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Thread: Looking for machine advice

  1. #1
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    Question Looking for machine advice

    I currently have a Brother PC-8500 that I bought used several years ago from a reputable shop. I have loved every single second with this wonderful machine, but about four years ago I took it to a different shop for a cleaning. I'm not sure what happened, but the machine has never been right since. When I went back and complained, I was told that the machine is so old it's not really repairable - and that I should consider buying a new machine. I checked around, and it's true that it's impossible to get the parts for the PC-8500, so I did buy another machine, though from a third shop, which I really liked (Brother Innov-Is 2500D) but I began to worry about it - I think it was also used, but sold to me as new - and I sold it and went back to the PC-8500. I can't use the thread cutter because the machine doesn't sew right until I turn it off and "reset" it. This means I can't use the embroidery unit either - which is not a big loss to me because I never used it that much anyway. I believe that machines are like people, and you have to have a good chemistry with them. I know that sounds ridiculous, but until I bought the PC-8500, I never really did much sewing even though I'd had sewing machines for years prior.

    But now I'm getting tired of having to remember not to push "this" button or "that" button to keep my machine working, and I feel it's time to retire her for good. I am a Brother fanatic, but since I'm considering buying a new machine, I feel like I should consider all the angles. I'm looking to keep my cost below $2,000, and while I know that many quilters love the older machines such as the Featherweight, it just doesn't do a lot for me. I probably won't be buying anything till after the first of the year, so I'm in no rush and I have every intention of trying out several machines. I've read threads here about different machines, but it's not always clear why folks like a certain machine - maybe they just can't put words to it; I can understand that! But if anyone has any suggestions for a good, heavy duty quilting/sewing machine, I would be most grateful ...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    Hi Jill, I am also a Brother fanatic. Love my Brother's! I have been saving up for a new machine so I can do my own FMQ on bigger quilts. (I'm using an HS-2000 now & adore it!). Anyway, after doing much research, I've decided to go with the Laura Ashley Special Edition, Innovis NX-2000. I've seen it up close & personal & must say I'm impressed! I can't wait to bring it home!! It was designed specifically for quilters & I was told the price is $2,000.00 with all the extras I'd usually have to buy singularly. Best of luck with your hunt!!
    Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to GOD

  3. #3
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    I have been quilting for just under 3 years, and I have only quilted on two machines, so I may not have the "experience" to advice you really. That being said, I have a Pfaff expression 2. and I just love it. It cost around $1500, and I did buy it locally so that I could have it serviced. I am very happy with it. What sold me was that it has a built in walking foot and a bobbin that I can't put in backwards.

    I think not being in a hurry and trying out lots of machines is your best bet. Take your own fabric with you, so you can really feel what it is like. I hope you enjoy the hunt.

    Dina

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    If you don't care about the embroidery part, Viking just came out with two new quilting machines that are great. I think the name is Opal on both of them. They are around or 1,000 I think. I have a couple of Vikings and they are great. I have one that is from in the 90's and even though it is hard to find parts for it, it can and has been done if your repair person knows how to look. Maybe you just need another repair person to check it out.
    Judy

  5. #5
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    If you love Brother I would stick with Brother. You already know how they work which makes it so much easier when buying a new one. They have many nice machines from which to choose. Try Amazon, they often have the best prices.
    I have a Janome 6600 and am very pleased with it. I don't think I could live without having the accufeed that it has and the stitches are great and it does everything I want it to do and with ease. It does not do embroidery but has a lot of good decorative stitches and also many sewing stitches. Good luck.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  6. #6
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    I've got a Janome 7700 and love it; I loved my Janome 6500 and 6600 before that. Janome has a new machine out (8900) and is lowering the price on their remaining stock of 7700s, so that would fit in your price range with a bit to spare for goodies. They are coming out with the 8200 in the next month or so, and that might also be a good fit. I believe it's going to have the nice features of the 8900 with fewer stitches. You should definitely check them out if it's quilting room you are interested in and a good solid machine.

    I also have a Juki Exceed that I love for piecing and thicker seams. I haven't tried it for FMQ yet. Here are the specs on this one: http://www.jukihome.com/products/exceed_f600.html It's harp is a bit over 8", while the Janome 7700 and 8900 are about 11". The Juki is under $1000 and comes with a lot of accessories.

    Hope this helps!

  7. #7
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    Brother fanatic here too. That being said, I have been looking at the juki exceed f-600 for awhile now. Ummm, until Brother came out with the Dreamweaver series. I havent been to a dealer to look at those yet, but the videos on Brother's site make the machine look amazing.
    Laura

    Paying it forward, one Smile at a time!
    http://twistedvegas.com

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate the advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by morelcabin View Post
    I have the NX2000 Laura Ashley quilter and would highly recommend it! I love that machine. It is a real workhorse and quits beautifully.
    This machine has been the focus of my attention, actually ... I saw it at the LQS and loved it, but I don't know anyone who has one, so it's nice to hear you like it. I do quite a bit of sewing, so I need something that is, as you said, a work horse.

    Is there anything about it you don't like?

  9. #9
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    what makes you believe that you machine was used, for your budget I would suggest the laura ashley nx-2000 it is just for sewing and quilting since you have no interest in embroidery. I got my espire used and it was a wonderful machine until I traded up, used shouldn't matter if it is from a reputable dealer that knows how to service machines, I am sure reputable ones inspect and service trade ins before offering them up to customers.
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  10. #10
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I love my Vikings, and they are under the $2000.00 price
    Patski
    always learning

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    what makes you believe that you machine was used
    It was filthy when I took it apart before I ever even used it. There was lint and dust in it. When I went to take it back, they refused to take the return, saying it was a "sale" item and that all sales were final when the price was discounted. It would sew a little ... umm ... crooked, I guess you would say. The stitching wasn't even and it would run a little rough. I took it to another dealer and had it serviced, and it worked better, but every once in a while it would have a hiccup and do some weird things - like the embroidery outline would be WAY off, even though it sewed the exact same design five times prior with no issues. It didn't come in a box - but the dealer told me he just unboxed it so it was "easier to carry" and all the parts were there (they were; I checked before I bought it).

    I had bad luck with that dealer on the purchase of that machine, and then bad luck with the machine repairman at another shop (never take your machine to someone you once dated, though I had no idea he was still working there). I will go back to where I bought my PC-8500 to purchase my next machine, even though it's no where near convenient for me anymore. I know the people who work there, and I trust them implicitly.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    I have the Brother PQ1500S, which you can buy on Amazon for $655. I *looooove* it! (But have no experience on other machines, so I can't compare.) It's a straight stitch machine only, no zigzag stitches. I just finished free-motion quilting a quilt for my stepson with lots of swirls, etc, so "straight stitch only" does not mean no curves, for those who don't know.

    Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...wsusanmalle-20
    Jenel Looney
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    New York Times bestselling author

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=JenelTX;5624584]I have the Brother PQ1500S, which you can buy on Amazon for $655. I *looooove* it! (But have no experience on other machines, so I can't compare.) It's a straight stitch machine only, no zigzag stitches. I just finished free-motion quilting a quilt for my stepson with lots of swirls, etc, so "straight stitch only" does not mean no curves, for those who don't know.

    I agree!!! Love this machine. Easy sewer, wide throat for easier FMQ. Great machine. I only wanted straight stitch since that is realy only what you do with peicing/quiltin. It comes with FM foot and the feet dogs drop for FMQ. Also it has no computer to "mess" up. I has a Singer with all the fancy stitches to use if I need them. I now use my PS1500 for my peicing. I suggest that you go to sewing centers and "test" sew different machine to see which one that you like. I also bought mine on Amazon which is an authorized Brother dealers which should mean that yiou can get your machine services at other dealers. I paid $600 for mine but with free shipping and no sales taxe. I have seen this machine for less on Amazon. You might also check Amazon prices if you chose a different machine. A new machine what fun!!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I am currently on my second Brother machine, love them....mine is a Duetta....but I would not hesitate to buy another.....but as I have said many times before your "Dealer Service Center" is so important consider that first, one that you trust and know the people...then what machine brands do they sell....I would not hesitate to buy a used machine....just ask a lot of questions....how old is it, has it been serviced, what is their return policy...what are their warranty and guarantee policies. It is possible to have a machine serviced and not be right, but a good service department will stand behind their work and make it right no matter what....Questions and answers and if possible write it all down in front of them, and then show it to them and ask if you got it right, sometimes they will change their tune when they know you are documenting everything....
    Yes that is a real picture of my hometown Temecula, California. We feature premiere Wineries, World Class Golf Courses, Pechanga Indian Casino and Hot Air Balloons

  15. #15
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    Anyone has a JUKI TL-2000Qi?
    http://www.amazon.com/JUKI-TL-2000Qi.../dp/B004C04YII

    I don't need any fancy stitches, just a mean powerful straight stitch machine.
    I see ebay selling this bundled with a Gracie frame. Looks really neat.

  16. #16
    Senior Member vickimc's Avatar
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    Go test drive machines. Don't let them just show you. Take some squares and you sew them. Also discuss their service dept. sometimes service is the most important.. Have fun checking it out.. Ps.. I have a Viking and a Janome and love both.
    Vicki Mc in SC
    www.jacksonpatchquilt.blogspot.com

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