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Thread: Machine Recommendation Request

  1. #1
    cborman's Avatar
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    Help! I'm a brand new quilter. I just made my first quilt for my baby granddaughter (Tumbling Blocks) on my Jem Gold. I'd like to do more quilting and want a machine that will let me get fancier with the actual quilting (knee lift, drop feed dog, needle down, etc). I want something with room to grow but without a bunch of things that I'll never use. I also don't want to spend more than $500 (less is better :!: ). Any recommendations?
    Thanks,
    Carolyn
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    No suggestion for the machine, but wanted to say the quilt looks great ! I love that pattern

  3. #3
    cborman's Avatar
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    Thanks! I copied it from a picture in a quilt book, so I didn't really use a pattern. A friend of mine told me how to piece it together with parallelograms and triangles in top to bottom strips. I appliqued it to the backing to avoid piecing into all of the ends. The trick was to figure out which fabrics were light medium and dark.

  4. #4
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Beautiful quilt. Check out you LQS. They will have some suggestions for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Find a janome dealer or bernina dealer or any dealer and look at their trade ins and used machines. A machine that cost 6000 last year might only be 2500 this year. same goes for cheaper ones. Also if your just starting out check out Hancocks or Joann. I got a janome at hancocks for cheap. And it is smooth and quiet and has needle up down.

  6. #6
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I recommend going and trying every machine in site at the stores near you, that way you will get a feel and know if they are user friendly to you, some may even have some good used ones,

  7. #7
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    BTW I love the quilt

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    For all the bells and whistle for that price I'd check out Kenmore machines. Sears will let you test sew, I've test sewed every model they have. They are super nice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member zkosh's Avatar
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    Gosh, you're a natural. Great job on the quilt and I can't wait to see what you do next.

    As far as the machine, do lots of research and look at the trade-ins dealers have to offer. That can really lower the price. Good luck and let us know what you end up with! :D :D

  10. #10

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    When you go to test sew machines, take several pairs (about 8 inch square will do) of your own fabric to test with, that are the type you plan to sew. A lot of dealers show sewing on a stiff piece of buchram-type material that does nothing to show what you really want to sew.

    Take several pairs into each shop. On the squares, sew a few rows of stitches, straight and decorative stitches you think you will use. Then sew a pair together using the machine's 1/4 inch seam foot or mark on the baseplate.

    As soon as you are back in your car, mark on your test patches with a permanent marker, the brand/model of machine, and any other info you liked or disliked about the machine, and the price.

    When you get home, press and measure your piece to check the (accurate) 1/4 inch seam.

  11. #11
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6500. I paid over a thousand for it when it was new, but now that the new 6600 has come out, you can pick up a 6500 for less than $500. I love my machine. I would like it to have a built in walking foot, but I have found that putting on the attachment is not much of a problem. I love the thread cutter, the needle threader, the knee lift, and the fun stitches. I have had no problems at all with my machine. The only drawback I have found is that it does not have a free arm. I sew patches on my husband's uniforms and I have to use my old Montgomery Ward machine for that. However, if you are mainly looking for a good machine for quilting, this is my recommendation. (I looked for months at a variety of machines and this fit my price and what I wanted in a machine. I own two Janomes now and I really like them.)

  12. #12
    cborman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendation. I've read lots of good things about your machine, but I figured it would be too much. I'll look around.

  13. #13
    cborman's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the great ideas and encouragement, everyone!! More ideas are always welcome, too.

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Nice quilt. I love that pattern - did one for DH a few years back.

    As for the machine: I suggest that everyone make a list of features and break them into the MUST HAVE, Would be nice to have, and can do without categories. For example, Needle up/down and low bobbin indicator are musts for me, as is the built-in walking foot. That is why I went with a Pfaff (although I would look at a Janome too).

    The modern machines have so many features, that you will most likely end up with a bunch you won't need in order to get the ones you must have.

    I would recommend you check out the Janome brand and go to a reputable dealer in your area. Sewing machines prices can be negotiated. (In case you didn't know)

  15. #15
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have read to check out the quilting that can be done on a particular machine that you should take a quilt sandwich with you to see how it quilts. You could take about 18" x 18" and quilt the devil out of it. Make notes which machine worked the easiest and best. :D :D :D

  16. #16
    Super Member Iluv2quilt's Avatar
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    I use a Janome, the ladies I sew with all have Phaff's, mine was under $500. Also, there are used machines on Ebay that may have everything you're looking for.

    I really, really like your quilt!

  17. #17
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    I have had a Singer, a White, an Elna, and now a Bernina.
    After using the Bernina, then returned to use my Elna, which I have always loved, I felt like I was working with a Cadillac. I think you get a Bernina in your price range.

    I haven't tried any others. My neighbor has a Pfaff and a Bernina. She likes both.

    Quilt is lovely.

    Have fun on this new journey.

  18. #18

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    I have been trying to find this pattern for quite some time now. Is it something you can share? I would love to make one of these! Thank you in advance!

  19. #19
    cborman's Avatar
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    I don't have a pattern, per se. I saw a picture of a tumbling blocks quilt and asked a friend to help me set it up. I made strips of alternating parallelograms and triangles and then sewed the strips together so that the matching triangles came together (making the third part of the box). I hope that makes sense (I don't have the quilt here to look at it).
    Someone told me that the pattern is called "Not your grandmother's tumbling blocks" if that helps.

  20. #20
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    No suggestion for the machine, but wanted to say the quilt looks great ! I love that pattern
    I agree, beautiful quilt.

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