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Thread: Embroidery machine shopping

  1. #1
    Member lnlwhitt's Avatar
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    Okay I need some help. I was planning on buying a Babylock sewing/embroidery machine all in one for about 700.00 but the largest embroidery it does is 4x4 and looking at available patterns I don't think I will be happy. So I'm taking the boards advice and buying two separate machines. I want the Grace for my sewing machine but not sure what to get for embroidery. I can't afford a larger size Babylock or Bernina. I need something around 400.00 (or less) than can embroider up to 5x7 and I would like it to take a "flash drive" --is that what they call the memory sticks --since the Babylock I was going get offered that and I like it. So brands, models or any advice of what I should be looking at or for?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    I have been loking for the same thing! Will be watching to responses you get!! :D

  3. #3
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    I think with those funds you will have to look for a good used one. Check you LQS or dealers in you area. You can purchase used that do have a warranty on them. Possibly some lessons or at least help with the purchase.

  4. #4
    Super Member Bonbonary's Avatar
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    I agree that you should get a machine that does larger designs. Mine goes to 5x7 designs and I am always wishing for even larger ones, but the price of a larger machine would be too much for me to afford. After you buy, try www.emblibrary.com. They have inexpensive, but good, designs. Also they offer two free designs a month and great sales. I have tried more expensive websites and have not been as happy with the quality.

  5. #5
    Super Member marymm's Avatar
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    You might look at Janome 350e--It's about $200 more...might get for less on ebay. There are a couple of new ones being bid on now. (Might also make deal with locals at this time of year. That's probably better because of service) I don't have one, but have friends who love it and it gets good reviews. In general, Janomes are great machines

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tcharlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lnlwhitt
    Okay I need some help. I was planning on buying a Babylock sewing/embroidery machine all in one for about 700.00 but the largest embroidery it does is 4x4 and looking at available patterns I don't think I will be happy. So I'm taking the boards advice and buying two separate machines. I want the Grace for my sewing machine but not sure what to get for embroidery. I can't afford a larger size Babylock or Bernina. I need something around 400.00 (or less) than can embroider up to 5x7 and I would like it to take a "flash drive" --is that what they call the memory sticks --since the Babylock I was going get offered that and I like it. So brands, models or any advice of what I should be looking at or for?
    Thanks.
    I have the machine that does the larger hoops, mine does 3 different sizes and I find myself using the 5 x 7 hoop the most. The only thing I wish on mine is that it cut the jump stitches.
    I have a Brother 2500D and purchased it used.

  7. #7
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I got a janome 9500 used at my super fantastic dealer. Got it for super cheap and it is the 5x7 hoop. I LOVE it! Definitely get the biggest hoop u can afford no matter what brand u get.

  8. #8
    Member lnlwhitt's Avatar
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    Is there a particular format to look for or better with more designs available. PES is the only one I am familiar with is there something I should look for or stay away from as far as the actual program it uses.

  9. #9
    Super Member PegD's Avatar
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    Me too.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qbee
    I have been loking for the same thing! Will be watching to responses you get!! :D

  10. #10
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I don't think one format is better than another, really. Its just the "language" each machine understands. What makes each design good or bad is the digitizing of going from drawing to embroidery design. Most are really good, but there are some whoppers every once in awhile. There are a lot of posts here about different desing sites. Just do a search using the link at the top of a page.

  11. #11
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    Will anxiously watch as I am looking as well. There is one on craigslist about 4 hours away from me, it is a bernina deco 650 for $250. But, it only does 4 x 4 and you have to use an older computer. I have plenty of computers around(DH is a techie) but that tells me I might want to invest a little more for something newer. My problem is that I am just toying with the idea-I'm afraid I might buy one and not like it.

  12. #12
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    FYI. I only paid $600 for my 9500. I also traded in a few of my old machines to help pay for it.
    I don't usually share such exact info, but I think it will help give those searching a better idea of how inexpensive a used machine from a dealer can be. And all my questions are answered for free and I get great service.

  13. #13
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    I have the Janome 350E very easy to use... I don't know the price in the USA..Very happy with it. 5x7 hoop and automatic thread cutter which I love. I can't imagine cutting the threads every time you change the thread....Did look at the brother (besides the shop not being very helpful0 the machine is a lot bigger than the janome so takes up more space..

  14. #14
    Super Member jdiane318's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 350e. I started with a Brother 900D and knew within one week that I wanted a machine that had more capability than the 4x4 it allowed plus I knew that having a USB port would be a big plus. I traded the Brother in for the Janome as it had everything that I wanted. Easy to work, touch screen. I also knew that I didn't want a combo machine. I sew on my other Janome's while the 350e works its magic. It was worth every penny I spent. I use an external hard drive to read the cd's that I embroider. Designsbysick.com is another great place along with buttercup.com for patterns.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Yellow Bird's Avatar
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    I have the Janome 200E - I love it. I chose it because of the 5x5 hoop and the USB mini-drive storage device. The learning curve was very short! This was a 'first' embroidery machine for me and I am totally happy with it. The price is around $500.

    If money was no object I'd go for the multiple needle (thread) version of the Janome.

  16. #16
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    4 years ago a 4" X 6" hoop allowed you a big array of patterns. In the last year, I have noticed many new designs now need a minimum of a 5" X 7" hoop. It makes me wonder how long before the next bump up :roll:
    I guess I will have to look for a program to be able to decrease the size of the designs to fit my smaller hoop :D:D:D

  17. #17
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    Unless it's used, you won't find anything doing 5x7, with a flash drive for that price. I am getting the brother 770 next week. It's $669 on amazon, and at my sew and vac. It does 5x7, and takes a flash drive. My local sew and vac sells all the models, and recommended the Brother over the comparable janome 350. He said they are much more user friendly. They are actually cheaper as well. The 350 went up in price recently I believe.

  18. #18
    Super Member aorlflood's Avatar
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    I bought a Viking Scandinavia 400 NIB from Ebay for $500. It was really easy to learn to use and I love it. It will do the 6.75" X 4" designs.

  19. #19
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    I say go for a used Brother, you get alot of machine for your money. I started with the 900D two years ago and moved up to a used 4000D just recently. I have never had an issue with my 900D and it doesn't look like I'll have any with the 4000D either. Very user friendly!

  20. #20
    Super Member featherweight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morelcabin
    I say go for a used Brother, you get alot of machine for your money. I started with the 900D two years ago and moved up to a used 4000D just recently. I have never had an issue with my 900D and it doesn't look like I'll have any with the 4000D either. Very user friendly!
    I agree, I have had 4 Brother embroidery machines. Started with the 150, upgraded to the 8500, then the 2002ULT and now the 4000d. They are the most user friendly machines that I have had. My first was a Pfaff 2144, sold it. Then I had a Viking Designer 1 upgraded to the Designer SE. While I really like the Vikings and the work they do , I still think the Brothers are more user friendly.

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