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Thread: Help! How Many Machines Does One Need?

  1. #1
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    Help! How Many Machines Does One Need?

    I have a 28 year old Necchi 549 which has served me well. During that time I replaced the motor belt and top tension assembly. It is now showing it's age and the top stitching is wobbly. The company went out of business over 10 years ago and parts are mostly unavailable. I have a lot of alterations to do and began quilting this summer, so I searched for a replacement machine.

    I found a Husqvarna Viking Platinum 750 through a lady on Craigslist who had listed a different machine initially. I had done research on Vikings and the brand was high on my list of possibilities (if made in Sweeden). This machine was made in Sweeden and came with a Viking walking foot, Viking stippling foot and an 18x24 clear acrylic extension table for a great price after a bit of haggling. I bought it.

    After sewing different things on it, I have discovered that it will not sew over garment seams when hemming without whining and balking. When it finally makes it over the hump the stitches are tiny. On the other hand, I found that I can do FMQ on it easily without any problems. Are most machines made today for one specific type of sewing? I really just want one machine that can do it all!

    What are your experiences with a Bernina Record 830? Is this a machine that can sew over multiple thicknesses without hesitation as well as handling FMQ beautifully? I like that it can sew standard buttonholes, blind hem, and sew the blanket stitch. These are features I want/need also.

    Can you recommend other machines that have all of these abilities. I don't need electronic or computerized--mechanical is fine--but reliability and longevity IS important to me.

    Thanks so much for reading!
    Sheddah

  2. #2
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    I know that the newer Berninas can sew over heavy layers -- like blue jean hems, and expect that the older ones do, too. I currently own 3 Berninas - one is a serger. I think it's nice to have multiple machines as I have one Bernina and one Singer in the shop right now for tune ups.

  3. #3
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    I have two machines - a Bernina 153 QE and a Janome Horizon 7700. Both are great, but each with its own strengths. The Bernina seems to do better at sewing over bulky seams without getting all those tiny stitches. The Janome is much, much better for FMQ - mainly because it has an 11" throat. Both machines are great and I do actually use them both a lot. I have a small Grace quilting frame and the Janome is far better for that. Also, the Janome feet are substantially cheaper than the Bernina, and it has a wonderful built-in walking foot (called Accufeed) which I love. The Bernina is smaller and easier to pack into a class. I wouldn't trade either one right now!!

    I don't know anything about the Bernina 830, but I do know that Bernina is a good quality machine. I've had mine for 7 years and hope to have it for many more...
    -Chris-
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blessed are the children of quilters, for they shall inherit the quilts....

    It does not do well, Harry, to dwell on the dreams....and forget to live. - Albus Dumbledore

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    The Bernina Record 830 is a workhouse and also a valuable vintage machine. These Bernina's were made with really strong motors and it should have no difficulty going over thick seams. Check eBay's completed listings to see what they sell for there.

  5. #5
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    hand crank singer----- cause mum had one
    electric singer----cause it is beautiful all gold markings perfect
    tiny elna--straight +zigzag-----for work shops light as air
    janome --couldnot resist $5 garage sale
    pfaff 1424---just being retired after 15 years
    2124 pfaff embroidery ---my fully toy
    horizon 3 days old not yet out of the box
    all machines work all are loved and i appreciate the fact i can afford them

  6. #6
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    i have 6 machines and love them all.

  7. #7
    Super Member cowgirlquilter's Avatar
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    I have an assortment and love them all! I have a brand new toy machine that is only six inches high...and got it cuz it is cute on a shelf. My hubby bought me a vintage featherweight.....a brother that I have had for 15 years or so and is my workhorse, and he just also bought me an anniversary edition machine that is computerized and fun!!!!!
    Theressa
    Cowgirlquilter

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    the obvious answer...just one more!

  9. #9
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I have 3 Janomes and a Brother for embroidery. I use each of them for something different.
    Heather

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have two machines plus a serger. Each machine has something I like for a specific task. If you are shopping make a list of the task you need and then determine the machine that can do these at a price you can afford. It is so easy to get "up sold" on all the fancy stuff once at a dealer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Treadle Singer for when the power goes ou and it is pretty. Can sew through anything.
    Two classroom model Singers, steel body, because they are workhorses. I have one set up for quilting only with the darning foot, and the other is for piecing and garments.
    Singer overlock because I like seams on the garments done right and it helps in finishing the quilts before binding.
    Last edited by Tashana; 09-02-2012 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Spelling

  12. #12
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    As my hubby will quickly point out to me...there is a huge difference between need and want. I have a brother pc-420, a juki serger, and a cheapie brother machine that is my emergency back up machine should mine have to go to the shop. Hubby tells me that's all the machines I need. I want a Juki f-600, an embroidery machine, and that new brother dreamweaver looks cool too.

  13. #13
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    I have four............

    1 strictly embroidery only
    1 heavy duty machine (no bells or whistles)
    1 sewing machine for daily use (making quilt tops and clothes etc.)
    and my Bailey long arm for...well you know......
    Everyone is born right handed, only the gifted overcome it.
    I have already committed my felonies, so people don't have to worry. (Russell Means)
    I swear to you, I am guilty of only being Indian. That's why I am here. (Leonard Peltier)

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i think if your Viking is having a little trouble it may just be time to take it in & have a good cleaning/tune up done on it.
    i've used my viking for all sorts of sewing without problems for over 10 years- i do now have a 1956 singer i use as my (travel) machine- it is a simple straight stitch machine but at home-for sewing/garment/costume/home dec & quilting i use my viking. I love the ease of zippers, the button holer, the fact i can go from sewing a pair of denim jeans right to working on a silk quilt block with just a change of needle & a couple settings.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If you want one for bulky seams I would go with a juki, they specialize mostly in industrial but do have a home sewing line, but also have some of the most powerful motors I hear

  16. #16
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    I have seven sewing machines: two sergers, vintage Singer treadle,Singer featherweight, Bernina embroidery machine, Brother 1500, and a White machine. My old serger is a Singer, hard to thread. I bought a BabyLock Evolution this year to replace it. Wow, it is great! I quilt mostly with the Brother and piece with it too. It is really accurate and easy to use. My Bernina is the old Artista 180 embroidery machine. It does beautiful embroidery and also sews everything else beautifully. I would love to have the newer Bernina 830 or 730 embroidery machines with a larger hoop capacity. I use the other when the mood strikes me except for the treadle. I like to take the featherweight when I go on a trip. It still sews great and it was made the same year I was born. I think you should have as many sewing machines as you want or can afford.

  17. #17
    Senior Member HouseDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheddah View Post
    I have a 28 year old Necchi 549 which has served me well. During that time I replaced the motor belt and top tension assembly. It is now showing it's age and the top stitching is wobbly. The company went out of business over 10 years ago and parts are mostly unavailable. I have a lot of alterations to do and began quilting this summer, so I searched for a replacement machine.

    I found a Husqvarna Viking Platinum 750 through a lady on Craigslist who had listed a different machine initially. I had done research on Vikings and the brand was high on my list of possibilities (if made in Sweeden). This machine was made in Sweeden and came with a Viking walking foot, Viking stippling foot and an 18x24 clear acrylic extension table for a great price after a bit of haggling. I bought it.

    After sewing different things on it, I have discovered that it will not sew over garment seams when hemming without whining and balking. When it finally makes it over the hump the stitches are tiny. On the other hand, I found that I can do FMQ on it easily without any problems. Are most machines made today for one specific type of sewing? I really just want one machine that can do it all!

    What are your experiences with a Bernina Record 830? Is this a machine that can sew over multiple thicknesses without hesitation as well as handling FMQ beautifully? I like that it can sew standard buttonholes, blind hem, and sew the blanket stitch. These are features I want/need also.

    Can you recommend other machines that have all of these abilities. I don't need electronic or computerized--mechanical is fine--but reliability and longevity IS important to me.

    Thanks so much for reading!
    Sheddah
    You need to take your Viking 750 into the dealer and have it serviced. It should do FMQ and sew gorgeous seams even on thick jeans material.

    I have a Viking Husqvarna 875 and an elderly (circa 1965) work-horse Elna Supermatic (actually three: my original and two from ebay to cannibalize for parts)
    with all the bells & whistles.

    I've never been sorry to buy high end machines because I expect to use them for years. But I'm betting that the computerized Husqvarna won't last almost fifty years! *LOL*

    Meanwhile, I'm saving to buy a serger.

  18. #18
    Senior Member fien777's Avatar
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    I only have a pfaff hobby 919-1....twice
    I bought mine about 20 years ago and do all my sewing on it, quilts, curtains, clothes , furniture, jeans, leather and FMQ.
    Because it's already an old lady I wanted the same one for reserve.......and after being patient I found one for a very, very reasonable price.....only three years younger than mine but looking ( and working) like new.
    And I'm one happy lady now!!!!
    greetz, fien
    http://quiltfien.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    1. Singer Quantum - Fancy stitches before I got into quilting
    2. Singer 15-90 in cabinet- just had to have it
    3. Singer White Featherweight- a gift from a stranger: she asked if I wanted it she had several and was downsizing.
    4. Janome Jem Gold- to take to classes
    5. Another Janome Jem Gold - DD bought and left here
    6. Singer 301- gift from a friend
    7. Bernina 1260 - too good a price to pass up
    8. Brother 1500 - won it

    I use them all.
    Got fabric?

  20. #20
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    the obvious answer...just one more!
    Yes, what katier825 said! :-)

  21. #21
    Senior Member Earleen's Avatar
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    I use the hump jumper to go over heavy seams it came with my Viking #1+. There is another name for it, it raises the presser foot to the highth of the seam and you insert it in the back of the presserfoot and sew along. If that makes sense.
    Earleen The best helping hand is at the end of your arm.

  22. #22
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    I have "several"(ok maybe a few more) machines and can't find the perfect machine that does it all. Some machines are definitely better at some things than others. I always have at least three machines set up, threaded and ready to go. Currently I have four and am using my Husqvarna #1 Plus to machine quilt a single sized quilt, my Singer 201 to replace zippers in DH's coveralls, my Janome 6500 to stitch an old UFO top and I'm playing around with a vintage 530-1 Bernina which looks brand new that I couldn't resist for $40. I don't think that they make the perfect machine that does it all and $'s don't seem to ensure a great machine. I paid by far the most for my Janome 6500 ($2000) and it doesn't stitch nearly as well or as fast as my freebie Singer 201. My Husqvarna and my Bernina also outperform my Janome in many ways. You just need to find a machine that will match what you are doing. If you have the space, it is fun to play with more than one machine and the older ones often outperform the new plastic ones. I think every quilter should have at least two machines. You always need a back-up machine and one you can pack up easily and take to a class.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  23. #23
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Some machines can sew through lots of layers, but not over humps. My Janome has a button on the regular foot to lock it in horizontal position so it goes over humps better (like jeans). That way the foot doesn't tip up against the seam "hump."
    You'll notice that a lot of dealers will show you how great a machine is for sewing 8 or even more layers of jeans. But, they use a flat layer, not going on 2 layers and then trying to get over 7 or 8 layers. Most machines balk at those kinds of radical change.
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  24. #24
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    Thanks to all for your helpful and thoughtful replies! I think that I have finally accepted the fact that one machine won't do all. I thought this Viking Platinum would be more robust than it is, but it seems that the plastic computer machines have limits that are way lower than the robust mechanicals of past years. For me (just coming from one of those past machines) this has been an eye-opening disappointment. The dealers will never admit this either--for the most part anyway.

    I am now looking at pre 1990, mostly metal, mechanical machines for a second primary duty machine. (I presently have a serger also.) At first I thought a Bernina 830 or 930. But the parts are becoming harder to get and to my understanding some parts aren't available at all. So I have turned my sights towards an older (perhaps 10 years old, mostly metal) Bernina 1008--which is still being made today. Any thoughts about the robustness of this unit? Can its sail over humps?

    By the way, where do you all find all the bargain/free machines?

  25. #25
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    We got our older machines from E-Bay.
    Currently in use.
    * Bernina 640
    * Bernina White Pearl
    * Viking Mega Quilter
    * 3 featherweights
    * Singer Treadle
    * Singer Model 15
    * Singer Model 301 (2)
    That doesn't count the 3 Singer 128's; 99; and a couple of others waiting for a tuneup before I use them.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

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