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Thread: Cheap machine recommendations!

  1. #26
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    Brother Machines are wonderful. Walmart has them. Kenssewingcenter.com has nice refurbished machines, many brands. I've purchased 3 machines from that site. Sometimes he has free shipping.

  2. #27
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I don't know what you want your machine to do, but I purchased a Brother Project Runway Limited Edition CE8080PRW at Walmart for my future daughter in law and liked it so much that I bought one for myself. It was well under $200.
    Krystyna
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  3. #28
    Super Member lizzy's Avatar
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    I recently bought the Singer 401. It's over 50 years old but is a workhorse. I just love it. I also have a Bernina1008 but I still favor my Singer. I was able to purchase it on EBay, no extras, for $120.00 total.
    Lizzy in La.

  4. #29
    Junior Member totosmom's Avatar
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    I am not a big fan of the new machines; like many others, I vastly prefer the older mechanical workhorses. Whenever I have a machine serviced or when I'm talking to an OSMG, I ask them what their favorite models are. The Kenmore 158 always comes up along with the Singer Slant-o-Matics (301, 401, 500). I love the vintage Vikings of the 6000 series. I hear the old Pfaff 130s are good and I recently scored a Pfaff 1222e for $200. If you want to do FMQ, look for a vertical bobbin. You won't need fancy embroidery stitches.

    Where to find them? I would most certainly start at a dealership for a good brand and look at the machines they have taken in on trade. I got my wonderful Pfaff 1222e at a Bernina dealer. It came completely tuned up, with accessories, and included the dual feed system that does not require a walking foot. But you have to be firm and look only at their used machines. Perhaps someone else can check them out while you study. ;-) Craigslist can be good but you'll need to have a SMG lined up and if you do, you should enlist him to help you with your research and search. They often have trade-ins available for sale too. Items from CL often must be serviced and you may have to pay for shipping if it's far away. I'd still prefer a nearby dealer anyday.

    However, before I do anything at all, I would find out what model Singer you have, come back here and tell us what's going wrong. There are MANY people here who can help you solve your problem(s), and the older Singers were made to last and were easy to maintain. As an alternative, you can always take it to a repair guy, but he'll charge you for the service, of course. But it will certainly be cheaper than buying another machine ... and probably faster too.

    Just my 2˘.
    Dorothy in PA

  5. #30
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    You might also check your local sewing machine stores for a nice trade in. You can sometimes get a very nice machine that way. Also they will be there to help you learn to use it. Good luck in your search.
    Amythyst

  6. #31
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    wish you lived closer, I have a couple of older machines that are amazing for less than $100! Also look into the Janome Gems Silver. Usually found on ebay now, it is a newer machine, but my what a work horse!
    AND get your old machine serviced. It might surprise you! Unless it is the 1970's touch n sew...OY...

  7. #32
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    I also have a Brother CS6000i machine. I used it to make over 100 denim quilts in the past 3 years, plus other sewing, both clothing and quilting, including Crazy Quilting with velvets and silks.
    I thought I broke it. Took it to a Brother dealer who tried to sell me another machine.
    When I took a Singerthat I inherited, for service at an old style service center, I mentioned the Brother, I was told "Bring it in. The estimate is free." They fixed my Brother CS6000i for $89. It needed adjustment, that was all. Before you give up on your current machine, try a GOOD Sewing Machine Service Center.
    I highly recommend the Brother machine, though.

  8. #33
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    I also have a Brother CS6000i machine. I used it to make over 100 denim quilts in the past 3 years, plus other sewing, both clothing and quilting, including Crazy Quilting with velvets and silks.
    I thought I broke it. Took it to a Brother dealer who tried to sell me another machine.
    When I took a Singer that I inherited, for service at an old style service center, I mentioned the Brother. I was told "Bring it in. The estimate is free." They fixed my Brother CS6000i for $89. It needed adjustment, that was all. Before you give up on your current machine, try a GOOD Sewing Machine Service Center.
    I highly recommend the Brother machine, though.

  9. #34
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    I had a Kenmore which was about 15 yr old and needed cleaning and adjustment. LQS started servicing these and selling Janomes-they wanted $98 to service it or would give me $20 as trade in on new Janomes which were on sale. I paid about $49 and got a new machine! It is very basic,but I already have a computerized machine and a serger,so it is used for straight stitching and as back up.
    rntravelerpat

  10. #35
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    I think students get 20% off at Joanns!
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  11. #36
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    I wouldn't buy a cheap machine, you would just have poor stitching/sewing same as you do now.
    Save $$$ until you can buy a good machine. Search for a used, name brand machine.
    I suggest Bernina, I have had Berninas for years and haven't had any problems.
    I have a 150 QE that I piece with and I love it. I bought it used, about 10 years old.
    You should be able to get one reasonable priced and it will last you for years.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Dogwood Quilter's Avatar
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    I have two thoughts depending on how old your Singer is, if it is a vintage machine or just an older one. Does your feed dogs lower to FMQ? Are you putting the presser foot down to FMQ? Also when adjusting the tension on older non computerized machines the presser foot has to be down to adjust the upper tension. You know if the one you have is worth fixing. I agree with everyone here, there are lots of good machines out there that don't cost an arm and a leg. Good luck and happy Quilting.

  13. #38
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b View Post
    I have the Brother cs6000i and it is an awesome machine- I have never did FMQ on it - but have pieced many quilts on it and quilted in the ditch and such on it - that machine is now less than 150.00

    Do you need it to be portable ? If not check out the resale shops for an older machine that last forever
    I agree on this, I have been using it for everything including FMQ, the throat space isn't large and I wouldn't do a king size quilt on it but its perfect for throw, crib, or twin size and still purrs like a kitten! Can't beat the price!

  14. #39
    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasovasz View Post
    I also have a Brother CS6000i machine. I used it to make over 100 denim quilts in the past 3 years, plus other sewing, both clothing and quilting, including Crazy Quilting with velvets and silks.
    I thought I broke it. Took it to a Brother dealer who tried to sell me another machine.
    When I took a Singerthat I inherited, for service at an old style service center, I mentioned the Brother, I was told "Bring it in. The estimate is free." They fixed my Brother CS6000i for $89. It needed adjustment, that was all. Before you give up on your current machine, try a GOOD Sewing Machine Service Center.
    I highly recommend the Brother machine, though.
    this is the brother i have that just died. hmmmm... if that is approximately the repair cost, maybe i will get it repaired. i had looked the complaints for this machine up online and several have come to a grinding halt. i wonder what the problem is.
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  15. #40
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    Trad-ins

    I would look into trade-ins at local stores.....and or on ebay. I personally am very gun-shy of Craigslist because of everything I have heard....How about local Goodwill, Salvation Army and even Humanity stores.....and then find a GOOD local repair person, (worth his weight in solid gold)......I would go with an older Singer or Kenmore (Sears repair) old old companies worth their weight........or an old Palff or how about a solid Bernina......

  16. #41
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    My husband picked out one of my machines. I use it all the time. It is a Brother SQ9000 from Wal Mart and it costs $199.00. It is a really nice machine it comes with all kinds of feet and stitches.

    http://www.brother-usa.com/homesewin...0#.UAWs0_Wp3Is

    I just googled it, some places it goes for $169.00.
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  17. #42
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    I'm yet another one with a Brother CS6000i. It's a pretty good machine for everything but large quilts. It's REALLY light, which is nice sometimes but when I quilt it tends to scootch away from me - put a rubber pad (shelf liner style) underneath to fix that if you get one! I mostly use my new Janome now, but whenever I have a guest come over to work on stuff or take a machine somewhere I grab my Brother. So far zero problems with it, even using cheap thread. Probably won't last forever, but didn't cost much either.

  18. #43
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I am not aware of a good sewing machine repair person in my area, so I'm wondering if you have one where you are. If there is one close by, then you should definitely have your current machine checked out to see if it's problems can be repaired easily and inexpensively. But if it will not be cost effective to fix it, then by all means find another machine.

    Cheap is not always bad. Before I got my Featherweight I had decided that if any machine I got was only going to last a short time (the experience I was having back in the late 90s and early 2000s) then I would just get the cheapest one I could find and replace as needed.

    Over the years I've had good machines and not so good machines that were in the $100.00 and under price range. Some were bought at yard sales (mostly the not so good ones!), others at Walmart. My most recently purchased one was a Brother that was the least expensive one Walmart had at the time - $69 on sale. Did not give me any trouble in the 3 years I had it. I passed it on last year to a friend who did not have a machine as I was using my Featherweight most of the time anyway.

    Like you I would eventually like a machine with at least some of the bells and whistles, but for now, I don't really need it. Good luck with your search.
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  19. #44
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    Sometimes you might get lucky on Craigslist. I've seen all kinds of machines and all kinds of prices. I got a "newer cheap" Brother for $7.50 off CL and I've seen machines I wouldn't want in my house for several hundreds (nasty rusted boat anchors!!).
    Believe it or not, I've had the best luck with machines at pawn shops and estate sales. The last machine I bought was from a pawn shop: a Necchi for $15. But I got a Pfaff at an estate sale for $50 that just sold on ebay for $200! I was shocked! I wish I could find out how much they cost 30 years ago when they were new! Sounds like I sold my machine on ebay, but I meant someone else sold the same kind for $200!
    It would have to be a pretty special machine for me to buy it from a thrift store. I only see the "This is old, so we want $100 for it" ones there. And I'm thinking, "wow, someone GAVE that to you!" and I assume that something is wrong with it, which is why they donated it. The one time I did buy one, it didn't come with the foot pedal. I gave it to a co-worker and she bought a pedal for $20 or so, so that worked out well.
    If you're wanting to quilt anything larger than a pot holder (tongue in cheek there!), look for one with a little more throat space. My Pfaff has 7.5 inches from needle to arm and 5 inches up the arm! It makes a big difference from my 6x5 Janome ($40 from a pawn shop!!).
    good luck!

  20. #45
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    I have a Brother 6000i and LOVE IT. It is my travel machine as it is light weight and sews great/decorative stitches, and I have complete a quilt with FMQ on it. i also have a Baby Lock Quilt Quest and like sewing on the little brother much better.
    Bobbie Sullivan

  21. #46
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    If you have an old Singer, you might check this section 'For Vintage and Antique Machine Enthusiasts', here on the Quilting Board, as there is help for tension, timing, replacing motors and even quilting issues using older machines. I have a Singer 301 and there are a few people who use their 301's to FMQ. There are other models and brands too.

  22. #47
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    many times sewing machines work great...its something we are doing wrong...many are touchy with bobbins, thread types, many just need a good cleaning and oil...before you spend money...tell the folks here what is happening..I have a brand new machine all kinds of issues...come to find out most of the issues were me...this group was a life saver!

  23. #48
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    I would get someone to look at your machine and check the tension, etc. Have you oiled it recently ? Older machines usually have pretty, even stitches and are great work horses. Maybe it just needs some TLC. Or, get a friend to check it out for you. I have found several old Singer machines for $25.00 at thrift shops and they have sewed really well.

  24. #49
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    If you live in the Sacramento Ca area, you need to contact Mizkaki, Cathy, here on the QB. She will not only fix your machine but fine tune it for FMQ.

    Now if you don't live in that area or close, then you might consider just straight stitch quilting. You state that the machine works great for piecing. If so, then it should work well for straight stitch quilting. There are many very pretty quilts that are not FMQ, and not all quilts need to be quilted with a FM design.

    Also, are you spray basting the quilt? I have found that if I spray baste the quilt then the machine produces skipped stitching. So, I don't do that anymore. I now just hand baste or pin.

    Good luck!

  25. #50
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    i woud look for a good used machine and say away from the "cheap" machines. In class they don't always work satisfactorily. My local qullt shops has some good ones at reasonable price. Other shops may also. In my opini the newer cheap models just don't perform adequately for what you will want to do.

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