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

  1. #76
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    quiltn, my husband loves to visit the quilt stores (thank you lord) he doesn't sew, but likes to look at the different machines and materials. He also likes to see all the quilting tools available. I don't know why, like I said he doesn't sew.

  2. #77

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    I bought a White a couple of years ago and I really like it. I have done some quilting on it and some home decorating things, as well as mending. It has done everything I wanted it to do. Mine is a White Stylemaker 3100.

  3. #78
    CRH
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    Per request of Konstantin: My sewing machines- pro and con.

    Singer touch and sew: Loved it, died at age 40, could put a single stitch anywhere I wanted with it, backward or forward.

    Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 (6 yrs ago). (embroidery machine) Very good machine.!! Loved the drop in bobbin, the automatic needle lift feature when stitching stopped. The embroidery seemed not to stay within the lines and fill completely at times. The software for the embroidery seemed cumbersome, never really learned it.Computer interface was floppy disk which became extinct. Traded it in on:

    Bernina 730: (3 yrs ago) Bought it because of the stitch regulator. (Found out it wasn't the answer to free-hand quilting, a person must still need talent.) :D :( .
    I like the way it embroiders. I don't like the knee lever to raise the pressor foot when done stitching. The bobbin is on the front, and hard for arthritic fingers to manipulate. I LOVE the independent bobbin winder - use it to wind the bobbins for my other machine. Don't use it much for piecing because it is a 9mm and the feed dogs are too far apart to catch the 1/4 inch seam allowance easily. It has a lot of stitches, but about 10 that I really use, but a lot of potential for decorative work. The menu is hard to navigate, can't always find the stitch I'm looking for, and hard to remember what all the icons mean-would rather have words. It's is solid and reliable. I think the embroidery is of good quality. (Difficult to get the fabric in the hoop with the provided clips (I think some newer machines are improving this.) The entry embroidery software doesn't do much, and again is hard to learn, but if you are into this, there is (expensive), but advanced software available.
    I feel I spent a lot of money for features I will probable never use, but always have a toy that will keep me learning if I use it.

    Pfaff Expression 2036 - 1 1/2 years old. Bought it for the IDT (built-in walking foot and LOVE this feature!! It also has a 6mm stitch width max, so it good for piecing with these 2 features. Has 61 stitches and higher case alphabet. (I would like to have a lower case alphabet to make quilt labels with.) Can actually free motion on this machine as well as I can on the Bernina with BSR. Needle threader on this machine works great.

    My dream machine would have a deeper throat for manipulating quilts and a lower case alphabet for quilt labels, but I'm keeping these. If I win the lottery I might buy a long-arm. :lol: Yeah, right!!

    Featherweight Singer: Just a toy, like my other machines better.

    Sorry, so long winded.

  4. #79
    Bernadette Harwood's Avatar
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    Hi, I have 2 Designer 1's I love them and highly recommend Viking machines. They have a sensor foot so it automatically knows whether you have thick or thin fabric under the presser foot and it regulates its presser. I hardly ever use my dual feed foot because of this nice feature. It also has the needle down position which it great for quilting too. I use my Des.1 for mosts of my quilts, it has lots of quilting and decorative stitches that are great for quilting.

    I also have a Mega quilter and table for my quilting, it is a low end price range for a long arm. I would say buy the biggest and best long arm you can afford. I would love to get a bigger machine someday but this is giving me lots of practice till I can get something bigger. It is great other than I would like a bigger throat as it is not much bigger than the Des. 1. You get free training with your Viking machine and continual help so it is great for a bigger or new quilter.

  5. #80

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    My advice, is to purchase by model and not brand. And buy where there is support and repair. Not at a hotel etc. they come through town or the dealer offers this terrific price on a truck load sale. In truth they only have a couple at that really low price. And they plan on selling you up. For instance, When I had my shop there was a flat bed machine, heavy duty that they came through town and sold at $299 or $399. The husbands were so proud of the deal since the dealer paid for a 1 page colored ad. Well I sold that same machine for $99 , yes ninety nine and still made money.

    Remember that manufactures suggested retail is just that suggested and inflated so you, the consumer, think your getting a better deal.

    Ok I have a janmome gem (11 lb. travel machine) A janome professional 6500, a bernina 950 (commercial). along with a couple of old white brand. Heres the scoop. The gem, I love it and use it all the time. That little guy is tough and has guts. The 6500 professional. WHAT A MISTAKE. it is a wimp, does not like to sew through several thicknesses and bogs down. I don't like the stitch formation when machine quilt with it or applique. Big price difference. Between the 2. they were both bought at the same time. Since I sew for a living, and was so dissappointed with the 6500, My hero/husband, went and got me the bernina 950. Now that one is my babe, but it isn't for every one and certainly is not portable. After all it has a 1hp motor and if i remember can do up to 3000 needle strokes a minute.

    In essence, shop by model specific. Double check prices, and make sure what your wife wants to do with it. Is she going to travel with it, quilt classes, if your retired and have a summer or winter retreat is it going with you? Can she carry it?

    Good luck
    Lorraine

  6. #81

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    I am much more interested in hearing what each of you advise for a good machine that isn't too expensive since I've been thinking maybe I need one. My old Remington, about 1964, has done wonders, and I have a Singer that is ok, but I've seen the Janome and admired it, so it's very helpful to hear what you all are saying.

  7. #82
    Senior Member Phyl's Avatar
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    I paid less than $200 for each of my Singer machines. The best feature though is the drop in bobbin that you can see without removing any part of the machine! I wouldn't get a machine without it. The newest one I got even has many different stitches to use. Just remember, regardless of what machine you get, write down the first tension settings in your guide/user book and if you have any trouble, reset the machine to the way it came and start again. Be sure to use the correct bobbins and read the manual anytime you do anything to the machine. Keep it clean, not by blowing into the machine, but with a new clean paintbrush that can fit into the bobbin case and clean out the mini dust bunnies.
    Treat your machine with respect and love it! You don't NEED fancy settings but ALWAYS get the drop in bobbin so you know if you have enough bobbin thread to complete a task.

  8. #83

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    I have several machines from the top of the line to Featherweights. I sold sewing machines for a few years and the machine I like the best for Quilting and Machine Quilting the top is the BERNINA 440 with the stitch regulator. It is pricey but you get what you pay for. And I wasn't selling Bernina but I think that the Bernina Machines are the best made.

  9. #84
    jem
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    Hi, I have had a Kenmore for many years. It is reliable, easy to learn and has many nice features.
    Being I have been quilting since '83, I purchased a Bernina a year ago. Of course I really love it but it is out of the price range you are working with. So I would suggest the top of the line with Kenmore.
    Elaine

  10. #85
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    I have a Brother, a Singer, and a White. The Brother is a low end one sold at Wal Mart and I love it. It sews like a dream and never gives me any trouble. My son uses the Singer for his sewing. It's a nice machine, but I like my Brother better. The White is a Jean Machine. It works great on heavy fabric. That's about all I use it for. I have a Juki for quilting. I absolutely love this machine. It runs like a dream and has made it much easier for me to do my own quilting. Now, if I ever find the room in my house, I want a Gracie frame.

  11. #86
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    I HAVE PURCHASED 5 MACHINES OVER A 6 YEAR PERIOD AS GIFTS ETC.,FROM THESE FOLKS AND THEY ARE VERY DEPENDABLE. THEY HAVE THE JANOME MAGNOLIA FOR $349
    THE "sTART/STOP" FEATURE IS GREAT!
    fREE SHIPPING AND YOU RECEIVE IT IN 2-3 DAYS.
    YOU PAY NO SALES TAX!
    yOU CAN GO TO A LOCAL DEALER AND TELL THEM THAT YOU CAN GET THIS MACHINE FOR THIS PRICE AND NO SALES TAX AND SEE IF THEY WILL MATCH IT IF YOU PREFER, BUT ALLBRANDS IS A REPUTABLE COMPANY.
    I DON'T WORK FOR THIS COMPANY: ALLBRANDS.COM
    Janome 7330 Magnolia 30 Stitch Computer Sewing Machine, 6 Buttonholes, START/STOP, Memory Needle Up Down, Speed Control, Threader - 20/5Yr Ext. Wnty

    Magnolia 7330 is the only Janome computer on the internet with Start/Stop button without foot pedal(also incl).
    Price:
    $349.00


  12. #87
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    I forgot to tell you that my preference has always been Janome/New Home/Elna....all made by the same company at one time or another.

    Good quality. They are good computer machines at a reasonable price.

    For your price range the Magnolia Janome is a good choice.

    I just bought a Janome 6600 for $1100. It is built for quilting.
    I love it.

    Shop and try them out....then look at the site I told you about and then negotiate with your store....if not order online....Good luck on your quest.
    Diana

  13. #88
    quiltingchic's Avatar
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    http://catalog.ebay.com/Simplicity-A...328358QQ_tabZ2
    This is what my Hubby bought me 6 years ago to starting my new start in quilting. I loved it as we at the time were on a budget and two years ago i got my Janome 6600p. I still use both and never had a problem.
    Dawn

  14. #89

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    I'm afraid that in your price range of $200-$300 would not buy you a good quilting machine with a 10 inch bed. If your wife wants a good quilting machine please take a look at the Sapphire 870 that has quilting and decorative stitches, plus a 10 inch bed with an automatic cutter for the bobbin thread - which is great - because you might accidentally cut the quilt on the backing. It also has a start /stop switch. I have a Sapphire 850 which I intend to upgrade to the 870 and also have a Designer 1 USB machine (Both are made by Viking). I used to own Singer but the Singer workmanship on the machines in the last 10 years has gone down hill

  15. #90
    Senior Member isewman's Avatar
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    I have 2 Husqvarna---viking machine's..Freesia 415,--& Viva.. For me I like them..I will alternate them when sewing.. There is only 16 different stitches, but dont reakky do any fancy sewing.. The only sewing I do is when I'm making a quilt, or shorting my blue jean... Don-isewman1

  16. #91
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Hi. I have several sewing machines. They are quality machines and work very well. Since I cannot get what they are worth on a trade-in, I just keep them whenever I upgrade. I am a big fan of Pfaff and Janome machines and also a strong believer in buying from a reputable dealer if possible. He/she can help you find the machine that meets your needs.

    For quilt-piecing and quilting, there are many important features to look for, several already mentioned in other responses to your question. One of my favorite features is the auto. needle up/down. Another important feature for me is that the needle position can be changed from center to left or right.

    If you have the luxury of a local reputable dealer, previously owned machines are well worth checking out. They are traded in for various reasons and very often have nothing wrong with them. A good dealer will give used machines thorough maintenance before putting them up for sale. It's possible to get a fairly high-end used machine for about the same cost as a new basic machine and often comes with "extras" that the former owner has bought in addition to the standard accessories.

    Best of luck! Weezie

  17. #92
    Senior Member isewman's Avatar
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    The word was suppose to be really..Sorry eeryone...

  18. #93

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    I have had 3 machines in my sewing life, of 30 yrs. I have seen a Bernina in action, and wish I had the budget for one. But if like me, you are on a budget don't rule out a Brother. I'm not going by history, other then for myself. I had a basic Brother for several years, then 3 yrs ago I bought the CS 6000. And I have been totally pleased with it. I've had it in the shop 1 time. And it's because I sew just about everyday. I truly give my machine a work out. I bought it at Walmart and I payed close to 300.00 for it. It had all the features I wanted and a booklet, that is very easy to follow. Several different feet, incl/ free-motion ft, as well as several others. Push button stitch width and length control. I have been very happy.I'm an avid applique quilter, as well as design my own quilts. So I just wanted to add my imput.
    I passed my basic Brother on to alittle girl, that wanted a sewing machine of her own, and it's still working.

  19. #94
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    I am a quilter.....just finished 4 quilted wall hangings and a quilted purse. I use a "Quilters Classic" sewing machine made by Simplicity. Best sewing machine I have ever had. Bought it at Walmart a couple of years ago....it is still working great.

  20. #95
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    HI-- I use a Kenmore sewing machine. It has many decorative stitches-alphabet and numbers and easy to use-I have done some quilting and I find it very easy to move the fabric along. Also, the attachments are great.

    I also had a white sewing machine I used for about 30 years-I dropped it and could not get it fixed. That machine was great, too. It did not have a lot of stitiches but it did what I wanted to do.

    Time to get sewing!!!

  21. #96
    Junior Member himom122's Avatar
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    I use a 1951 Singer. It is a beautiful running machine.

  22. #97
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Dean Newbie,

    Sewing machines are personal choices and are very dependent on the user. I suggest a gift card stating an amount to be used for a new sewing machine.

    I presonally prefer my Pfaff due to hand problems and dual feed technology.

    Big hints: What is in your area as far as service? Will the store you purchase the machine offer easily accessible classes for learning the machine? Can you go there or call whenever there are questions?
    How costly are the different feet for the machine? Do you wan t only a sewing machine or a machine that also does embroidery?

    Be prepared to shop around. Have fun with this journey.

    Good luck,
    alice

  23. #98

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    Hi,

    The machine that I use almost exclusively for piecing is a vintage Singer 201. It is heavy duty, accurate, simple and reliable. It is 50+ years old and will last at least that much longer. It can be purchased for under a $100. It would be difficult to find a more durable machine and certainly none in the price range. I really thing the old "pre plastic parts" machines are more desirable than a new one...even the high end ones...unless you want to do fancy embroidery , etc.
    Now , I do own a Viking which has the bells and whistles but I never use it so all those extras were a waste for me. I like to piece quilts and quilt them on my APQS longarm machine so a good reliable straight stitcher is all I need.

    NinjaQuilter


  24. #99
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Diana
    I HAVE PURCHASED 5 MACHINES OVER A 6 YEAR PERIOD AS GIFTS ETC.,FROM THESE FOLKS AND THEY ARE VERY DEPENDABLE. THEY HAVE THE JANOME MAGNOLIA FOR $349
    THE "sTART/STOP" FEATURE IS GREAT!
    fREE SHIPPING AND YOU RECEIVE IT IN 2-3 DAYS.
    YOU PAY NO SALES TAX!
    yOU CAN GO TO A LOCAL DEALER AND TELL THEM THAT YOU CAN GET THIS MACHINE FOR THIS PRICE AND NO SALES TAX AND SEE IF THEY WILL MATCH IT IF YOU PREFER, BUT ALLBRANDS IS A REPUTABLE COMPANY.
    I DON'T WORK FOR THIS COMPANY: ALLBRANDS.COM
    Janome 7330 Magnolia 30 Stitch Computer Sewing Machine, 6 Buttonholes, START/STOP, Memory Needle Up Down, Speed Control, Threader - 20/5Yr Ext. Wnty

    Magnolia 7330 is the only Janome computer on the internet with Start/Stop button without foot pedal(also incl).
    Price:
    $349.00
    I love allbrands. They have always been good to me. That's where I got my Juki.

  25. #100
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    I also have a Janome 6600 Professional machine. I have had many machines in my lifetime and this one is the greatest.
    It has a long neck for machine quilting, A built in walking foot
    A scissors (built in) to cut threads on the top and bottom. The best needle threader that does work, and a locking stitch to tie your sewing. Up and down needle in & out.
    Before I had the 6600 I had the 9000 Janome embroidery machine which I still use. And for classes I have the Janome 760 Gem .
    I love them all. I have been sewing and quilting 25 years. Good Luck in picking a machine.
    Gert in MA

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