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

  1. #151
    patchythepirate's Avatar
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    I sew on a Janome Memory Craft 3500 that I've had for around 9 years. It has been an good machine and more than capable with any task I've thrown at it. I've been thinking about buying a new machine and while I was in the store I saw a really cute new Janome machine called The Threadbanger. It seems like a great machine for anyone starting out and is geared towards the home crafter as opposed to a garment maker. It retailed at the store for 699.00 but I thought it was overpriced so I'll bet you can find one elsewhere for a lot less. Good Luck and bless you for supporting your lucky wife in her new hobby!

  2. #152
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    ThomasR,

    My wonderful husband purchased a machine as a surprise for me also. I was not quite ready to give up my old Kenmore but it was in for servicing and I was without machine over my birthday a couple years ago. It was a very sweet idea and I probably never would have spent the money on it for myself. That being said, I wish that I had more info about the machine and classes to learn how to use it. Now that some time has passed, I am able to use more of the functions but not all I'm sure.

    I imagine the budget was about the same as yours for your wife. Please make sure that you purchase a walking foot if she's interested in machine quilting & not just piecing. I hand quilt and machine piece so I'm ok without one but for smaller projects wish I had one. Also, it should have a quarter inch foot which also didn't come with mine. He was told it was a "quilters machine" but it's a standard machine by "Kenmore" who no longer makes their own machines. I had an old Janome embroidery machine and think my "Kenmore" is actually a Janome also. Several pieces from my old Janome are interchangeable with this one.

    I would make quite sure that it is exactly what she wants or let her pick it out. And Kudos to you for being such a great guy trying to make such a thoughtful purchase & encouraging your wife's talents.

  3. #153
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    Just read that you purchased the Kenmore for her. How fantastic for her. It will take a while, don't fret in learning the machine. I have a slightly older model and am not sure if they're made by Janome this year (I heard that Kenmore purchases from several companies). Assuming yours came with a video, be sure that you hang on to it....I just watched it again and picked up SO much I missed when I first bought it. Best of luck with the machine. Happy Sewing!!

  4. #154
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Well, welcome Birdie. How could you keep silent for so long? I thought that I would do the same, but sometimes I just can't help getting in on the action. I have learned so much already.

  5. #155
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    OK, can anyone tell me why my posts always have the box "Edit" next to the "quote" box? I don't notice that on anyone else's posts. I'm such a duck when it comes to the 'puter.

  6. #156

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    I have 2 Elnas - Quilter's Dream and Pro Quilter's Dream - LOVE both of them. They are very friendly user - very little maintenance and can be serviced easily. Not overpriced for the product you are getting. They were endorsed by Eleanor Burns who now endorses Baby Locke who is owned by the same co. WHAT an endorsement. Need any other advice or questions contact me [email protected] MY next machine will also be an Elna - I'm just waiting now for a larger throat area.

  7. #157

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    Hello Mr. Tom. Greetings from England. Since my hands no longer can do my quilting, I invested earlier this year in a Janome QC (quilters companion) and it does everything except the washing up. I got a very good deal from my supplier who gave me extra feet including the 1/4inch and walking foot. I did a lot of research before I settled on this one, and I paid 289 for it. Sorry I can't convert in dollars. Hope this is useful, put together with all the other advice you are getting. Sylvia

  8. #158
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    For sewing blocks,I love my White brand machine. It was bought in 1992.
    The sales person told my husband that it was a true basic model that would run and run like a timex. I did not know that these things needed service and in 2005 I had it cleaned and checked. NO PROBLEMS.
    I sew every day for a few hours. Trying to sew a straight Line :wink:
    It helps my mind to be busy.
    This is not a fancy machine with all the bells and whistles ,just a machine that keeps running no matter what I have tried to sew. I am self taught and that can be hard on a machine too.
    Good Luck,Find one that makes you feel comfortable,and most sales places offer some help on how it works.
    chrissy b

  9. #159

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    JANOME! Currently have 5 machines and if I could have only one in your price range I would select a Janome. BUT, go to an authorized dealer for purchase. The deal will almost always be better than anywhere else, they can explain all machine options, you can test drive machine, many offer free to very inexpensive classes, and and repair service is always available.

  10. #160
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    Although I now have a Husqvarna Viking which I love, for the price range you want--I do recommend Sears Kenmore machines. My husband bought me one when our daughter was 6 months old and I still have it & it works just fine. My grandaughter is now learning on it. It is sturdy, easy to use and does both piecing and quilting wonderfully. Just make sure to get the quilting needles to do the quilting and use the regular ones for piecing.

  11. #161

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    Had an Elna endorsed by Eleanor Burns and had nothing but PROBLEMS.

  12. #162

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    A White manufactured in 1992 is nothing like the cheap models for sale today.

  13. #163
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christina bennett
    For sewing blocks,I love my White brand machine. It was bought in 1992.
    The sales person told my husband that it was a true basic model that would run and run like a timex. I did not know that these things needed service and in 2005 I had it cleaned and checked. NO PROBLEMS.
    I sew every day for a few hours. Trying to sew a straight Line :wink:
    It helps my mind to be busy.
    This is not a fancy machine with all the bells and whistles ,just a machine that keeps running no matter what I have tried to sew. I am self taught and that can be hard on a machine too.
    Good Luck,Find one that makes you feel comfortable,and most sales places offer some help on how it works.
    chrissy b
    I have a White sewing machine that I acquired in the early seventies with Fram coupons (My father had a service station and coupons were used to obtain household products for our home and my parents' home. We each got a White sewing machine.) This machine has been great. It was my first zig-zagger. It's put away in a closet, but I pulled it out for grandkids or students to work with it. It is a very heavy portable that is all-metal. My serger (bought in '88 is also a White). I would like to upgrade , but it is still doing very well. [I'd really like one of those "self-threaders.]

  14. #164

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    I have been using the Janome sewing machines. I have two. The one that I would recommend is the Janome Platinum. It runs around $450. It weighs 11#, is very portable to take to classes, etc; it is also a 'work horse'. I also have the 'top of the line' Janome for quilting, but if I need a good 'stand-by' I will use the Platinum. It has numerous stitches to choose from, can lower the feed dogs to 'free-motion' quilting.

  15. #165
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    hi, I'm new to this. I purchased a husqvarna viking, emerald edition almost a year ago & I love it. it has the needle up/down, a thread cutter & many other features. it does not have a 1/4 inch foot or marking for it which is the only thing i really don't like.
    i think one of the main advantages to this machine is ,they offer a trade-in within one year of purchase with the full price you payed for it going toward an upgrade. this is based on the retail value of the up-grade. you can find these dealers located in some joann fabric shops. hope this helps to give you another idea

  16. #166
    Senior Member Belles.hold's Avatar
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    Well Tom, I have three sewing machines: a #9000 Janome (embroidery and general sewing/quilting - which I use the most); a #3500 Janome (general sewing/quilting which is my travel machine) and a #221 Singer Featherweight (which I've yet to use). I simply love Janome machines. My criteria for a good sewing machine (I am a quilter and quilting instructor) is 1) a drop in bobbin; 2) a "beep" that tells me when I'm runing low on thread in the bobbin' 3) straight and even stitches; 4) add-on parts that are reasonably priced and 5) ease of cleaning since I vacuum and clean my machines on a weekly basis.
    The Janome is quiet, dependable and a work horse. I probably sew patchwork or machine applique or foundation paper piecing on a daily basis and in the Janome I've a machine that does all of the above beautifully. My #9000 is almost ten years old and like a Timex it keeps on running.
    The two things (and there's only two things) I find annoying about my #9000 is no bobbin thread cutter and its weight (37 lbs.). The bobbin thread cutter was not available on a Janome until the #1100 was produced. I sure would like a bobbin cutter, but not enough to trade in my #9000...and the #1100 weighs even more!
    Unfortunately the #9000, #1000 and #1100 are WAY over your price limit, but the #3500, my travel machine might fit the bill. Janome's #6600 is a terrific machine that you might want to look into also. Good luck, Valerie

  17. #167
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    Tom found a machine at Sears...
    but there is a Janome Threadbanger at Allbrands.com with free shipping, no tax for $599, in the event another reader would like to compare.

  18. #168

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    I own a Viking which cost $1700 five years ago. It is an embroidery machine as well as a sewing machine. It has a number of stitch patterns built in as well.
    Knowing what I know now, I would skip the embroidery function, and purchase a simpler machine. I would advise you to look into the Lily or other machines made by Viking.
    ALSO........I would buy a machine from a sewing machine DEALER and not a Big Box store. Make sure the dealer SELLS and SERVICES the machines. Then when the machine has problems, you can go back there.

  19. #169
    Senior Member Belles.hold's Avatar
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    Isn't it wonderful that there are so many different sewing machines to appeal to so many different quilters? In her message, brmovingon decried the fact that she purchased a machine with embroidery and I am thrilled that my quilting machine also embroiders...and so is my granddaughter. I have embroidered butterflies, flowers, darling puppies and kittens on her sweatshirts, jackets, pants leg and quilts. Also, now that she is older, I've embroidered female ice skaters, soccer, baseball, volleyball and basketball players for both her and her team mates, changing the hair and skin color as necessary.
    I guess different opinions is what makes the world go round...and allows makers of sewing machines to produce so many different models.
    But the embroidery feature has been quiet for a few weeks while I finish three quilted Frank Lloyd Wright Art Glass Window wall hangings. It takes time and concentration to sew fabric that is cut 3/4-inch wide, with the largest piece 1-1/4 inch wide. I'm very happy to be quilting my last wall hanging and it will be quite a while before I create another FLW.

  20. #170
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    My strong suggestion is go to a dealer and let them help you. They probably can suggest one in your price range. They will give you lots of help after purchase with lessons. Getting one from online or box store will not get you help. Ask questions and get the answers.
    Nancy in Indiana

  21. #171
    Punksmom's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add my two cents. :) I have both a Kenmore (Sears) and a Janome. I have received better service from the Janome dealer then the Sears machine and a whole lot less service problems with the Janome. Lots of luck in what ever you get your lucky wife. :wink: :wink:

  22. #172
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    I currently use a Bernina PE140 that I bought new 7 years ago. My previous machine was a Bernina 830, which I purchased in 1976 and kept until 2001. Personally, I think my older machine was the better as this electronic machine doesn't have the power my old one did. However, Bernina is a very good machine, but expensive. Don't buy a cheap machine; you won't be happy if you do a lot of sewing. If you're only interested in quilting and not in doing fancy embroidery, I would suggest that you check out stores that carry good machines (Bernina, Husqvarna, Pfaff, etc.) and ask about older machines that have been traded in. You can often get a good deal, get lessons as well and have somewhere to go for support and maintenance. If you know what you want, check e-Bay. I wouldn't buy a Singer. I grew up with them and loved them when they were made in North America, but the last one I had leaked oil constantly.

  23. #173

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    Just another vote to buy your machine, new or used, from a reputable dealer. Don't risk internet sales or e-bay sales. Buy the best you can afford. All machines now are made in Japan - except Bernina. Yes, Viking and Pfaff were bought by Singer and and if a dealer tells you otherwise, this is not a reputable one.

    Go to a dealer who sells several lines and test drive different machines. I have had many machines and have sewn for over 60 years. Am never so happy as when I hear the purr of my well-tuned machine.

  24. #174
    Senior Member dizzy's Avatar
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    i know i'm a little late on this but all the names people have given you are great an there are a few more there are brother,singer babbylock and a few more they all have good machines out there an do some real good sewing i've had a treadle back a few years ago i wish i would have gotten moved with me when i had to move.but i now have a singer ,an two difrent brother machines anone machine i cant tell you what it is because i need to put a new cord on it but it is older than me an i'm very picky with it .it was given to me by an old boss man he was really cool.but good luck in your hunting an wish you all the luck there are alot of good sells right now an until x-mas :)

  25. #175
    Senior Member Letty's Avatar
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    Hi,I have always hand pieced and quilted,being rather nervous about buying a machine I took the advice of a friend who had always bought Bernina but was looking for another machine.She did research and found the Brother NX-400. I rather gulped at the price 500, and walked around the store for about half-an-hour until my lovely husband said he would go and buy it whether or not I was there.I can use it without the foot and it threads the needle for me -----and I love it You would have to fight me to remove it from my sewing room.I have learnt to love it ,buy one with a quarter inch foot and a walking foot--look for special offers.I got those and an extention table in the price. You are a lovely man to be looking on your wife's behalf,hope you get what you want. Letty

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