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Thread: economical basic machine?

  1. #1
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    economical basic machine?

    ok folks- i have a question for ya'll. i started off quilting on a $100 singer- basic machine. i do patchwork- so mostly just straight lines, although i have done some free motion quilting. i think i have about worn this machine out- would like to upgrade some- but can really only afford about $150-$200. is it possible to get a decent machine to quilt with in this price range- or am i nuts??!! don't need bells & whistles- just a reliable machine that will do a little better than this one. your input will be greatly appreciated!!! (i do make quilts of all sizes).

  2. #2
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Brother makes good cheap machines. Just bought a lightweight one for classes for $80.
    My first quilting machine is a Brother that cost $129, it came with a walking foot and table.
    I still have that machine for backup when my computerized Viking is getting a checkup.

  3. #3
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    I came across a 1946 Singer 15. It cost me $60 to get it up and running. I Have 3 other machines but this is my "go to" machine. I love my 15 for piecing and FM quilting.

  4. #4
    Senior Member LisaGibbs's Avatar
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    Yes, there is a Brother quilting machine at Walmart that works awesome and is priced right at the $200 range. I bought it and have been sewing for hours a day on it since last Christmas with no problems. Keep it clean and change the needle and the machine will work like a dog for you. I was in the same situation and needed a machine right now and that is what I did and I am not sorry. Has lots of beautiful decorative stitches, monogram ABC's, and lots of extras that will get you going for quite some time.
    Lisa Gibbs

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Are there any dealers in your area? If so, I would look at a trade in. Usually you can get a great machine at a decent price with a warranty and sometimes lessons.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    No need to buy a cheap, big box store machine when you can get a Singer 301 for that price. And it won't die on you.

  7. #7
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I am a die-hard fan of the older machines. Besides my embroidery machine (which is not working), all my other machines range from 1902 to 1978, and they all still work, even the treadles. I heartily recommend these older machines; the price is right, they are built to last for generations, they are easy to clean/service, and I just like to look of them. It would be nearly impossible to wear them out.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have my trusty Singer 401A and the Brother that Wal Mart sells and I have been using the Brother for over a year in June and love it. It does everything even good free motion. If it goes out on me now I have more than got my money's worth out of it. For now it is running like a dream. I love the walking foot that comes with it also. I only payed $170.00 for mine.

  9. #9
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    Check with local sewing machine dealers and repair shops. The dealers have trade ins and sometimes people don't come back for a machine they are having repaired. I bought 2 used Pfaffs for $200 and $400 from a Bernina dealer who used to sell Pfaffs. I got a year warranty and a free cleaning at the end of the year. The $400 one was barely used. It may take a little time on your part to check around but it could be worth it. And there is always yard sales, estate sales and CL.

  10. #10
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    janome also has a little sewing machine. i have one that i take to classes
    and it is a really nice sewing machine. just simple.

  11. #11
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    thank you all so much!!! i knew i could count on ya'll for excellent feedback!!!

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    the question to ask would be how long did you have the last one, how often do you use it. Because unless you are into vintage machines the cheap ones are not gonna last with heavy use. If you are using the machine heavily and don't want vintage you might want to save up a little longer for 400-500 range you can get a heavy duty straight stitch machine that will last. You could probably find a brother pq1500s in that range and that will last some of the more high end project runways run in the high 300's and get good ratings, but the low ends are made for occasional use. I have cheapo brothers for years but i am not sewing on them 8 hours a day, nor would I ever. My Brother SQ9050 ran 200 from walmart this time last year and she has not given me the least bit of trouble. I sew on her about once or twice every other week for classes and portability.

  13. #13
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    Definitely check out the vintage machines. If you want to take it to classes as well, the 301 big sister to the featherweight is around 16#. I got a model 15 in a cabinet for $35.00 and I love piecing on it. Both of these have reverse. I also love using a treadle!
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  14. #14
    Junior Member quiltingdoe's Avatar
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    Almost everyone in my quilt group has Janome Jem Gold 660 machine. Some have had them for over 10 years with no repairs at all. The machine is only $199 on Amazon.
    Because of their recommendation, we purchase ten of these machines this summer for our after school sewing program.

    http://www.amazon.com/Janome-Jem-Gol.../dp/B000FLH2VE

    Hope you find something you like.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    I have three singers and I love them all. One is an old treadle I got on eBay for $200. It has been in use do 90 years and it is still going strong. Other two ore heavy duty/ classroom machines with metal motor housing. They are both workhorses and they were less than $200. One is Singer 5050 and the other one is the same but European version. Works on220 but I changed the motor when we moved back to the states. Love Singer. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragquilter View Post
    The dealers have trade ins and sometimes people don't come back for a machine they are having repaired.
    Someone would abandon their machine? That's awful. That would be like leaving my dd at the doctors office after a check up.
    Dorian

    If you've met one child with Autism, you've met ONE child with Autism.

  17. #17
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Do you have gumtree over where you are? I have purchased an older model machine which is still going great 5 years on. Keeping it clean inside is the trick. I clean every time I put in a new bobbin and give a good clean between quilts.

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