Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Help me pick a new sewing machine for beginner-intermediate quilting

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9
    Hi,
    I'm a beginning quilter who has been sewing for about 9 months and quilting for about 5 months- I'm a newbie! But I'm already looking for an upgrade to my current sewing machine, a Kenmore 16231, which has already broken down twice in the 9 months I've owned it. :cry: I don't think it's up to daily sewing... I want something I can count on!

    Could you please help me decide on a new machine that would be an upgrade, but cost no more than $700 - $800 at MOST? I haved looked at:

    Janome DC 2010 - nice, but not much of a step up (My Kenmore is made by Janome, and I'm not too happy with it - will there really be enough of a difference to justify the new machine?)
    Viking Emerald 118 (mechanical, but possibly more reliable than what I have?) and 183 (computerized, with lots more features)
    Brother NX 250Q (quilter's edition) or others in the Innovis line (wide range of prices, not sure how powerful they are) (I guess there are similar Babylocks, like Designer's Choice?)
    Pfaff Select 3.0 or 4.0 because of the IDT, but it's completely mechanical... (Doesn't have as many features, but is it good for quilting?)

    I'm afraid the Berninas are out of my price range, as is the lovely Janome 6500 or 6600 that I'm so interested in for the future (tested it, beautiful! If I got the Janome DC 2010, I could upgrade from the lower level Janome to the 6500 or 6600 at that dealer later). Any advice appreciated. Help!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alturas, CA
    Posts
    8,413
    You should be able to get an elna that has quite a few bells and whistles in your price range. I have 2 elna's, 1 a mechanical(said to be top of the line) and 1 elna Quilter's Dream with a bigger bed. I am very happy with both of them, have had no trouble at all with either. But this is my 2 cents worth of opinion.

  3. #3
    Junior Member nantucketsue's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    West Yorkshire ,England
    Posts
    228
    Blog Entries
    1
    May I recommend that you visit the Janome.com website and take a look at the Quilters Companion range. I have been using the 6125QC for seven years and it has been absolutely brilliant, but I am now looking to upgrade to a computerised model. I would love the 6600, although one drawback is that it is does not have a free arm. or my dream machine the Bernina, Aurora 440 but they are way beyond my budget. I am looking at the MC4900QC. The 6260QC is a good price and well worth looking at. Good luck.

    PS: My daughter is still using my old Janome which is over 20 years old.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9
    That's a good suggestion. My local Janome dealer does not carry that line, though... Are they all mechanical? I need to find a place to test them out. I believe one of them did well in consumer reports, the 6260QC.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9
    My Elna dealer is teeny tiny and I haven't spent much time there, but I should check it out. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Camarillo, California
    Posts
    35,480
    Welcome from Southern California.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9
    Thanks! This is a great board :D
    Now, if I could just get a working machine, I'd be all set!

  8. #8
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    7,160
    Blog Entries
    3
    One thing you might want to factor in to your decision is what dealers are in your area. I have only Viking or Bernina in my area besides Brother, Singer (neither of which interest me). I had my old Viking for 15 years and loved it! It was computerized, but never gave me a problem and was not tempermental. Turn on and sew. When I finally worked it to death, I started searching for a replacement. I didn't see anything of interest in my price range at the Bernina dealer. I did not want to drive 70+ miles to buy a machine in case I needed/wanted to go back for assistance.

    They have a Viking dealer inside my local Joann's, but they aren't very friendly there, so I went further south and bought from a different dealer. She's very nice and includes unlimited "know your machine" classes (Joann's offered 2).

    I bought the Viking Sapphire 830 ~ next choice would have been the Emerald. I liked both, but it was only $100 more for the Sapphire, so I opted for that because of the 9" throat. I love it! I did have a little trouble at first, but it was user error. I was trying to use the free motion spring feet that I had from my old Viking. But the Sapphire has auto pressure foot sensor, so I think that was what the problem was. I took it back to the dealer and she had me try another foot, which worked perfectly! I would have purchased it, but she gave it to me. The other problem was tension, but I found that there were times the foot wasn't all the way up, so the tension hadn't released properly. Again, user error. Now that I'm aware of that problem, I know what to check.

    If you do machine quilting, bring a small quilt sandwich when you test drive the machines. If you test it doing what you mainly are sewing, you'll get a better feel for it than just checking out the pretty decorative stitches like I did. :)


  9. #9
    reneebobby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    cleveland ohio
    Posts
    3,907
    I have two brothers and love them, the first one I bought was a CS6000i Bev has one too. Which is under $200.00 then I went and got a used brother ULT2001D for the disney characters, which I love!!! This machine was about $1000.00.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,393
    There's nothing wrong with a "mechanical" sewing machine. The only thing you lose are some of the extra features. My first sewing machine was a Viking "Emma", which was near the bottom of the line ($500). That machine had no trouble sewing through 3 layers of leather and a zipper. I used it to sew my first quilt, too. I loaned the machine to my sister to sew up a new canvas boat cover. She loved it so much, I bought a new Viking Platinum 755Q and gave that one to her for Xmas.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9
    You are right, mytwopals, mechanical can be just fine. I have a mechanical now. I guess I'm hoping that when I upgrade I'll get a few more features as well as greater reliability. I'm still considering mechanical alongside computerized--I just want a machine that will be a workhorse...

    Thanks so much for the feedback. I do think the dealer issue is huge. I am looking into that now.

    Those of you who recommend Viking, have you had any of the tension or other problems that some reviewers/posters have commented on? I'm a bit scared to try my luck after reading some horror stories.

    Thanks again....

  12. #12
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    356
    I bought two machines off ebay in the last couple of years and they are wonderful. One is a basic Elna, nothing fancy, but what a little workhorse. I paid around 120.00 for it , which was a good deal.
    Second, I bought a Brother Disney embroidery machine. It has lots of neat features and really nice built in stitches, that I use quite a bit. I haven't done much with the embroidery, but plan to. I paid in the 180.00 range for it. I had no problem with shipping and found the machines to be in excellent condition. I would shop for a machine on ebay again.

  13. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,393
    Quote Originally Posted by MerryCrafty
    You are right, mytwopals, mechanical can be just fine. I have a mechanical now. I guess I'm hoping that when I upgrade I'll get a few more features as well as greater reliability. I'm still considering mechanical alongside computerized--I just want a machine that will be a workhorse...

    Thanks so much for the feedback. I do think the dealer issue is huge. I am looking into that now.

    Those of you who recommend Viking, have you had any of the tension or other problems that some reviewers/posters have commented on? I'm a bit scared to try my luck after reading some horror stories.

    Thanks again....
    I've never had any problems with tension on either of my Vikings. I even used invisible thread on my first quilt with no problems. Once the tension is set correctly, it remains consistent. For normal sewing with cotton thread, the factory setting was fine. I needed to loosen it up for the invisible, which is not uncommon on all machines.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    507
    My pfaff dealer takes trade-ins, has them serviced and resells them, usually at a pretty good price, and she let's you trade in any brand, so don't be afraid to ask any local dealers about what they have in the used group. you can find something that will fit your needs.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Clay Springs AZ
    Posts
    3,227
    Do you plan on using it for quilting large quilts? If so it is worth the price to get a machine with the deeper throat area. Makes a big difference when stuffing your quilt thru.
    I have the Viking Sapphire 830 and it does everything I need and has the large throat area.
    I just wish I could afford the embroidery machine that you can quilt designs in the blocks with.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    9
    Just to keep things interesting, I took a look at the Babylock Decorator's Choice today, priced at $799. It has needle up/down, start/stop, fix, thread cutter, knee lift, the works, and lots of decorative stitches/an alphabet. It has a slightly bigger throat, too.

    I read some positive reviews of it, too.

    I also got a chance to test out the Janome DC2010 and it worked well. It's computerized and has some good features but it lacks the "extras" (more decorative stitches, knee lift, etc)- though the price was right at under $400.

    The Bernina Activa 210 was in the price range of the Babylock, around 799, but it's pretty bare bones! Nice construction though.

    Hm, with the Babylock I'd get a machine I could grow into more, though still stay relatively within budget. Any more opinions?

    Thanks everyone for your help!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.