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Thread: Looking to buy new sewing machine..need some suggestions

  1. #1
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    Hi-

    Ok, so I am ready to take "the plunge" and purchase a higher end sewing machine model. I really do not want to pay more than $2k for it. I currently have 2 machines. A babylock quilters choice pro which is a straight stitch only machine and I really like, and then I have a brother csi6000 and it was from Walmart.

    I have 2 issues I am dealing with. First, the babylock is ok for free motion quilting, but I feel I'm having a hard time getting that nice 1/4 seam. The second issue is, with the brother, its so inconsistent with stitches and sometimes its quite touchy.

    I am looking for a machine to really PIECE with..embroidery options would be nice. I figured I would ask here first and then dabble around with the different dealers I have around me..we have them all!

    Merry Christmas!!

  2. #2
    Junior Member Kryssa's Avatar
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    I hear good things about the Janome 6600 and the new Janome 7700 Horizon. I don't think they do embroidery but they have a lot of awesome quilting features, like knee lift, thread cutter, and built in walking foot.

    I have a less expensive Janome and love it. If I had the money, I'd upgrade to another Janome :)

  3. #3
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    You could probably get a gently used Bernina 440QE with embroidery for around that. Check the dealers in your area.

  4. #4
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    Look for a Pfaff. The built in walking foot (otherwise known as IDT) can't be beat for piecing or any other sewing. I use it with just about every stitch. You can get a 1/4 inch accessory foot with a blade or without (I have both). I also highly recommend the open-toe applique foot and narrow-edge foot. Both can be used with the walking foot.

  5. #5
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Well, I have a Viking/Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q and i love it - it does not have the embroidery - they do have a model above that that includes embroidery - but they are slightly over your price. Consider also a used machine - can get great deals.

  6. #6
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    With your budget, I'd go with Janome. You can get a nice, higher end machine for $2K. The Horizon is a bit more than that but also comes with a 11" throat space which is fantastic to quilt on. I even use mine on my quilting frame. I find the Janome very intuitive, and made with the user in mind. Things just fit. The new Horizon also has a ton of LED's to light up the sewing space, and has a built in walking foot. My Janome QC 6260 doesn't have a walking foot but I just added an after market one and it works great. One of the best features for getting a perfect 1/4" seam is the ability to move the needle left or right in a lot of positions and both the 6260 and the Horizon have that. They both also have a large acrylic extension table that comes with them which is good for quilting as it supports the quilt.
    Your best bet would be to take your time. Check out some dealers in your area and test drive everything in your price range. You'll see what you like and what you don't like, and what you must have and what you'd like to have.
    It's kind of like shopping for a house. You make your list, and your wish list, and then go shopping.
    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gypsyquilter's Avatar
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    I am a fan of Bernina and Janome. I've owned both and and really like both. I think any machine you get from these manufacterers would be great.

  8. #8
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    When you go to try out machines,be sure to bring along several pieces to stitch on. Include a small "sandwich" to see how it quilts, and scraps to check out straight stitching. Most of the shops only use a stiff type of fabric that works beautifully. But you'll never use that kind of fabric!

  9. #9
    Senior Member QuilterGary's Avatar
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    I have a Smarter by Pfaff it has some nice features the IDT makes quilting nice.

  10. #10
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    I have the QE 440 by Bernina and love, love it. It comes with the stitch regulator. I bought an extra foot that keeps a perfect 1/4" seam (patchwork foot).It's great! It's in that price range.

  11. #11
    Senior Member so-sew's Avatar
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    I have the Janome 6600 and when I purchased "her", my budget was $1700. I did research online and through consumer reports and decided it was the most dependable machine with the most sought after features for the money. So far I've been pretty satisfied. However, all the complaints about the thread jumping off the take up lever (?) unexpectedly now and then is true. Also, fabric does sometimes get sucked down into the plate hole.

    If I could simplify the foot changing screw into a one handed mechanism or put the screw in a more accessible location, I would. Berninas feet are SO much easier to change.

    All machines have their "bugs" I'm sure, so I'm not dissatisfied with the 6600. I would recommend you test drive one and see what you think. I also would consider buying a used Bernina 440. It seems lots of quilters on this board love theirs and if you aren't interested in a wider throat for FMQ, that may be the way to go.

    Let us know what you choose and Merry Christmas!

  12. #12
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I have the 6600 and love it!!! You could pick up one of these used for around $600-700 or new I got in March or April for $1049. If you could come up with an extra $500 the Horizon is an awesome awesome machine!!! I know my dealer had a Christmas special for the machine, tote and a box of thread of $2499.

  13. #13
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    I have a Babylock Quest Plus, for which I paid $1300 in October. LOVE it! It has a Pfaff-esque dual feed called PDQ, but it seems identical to the IDT. Have a look at it. It has a free-arm, unlike the Janome 6600, but it doesn't have autocut. It has a gajillion needle positions, so you should be able to achieve your perfect 1/4". I think the straight stitch feet and plate still work if it's just one increment off center. If I were buying today, I might go with the Pfaff Smarter C1100Pro (has freearm, autocut, low bobbin alert, 9mm stitch width) avail locally for $1600, or I might just wait for the Babylock Serenade, which is the upgrade of the Quest Plus. I don't know exactly when that's coming out, but it is supposed to have more stitches and maybe autocut. The dual feed on the Quest Plus works with 8 of my 16 feet. I think you should be able to get it for $1000 or less now, and try to get the workbook and the package of 9 extra feet included, there are still some of those out there. It doesn't take all other Babylock and Brother feet, though. My machine is fabulous, I'd only leave it for a bigger throat and MANY more stitches. I'm hooked on IDT now, too. Makes sewing easier and my results better. The Horizon has only 4 feet included that work with the Accufeed, which is wider. The Elna version of that is the 740 excellence, and it comes with only 1 accufeed foot. Dunno if wider is better or worse. Definitely test drive everything you can, bargain HARD, and go with the dealercth

  14. #14
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    Sorry-iPhone. Go with the dealer you most trust to take care of any problems.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kryssa
    I hear good things about the Janome 6600 and the new Janome 7700 Horizon. I don't think they do embroidery but they have a lot of awesome quilting features, like knee lift, thread cutter, and built in walking foot.

    I have a less expensive Janome and love it. If I had the money, I'd upgrade to another Janome :)
    Just FYI, the 6600 and the 7700 do not embroider. They have wonderful decorative stitches, however, and are fantastic for quilting (both machine and decorative stitches). The 5700, is both a sewing and embroidery machine. Some sewers confuse decorative stitching with embroidery.

  16. #16
    Senior Member patsyo56721's Avatar
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    I have the Baby Lock Elur Plus and really like it. I have upgraded and given my older one to my daughter. Thy are both embroidery machines.

  17. #17
    Super Member juliea9967's Avatar
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    I too think that you can't beat the Pfaff for quilting. You can get the Quilt Expression 4.0 for the money you are willing to spend, and you can't beat it. Take a look on the Pfaff website. It is an awesome machine.
    http://pfaffusa.com/19570.html

  18. #18
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    Read reviews by owners of each machine that you might actually buy. Test drive with samples of fabric you use, even threads, and quilt sandwiches vand if the dealer seems impatient about that, they probably won't be patient with problems after the sale

  19. #19
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    You can't beat a Pfaff with IDT. I have 2 of them. They are the best machines I have even used. I would go to a dealer though, for your best deals and customer support.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hosta's Avatar
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    I love my Janome it has a wider neck for fitting the fabric thru and it just does a great job quilting.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    Go to a local dealer and ask about display models. You can get a high end demo at a really great price.I was able to pick up my Husqvarna at 1,000 less than the new price. My dealer fully cleaned and serviced before I took it home.

  22. #22
    davidwent's Avatar
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    OMG!!! These numbers are making my head spin as I sit behind my $60.00 Brother from Walmart!! LOL
    David

  23. #23
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Whatever you decide on, be sure to try out various models everywhere. I really liked one machine, but I simply couldn't figure out to attach the "supposedly built in" walking foot. (I guess they really meant that it came with the machine, and you didn't have to buy it separately. :) ) I also wanted a machine that wasn't too noisy.

    I tried out machines at three places here in town, and I ended up with a Pfaff. I am very very happy with it. I almost bought the same machine online, but I decided having a dealer here right in town that I bought it from would be an advantage someday...plus I found out a years' worth of classes and 3 years free maintenance came with it. Nice.

    I bought my machine a year ago.

    Happy hunting.

  24. #24
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nursie76
    You could probably get a gently used Bernina 440QE with embroidery for around that. Check the dealers in your area.
    yes yes yes to the 440....I have sewn, embroidered, and pieced my way to a million miles on mine. It is a great all round machine and I have machine quilted even a king size quilt on mine. Find a good dealer and you will never look back.

  25. #25
    Senior Member judyyoungs's Avatar
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    I have had Janome sewing machines for years. I started with the sew/emb combination, the 8000. Then upgraded to the sew/emb 9000. Later I bought the emb only 300. I had the 6600 until Sept of this year when I upgraded to the 7700 Horizon. This machine does not emb, but sews like a dream. It has extra lighting and a 11 inch throat. I highly reccomend Janome, but that is just my opinion. However, having said all that, I don't think you can get the new 7700 for 2K. Good luck with your shopping. Just test drive a bunch of machine and then made your decision. And very important also, choose a good dealer.

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