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Thread: Inexpensive sewing machine with wider throat?

  1. #1
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    Inexpensive sewing machine with wider throat?

    I would like to buy an inexpensive sewing machine with a wider (or longer) throat (I think that's what you call it.) I like to machine quilt and have no problems with a baby size one but with bigger quilts, it's just about impossible to get a good finish with the Brother I have. Now, I saw one at Hancocks for $800 but cannot spend that much right now. Anybody know of a less expensive one I get for now until I save up for the more expensive one? TIA.

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I have the Brother 1500. It has a very wide throat space. It's a great machine for quilting. It is built to last for decades like the vintage machines. Now they are selling new between $600 - $700. I don't know of any other large throat space machine for under that price.
    Got fabric?

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have the Brother 1500, too, and love it. I ordered mine online for $700 with an extension table and several feet including 1/4 inch and walking foot. I have quilted king sized quilts on it.

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    Thank ya'll. Sounds like I may have to wait a bit and save my money. Good to know what works tho. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Have you looked on youtube for tutes on fmq on home machines? Leah Day has one on there that is helpful. One tute says to quilt bigger quilts in quadrants or 1/4 th's. It can be done on your little machine, you just have to do it a certain way. Also would suggest a slider to make the quilt move better and make sure that your thread is feeding freely. I got all this info from youtube and Sharon Schamber. Look at her sites for more information. Good luck. Gina

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Here is a great book for those who do not or cannot free motion quilt. It is for quilting with a walking foot on regular machine. One Line at a Time: 24 Geometric Machine-Quilting Designs Made Easy by Charlotte Warr Andersen


    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I used the methods in Marti Michell's book, Machine Quilting in Sections, to quilt huge quilts before I got a longarm. Even with a larger throat, you will have trouble with large quilts, but quilting in sections lets you handle any size with ease. There are several methods described in the book, along with examples that help you decide which method is appropriate for your quilt. (Quilting in sections is NOT the same as quilt as you go.)

  8. #8
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    With a budget, you might want to check Craigslist for a machine. When I was looking for a machine, I searched all the cities within a reasonable driving distance.
    I know of a lady in my quilt guild who is selling a Brother 1500 but I'm not sure how much she is selling it for - and we're a bit far away from each other unless you were planning to drive south for some reason lol.

  9. #9
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I bought my Brother 1500 and Janome 1600 (basically the same machine with 9" throats) for $400 each. You CAN find great deals. Keep your ear to the ground, let all of your quilting friends, local shops, guild, etc know that you are in the market. Both my machines were purchased from quilters who were upgrading.

  10. #10
    Super Member Shelbie's Avatar
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    You might consider a vintage Singer 201. Although the harp space is about an inch shorter than my Janome 6500 (which has the larger harp) it is higher and I find that I can quilt a King sized quilt on it. The feed dogs drop for FM quilting and it is a fast powerful machine. It stitches much better than my Janome 6500 that I paid $2000 for. My Singer 201 was a free machine from an estate sale and came in a cabinet. Check Craig's List (Kijiji in Canada) for old black Singers which often sell in the $100 range.
    Shelbie from the High County in Southern Ontario

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have two straight stitch only machines with 9" throats and I can quilt large quilts with ease on either one of them. I have quilted 79 quilts by machine quilting. Some were done on machines with smaller throats. Practice is the key to doing anything.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  12. #12
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    Well, I posted a reply earlier but guess I didn't hit the right button. I really appreciate all the suggestions. I'm definitely keeping an eye on craigslist and will for sure check out the books mentioned. I've learned so much here already and can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone's help.

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    I gave up on doing teh long lines with a home machine, and bought used industrails 11 1/2" x 6". I now have 4 of these machines, There prices was 100$ , 125 $ 50 $ and 55$, The newest is a 1940, the oldest is a 1922 walking foot...

    These machines are showing up on C/L, often cheaper than a home machine, because so many are afriad of using them..

    P.S. my average time doing 12 straight 8 foot sew line and 12 @ 7 foot was 8 hrs, now it's 2 hrs and no hurting back, no cusing the machine
    Last edited by xxxxxxxxxx; 08-07-2012 at 01:13 PM.

  14. #14
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    If you have a good sewing machine sales/repair shop within a reasonable drive, I'd contact them. You might be able to get a used machine for a good price. For the last machine I bought, I knew what I wanted (a Bernina model that had been discontinued) so called the local dealer. Although they said that model didn't come in for trade often, they added my name to a list. They called back within a couple of months.

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    Or you might also check at JoAnn's for a SInger Confidence Quilter...they're often on sale for about $300 and they do a good job. (Yes, I know Singer has had a lot of bad press lately, much of it deserved.) I have one among my herd, but I don't often FMQ on any of them as I have a LA.
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  16. #16
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    The Brother 1500s has a 9" throat. It is a straight stitch only and makes a very nice quilting stitch.The presser foot is adjustable for pressure and it is easy to adjust the depth of the feed dogs. I think Juki made these for Brother. They are not computerised and are very heavy. I like mine very much and think you can get one for around $500 in the States.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I have the Brother 1500. It has a very wide throat space. It's a great machine for quilting. It is built to last for decades like the vintage machines. Now they are selling new between $600 - $700. I don't know of any other large throat space machine for under that price.
    Juki makes a comperable machine to the Brother 1500 for near the same price. These two are the only two on the market with the larger throat at this low of a price....I'm saving up for either one of these. I just don't understand why it is so much more expensive to have a larger throat space...its something we ALL want (hello manufacturers)

  18. #18
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    After my post yesterday, I went home and checked out an older Singer I had purchased through Craigslist last year hoping it was a model 201. It's a Model 15-91 BUT it has a wider and taller throat than the machine I'm using now. So I'm going to clean it up and get it running (hopefully) and use it until I can afford one of the newer machines. Have to admit that I'm pretty excited about sewing on one of these again. My Mom had something similar to it that I learned to sew on. This will be fun!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelbie View Post
    You might consider a vintage Singer 201. Although the harp space is about an inch shorter than my Janome 6500 (which has the larger harp) it is higher and I find that I can quilt a King sized quilt on it. The feed dogs drop for FM quilting and it is a fast powerful machine. It stitches much better than my Janome 6500 that I paid $2000 for. My Singer 201 was a free machine from an estate sale and came in a cabinet. Check Craig's List (Kijiji in Canada) for old black Singers which often sell in the $100 range.
    I have to agree here. I have a Singer 201 and I just love it. The harp area is nice and big and by puddling the quilt it is fairly easy. Of course if I were quilting anything larger than a twin size I would quilt in quadrants.

  20. #20
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    I recommend you look for a vintage machine, possibly a Singer model 15. The harp was not necessarily a lot wider, but the open area was taller than the new machines by quite a bit, which also allows more quilt to fit in the space. Computer or cam controls in the head caused it to become much bigger around, resulting in less space between the head and the base.
    Shirley in Arizona

  21. #21
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texas8823 View Post
    After my post yesterday, I went home and checked out an older Singer I had purchased through Craigslist last year hoping it was a model 201. It's a Model 15-91 BUT it has a wider and taller throat than the machine I'm using now. So I'm going to clean it up and get it running (hopefully) and use it until I can afford one of the newer machines. Have to admit that I'm pretty excited about sewing on one of these again. My Mom had something similar to it that I learned to sew on. This will be fun!!!
    I've read that some prefer the Singer15-91 to the 201 because the 15-91 bobbin is vertical rather than horizontal like the 201, and some think it is easier to FMQ. Also, I read that the 15-91 bobbin holds a bit more thread so you don't have to change it as often. There's lots of knowledgeable people at the Vintage Machines section of the board and great information on cleaning up your maching. Also, Sew-Classic.com has comparisons of the machines, parts and other information. Have fun!

  22. #22
    Senior Member Landers's Avatar
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    "I would like to buy an inexpensive sewing machine with a wider (or longer) throat (I think that's what you call it.) I like to machine quilt and have no problems with a baby size one but with bigger quilts, it's just about impossible to get a good finish with the Brother I have. Now, I saw one at Hancocks for $800 but cannot spend that much right now. Anybody know of a less expensive one I get for now until I save up for the more expensive one? TIA."

    You know you are in a great place to buy a new machine! In Texas!!! I have gone every year for the past 5 years to the Houston International Quilt Show. I have brought my BabyLock JewelLong Arm and a new Janome Horizon there the last 2 years in a row. I was looking at both brands for about a year and heard that you can get better deals there. they not only sell new ones but they sell the floor models too! I saved over $500.00 on the Janome and over $1000.00 on my LA.

    If you can hold out til October, go to the show and see what deals you can get. also there you can try all makes & models of sewing machines!!

    Good Luck on your buying adventure! I am happy for you! It is always nice to get something new!!!
    Carolyn

  23. #23
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    You might also want to consider going to a Quilt Store and buying what your really want--and financing it. Many machine companies offer financing. That is how I bought mine--so I could get what I really wanted.

  24. #24
    Member Eyelets's Avatar
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    I was watching the Brother 1500S on AMAZON - what a great machine. You put it in your cart, and then click "Save for later" and then when you go to your cart from time to time the price changes are always in a yellow box on top for the very first hit on your cart. I watched the price go slowly down to 532, and then all of a sudden its now up to 699 again, but it WILL come down sooner or later. I won't be buying the Brother though because in the meantime, I got a great deal on a customer return of a Janome MC6300P at Sew Vac Direct in College Station TX. I have purchased several machines there over the years, all online, so I called when I saw this machine and it said "Call for pricing." Well, I did and I saved over 400 on that machine. And when it came it was pristine - no one even had unpacked it or its accessories at all. People do return things quite a bit - on the phone the very nice gentleman at SVD told me there are lots of reasons, some of which were amusing in a way. Well, anyhow, if you take your time, and watch for deals, you may get the machine you really want. I had wanted that MC6300 for over a year because it has everything I want and nothing I don't - nice variety of stitched without giving me a couple hundred I don't need, knee lift, and auto-cutter. I am really loving the machine. Quiet and powerful. I have another machine with all the bells and whistles that doesn't really FM as well as I want to, but is my favorite sewing machine for garments. However, now that I have the Janome 6300, I am using it for everything for awhile. Patience, and an eye on opportunity pays off. I waited almost 2 years to purchase my main garment sewing machine I previously mentioned (it's a Viking). No hurry, then the price fell as another model series replaced it, and I bit.

  25. #25
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    You might want to check out the "Sew Its for Sale" Yahoo Group. Lots of good things there. Yesterday there was a Singer 301 long bed listed for $150 (many here LOVE that machine for FMQ, believe the throat/harp space is larger than the typical plastic ones we see). Also, on August 3rd there was a Brother PQ1500 listed for $375. I don't know if either is still available, but really good deals on both!
    Dawn

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