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Thread: Best machine for quilting... around $1000

  1. #1
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    Best machine for quilting... around $1000

    Hi, everyone. This is my first post and I hope this forum is much more friendly than the legal forums I usually peruse. My wife is a stay-at-home mom and she loves sewing and just got into quilting. She is just finishing her first quilt and the machine I bought her (some $300 Singer) is great for small things, but for the large, thick quilt she is working on, it just cannot do the job. My wife has made some comments that she believes the sewing machine isn't able to handle the thickness of the quilt she has made (she took all of her old jeans, cut them up, and made this really cool quilt with them). I want to surprise her with a machine that can handle thick fabric so that she can continue to make her quilts without frustration; she has resorted to hand quilting the aforementioned quilt. We have a rule that whenever we buy each other a gift just because, we try to keep it around $1000, so any recommendations you have will be incredibly helpful.

    TLDR (Too Long, Didn't Read) version: I need advice on the best machine to buy my wife, around $1000, that will be able to handle quilting and sewing on really thick materials.

  2. #2
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    I use my old fashioned treadle for sewing on blue jeans. I have a $3000 dollar Bernina but it cannot handle the seams or the double fold edges from blue jeans. If she is looking for a good sewing machine for regular quilting, I will let someone else give you some names of reliable but less expensive models. What a nice gift you are planning for your wife!

  3. #3
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    You are going to get lots of suggestions. I don't own either of the machines I have in this response, but I have heard lots of good stuff about them on this board. You can do a search for either machine model and find lots of folks who love theirs.

    Brother PQS 1500

    Juki TL 2010

    Here are links to descriptions at allbrands. com and it will give you details and prices for each machine.

    http://www.allbrands.com/categories/...machine-699-do


    http://www.allbrands.com/categories/...uilt-machine-1


    Have fun deciding.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I use my old fashioned treadle for sewing on blue jeans. I have a $3000 dollar Bernina but it cannot handle the seams or the double fold edges from blue jeans. If she is looking for a good sewing machine for regular quilting, I will let someone else give you some names of reliable but less expensive models. What a nice gift you are planning for your wife!
    So, after a cursory Google search, it looks like a treadle is a machine that does not use electricity, which seems interesting, but what is the reason it is better for denim and thicker materials?

  5. #5
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    I have a Janome 6600P which does fine with thick fabrics; also have a Husqvarna Platinum which is a workhorse...and we won't go into the numerous older machines that I think will handle most anything you can throw at them. THe Janome was about $1400, a bit more than you asked about; the Platinum was a steal at auction for about $450. Good luck...you might also try Craig's List in your area or visit your local sewing machine shop and talk to the owner for his/her ideas. Good luck!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

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    Another machine to consider is the Juki F600. It has a larger harp and also features a box feed system that is supposed to be great for thick fabrics.

  7. #7
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    What a nice hubby you are. Is it important that she gets the machine as a gift? Just wondering because I would prefer to pick my own machine. Maybe you could find out what features are important to her. I can tell you that for quilts my must haves are needle up/down, needle position sideways, motor speed control, easy threader, LARGE THROAT, handle thick layers.

    Is she going to keep the Singer for regular piecing? In that case you may consider a simple mechanical straight-stitch machine such as the Brother 1600, Pfaff 1200, Yuki 980 etc (they are all essentially the same machine). This machine has a large throat and it sews at 1500 to 1600 stitches a minute BUT it only goes forward or backwards.

    My favorite brand is Baby Lock but I don't know what their prices are. Whichever one gets chosen, I'd want to take her for a test drive.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  8. #8
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I concur with getting an older machine for the jeans. It doesn't have to be a treadle, though - a Singer 15-91 would be fine and would probably be under $100. Then add a check for the difference and let your wife pick out the machine she wants for all her other quilting. (Or not. She may want to buy fabric instead.)

  9. #9
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Can't help you with deciding on a new, fancy machine. But I do really like my vintage 1953 Singer 15-91. She never balks at thick seams or layers and the feed dogs drop for free motion quilting. I think I would take your wife sewing machine shopping so she can pick the one she wants.
    Sweet Caroline

  10. #10
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    For $1000 you could get a better Singer that will sew through anything. I have a Singer Quantum L-500 that sews through anything I put in it. I also have a Juki that I love and sews through anything. They both cost slightly under $1000 when I got them. I also have 15-91's both treadle and electric and Singer 66's treadle and electric and they all sew through anything! Those old machines were/are true workhorses and meant to last!
    Last edited by virtualbernie; 08-13-2012 at 04:03 PM.
    Bernie

  11. #11
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    I use my treadle Singer because it will sew through anything! I've used it on blue jeans, leather, tent fabric, upholstery fabric, plastic screen....you name it, I've sewn it. Since it is mechanical and powered by me there is not much that can go wrong with it.
    I am sure there are newer machines that will take a beating and keep ongoing but this is one I inherited so it didn't cost me anything. I tried my new fangled, expensive computerized Bernina machine on a blue jean welt and the fabric pulled the needle right out of the needle holder. That was enough for me to switch to my old faithful before I damaged my Bernina.
    The best advice I can give you is to take a piece of the jean fabrics into a sewing machine shop and see how the machines do. As I said, if she is sewing regular sewing fabric and is just looking for a machine to handle the bulk of quilting a big quilt, you want a machine with the largest harp size you can find. The harp size refers to the distance between the needle the motor side of the machine. The larger the size, the easier it is to stuff a quilt through.

  12. #12
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    How about a surpise shopping trip for the day and let her pick out the machine herself. Line up a sitter and have all the shops mapped out and just let her play at each shop. I would have loved that when our boys were small!

    BTW, I have an Elna and it sews thru leather! Its quite a workhorse

  13. #13
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    I agree with letting her pick out her own machine. How about making her a hand made Gift Certificate for $1000 with a note on it to go shopping for the sewing machine of her choice. If my husband bought me a machine without my knowledge, I would probably be highly disappointed as it may have some options on it that I don't care to have and it may be missing some other things that are essential to me. My priorities are Needle Up/Needle down, needle threader, and the needle position button that moves the needle from side to side to the position I want it in. As far as stitches, I usualy only do piecing so I really onl need straight stitch and zigzag. All those extra stitches just make the machien cost more and I don't use them. Good luck.

  14. #14
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I sew with a Janome 6600 and absolutely love it. It certainly can handle anything I put under the needle, including my finger! I found a great used one at a dealer for $1000

  15. #15
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    If it is for thicker quilts I would look at a vintage Singer 201. It has a nice big opening and can stitch through thick stuff.

    For a newer machine I would look at the Janome 6500 or 6600. My husband got it for me as a surprise for one of my birthdays and I love it. He made sure the dealer would take it back if I did not like it.
    Anna Quilts

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jennalyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose View Post
    I sew with a Janome 6600 and absolutely love it. It certainly can handle anything I put under the needle, including my finger! I found a great used one at a dealer for $1000
    Ditto here - though not the finger! Yeowch! If you call around to various dealers in your area, you might be able to find one for around $1000, about half off MCRP. Wonderful machine.

    However, please consider which dealers you have in your area! That can make a big difference when it comes time to service the machine. For example, we have lots of local Bernina dealers, some Viking, some Janome, but no Juki within about a four hour drive, so I wouldn't personally purchase a Juki.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kacklebird's Avatar
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    I agree with the others or buy or a higher end used machine

  18. #18
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I swear that my Singer 66 can go through anything.. I think it is indestrucable. The price won't put a dent in your wallet, either..

  19. #19
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    My DH almost bought me a new machine a number of years ago. I'm so glad he didn't. The one he was going to purchase was LOTS more $$ than I would have spent and did lots more things than I wanted. I ended up buying a Viking Platinum for about $1200 at the time. So far the only thing it hasn't handled was repairing the binding/welting on a boat canvas. I've hemmed jeans and sewn sheer curtains with it. I don't machine quilt my quilts but it does all of my piecing with no problem. I agree with the others suggesting taking your wife for a shopping trip. Let her pick out the machine of her choice. And she may want to wait for a while to see what type of quilting she evolves into liking best.

  20. #20
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    http://www.generations-quilt-pattern...e-reviews.html This has some reviews on it that may help.

    I bought, 7 years ago, an Elna 7200 for 900/$1400 and although it has been, and still is a fabulous machine, I would never buy a modern one again. I prefer the stability, durability and dependability of the older machines. Although your wife's first quilt was made from Jeans/Denim I doubt that she will be making heaps more so what you need to do is to go for a good all-rounder machine for quilting.

    All makes of machines up to the late 70's were manufactured to a very high standard, were made from metal with a minimum of plastic bits n pieces. This link has loads of opinions! http://quilting.about.com/od/essenti...g_machines.htm

    I did a quick search for you and found this company "Allbrands.com" and spotted what looks like a fantastic buy, this Refurbished commercial grade Singer http://www.allbrands.com/categories/...rade-freearm-s for only $299!!!!!!!!!!! When you read the spec. it looks as tho' it would sew through anything especially with that extra powered motor.

    Do let us know what you decide on.

  21. #21
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    http://www.generations-quilt-pattern...e-reviews.html This has some reviews on it that may help.

    I bought, 7 years ago, an Elna 7200 for 900/$1400 and although it has been, and still is a fabulous machine, I would never buy a modern one again. I prefer the stability, durability and dependability of the older machines. Although your wife's first quilt was made from Jeans/Denim I doubt that she will be making heaps more so what you need to do is to go for a good all-rounder machine for quilting.

    All makes of machines up to the late 70's were manufactured to a very high standard, were made from metal with a minimum of plastic bits n pieces.

    I did a quick search for you and found this company "Allbrands.com" and spotted what looks like a fantastic buy, this Refurbished commercial grade Singer http://www.allbrands.com/categories/...rade-freearm-s for only $299!!!!!!!!!!! When you read the spec. it looks as tho' it would sew through anything especially with that extra powered motor.

    This is another link for the same machine, which gives you more information and $10 less: http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/singer-590fs.php

    Do let us know what you decide on.

  22. #22
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    lso, the Janome machines are excellent. You could always get her a gift card to a sewing machine store.
    Dena

  23. #23
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    As much as you would like to surprise your wife, this is a BIG decision and it would be best if you took her to some quilting shops to see what is available. A gently used machine might be the answer but you won't know until you do some searching. Also, don't look only for a heavy duty machine just for one quilt made from jeans - her future quilts may be made from quilting cotton.

  24. #24
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    I have a Juki , the cost is about $800. It's on a Grace Quilting frame but you don't have to have a frame to use it. My sister has an older model and she uses it for regular straight stitching and quilting small things, she also has a long arm but I like to quilt on my Grace frame with my Juki better than on hers. It only straight stitches. You are a good husband !

  25. #25
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    The Janome 6300 is a stripped-down version of the 6500/6600 that so many quilters love. It has fewer stitches but still offers the same metal housing, automatic thread-cutter, extra high lift, variable needle positions, speed control, free-motions easily and has a 9" harp. The Juki 600 has more stitches but there are fewer dealers to service them. Both are $1000.
    mea

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