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Thread: Machine Recommendations

  1. #1
    Member sef0181's Avatar
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    Question Machine Recommendations

    Good afternoon!
    Today my mother surprised me with an offer to purchase me a new machine for my birthday next month. Right now I'm piecing and machine quilting on a $100 ancient Brother. I think I would enjoy Free Motion Quilting, but the thought of being able to edge to edge quilt with an embroidery machine is awfully appealing as well (in theory). I tried Free Motion on my ancient Brother (it technically can do it), but became overwhelmingly frustrated at constant thread tension issues, which is why I'm drawn to the idea of using embroidery machines to 'cheat' and get perfect beautiful designs. I've also been toying with the ideas of using the 'fancy' stitches (embroidery stitches?) that are available on most models to machine quilt something interesting in the background, but I'm not sure that it would look very nice.

    I have a tiny house and a neat freak husband, so I'm constantly unpacking and repacking my sewing stuff onto the kitchen table, so portability is a must at this stage.

    Anyway, enough rambling, I'm curious what your recommendations are for machines I should put on my wish list. Thanks everyone!
    Last edited by sef0181; 03-20-2018 at 09:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Do you have any idea of the price range?

    For a portable sewing machine, you may want to look at the Brother CS6000i:
    https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Featu...dp/B000JQM1DE/
    This machine has been around for quite awhile, and a lot of quilters on the QB like it. It has quite a few embroidery stitches.

    A lot of quilters also like the Janome Jem line for a portable sewing machine:
    https://www.amazon.com/Janome-Sewing...dp/B015YCBJN0/

    Be aware that any portable machine is going to have a small harp (the area under the arm), making it difficult to quilt larger than lap-size, twin-size quilts.

    A newer machine on the market that gets great reviews is Eversewn. Here is a link to their top-of-the-line machine:
    https://www.amazon.com/EverSewn-Spar...dp/B073QYJY3Y/
    (Honestly, the color and reviews alone on this one would tempt me to buy it if I had any excuse to do so.)

    All of the above machines come with decorative stitches.

    I would not consider buying an embroidery machine until you first have a better quality sewing machine to work on. Later on, you may want to consider getting a Brother PE770, which is a good starter embroidery machine.

    Combo machines (sewing + embroidery) tend to be more expensive. Sewing machines with bigger harps tend to be heavier, bigger, and less portable.

    Edit: Do not get rid of your old machine if you can help it. It's always a good idea to have an old workhorse machine as a backup. Most of the newer machines do not last as long as the vintage machines.

  3. #3
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    Yay for you!! You have an awesome, generous mom. Do you have a budget to work with?

  4. #4
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    I've seen Janome given as prizes for quilt competitions, but maybe they are just generous sponsers.
    If I were to get another machine to supplement my beloved Bernina from the mid '70's, it would be a lightweight portable to take to workshops. A lot has to do with what you need -- try visiting a couple of stores and spending time trying out what's available.
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  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Budget would allow us an idea of what to recommend I love my brother embroidery machine but wouldn't call it portable as it is large and heavy
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  6. #6
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    As mentioned you need the portability of a smaller machine, as you state you have to pack/unpack your sewing projects due to space constraints and neat freak dh.......and full embroidery/sewing machine combos are large, heavy and really need to be planted, imho.......

  7. #7
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    how much money is the first question.... I love Janomes. I have a 6600 and a Magnolia 7330 to take places with me - I recommend that one for sure

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    Do you have any idea of the price range?
    For a portable sewing machine, you may want to look at the Brother CS6000i:
    https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Featu...dp/B000JQM1DE/
    This machine has been around for quite awhile, and a lot of quilters on the QB like it. It has quite a few embroidery stitches.

    A newer machine on the market that gets great reviews is Eversewn. Here is a link to their top-of-the-line machine:
    https://www.amazon.com/EverSewn-Spar...dp/B073QYJY3Y/
    (Honestly, the color and reviews alone on this one would tempt me to buy it if I had any excuse to do so.)

    Edit: Do not get rid of your old machine if you can help it. It's always a good idea to have an old workhorse machine as a backup. Most of the newer machines do not last as long as the vintage machines.
    I just visited a website, Mamacandoit, and I believe this Brother, CS6000i is the one she bought and reviews, saying how happy she is with it. There was a time when I thought all Brothers was a junk machine, but over time realized junk applied only to the cheapo one I was handed and asked to repair, just always was out of time.

    Onebyone has talked about the Sparrow on this site and it sure sounds good to me. If I were in the market for a new machine, I would try it out first.

  9. #9
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    What a wonderful gift from your Mom!
    Without knowing your budget I recently bought a TLJuki 2101Q for machine quilting and I love it. It runs around 900.00. However, it is straight stitch only.
    My Bernina has all the fancy stuff but they are pricey.

  10. #10
    Member sef0181's Avatar
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    She didn't mention a budget, but when I started looking, I was kind of drawn to the Jukki HZL-F600 (being able to drop my heel and cut the thread sounds amazing!) or the Janome Memory Craft 6500P (Janome is the only local dealer) if I were going to be purchasing something that could do a bit of everything. I think if it went over $1000 I would feel so guilty I'd pay for most of it myself. Let's say under $1500? She just invested in a $3000 Janome (not sure which) that is designed more for embroidery and less for quilting, so if, in theory, I wanted to embroider something, I have access to a machine.
    I know that straight stitch machines are most common for quilters, however I want to try applique techniques and would need a zig-zag stitch, if I'm not mistaken?
    The biggest complaint I have with my Brother are 1) the foot pedal has little speed control 2) I barely had enough room to maneuver an oversized lap blanket 3) it was impossible to even try to free motion quilt very much
    To me, portability means it will fit in some kind of sewing machine bag and isn't much more than 35 lbs.

  11. #11
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    It seems like you want two opposing things. You want a large harp for quilting (which means a larger, not portable machine) and you want portability. If I were you I think I'd take a long look around to see if there was a space somewhere where you could permanently keep a machine on a desk and give up the portability, maybe in a basement, spare bedroom, etc. Then you could buy the machine you really need and not worry about lugging it around every time you feel creative or have some time to quilt.

  12. #12
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    You would not be disappointed in a Janome 6600 MC if you had a $1000 budget. It has a 9-inch throat space and I take it to Sit & Sews and classes nearly every week. It has a library of embroidery stitches but is great for FMQ. Good luck in your decision. New machines are so much fun...
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  13. #13
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    i don't have any knowledge of the above machines, but they all seem to have a good reputation, but one thing I would like to say is, stay away from any new or low end Singer. The tension problem on your Brother might possibly be you moving the quilt too fast and/or too slow.

  14. #14
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    I love all 4 of my Brothers. If you can get to a dealer, trying out the machines is the best. And a dealer will possibly have trade ins, which can give you more bang for the buck and support if needed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member IceLeopard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    You would not be disappointed in a Janome 6600 MC if you had a $1000 budget. It has a 9-inch throat space and I take it to Sit & Sews and classes nearly every week. It has a library of embroidery stitches but is great for FMQ. Good luck in your decision. New machines are so much fun...
    I've just looked at the reviews for this machine, and am a bit confused. Let me preface by saying I have a White Jeans Machine, circa 1990. Straight mechanical, 5 or 6 utility stitches only. All metal construction -- my DD accidentally backed the car over it and it only got a few scratches.

    What does it mean by "dual feed presser foot?" A walking foot?

    What is an External dual feed adjuster?

    What does a knee lift do? My MIL's ancient cabinet Pfaff had a knee control rather than a foot pedal and I hated it. But this isn't a cabinet model, so it can't be that.

    What is a twin needle guard? I know about using twin needles on my White, but the guard part has me baffled.
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    Check with your Mom...tell her you were looking at machines and wondered what her budget is. Then go and test the Janomes. They have a wide variety. The 6600 is a workhorse of a machine. The accufeed is a built in walking foot, gives you more visibility than a separate walking foot. Lots of decorative stitches. There are sever Janome yahoo groups out there that can also answer questions. I have Janome 6600, Janome Skyline 7, 11000SE, 8900,and now the 15000 (embroidery/quilting) that one is top of the line. Ask your dealer for sales, show specials or gently owned and you can find great pricing.....but call your Mom first.

  17. #17
    Member sef0181's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    You would not be disappointed in a Janome 6600 MC if you had a $1000 budget. It has a 9-inch throat space and I take it to Sit & Sews and classes nearly every week. It has a library of embroidery stitches but is great for FMQ. Good luck in your decision. New machines are so much fun...
    I will add this to my list!

    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    It seems like you want two opposing things. You want a large harp for quilting (which means a larger, not portable machine) and you want portability. If I were you I think I'd take a long look around to see if there was a space somewhere where you could permanently keep a machine on a desk and give up the portability, maybe in a basement, spare bedroom, etc. Then you could buy the machine you really need and not worry about lugging it around every time you feel creative or have some time to quilt.
    I'd say you definitely summed it up! Right now I'm in a 900 sq foot home, and the only place I could set up a permanent workspace would be the garage, which wouldn't be bad during the spring and fall, but it's not temperature controlled. We also have a gorgeous screened in patio that is just calling for me to drag everything out there to work on. I won't be carrying it far, so to me, spending 2 minutes carrying awkward or heavy items but having an easier time when I sew, is more important than being able to carry it one handed, if that makes sense. But I didn't want to get something that either a) is not designed to be put into a carrying case or b) is dainty enough to break when moved several hundred times in the next few years, until I get my quilting space in the next house.

    Quote Originally Posted by IceLeopard View Post
    What does it mean by "dual feed presser foot?" A walking foot?

    What is an External dual feed adjuster?

    What does a knee lift do? My MIL's ancient cabinet Pfaff had a knee control rather than a foot pedal and I hated it. But this isn't a cabinet model, so it can't be that.

    What is a twin needle guard? I know about using twin needles on my White, but the guard part has me baffled.
    Hello! I can answer a couple of these questions based on my recent research- I know a knee lift is a bar that will allow you to raise and lower the pressure foot by simply lifting your knee. Dual feed is designed for two fabrics, whereas a walking foot will help you get through more layers, but they have some of the same qualities. The external adjuster means you can fiddle settings without having to open anything.

  18. #18
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    From what I can find, the throat space on the Eversewn is 7.5" which is fairly generous. I'd like to try it also, but with my Pfaff (and we don't travel) I have no excuse to!
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  19. #19
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The Eversewn Hero is sewing and embroidery machine. Here is a link. http://www.eversewn.com/hero/

    I read several bloggers that used this machine and no bad reviews at all. I haven't seen it in person though. The price is under $600. I would buy it from Amazon and test it out. You can return if you aren't sure about it. I will say using embroidery for quilting isn't a simple process.

    For a regular non embroidery machine I would suggest the Sparrow 30.
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  20. #20
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    Absolutely love my new Janome Skyline 5!!!! Had a Baby Lock Quilters Choice for several years and had nothing but one problem after another with it!!!! Wouldn't give you two cents for any Baby Lock machine, but boy, oh boy, my Janome is just as nice as the Bernina I had for years and far more affordable!!!!

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    a lot depends on how close the dealer is and guarentees

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    Are you close to Fort Wayne? Fabulous Janome dealer there. (Edwards Sewing Center). Great for service after the sale too. Free lessons and very good service guy.

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    I agree with several of the others, you would love the Janome 6600, or even the 6500, or 6300 if $$$ is much of a limitation. They have an almost 9" bed and the extra space is essential of you want to make larger quilts. The 6600 has the built in walking foot, which really makes straight line stitching even top and bottom. These machines (and the newest 6700) have a heavy duty steel bed....you can feel the quality there. They all have 7mm stitch with a ss plate available....and many additional feet.

  24. #24
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    Another vote for the Janome 6600. I have had mine for 10 years and never have had any problems. Made so many quilts that I have lost count, not to mention all the other sewing I have done. It has lots of features that make sewing/quilting a breeze. It weighs about 25 lbs which is easy enough to move around. I take it to retreats, classes, etc. but I have a rolling cart to carry it in.
    Janome just came out with a 6700 which is an "upgrade" to the 6600 and you may find a bargain on the 6600.
    I suggest you go to the Janome website and see all the features this machine has as well as others. Don't be put off by the MSRP listing, bargains can be found and deals made. Good luck in your search and with your new machine!
    here is a link to a discussion on this board on the 6600 last August.
    https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...p-t290367.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by sef0181 View Post
    She didn't mention a budget, but when I started looking, I was kind of drawn to the Jukki HZL-F600 (being able to drop my heel and cut the thread sounds amazing!) or the Janome Memory Craft 6500P (Janome is the only local dealer) if I were going to be purchasing something that could do a bit of everything. I think if it went over $1000 I would feel so guilty I'd pay for most of it myself. Let's say under $1500? She just invested in a $3000 Janome (not sure which) that is designed more for embroidery and less for quilting, so if, in theory, I wanted to embroider something, I have access to a machine.
    I know that straight stitch machines are most common for quilters, however I want to try applique techniques and would need a zig-zag stitch, if I'm not mistaken?
    The biggest complaint I have with my Brother are 1) the foot pedal has little speed control 2) I barely had enough room to maneuver an oversized lap blanket 3) it was impossible to even try to free motion quilt very much
    To me, portability means it will fit in some kind of sewing machine bag and isn't much more than 35 lbs.
    I love my Juki F600. It is hard to live without that thread cutter in the foot pedal when using my travel machine. It doesn’t have as large of a harp as the Janome 6600, 8.5” instead of 9”, but I have quilted several king size quilts with mine, both walking foot and fmq. Mine was brand new from a local dealer for $1000. Same dealer offered me a used Janome 6600 for $1500. As much as I love my F600, if I were shopping right now, I’d spend the little extra for the Juki FX7. It wasn’t out yet when I got mine. It has some nice upgrades over the F600.

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