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Thread: Entry level embroidery machine

  1. #1
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Entry level embroidery machine

    I am thinking about purchasing an embroidery machine - I am not really into elaborate embroidery - just want something to monogram with and simple embroidery designs - I am thinking a stand alone embroidery machine. I have a nice sewing machine - Husqvarna/Viking Sapphire 875 Q and I have an HQ Avante 18 longarm - so I have all that covered - I am just looking for a basic machine thats easy to operate and under $500- I know nothing about embroidery machines - never operated one and never looked at one up close. Suggestions please.

  2. #2
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the only one below $500 is the Brother PE500. It only has a 4 x 4 hoop and can only use designs from your computer if it's connected via USB. Other than those two limitations it's a very popular machine with great reviews. There's also the Brother PE770 which is about $600 and has a 5 x 7 hoop and can use a USB stick.

    Do keep in mind that once you buy a machine, if you want to make your own designs you'll need to buy software, which costs $$ as well. The machine comes with a lot of designs but there are more online that you can buy or find for free. If you never want to make your own designs, and the ones you buy or find for free are the correct file format for the machine, you shouldn't need extra software.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    I also wanted to "try" without spending an arm and a leg so I bought a brother PE500. It was under 250.00 including shipping...I got it on Amazon. I don't live close to anyplace where I could see them in action and look at different ones, that would be my first suggestion for you. I can't tell you how I like it because I haven't used it yet so I am no help...sorry

  4. #4
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that I have the PE500 too and so far I like it. I've made 4 quilt labels on it so far. 1 for me and 3 for my sister.

  5. #5
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I bought a Brother embroidery machine a few years ago and I love it. It does the 4 x 4 designs which is big enough for my purposes. I mostly use it for baby clothing, tea towels, quilt squares etc. They no longer sell my model but all of my machines are Brother's and I love them. I've never had any trouble. I've purchased all of mine from www.allbrands.com They have FREE delivery and super fast. Check them out.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member ArlaJo's Avatar
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    Maybe look at a trade in where someone is trading up? I got my Platinum 955 for $1100 which I thought was a good buy.I already had the software. I needed a bigger hoop.

  7. #7
    Junior Member tjk829's Avatar
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    I started out with the Brother SE-350, it embroidered a 4X4 area and I always got great results even though I didn't really know what I was doing! I don't think it's being made anymore because I haven't seen it around for quite some time. It wasn't very long before I found I really enjoyed machine embroidery and upgraded to the Babylock Ellegante, which I acquired used from a dealer and I have been enjoying it ever since It has an 11X7 embroidery field and I have done tons of projects on it.

  8. #8
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    I have the brother from walmart and it works for what you are wanting to do. You can always upgrade at another time if you want to do more after seeing if you like it or not.

  9. #9
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    I started out years ago with a 4 x 4 field - now I'm up to the largest you can get - don't limit yourself too much. Maybe you could rent a machine to try it out. Are there even places that do that? Get the best with the most options that you can afford.

  10. #10
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    For around $700.00 (I know you said $500.00 ) Some of the less expensive machines only use a 4 x 4 hoop which limits your designs.

    The Brother PE770 is a good machine. You can do a 5 x 7 hoop(which is included) and by a hoop kit for less than $ 80.00 on Amazon (last time I looked). That hoop kit includes a 12 x 5 as well as a 5 x 7, a 4 x 4 and a small 1 x 2 1/2 hoop as well as some embroidery thread (6 spools).

    It uses a Flash drive which you can download designs from your computer and transfer them on to the flash drive and hook into the machine.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Brother PE770 comes to mind, it is about 600 dollars
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

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    Don't limit yourself on hoop size. I know you say you aren't into elaborate emb but it is addicting. I started two yrs ago and have never used my 4x4 hoop at all. I will do mulitple designs on each hooping if I have extra space. Then this past yr I traded my Viking Ruby in for a Viking Diamond Deluxe because it has so many features and the largest hoop out there. Check out dealers in your area and try out different machines to see what is a good fit. I love Vikings, others love Berninas and Janomes or Brothers. They all have advantages and disadvantages. Once you see all of the options out there that is available then make your decision. One thing, even if you don't get yours from a place that offers classes, check around and you should be able to find some, they are great. My Viking shop welcomes all makes of machines into the classes, you learn so much
    Judy

  13. #13
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I so agree do not limit yourself with hoop size. I have a viking diamond also, love it. I have had other Viking emb.
    machines over the years and they have all been wonderful.

  14. #14
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    I own the Brother PE770. I had the Brother Disney combo SE270 that I bought 6 yrs ago at Walmart which only had a 4"x4" hoop. I love the PE770 with the 5"x7" hoop & USB port. Brother has made such advances since my old machine. I would highly recommend this machine. i purchased mine from AllBrands. Brother machines are so user friendly.


    Marilee

  15. #15
    Senior Member bigredharley's Avatar
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    I bought the Brother PE500 because it was a) cheap and b) could do Disney designs - only had it a short time, but love it. I bought a program off Amazon that included a card that can be used in the machine to load 8-10 additional patterns on, and is re-writeable. That was ~$95 more, but sooooo cool. check out iBroidery.com for the Brother patterns you can buy for it. Back in the day my mom had the top of the line embroidery machine that you had to keep buying discs for (before internet downloading) and it died recently. She paid a fortune, and I was determined not to go that road.
    ​Nancy

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    I also just got the PE-500 last month because it's cheap, I only paid $219 for mine from Amazon My primary intent was to be able to embroider quilt labels and maybe small stuff for my kids. 4x4 is more than fine for that. I do have the larger 4 x 6 3/4" hoop so I can stitch out a larger "area" without re-hooping if I split the design, which is mostly useful for stitching out names. If I really wanted to stitch out something larger my mom has a TOL machine with a huge embroidery field that I could use if I ever feel like doing anything bigger (which is really not too likely).

    I already had a registered copy of Embird or that would have been another expense to add to the cost of the machine.. I need digitizing software for the things I want to do, but it seems that my impression is that most people really don't learn to use it when they have it... there's a learning curve involved with digitizing and some people give up on trying before they get very far with it, even if they do take classes.

    Really what you need depends on what you want to do... you could feel horribly limited by a 4x4 field or like me you might find it's perfect for what you want to do. Then again you could get a 5x7 machine and immediately want even more space than that. You could even get a machine and decide that it's not for you at all.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Boscobd's Avatar
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    This thread inspired me to look into the Brother PE500. I had been thinking about an embroidery machine for a while so I could make nicer looking quilt labels. So, I ordered one n Sunday and it arrived today - nice surprise when getting home from work as the original ETA was June 3! Anyway, I have been playing with it all evening and really like it. Tomorrow is an off-work day, so guess I'll just have to go to JoAnn's and get some basic embroidery thread colors and such (can't think of anything better to do on a no work day than shopping for sewing stuff!). I am really impressed with this machine so far!

  18. #18
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    I would suggest going a little higher, not much, and getting the Brother 770. You can get it on Amazon for under $600 and it has the 5x7 hoop. I just downsized to this machine. It's a nice one. http://www.amazon.com/Brother-PE770-...ds=brother+770

    I think you would outgrow a 4x4 hoop very quickly. The versatility of having the 5x7 hoop is huge compared to the 4x4 hooop - and with no tax or shipping charge, you can't go wrong with the 770 on Amazon.

  19. #19
    Super Member Angel Bear's Avatar
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    I have the Janome E300 which you can get for under $1000. It's a quality machine with many hoop sizes and a stand alone embroidery machine. I've had mine for nine years and have used it a lot. I really think you'll be sorry if you limit yourself to only a small hoop. I'm sure you could find a used one for well under $1000. and you'd have a great machine.
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  20. #20
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies - I am really leaning toward the Brother PE 770 after reading your recommendations and then researching on the internet - just talked to my husband and he is all for it. Now to find the best price and free shipping. Woo hoo.

  21. #21
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0tis View Post
    Thanks for all the replies - I am really leaning toward the Brother PE 770 after reading your recommendations and then researching on the internet - just talked to my husband and he is all for it. Now to find the best price and free shipping. Woo hoo.
    I think it's really the way to go and you'll be much happier having the larger hoop size. I'd compare Amazon and Ken's.. and of course local dealers as well. Have fun with it.. and don't forget to sign up for embroidery site newsletters. I'm partial to urban threads and emblibrary. Their designs always stitch beautifully and they have great sales

  22. #22
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I suggest you buy locally so you can get classes and support. Its not as easy as you think! They just make it look easy. Kinda like playing the piano and ice skating. Takes a lot to get to that point.

  23. #23
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    I am new to the group (today) and also do machine embroidery as well as making quilts. I would second the nomination of the PE770. I have a Viking Designer SE - it sews and embroiders. The PE770 just embroiders. My quilting friend just purchased one and she loves it. Brother is a good product too. There are many websites that sells designs and also sites to find out about stabilizers, hooping, etc. If you can purchase direct from a dealer, you will get classes and lots of help. It is hoped that this info is helpful to you. Good luck in finding "your" machine.

  24. #24
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    I recently bought Brother PE770 and would highly recommend it. I did a lot of research here on the QB and on Internet. Seemed to be best buy for the money. Then I checked for best price. Much to my surprise I ended up buying it online at Sears using 20% off coupon and getting free shipping. I just checked the Sears site and they have it for $604 from Overstock.com. Ended up ordered software program from all brands. I also got very lucky and someone on Craigslist was selling several of the larger hoops for $40 total. I found the machine price to be all over the place so do good Internet search for best price!

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