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Thread: Beginner machine?

  1. #1
    Senior Member LoupEsprit's Avatar
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    Question Beginner machine?

    As of right now, I have no sewing machine at all. I do EVERYTHING by hand, and actually like doing it that way. BUT I know once I get into quilting, I will get to certain points where I will want a machine (like the actual quiliting part!).

    I don't want anything too fancy or expensive; basically something cheap(ish) that will get the job done if I don't ask too much! Is this a 'decent' machine to start with? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Singer-Con...chine/17167244

    Thanks!
    Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/K9Creative
    Happiness is a new quilt and an old dog.

  2. #2
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    I have a friend who bought a Brother sewing machine at WalMart and likes it for a back-up machine. Don't know about the Singer. You might want to consider the size of the throat area if you will be quilting on it. I have done a number of Queen size quilts on a machine that has an 8 inch throat and would not want to work with one smaller than that. Suggest you look on Craigslist or something similar for a good used machine. I use Bernina and Baby Lock, have friends who have Janome and are very happy. Shop and try out before you buy.

  3. #3
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    If you want something simple and relatively inexpensive, look at the Brother machines. Brother has a good reputation and doesn't charge as much, for the brand name.
    Neesie


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  4. #4
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    Personally I wouldn't buy any new Singer machine, especially a low end one. I would recommend finding a dealer and possibly getting a higher end machine that's been traded in, plus they know what they sell unlike machines sold at a big box store. I would check into a Janome or a Brother, they have a fairly good reputation.

  5. #5
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    I got a Kenmore by Janome refurbished on Overstock. Made a good number of quilts on it. Check out Overstock.com. Low shipping, no sales tax.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LoupEsprit's Avatar
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    The other two machines I was looking at were Brothers. Someone mentioned an issue with throat size, so I'm not sure about that, but this is them:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-XL...achine/6005475

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-70...ebate/15029529
    Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/K9Creative
    Happiness is a new quilt and an old dog.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by liont View Post
    I got a Kenmore by Janome refurbished on Overstock. Made a good number of quilts on it. Check out Overstock.com. Low shipping, no sales tax.
    I also have a Kenmore by Janome that I got at Sears and it does a great job. It's not picky on thread and I've never had to adjust the tension either. I now have a top of line one but this one stays set up in my room and used too.
    Judy

  8. #8
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    The throat size is the area from the pressure foot (needle) to the right side of the machine. Just remember if your are gonna be quilting you will need room to stuff a huge quilt through while you are quilting.

  9. #9
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I have a Janome and recently bought a Pfaff. However, the Singer you mention won the overall 'Best Buy' award on the UK's No.1 consumer magazine when they did the Best Sewing Machine test.
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Check reviews on Amazon before making a decision. Many of the reviews provide valuable information about the reliability of a machine, tension sensitivity, etc. You can also look up reviews on http://www.patternreview.com

    I looked at the Brother links you provided. They both look as if they have unusually small harp (throat) sizes, which would make it difficult to fit a quilt under.

    I'm not sure, but both machines look as if they have all built-in stitches. You really want the ability to change stitch width and stitch length on all stitches.

    These machines would probably be okay for piecing, but maybe not so good for machine quilting or for machine applique (because you want to be able to modify the stitch length/width).

    I went on Amazon, did a search on Brother sewing machines, selected the department of "sewing machines", specified between $100 and $200, then ordered the results by average customer review (machine with highest rating is listed first). This is the Brother I came up with:
    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Afford...dp/B000JQM1DE/
    I believe I have seen others on the QB mention that they are very happy with this model. It does look as if it has a small harp size, however, and I'm not sure if it has adjustable stitch width and stitch length. Looks as if it has 3 needle positions, which is a nice feature to have.

    You may want to check if a machine has the needle-down option. Love that on my machine!
    Last edited by Prism99; 11-05-2012 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Sorry. Posted wrong link initially!

  11. #11
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    don't buy one from walmart or kmart go to a sewing machine store and look for used or something older and give him a price you do not want to go over. They will help you and if you need to know how to use it they will help you.

  12. #12
    Super Member Nanamoms's Avatar
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    I went on Amazon, did a search on Brother sewing machines, selected the department of "sewing machines", specified between $100 and $200, then ordered the results by average customer review (machine with highest rating is listed first). This is the Brother I came up with:
    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Afford...dp/B000JQM1DE/
    I believe I have seen others on the QB mention that they are very happy with this model. It does look as if it has a small harp size, however, and I'm not sure if it has adjustable stitch width and stitch length. Looks as if it has 3 needle positions, which is a nice feature to have.

    You may want to check if a machine has the needle-down option. Love that on my machine![/QUOTE]

    I purchasedd this Brother about 6 months ago and LOVE IT!!

  13. #13
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    Tomorrow HSN's TS will be a Singer but whenever a co is on the show a lot of the other machines will be on sale. They usually will have some with free shipping and extra payments. Last year I bought a Singer Featherweight 75 for 212.00 but I had a 20% off coupon and it was on sale. You always get extra attachments and you will have until Jan 31 2013 to return it if you don't like it. They carry Singer, Brother, Juki and Janomes.

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    I'm sorry the singer hsn special will be Wenesday not tomorrow, Duh!

  15. #15
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    I'm with the lady who suggested going to a sewing machine dealer and buying an older machine that was expensive at one time. As a beginner you will get frustrated by a cheap machine and quit quilting. You need to sit down and sew on them. All of us have our favorite machines that necessarily will not be your favorite!

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    My daughter just recently bought a sewing machine. She picked the Viking E20. It seems like a good machine. We are going to play with it tomorrow. She just wanted something affordable and basic for right now. It does have a darning foot and she can get a walking foot for it. I can't remember how much room is in the throat area, but she wasn't sure she would do her quilting. For the most part, she brings it to me, and I quilt it on my machine or we would hand quilt it together.

  17. #17
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    I went to "feel around" the entrance level Brother machines sold here. They are so light!
    I am not sure if weight is an indication of power/strength, but weight does give some assurance of a solid built (to me, at least).

  18. #18
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    I would look for a vintage Singer--maybe a 15-91 or a 66. Both have large throat areas and will still be sewing when we are dead and gone! The 15 is referred to as "the beast". I have both of them and love them!

  19. #19
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoupEsprit View Post
    The other two machines I was looking at were Brothers. Someone mentioned an issue with throat size, so I'm not sure about that, but this is them:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-XL...achine/6005475

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brother-70...ebate/15029529
    I would go for the second. It comes with a walking foot and you'll want that! I have two brothers love them. It was about being affordable for me! I spend more on fabric.
    *Rachel*

  20. #20
    Super Member jayelee's Avatar
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    You might want to look at the Brother that has 100 stitches It has alphanumeric stitches to make quilt labels It is a great beginner machine My friend has one and it handles great and has a nice selection of stitches only cost 199

  21. #21
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I think a brother PQ1500s wouls suit your needs since you want it mostly for FMQ
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  22. #22
    Senior Member LoupEsprit's Avatar
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    Well, I made the jump! I ordered a machine on amazon.com, and I should have it by Friday! Here is what I went with:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
    Megan
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/K9Creative
    Happiness is a new quilt and an old dog.

  23. #23
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    If you just want a basic, inexpensive machine, go with vintage. They will last longer than a cheap Singer from wally world. And vintage is much better suited for machine quilting. You should be able to find one for less than $50. Check yard sales, Craig's list, estate sales.

  24. #24
    Super Member northern lass's Avatar
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    When looking for a new machine I was told to buy the best I could afford!

  25. #25
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    I have an older Brother PC-8500 that I love, and a Brother 9000 that I bought as a back up and I love them both. I think you will really like the one you purchased.

    For anyone looking for a used machine, I would definitely check to be sure that parts are still available for any electric/computerized machine before buying. Computer parts are no longer available for the 8500, so once it's dead I'm sunk. Most people don't think about that when buying an older computerized machine ...

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