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Thread: How to chose a lightweight quilting sewing machine for my wife???

  1. #26
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    Not sure if this is the correct way to post a reply to my own post????Many thanks to all who offered their thoughts on purchasing a lightweight machine for my wife's birthday...I am amazed and thankful for the responses....many of the responders felt that I should wait and let my wife pick out what she wants, and I understand your point...however, I wanted the new machine to be a 68th birthday surprise! I do know that she is interested in the lightweight Janome's.....and due to your ideas, I will make sure that whatever machine I get can be returned/exchanged for another...Because we have been married for so long, it is quite difficult to think of unique gifts for each other, but I still try hard to find something that will surprise and thrill her....I think this will do it!!! Again, thanks so much for your kind responses....Dave Murray, Cape Cod, MA

  2. #27
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    Featherweights have passed the test of time. And I have yet to see any machine make a nicer stitch, in my humble opinion.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  3. #28
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Oh to have a featherweight! What joy that would be. I prefer the vintage machines hands down regardless of what model. However, if you are going to get a new one, a little Janome gem is a dandy. I have one and enjoy it.

  4. #29
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
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    As I do not own a new machine, I cannot offer advice on one.
    That said, when going to a class or retreat, I always drag my Featherweight, Violet, along with me. She loves to travel.
    Cindy

    Curator of an 1889 Singer model 27 Fiddlebase Treadle, a 1951 Singer Centennial Featherweight, a 1956 Singer 401A, and a 1982 Bernina 830 Record.

  5. #30
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    Your wife is a lucky lady to have a husband like you!! Whatever machine you get her, you may want to look into a rolling cart for a toolcase instead of buying one from Joann Fabrics. Their carts are not exactly cheap, even if on sale. I found a really neat simple rolling cart (for toolcases) at Harbor Freight and I used the 20% off coupon. It was on sale, too. The side may not zip down as it does for the sewing machine cart, but it will do fine for a lightweight machine.

  6. #31
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannieAnnie View Post
    this is probably not the answer you want------------but ask her. I know I'd want what I want, not what someone else wants----------so give her a promissory note for her birthdasy that says you'll buy whatever she wants--------just let you know.
    This idea gets my vote too. We all like or could recommend whatever machine WE like but it may not be what she would want. You would still get kudos from her just for coming up with idea all on your own BUT she will be truly happy if SHE is part of the decision making process - just my humble opinion.
    Dance like no one is watching

  7. #32
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    I use ONLY a cast iron 1941 Singer "portable".....and love it. Weighs a ton but when I do manage to take it places, I love all of the great comments and the love that it gets from the other quilters. Having had this experience, I'd recommend getting a Featherweight. She'll be the envy of every class and it does what you need for classes, which is to sew a straight stitch and not mess up. (But----having read all of these posts, I will look at Janome Gems. Thanks for your post!)
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  8. #33
    Super Member DottyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luv Quilts and Cats View Post
    I have friends who have the Janome Gem just for the purpose of traveling to quilt meetings/classes and they have been very happy with it. I've thought of getting one myself when my machine becomes too much to handle.
    I agree - I have the Janome Jem - a brilliant little workhorse !! You can drop the feed dogs and get a darning foot
    for free motion quilting. Also the machine has stop/start button, length and width slider, speed adjust button and needle down function, you can purchase several extra feet including a walking foot and many more - has quite a few stitches and best of all very lightweight. I am starting a machine quilting course soon and have no hesitation to take it to the class !
    Good luck.

  9. #34
    Super Member DottyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JT View Post
    If she already has a Janome, I would suggest another Janome. Feet are interchangeable, similar set up, etc. I had a Janome 6500 and needed something lighter for classes. I bought a Janome 3160. It is a great machine and has many of the bells and whistles other Janomes do. Lightweight...love it.
    So sorry JT to disagree here - a Jem is a LOW shank and my 6600 is a high shank - therefore some feet do fit - but not all. Hope you didn't mind be pointing that out ! Kind Regards.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hubs2734 View Post
    Hello- I am a quilters husband and need help to chose a lightweight sewing machine for my wife of 48 years who is having trouble lifting and transporting her Janome 3000 to quilt meetings/classes etc. I would really appreciate some expert opinions on what to purchase for her Birthday in April...so far I have researched the Janome mechanical jem 660 and the computerized Janome dc1050....I would like to get her a light weight machine that works well on quilts...then maybe she can better convert her substancial stash and UFO's to quilts ha ha ...any and all comments would be appreciated....Dave Murray, Cape Cod MA
    What a trooper you are! It's great to be looking out for your DW's comfort. But I have one more suggestion: How about learning to do a few quilting tasks, thus helping her with her stack of UFO's and also being a quilting companion to her. I wish my DH were more interested in the process BUT, in the meantime, I'll bet you'll get good advice from the quilter's here. Good luck!
    One step at a time, always forward.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luv Quilts and Cats View Post
    I have friends who have the Janome Gem just for the purpose of traveling to quilt meetings/classes and they have been very happy with it. I've thought of getting one myself when my machine becomes too much to handle.
    You will not go wrong with a small Janome! I have a big 6600 and a med. and a Jem for classes!!!!

  12. #37
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    Yes, please involve your wife in the choice of machine. She will probably want special features like needle down, automatic needle threader, etc. etc. useful especially to quilters. Give her a spiffy homemade gift certificate and be her chauffer (sp) for the day and let her make the choice while you smile and nod! You'll never regret it!

  13. #38
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    If you can afford the Jem Plantinum (760), I'd recommend that you buy that one. It's a great machine.

  14. #39
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    I bought a Janome My Style and it ways about 12 pounds. It does not come with a 1/4 inch foot but you can purchase one. It is a great little machine and easy to carry. All of her feet should fit it as well. The one that I bought happened to be on sale.

  15. #40
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Don't. Let her pick it herself.

  16. #41
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    If you have a Costco nearby, they sell a Brother machine that is PERFECT for a quilter. It's only $180 too! It has needle/up down, a bobbin you don't need to bring the thread up to the top (Faaaaabulous time saver), 140 decorative stitches and it only weighs 10 lbs. I bought this at Christmas time to carry to classes, etc.

    Christine
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  17. #42
    Super Member quiltingeileen's Avatar
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    Friends of mine have the Janome Gem and love it! I own 2 other Janomes and really like their products. They are very reliable machines.

  18. #43
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lclang View Post
    Yes, please involve your wife in the choice of machine. She will probably want special features like needle down, automatic needle threader, etc. etc. useful especially to quilters. Give her a spiffy homemade gift certificate and be her chauffer (sp) for the day and let her make the choice while you smile and nod! You'll never regret it!
    Yes, I definitely want to second (third, fourth) this!

    If you are considering a vintage machine, all the more so. I love my Featherweight, but would caution anyone who does not know how to sew about possible pitfalls in buying any used machine - no matter how wonderful and popular the model might be. Many people have the idea that if the motor runs and the needle bar goes up and down it works, and this is just not necessarily so.

    Also, I have seen a very early Featherweight in a local antique shop with a $750 price tag. I'm not an expert to know if that machine might possibly be special enough to merit that price, but I know I wouldn't be buying it. A lot of the people who sell old machines have no idea what is or isn't a reasonable price for one. You'd have to at least do a lot of research on eBay (already sold listings) to figure out what should come with it and what the going price should be. You might strike gold, but there's a good chance you could make a mistake. Your wife just might enjoy doing that research and hunting for her own treasured vintage machine.

    Even the best machine on eBay or some other site could arrive damaged if the seller doesn't know enough or care enough to pack it properly, so you'd have to spend time reading through the feedback to see if other people have had any experiences with the seller's management of that aspect of the sale, and remember that packing up a china platter well wouldn't necessarily mean the person would understand what could happen to a sturdy little sewing machine in a big box.

    You're a gem for wanting to please your wife with this gift. Remember it's the thought that counts - much more than a surprise, IMO!
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luv Quilts and Cats View Post
    I have friends who have the Janome Gem just for the purpose of traveling to quilt meetings/classes and they have been very happy with it. I've thought of getting one myself when my machine becomes too much to handle.
    My neighbor (and quilting buddy) also has this machine and absolutely LOVES it !! It does anything the bigger machines do and would make a great backup for when her big machine is in the shop for cleaning, etc. I would love this machine for myself. On a separate note, I bought a very basic and light machine that only does straight and zigzag stitch and wish I hadn't because now I'm limited to what I can do for retreats or classes.

    If she likes her Janome, definitely consider the Gem. Talk to the local dealer for their suggestions too just don't let them talk you into a fancier machine than she needs.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  20. #45
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karenpatrick View Post
    Don't. Let her pick it herself.
    ok, I take back what I just posted after reading this post.....

    Go to the local Janome dealer and get her a gift certificate so she can pick out what she wants. Since she already has a Janome, having another machine by the same manufacturer, there's no having to buy a new set of presser feet and a shortened learning curve since most machines within a brand work basically the same.

    And I agree that you are a wonderful hubby for doing this for your wife. My hubby is very supportive of my expensive hobby and that means a lot to me.
    Life's More Fun with a Doxie !!
    ​Have a Great Day !
    Vicki G
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  21. #46
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Brother has a very nice lightweight machine right now. It only weighs about 7 lbs and is easy to transport. Not as fancy as the bigger machines, but has quite a bit of extras on it

  22. #47
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    Janome Gem is what I used


    ·What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

  23. #48
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    Does anyone know if either Janome or Brother has a lightweight machine that also embroiders? [don't want much, do I?]
    I looked at the Brother PE 770, but it weighs 22 lbs.

  24. #49
    Senior Member skothing's Avatar
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    Bless you. My DH have been married for 43. I just bought a 301 A Singer I have a FW 221. I can't carry the big machines. Going on retreats I carry so much that a heavy machine is over board. You might get her a roiling cart ,it helps me.

  25. #50
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    I don't know anything about machines I just want to comment on what a thoughtful gift for you to purchase for your wife. Yes you get the husband of the year award that's for sure. Great job. . And very lucky wife

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