sell near you. Bernina, Janome, Elna, Viking,Singer ect all have site that will show you local dealer. Then you can go to the store and test run the machines. One thing to remember the store you buy from is just as important as the sewing machine.

  9. #9
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathe
    Whatever brand you buy, I would only buy one from a local dealer so you can get service, support, accessories and classes.
    I totally agree with Cathe about buying from a local dealer.
    I have a Husqvarna Viking Quilt Designer, I've had it for at least 7 years and I love it. Not one problem. I think they stopped making that model but have replaced it with one similar.

  10. #10
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Have had my Bernina for 20 + years and love it. But I know others here have evey machine under the sun and love theirs also. Test drive some even if you have to travel to do it.

  11. #11

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    I have a Babylock Espire which is one of their Quilters Dream series. I love it and it in your price range. It is very user friendly and has some great features. I would totally recommend it or any of the Babylocks.

  12. #12
    Senior Member quiltingbee12's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #13
    Super Member shaverg's Avatar
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    I am in California, the Baby lock for quilting is $999.00 and the Janome is 1499.00. Both are in your price range. If you know your dealer they will sometimes give you a nice quilting cabinet for free or a reasonable price. It extends to support your quilt, while machine quilting. They are a nice weight compared to the Bernina which I love, but it is heavy.

  14. #14
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    While you are at the quilt store ask about a used machine. Sometimes the ladies trade in some very nice machines that you can get for a fraction of buying one new. Just a thought.

  15. #15
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    i will absolutely ask about that. thanks for the advice!! I did notice that a lot of quilt shops online are selling refurbished ones.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    It also depends on the dealer you have. The one machine dealer in my area will not take trade ins. Said they were too hard to sell, meaning the new machines were not selling when a gently used one was for sale. And she moans about customers not being loyal to her. :roll:

  17. #17
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    i saw that and laughed!! thought maybe it was a really old one!! :lol:
    that's okay it brightened my day and probably maybe many others. what's life if you can't screw up a little and laugh about it later.

  18. #18
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Didn't anyone wonder what a Betty Crocker sewing machine was?
    I did - lol, but it would not have surprised me if there was such an animal.

    When I was in the market for a machine, I did A LOT of research. I read a lot of reviews on line and talked to other sewers as you are doing here. (Mine was BQB :wink: )

    I found out what different features were available and how important these features were to me. Then I narrowed down the list of contenders and went "test driving." I ended up with a Pfaff "Quilt and something" that has a built-in walking foot, a needle down position selector, and a low bobbin indicator. It also has more stitches than I'll ever use but the first three items were my MUST HAVES.

    Since, I added a Brother "Jeans and something" to take to quilting classes. Love it for the drop in bobbin, and it does a respectable button hole stitch.

    Then I added a Pfaff Grandquilter and plan to use it with my Handiquilter frame. It runs like a Gazelle on steroids, has a 9"X6" throat opening which is great for quilting, but it only has a straight stitch, so not advisable for an "only" machine. It also runs a little harder/louder than I anticipated and I wonder if I am not oiling it enough.

    Happy shopping. BTW: make sure you haggle!!!!!

  19. #19
    Power Poster sandpat'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!
    Yup...I saw it Loretta....I just thought your marbles were rolling....mine do that some too :oops: :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    You might want to check this month's issue of "Consumer Reports." There is a review of sewing machines in it.

  21. #21
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    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.

  22. #22
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    that was a hilarious story! :twisted: :D :D
    Thank you so much for sharing it!!

  23. #23
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    montanaquilter -

    You have gotten lots of good advice here. The best piece of advice is purchase from someone "local" (or someone who you can reach) who will help you if you have problems. Used machines from a dealer are a great bargain if you can find one.

    I have had several machines - so here is my 2 cents worth. I had an old Viking 6370 which I gave to my daughter (which I now regret - it was a great mechanical machine for heavy sewing). I now have two Pfaffs both used (one purchased from a dealer and the other one from a gal who worked in the local Pfaff store and listed on Craigslist). I have a 2054 for sewing and a 2170 for embroidery. I bought Pfaff because if the IDT foot (built in walking foot) - I love them both. I just sold a Babylock Ellageo to a friend which was a sweet machine and I sold Vikings for two years which were also nice machines. Each name brand company has good machines - the support is the key.

    Good luck and let us know what you get!!! :lol: :lol:

  24. #24
    montanaquilter's Avatar
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    thank you everyone for all your advice. I now have a place to start looking anyway. Guess I'll have to try a few brands out now and see which one works for me. I can't wait to "test drive" a few new machines. :D

  25. #25
    Super Member twistedstitcher's Avatar
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    Take a look at Janome machines as well. They're great machines and tend to be less expensive than some of the European brands.

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