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Thread: Help choosing a machine...

  1. #1
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    Help choosing a machine...

    Hi All. New member here seeking guidance. I quilt regularly with my friend, it's casual, fun and relaxing. I usually make baby quilts but just made a queen size quilt for my sister. I'm no expert but I'd like to think I get better with each quilt. I use a Brother cs6000i which I love but I keep that machine at her moms house where we get our sew on. I want a second machine so I can start working on stuff at home too and I want to step it up. I was thinking of a Brother pq1500sl or a Juki tl-2010qi but I also was pretty tempted by a Janome 6500p that Costco has for $999. Meanwhile I was looking for machine suggestions from a sewing dealer on ebay and he is willing to sell me a Elna 760 for $1k that was a demo and has been serviced. Do any of these options stand out as a no-brainer?

  2. #2
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    I’m getting the Juki TL 18 a qvp which is the same as the 2010 with a few more features. It is straight stitch only and known to be a great quilter.
    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
    ~Mahatma Ghandi

  3. #3
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Welcome to the QB. I know many QB members love their Juki 2010 machines. When I purchased my Janome 6600 back in 2011 at a LQS (local quilt shop), I knew I was going to have service available close to where I live. I don’t know if you have considered that?
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  4. #4
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Depends on what you want to do. If you want a machine with decorative stitches then either the Janome or the Elna would be a good choice. If you only want a machine for piecing and quilting then I’d go with either the Juki or the Brother PQ1500- being straight stitch only machines, they both allow for a very accurate 1/4” seam AND they FMQ like a dream because the harp area is taller which means they’ve got better visibility around the needle than either the Elna or the Janome= less neck strain since you don’t have to crane your neck to see around the head. But any one of those would be a great choice.

    The only differences between the Brother and the Juki straight stitchers are that the Juki has a speed control slider. The Brother does not have a speed controlller-you have to learn to control the speed with the pedal -not a big deal in my experience but some people prefer having a speed controller. Also you can get a needle felting attachment for the Brother PQ1500 if you ever want to do needle felting, I have one for my PQ1500 and have had a lot of fun needle felting with it.

    Rob
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    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  5. #5
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    While these prices sound good. What's the customer service. I know that Costco has a great return policy but what about the guy on Ebay. I got my two emb machines, very slightly used from a dealer. They had been serviced before I got them and I knew the previous owner. One had only been used by one of the teachers, about 7 hours before she upgraded to the next model. The second had been set up at a Viking event but then not used. Dealers offer classes and normally good support if you have any issues. My dealer closed down, which she deserved to do but now I have to go a couple hours away to get service. I'd check locally first. Have you decided what features you want your machine to have or what you'd like. If you don't know what's available that also another area that by going to local dealers will help. You can see what's available. Me, I like needle up\down. auto thread cutter, auto tension, a good speed, some of the machines have good threaders, others not so great. Make sure you have good throat space and lighting. Good luck, make sure you have a warranty
    Judy

  6. #6
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    Is there a Janome dealer nearby that can service if you need it? If so, my machine like that 6500 has been a workhorse and has a good throat space. I've done queen sized FMQ on it and everything you can think of.
    It has all the bells and whistles, thread cutter, needle up/down, needle threader, speed control, knee lifter and I've never had a tension problem no matter what thread I've thrown at it. The only negative is that I felt I needed extra light, so I put an LED strip on it and it's great.

    Watson

  7. #7
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    The Jukis are GREAT, but they do nothing but straight stitch. And contrary to popular belief, they do have some electronics (speed control, back tacking, thread cutting, needle down etc do require electronic boards), so if you're considering the Juki to avoid the headaches of electronics, you aren't entirely out of that.

    I've considered the Jukis (not at Costco) and the Janome at Costco too. The Janome has the same throat space as the Juki. It is a might slower, but I'm told people rarely go full speed anyway. And for you, maybe it'll give you more growing room with the extra stitches that it has. Even if you aren't a big decorative stitch user, you may, say, want to do some machine applique with buttonhole stitch or something. And if you don't like it, you can return it, because it's Costco. Another nice thing about the Janome is you don't have to oil it all the time, like you do the semi-industrial Juki's. If you go to the Janome 6500 Yahoo forum, they'll describe where to oil it, which is pretty much one wick in the bobbin area.

    So yes, of the choices you've provided, I think the Costco Janome is the no-brainer of the bunch.

    Gee, maybe I'd better go order a Costco Janome! ;-). I think I just sold it to myself!
    Last edited by TeresaA; 11-11-2018 at 07:57 AM.
    Nobody ever went wrong with kindness.

  8. #8
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    I love my Janome 6600 and Magnolia. I don't think that I use all of the 6600 options, but I love it. I will say that the Magnolia has the bottom that detaches for sewing sleeves and hemming jeans that my 6600 doesn't do.

    My 6600 has a larger throat area than the Magnolia, but I think once I got the right foot for my Magnolia its less finicky about FMQ

    You won't go wrong with a Janome

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    You all probably get so tired of me saying this, but I love my Janome Magnolia 7318. It has a 6.5in throat and the shape of the throat is important too! I say this because I considered the Brother cs6000i as well, but the shape of that throat is very different from the Magnolia. Mine is square-ish, so the extra height has given me room to shove extra quilt in there, and I've quilted several queen quilts and a king sized as well! FMQ and with a generic walking foot. I wouldn't say it's "easy" but it's doable and I haven't felt desperate to upgrade yet. I can use any brand of thread, and I've used serger thread many times with no issues either. I have also never had any problems with brands of needles, nor with fabric being eaten though I do always hold both thread tails before starting a seam.

    It has some decorative stitches, but being a mechanical machine, it has no needle down nor any alphabet capability. I do have a free arm on it for sleeves and hemming which has been great now that my 3yo is in school. I also love that it has a simple backstitch lever because I know exactly when the backstitch will happen and am in full control of it. I have another computerized machine that I hate using for any backstitching because it is very picky about when/how I hit the button. Maybe someday, that machine and I will get along

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    Just realized I didn't actually answer your question at all! Sorry...

    I know many have the Juki and have enjoyed that machine, but I believe it isn't their only machine as others have also mentioned it is straight stitch only.

    The Brother has quite a number of reviews so if you haven't read through them, it could be worth your while. It seems to have decently generous throat space and is affordable as well. I hesitate now to purchase a machine used because of previous experiences with needing to return a new machine (twice!) and you obviously wouldn't be able to do that with a used machine. Those machines were brand new and I immediately noticed that they would skip a stitch every 20 or so stitches when straight stitching. Returned the first, the second one did it too. The third did not, so I've kept it, but it is the machine I referenced above about hating the backstitch. It's also very picky about thread - I can't use Aurifil in it! Crazy. I probably should have returned it and started over with a different brand and line of machine, but there were other features I liked and it was also very affordable. Just something to think about.

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    Thank you all for the feedback and the stories about having to return machines. I feel very confident with purchases from Costco because they've been so good about repairing jewelry I've bought from there. I honestly have never used a decorative stitch but I guess it's nice feeling like you have the option. Oh a dealer, I researched and found a Janome dealer 20 miles from me. The only draw with the demo Elna was the 11 inch harp space. But it's all relative I guess because I sewed a queen quilt on my little Brother cs6000i but now I have to "quilt" it which is a whole separate problem. I haven't gotten into FMQ yet. I'm intimidated.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have a straight stitch only Juki TL98QE and Babylock Jane straight stitch only. Believe me I use one or the other everyday. No Mother boards or anything else. Keeping them oiled is not a big deal. They never need service.
    I do have other machines (4) in the closet.

    Welcome to this board.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  13. #13
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    I own the Juki Tl2010Qi I love that machine. I have a Pfaff Creative sensation...I hate it. The first machine that I bought and learned the bulk of my quilting on was a janome memory craft and I love that machine as well. ( Disclaimer I quilt on my longarms...but I do a lot of piecing as well) If you just need a straight stitch machine I would say The Juki. It honestly sews through everything. I also watched a friend of mine quilt several quilts on the same Juki during a retreat and it was amazing.

  14. #14
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    Janome owns the Elna name and builds the machines. Check with the dealer you found to see what they have for demo machines/prices.

    Cari

  15. #15
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    My advice is to buy from a dealer who will give you good service and support. Even if you pay more, it will be to your benefit in the long run.
    Harriet
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  16. #16
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    Go to the dealer and test drive different one. Ask her (him) to let you try FMQ on the various Janomes. You would love the 8200 for it's terrific harp space, dreamy FMQ ability, quietness, speed, thread cutter, stitch options. I was about to get a 6600 but my number one "want" was the harp space The 8200 has 11'. No more wrangling bigger quilts.

  17. #17
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hcarpanini View Post
    My advice is to buy from a dealer who will give you good service and support. Even if you pay more, it will be to your benefit in the long run.
    I agree with this totally. I know that you have confidence in Costco, but are you sure they are going to give you any support if you have problems with your machine? I only paid a bit more for my Juki 2200 QVP Mini from a dealer than I would have online or from a big box type store. I got a guide class and I have someone to go to if I have problems. Also someone to do yearly tune ups on it for me. To me that worth a lot.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  18. #18
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    I strongly recommend going with a trusted nearby dealer - pays off in the long wrong. Can’t comment on your choice since I am a Viking person - do have a small Janome which I take to classes and like.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    I have an Elna 740 that I bought used (it was a trade in machine, actually bought it from a dealer off eBay, who I felt comfortable with after numerous calls/questions). It has been a wonderful machine, not picky with threads, needles, etc. Love the harp space for free motion quilting. I just adore this machine and hope it lasts me a lifetime!

    People generally like their Juki straight stitch machines, but I'm a bit sour on Juki right now as I have a new DX5 that has already been replaced once, and the second one is not doing what it should (bought a second machine to use primarily for sewing, and a bit smaller so I can take to quilting meet ups and such). Granted this is a different machine than the straight stitch machine (though it gets high rankings also). I always thought I would have a Juki straight stitch machine, but whenever I tried one at the dealers on different occasions, I never really fell in love with how it felt when free motion quilting. Tension issues at the store that the dealer couldn't seem to adjust, the feeling of the quilt sandwich not moving freely - each time I tried.

    Which is why I would highly recommend that if there is any way you can test all of them, definitely do. Machines feel differently, and you want one you like the feel and sound of. What is someone else's cup of tea might not be yours.

    All that said, I think from between your 3 choices you will end up with a great machine!
    Dawn

  20. #20
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    I have a Juki 2010 that I use 7 days a week for 2 years now and I love her! I do a lot of walking foot quilting, I'm still learning FMQ and she does both beautifully. No decorative stitches though, just one stitch done very well. If you don't care about having a speed control look at the Juki 2000 which is identical to the 2010 except no speed control and no pretensioner for thread guiding. I've seen new Juki 2000 machines locally for $500 but they are getting more rare.

    The Brother 1500 is a great straight stitcher as well.

    Janomes are very good machines and they have a lot of machines out on the market, there is a Janome for everyone, it's what stitches do you want and how much do you want to spend. I love my HD3000, it makes great quilts but I have much better harp space with my Juki.

  21. #21
    Member ghk1936's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6600P and I really like it. Have made many throw size and several larger (Full size) quilts no problems. I do use a floor lamp for extra lighting. It is important to have service available if needed.

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    I'm a Viking/Husqvarna person and treated myself to an Opal 690q last year, but if there isn't a specific brand that you have found you like, I think it would be worth checking out the Costco deal because their customer service is great. If you don't like it or there are problems with it, you can take it back. You should check to see how far away an authorized repair center is, just to be sure it's a reasonable distance. Any other place, I suggest you try it out at the store first to be sure you like it. :-)

  23. #23
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    I started sewing on a cs6000i and I STILL have that machine! But I love my innovis 1000QC! I haven’t done all it’s capable of doing but I’m sure I will! I chose to stay with brother because of the ease of staying with a brand you know.. for me that worked perfectly! I also have two featherweight’s and a 99k.. I love them all!

  24. #24
    dms
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    I have the Juki2010 and just love it! I use it for all my piecing and FMQ. It works like a charm. I have found the throat space to be adequate. It does beautiful free motion. I do have a Viking Diamond deluxe for other sewing which I love also. Good luck with your decision.

  25. #25
    Member Brook's Avatar
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    I have two Janome, Magnolia and NQM 2016. I love both, never any trouble, quilted multiple quilts and can’t beat the price. There’s not a dealer near me but they are so popular I believe any good repair person could work on it. I’ve always bought online at sewing machine plus and customer service has always been great. I bought a Simply Sixteen with a Little foot frame from them as well. I did go to a local dealer and looked at another brand and was not impressed. So my trip to the dealer saved me from buying the wrong machine.

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