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Thread: Do I need an computerized machine?

  1. #1
    CRO
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    Do I need an computerized machine?

    I only started piecing 3 years ago. I have made 3 log cabins and am now spreading out. I just took one to the quilter that was a combo of 9 patch and roman stripes. I am currently working on one with lots of flying geese and even my first appliqueing. I have done this on a $90 Singer Simple. I really want to move up. I have looked at and tried husqvarna and Janome machines. I thought the Emerald 118 really was nice, but except for the needle up/down feature it wasn't different except sewing much better, and it didn't have a blanket stitch.
    I also tried a HusqvarnaOpal 650 and a Janome 2030DC. They are priced the same with the Janome $200 off right now. They are both more than I wanted to spend and have more features than I will probably ever use, but the 118 is $400 and the other 2 are $800 with the janome $200 off.
    Should I go with computerized? If I buy the 118 I can upgrade up to 12 months later for the full price of the 118 being applied to the Opal.
    I would love to buy used, but you all seem to be hording your machines.

  2. #2
    Super Member tatavw01's Avatar
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    whatever you do make sure that you can do zig zag

  3. #3
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    In answer to your question, "do I need a computerized machine?" NO!! but if its what you want and can afford it, go for it! I do almost all my machine sewing on a 50+ year old Necchi, and a newer Elna, probably 20 something that I also use often. Nothing computerizied. But if one came my way, I would probably snatch it up!!

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CRO View Post
    it didn't have a blanket stitch.
    Is that a deal breaker? Just make sure you get the features you really want. You might end up with a few extrs that you don't think you'll need in order to do that.

  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    No but I love the extras that my mechanical can't do
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  6. #6
    CRO
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    I probably stated that wrong. I'm just wondering if I would be happier with a computerized vs manual machine with what I want to do.

  7. #7
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    For me the answer was yes. Started quilting on my 25 yr old Kenmore. When I got a bonus at work I bought an Elna 750 ( I think that's the number). She has Quilting Queen on her and she is! I also have a little $140 Brother from Walmart for classes and traveling to my mom's. I am so glad I got my Ellie, love her and all she can do!
    Come to Me and I will give you rest--Jesus.

  8. #8
    CRO
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    My next question would be which would be the better buy?

  9. #9
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    The main things you need to ask yourself - what features do I most want my machine to be able to do and how often will I use these features that I want. Then see which machine is the best match to your criteria. And of course how much you are willing to pay for a new machine.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I have many machines, five to be exact and they range in age from 100+ years to 10 years old. None is computerized. Every now and then I wish for a machine that can adjust to a scant 1/4" seam and that has automatic thread cutter but then I remember that I spend $0 in servicing my machines because I can do it myself. With the computerized, I would have to take it in to be serviced and the amount I sew, it would have to be very often. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    If you have a Costco nearby, they sell a wonderful Brother machine for quilters. It has needle up/down, and a bobbin that drops in and you don't have to bring the thread up to the top before you start. I love that feature. It has 180 decorative stitches AND it only weighs 10 lbs. I bought this to carry to classes, sew-ins, etc. It's only $180!
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  12. #12
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    IMHO, you do not need a computerized machine. Many here quilt with a Featherweight which my grandmother and yours (or even your great grandma) would have used.

    For me - my driving force for an upgraded machine over my old mechanical Viking was an ability to change needle position and the ability to reverse a stitch. My current machine is a computerized Pfaff 2054 which I purchased off of Craigslist. Love it as it has a "dual feed" which Pfaff calls and IDT. I would now die if I had to give it up!

    Are you comfortable with your machine? If not what might you want in a new machine? I also have a Brother CS6000i which is computerized and light. I, however, would not want to sew on it 24/7. It stitches well and is very light weight - great to schlep to classes. The "harp" ( the size between the needle and the body) is VERY small and difficult to handle for me. Computerized is not always better.

    It is a personal and financial decision that you will have to make. My last three machines were used and all purchased off of craigslist - in addition to the 2054 and the 6000i I also own a used Pfaff 2170 Embroidery machine. You can get some good buys on used machines if you look.
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    The answer is no. But if you decide you want and definitely need the features then look in quilting magazines for sale or Craig list . Some rich quilters update frequently and sell their old machine. Some dealers also buy these machines and sell with good deals. It takes time patience and luck.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  14. #14
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    Have you tried looking at used machines from a dealer? Of course, they will try to convince you to go new. I love my Berninas (have 2). They stand test of time and used should certainly be an option. Pay only for the features you will use. If a dealer knows what you are looking for they might call you when they get one in.
    Cheryl Robinson
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    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  15. #15
    Senior Member fien777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    I have many machines, five to be exact and they range in age from 100+ years to 10 years old. None is computerized. Every now and then I wish for a machine that can adjust to a scant 1/4" seam and that has automatic thread cutter but then I remember that I spend $0 in servicing my machines because I can do it myself. With the computerized, I would have to take it in to be serviced and the amount I sew, it would have to be very often. Good luck!
    I totally agree on this one!!!
    And when you've never had a computerized machine you don't miss the extra's as you are used working without them.
    Sure I would like to have that scant seam and the needle stopping down in the fabric too, but hey: I'm sewing for more than 40 years now without them and I'm still alive and making beautiful quilts!!! (I think hihihi)
    So look how much you can affort to pay and when a computerized machine is within reach go for it, if not, don't feel bad about buying a mechanical one, new or used!!!!
    greetz, fien
    http://quiltfien.blogspot.com/

  16. #16
    Junior Member gigigray032447's Avatar
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    A few years ago I was in the same position as you. I knew how to sew, but had never pieced a quilt until 2004. I began my quilting journey on a Singer Genie I bought in 1972 and upgraded in 2006 to a computerized Singer model I bought used. It was a piece of junk compared to my old Singer so I donated it to the Arts Council because it was too horrible to sell to anyone. Then I started trying to figure out what kind of machine I really needed and what features I wanted. I bought a non-computerized Pfaff Grand Quilter because I wanted a wide throat and needle up/down, but didn't want to embroider. My machine is a straight stitch only and a workhorse. The feature I can't live without is the thread cutter. It is the biggest time saver ever! I still have and use my Singer Genie to put on bindings, but stitching is done on the Pfaff. I researched machines until I was crazy, picked out the one I thought I wanted and placed a wanted ad on Craigs List. The previous owner of the Pfaff called me as she was trading up. The cost savings was monumental and the machine is one I hope to use for years.

  17. #17
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    I would have to say no. Older machines last longer. And you can clean and service them your self. Which to me is a important thing since I sew a lot.

  18. #18
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have 4 machines but use my computerized Sapphire exclusively. It does require a yearly servicing but its worth it for all the extras that make quilting easier. My other machines make good backups if I need to do repairs on my Viking. So far none needed and its over 5 yrs old.

  19. #19
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
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    Keep your work horse mechanical and get a basic computer machine for decorative stitching, if that's the draw. The needle up/down and thread cutter doesn't warrant the $ for me. PS. I have 20 machines Love the domestic japan and earlier singers. I also have Bernina mechanical 830, 801sport, 802 sport plus a newer computer along with a pfaff 1221e , viking and janome. I repair and sell machines.
    Last edited by abdconsultant; 03-08-2013 at 05:43 AM.
    Just passing through!

  20. #20
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have two machines , one computerized the other a vintage machine. The vintage has its limits, but is an amazing work horse. The newer computerized machine has one distinct advantage over the vintage... that is the specialized feet I can buy and use. More than the extra stiches that I don't use that often... I do use the special feet ALOT on my computerized machine.

  21. #21
    CRO
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    Thank you all for the imput. It gives me a lot to think about. The machine I have now was very cheap and does not sew well at all, even the straight stitch so the one I buy will be used for everything. Every dealer I went to had no used machines, but you gave me good ideas.

  22. #22
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    I'd love to hear what you decide to get! Keep us updated?
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S View Post
    I have two machines , one computerized the other a vintage machine. The vintage has its limits, but is an amazing work horse. The newer computerized machine has one distinct advantage over the vintage... that is the specialized feet I can buy and use. More than the extra stiches that I don't use that often... I do use the special feet ALOT on my computerized machine.
    I am the same and agree with this totally!! I use the different feet on my computerized machine all the time for different projects and absolutely love using them! They allow me to be more creative and make the job easy. I use both the computerized and mechanical for general piecing. The mechanical is a real work horse!

  24. #24
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    It really depends on what you want to do on your sewing machine now and in the future, cause hopefully it will last you for several years. I chose non-computerized. I don't make clothes,don't do any kind of decorative sewing. I only use my machine for sewing my quilt tops together. The kind I chose is a basic one that I can do the weekly maintenance on is the better choice for me.

  25. #25
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    My mom pieced quilts for many years on a Singer treadle machine. Treadles are for people who like to sort of relax while they sew, peaceful sewing, utter control because of the foot pedal. I loved it too and it now lives with my daughter. We will keep it in the family. NO you don't have to have a computerized machine but you will get spoiled by automatic threaders, thread cutters, knee lifts, etc. I have both kinds and use them.

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