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Thread: Help choosing a sewing machine for quilting...newbie

  1. #26
    nancee's Avatar
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    Well Thomas you are probably pretty confused by now, huh? Don't be overwhelmed, stay with your budget...I had heard the Kenmore was a Janome and that is good...I have a few Janomes...LOVE them. One of my Janomes looks alot like the Kenmore for 254.00 I would check that one out...25 years ago my ex-husband....surprised me with a sewing machine, it was a New Home (now known as the Janome) and I loved that machine it was my baby....and I did alot of sewing on it. IMHO you don't have to start out big....But to me a beautiful stitch is important...There have been alot of woman that have made beautiful quilts on simple machines.....Believe me, she will love the machine you buy her, but someday she will want another :D

  2. #27
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    A frined of mine--driving*me*buggy on here--just bought a Janome Magnolia and loves it! I'll send her here to leave a comment. :D

    Good luck! It can get overwhelming to search. I just bought a new one and test driving them really made a difference. I prioritized my wants before I shopped. Having a bigger throat area--the distance beteeen the base and the needle is very important to me. That 1/4" inch foot is VERY important.

    Have fun!! Let us know what you get. :D

  3. #28
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I had a Kenmore for years and years & loved it with no trouble. The only reason I don't still have it is the movers dropped it on one of our cross country moves.

  4. #29

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    I vote for the Janome Magnolia 7318

    I have had mine for a few weeks and love it!!! It is a little workhorse and very easy to use. Here is where I got mine
    http://www.icanhelpsew.com/janome_magnolia7318.html

    I added a walking foot for $29

    This also looked like a nice one for a little more $$ I wanted simple simpe simple though lol

    http://www.icanhelpsew.com/janome_magnolia7330.html

    A link to my post when I was looking

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/12389.page

    And when my new machine arrived
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/12605.page

    hope this helps :)



  5. #30
    quiltingday's Avatar
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    I've been quilting since 1990 and own two Pfaff sewing machines. I would not buy any other brand since mine have stood the test of time. Other than cleaning and oiling I have never had one in the shop for repairs. One of mine is 18 years old, the other 12.
    Unique to Pfaff machines is that they have an integrated built in dual feed.
    A real plus when it comes to machine quilting and sewing on bindings. (Not all low end Pfaffs have this, ask for it)

    Regardless of what brand you choose I can suggest some features that I would not want to be without. A needle threader, needle up-needle down
    button, (this setting allows for machine to stop with the needle always down or always up, no hand turning of wheel to always reposition needle to begin again), an adjustable buttonhole stitch for machine applique (also referred to as a blanket stitch), the ability to drop your feed dogs for darning or free motion machine quilting. And last but not least the ability to change your needle position to the left or right of center and still do straight stitching. I would want these basic and helpful features before
    a mess of decorative stitches. They are the backbone of quilting.
    If a machine does not have a built in walking foot ask the dealer to throw in an attachable one. Not a generic but one that is made for the brand you are buying. Also a darning and open toe foot. Hope this is a help to you. These features may be pricier than you had expected but if your wife gets bit by the quilt bug she will want them. If not, these features will make the resale of her machine much easier without a great loss to your original investment.

  6. #31

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    Thank you all very much. I went ahead and bought the Kenwood for $254. You all have been great in helping me narrow down the best possibilities and I think for the price this machine will suit us for a while. My wife is excited as am I.

    I don't remember if I told you about her idea for a quilt. I think it is such a great idea I wanted to share it with you. She has gotten together multiple scraps of material she has used over the last 30 years on various projects around the house and will be making a quilt for my 26 y.o. daughter out of that material. I know my daughter will love and cherish it. I know she will be able to remember what each of the different fabrics did around the house as she was growing up. What a nice piece to have in her own family. I have a smart and loving wife!

    I do appreciate the care and concern you have all offered to me and I wanted to give something back if I could. I have some expertise when it comes to men and boys and how they process emotions differently from women and girls. I give workshops around the country on this topic for mental health professionals. I have a short video online that summarizes some of this material if you have any interest in the topic. You can find it here.

    http://webhealing.com/ws.html

    Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see a little flash video. Just click play. The material is important since a man's way of healing and responding to stress is very different from women's. This difference, if unrealized, can create big problems in relationships. If you have any questions just let me kow on this thread and I will do what I can.

    Thank you all again.

    Tom




  7. #32
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    Tom - that's a great site/video! my husband (Gary Golden) was watching over my shoulder and chuckled a lot!


  8. #33

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    Congrats!!!!!! We can hear the hummmm of the new machine all over the states:))Yahoo!! We are so happy for your wife!! (You too for if the wife is happy then we know you are!)May you have many quilts coming your way to keep you warm!! Skeat

  9. #34
    Craftybug's Avatar
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    Very informative video Tom not only for men but for ladies also.

  10. #35

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    Capital quilts seems to have the Pfaff machines. Get her the one with the built in walking foot if at all possible. She will love it.

  11. #36
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    I have a Bernina 440QE. It was pricey, but they have good lessons that you can repeat later if you wish. This is important for any machine to be able to use all its accessories. I wanted to have this and a Little Gracie frame, but now I hesitate on the frame. I'm afraid the opening between the needle and the motor is now big enough to handle the roll. So I'm stuck there for now. But I do love the machine.

  12. #37

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    Kenmore is a great choice. I'm sewing on a Kenmore that I received as a graduation (high school) in 1970!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It sat untouched for many years until I discovered that I really liked piecing quilts! I took it to a shop to be cleaned and checked out. I was told it was in excellent condition to be that old. Good luck with yours! May it last as long as mine has!!!

  13. #38
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    I see a typo. I'm afraid the opening is not big enough.

  14. #39

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    My machines are all from Sears, they have various ones for different needs and price ranges.

  15. #40
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    I had a singer ( just a cheap one to get back into learning to sew) and then got hooked on quilting so bought a White Quilter Star 1780. Was in love with it for about 5 mos. then the auto. threader broke, (which was a bummer but could live with out it) then the whole thing started to act up after only 8 mos. called JoAnns where I bought it and they said to bring it to them ( I live 50 miles away) and then when I got there they said I had to pay $90.00 to ship it back to Ohio and I said "No way" Finally found a man in a small town 2 hours away who fixed it for me for $90.00 and it has worked ever since and that was 3 years ago. Don't know if I had a lemon or what. I did 6 mos of research and thought for $350.00 (which is all I could afford) was a reasonable piece of machinary. I do know that if I have to buy another one I will make sure I try one out. I do like the feature of needle down and a lever for speed control.

  16. #41
    Member grannypjb's Avatar
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    For many years, I had a Singer for my main sewing machine. I changed to the Elna-Quilters Dream because at that time it was being shown by Eleanor Burns who is one of our top quilting teachers. (since then she has changed brands, not me).

    I do like my Elna very much. It does what I expect it to do. But, you need to know that if you are doing quilting and the machine you purchase does not come with a 1/4" quilting foot, you NEED to purchase one. This is important.

    I also have a Singer Future which is a sewing machine with an embroider attachment and I really like it also.

    The reason for having more than one is that I teach sewing in my home and also do sewing for the public.

    If you have any questions, please contact me and I will be glad to answer if possible.

  17. #42
    Senior Member GiGi's Avatar
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    Janome is my pick; I currently have the 6600P, Memorylock Serger, smaller 760 and the 350E Emb. machine. I gave my first Janome to my girlfriend and she continues to use it. In addition, I have just purchased the Janome that Hancock's sold for $39.99 for my Grandaughter so when she comes to visit this summer, we can play together :D . So, there you have it; I give thumbs up for Janome. I have never had any problems with any of them. They have traveled everywhere with me and I wouldn't trade them for the world. Good luck choosing. GiGi :D

  18. #43
    Senior Member GiGi's Avatar
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    One more thought before you buy. Make sure the machine has a walking foot and quilting foot. These two are invaluable. Thanks, GiGi :D

  19. #44
    Senior Member GiGi's Avatar
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    After looking at the site, it appears they only sell Pfaff machines. GiGi

  20. #45

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    Do your research and then go to ebay. You can buy new and used machines at a fraction of the cost and quite often delivery is free. I bought a Brother that retailed for $560 for $189. You can buy the accessory pieces as well. They have all of the major brands so you really can get what almost any machine you want.
    You won't get the lessons that a local dealer might offer but if you're all about the bottom line you sure get a lot of bang for your buck. Use a paypal account and the whole thing is money-back guaranteed.
    Even if you decide not to buy on-line, go ahead and print out some of the offers to take to your local dealer and use them as leverage to get him to offer you a discount or throw in some freebies.
    Hope this helps. Your wife is one lucky gal and you tell her I said so.

  21. #46

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    I am completely satisfied with my 6500 Janome. I have no trouble with it since purchasing the machine and then I purchased the Janome Plat 670 for taking on vacations and classes. What is especially nice is that the feet will go with both machines. I have also used the small machine in needle thread classes and it also does a wonderful job.
    Good luck :

  22. #47

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    I have been sewing for more than 30 years and I have found that you get what you pay for. I have sewn on $100 machines and $1000 machines. For light sewing, a $100 machine is probably fine. But if you are going to tackle quilts, I would recommend a better machine. That doesn't mean they have to be brand new, you can get wonderful machines second hand. But I think that your wife would just be very frustrated with a cheap machine. The thread tangles, gets caught and gets jammed easily. It makes sewing no fun. They also wear out very quickly. I currently sew on a Janome. It costs a litltle more than $1200, but oh, so worth the money!

  23. #48
    Senior Member 2manyprojects's Avatar
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    I received a kenmore 385, it is a wonderful machine for the price! It has all the bells and whistles of a Bernina! Love it!

  24. #49

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    I agree, when buying a sewing machine, you get what you pay for. I went shopping for a new Singer/Kenmore and found that many of the new models are built in foreign countries and have inner parts that are made of plastic. Needless to say I still sew on my 30 year old Kenmore. My niece bought one of the new Singers and her cat jumped up on the top, breaking the foot she was using. This was a small cat and the foot was made of plastic. Ask many questions when shopping for a new machine. And look at more than one brand so you can compare.

  25. #50
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    Hi I have a Janome Memory Craft 6000 that I have owned since 1982 I paid 1500 for it at the time and noticed recently a used one similar vintage for 530 dollars. I also own a singer 222 which is a featherweight /featherlight from 1957--has a removable arm. I learned to sew on that machine and my brother very kindly gave it to me when my mother died. It is still in excellent condition and works like a dream.

    I love both machines for different reasons.
    Good luck shopping

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