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The little sewing machine that could.... or not

The little sewing machine that could.... or not

Old 01-21-2009, 03:50 PM
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Location: Northern Virginia
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I love my Bernina 240, but I didn't take to it right away. It was after using it for about a month or so that I realized it is just fantastic and can't even tell you what it was I didn't care for after I purchased it. (Might have just been buyers remorse because they are expensive.) I also love by Babylock Choice Pro, it is a single stitch pin-fed quilter, nothing fancy but a workhorse. I just wish both machines had larger harp areas and I would never need a long-arm machine. These machines are both so smooth and even, I have no tension or bobbin issues, just the occasional operator error. :lol: The basic model Viking and Janome machines I use at the LQSs classes are nice but not as smooth running and they are noisy and rattle, now that might just be because they are communal machines that get way too much use and not enough care.

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Old 01-21-2009, 03:56 PM
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Think long and hard about what you want in a machine. What is must have, what you'd like it to have, and then your wildest dreams it would have. Once you have that list shop outward from there. You can find amazing machines that will do all the things you really want, need and desire and within whatever price limit you set for yourself. You can always double check the reviews at patternreview.com as they have lots and lots of reviews on just about every sewing machine.

I have two, a little Elna that can sew anything and does (the current entry level model). And a 9 year old former top of the line Brother, that is my dream machine that turned out to have all the bells and whistles and a price tag that was only a little more than I wanted to spend. I would recommend both.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:02 PM
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You've been given good advice so far. I have 2 old 1970 something model Singers that run really well and do piecing just fine. I can actually quilt pretty well with them also. I decided that I wanted more types of stitches and a stitch regulator.....so I found a used top of the line Bernina last summer and I've never looked back. Now if I can just stop buying fabric long enough to buy a couple more of those expensive feet :roll:

Just make sure you sit and sew to test drive BEFORE you buy..my dealer let me bring the Bernina home for a few days to try it out. I thought that was a really good sign of a good dealer.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Well, I know they haven't the best ratings but I grew up sewing on Singers. I will admit that the recently manufactured(last 10-15 years) basic models leave something to be desired. But I purchased the Singer HD 110 from the Home Shopping Network(HSN.com) a few years ago after being bored one day and tuning in to their sewing show. It's not pretty, it's not light-weight, and it only has 10 pretty basic stitches BUT it is a work horse.

The main reason I got it was for the price,only $299, and it came with a great acrylic extension table. And those babies are close to $100 on their own. And it's fast. It's description states 1100 stiches a minute which is comparable to my serger speed. The body is all metal, which makes it not a light-weight, but so are all the moving parts so it will probably be quite a while before anything wears out. It's sturdy,fast and probably a little noisier than average but it can sew through layers of denim or fine chiffon. I have made quite a few quilts from flannel,cotton and denim and it can handle it all.
I don't mean to sound like a Singer commercial but I've been very satified with this model and if you go to the Singer web site they have several machines in the "Heavy Duty" and "Commercial Grade" models.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:15 PM
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I checked out that Singer. Are you really able to get your quilts around and under there? It seems like a small area to fit all that quilt through when you're turning the quilt to all four sides.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:45 PM
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I have only had experience with kenmore, bernina and singer. I do not like the singers. The others I love!
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:34 PM
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I think the nancy's notions catalog (or was it clotilde?) has a little quilt frame that glides aroung on two plastic side bars. It looked really interesting to help with the quilting by a standard machine. Around a hundred dollars. Now I haven't used it, but if I hadn't gotten something else, I would have. It looks like it would do the job.

Has anyone used this??
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:10 AM
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When I was shopping for a new machine I checked out this site http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Reviews

It gives reviews on different kinds of machines from people that actually use them.

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Old 01-22-2009, 09:04 AM
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The elna Quilter's Dream has a larger bed than the average, but they're fairly pricey, I got a used one and have been very happy with it.
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Old 01-22-2009, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
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With anything larger than a crib quilt, I roll them up and use those quilt clamps to keep it manageable. I have to admit at first I would get frustrated with so much fabric to manipulate but then I took a tip from a local quilter who said to just relax and take it slow. I've always been a fast sewer and after changing my ways and realizing I didn't need to get it quilted in a day or even 2 or 3 days, it works out fine.
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