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Thread: Machine Recommendations

  1. #1
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    Machine Recommendations

    I would like recommendations for a new sewing machine. I lost my Bernina Virtuosa 150 that I bought new in 2001. I loved that machine. I could do anything on it from making crafts to machine quilting.

    I haven't shopped for a new machine since 2001, so I'm out of the loop on whether Bernina is still a good brand or if they have gone downhill? If it's no longer a good brand, what's another brand that's good?

    I don't know what newer machines offer, but I would like to have a machine again that I can do quilting, I only need basic stitches, a strong machine that can sew through several layers of denim when needed and I loved the foot pedal.

    I would love a machine that it's insides are mostly metal, is that possible anymore?

  2. #2
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I have several Berninas. In my opinion, I think they’re an excellent machine. They’re still made in Switzerland.
    Lori

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  3. #3
    dlv
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    Love my Berninas!

  4. #4
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    You can still find vintage, all metal, mechanical sewing machines for cheap or free. Some are just basic stitches. Some take cams to let you do fancier stitches.

    I personally love my very basic Kenmore 148.19370 (a.k.a. 1937) but there are many other vintage Kenmores (and other brands) that fit what you describe. I understand from a vintage Kenmore FB group I'm in that models 1914 and 1941 are very good. You might need to clean it inside and out to get one working it's best or you might luck into one that works perfectly and just needs regular oil and cleaning (like I did with my vintage machines).

    Newer isn't always better. Vintage, all metal machines are solid machines. I'd take one of them over a computerized new machine any day. (No offense to anyone that prefers the computerized machines.)

    There's a woman that buys, cleans, repairs then sells vintage machines. She posts videos of her machines on youtube and talks about their features and accessories. I found her videos very informative when I was trying to learn more about my machines that I got elsewhere. You might find her videos helpful, too, to do a keyword search for the model if you find one elsewhere that interests you. You could learn more about it from her. I've never bought from her (and don't know her) but she seems to have a good reputation. She's Rayna Moran, a.k.a. niftythriftygirl. Here's a link to her youtube channel.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQt...rW9QwJn9Rb_NlA

  5. #5
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlv View Post
    Love my Berninas!
    I love my Berninas, too!
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  6. #6
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Love Bernina!!
    I have the same one you had. What happened to it?

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have about six machines. The two I use all the time is a Babyloc Jane and a Juki TL98QE. All metal insides straight stitch only.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #8
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    I have been told once you have owned a Bernina, it’s hard to be satisfied with any other brand. ???
    Good luck in your decision.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  9. #9
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    I have the Eversewn Hero that I absolutely love. Until this week, I've used it almost daily since I got it last April. (She is off getting cleaned and oiled right now.)

    I have machine quilted without any issues. I've stitched up to six layers of denim without an issue, but had to really slow down on 8 layers to avoid breaking a needle. The Hero does awesome machine embroidery, though there are more basic models without the embroidery unit.

    The price was awesome, too. I've had machines that cost 3-4x as much, without the embroidery unit, that I didn't like half as much.

  10. #10
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    I always recommend a machine that has top feed dogs for accuracy in piecing. Those are usually Pfaff, Babylock, Janome (but not every machine they make. In Pfaff's it's called the IDT system, and Pfaff was the originator.)

  11. #11
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    I have been told once you have owned a Bernina, it’s hard to be satisfied with any other brand. ???
    Good luck in your decision.
    I have seen quite a few switch from bernina, they are not for everyone. I used a 5 and 7 series personally didn't care for either but some people love them
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  12. #12
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    Love my BERNINAs I have had several. My favorite has been my 1130. I have sewed on others but always come back to the BERNINA.

  13. #13
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i don't think berninas are still manufactured in switzerland.
    i tried tracking down accurate information about that last year.
    all i could find was that they were assembled somewhere in "Asia."

    that does not mean they are no longer a good machine.
    that is always going to depend upon whether the brand owners still hold the assemblers to high standards for machines designed with excellent specifications.
    for me, personally, i also think the brand owner should pass on their labor savings to the consumer if they have outsourced manufacture of parts and/or assembly.

    i have never heard a bernina owner complain about her/his machine.
    they brag about them enthusiastically.
    they also still have a reputation for holding up for many years.

    so, if you can afford a bernina and are most comfortable with that brand you should be able to buy one with confidence.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member LilaKay's Avatar
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    If you want metal parts, Bernina is still a quality machine. I actually like Janome better. I would say when buying a new machine I would go with a brand that can be serviced locally.
    LilaKay...greatgramma to Brielle Mae

  15. #15
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The Brother 1500 straight stitch is all metal guts, has large area for quilting, had auto thread cutter, auto threader, knee lift, needle up/down and will sew through denim layers. I do all my quilting on this machine. Last time I looked at a new one it was under $700 at the dealer. Juki has a good straight stitch machine too.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  16. #16
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I am a BERNINA gal!
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  17. #17
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    I had a Viking computerized one that was not a good choice for me. It broke down after a couple of years and couldn't be repaired. No one would even look at it. They said it was not worth fixing. I'm using a cheap mechanical Singer now and love it.

  18. #18
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    I agree with onebyone...I have a Brother PS1500 and that is a workhorse! It only does straight stitch, but that is all I need. It will handle anything. It also has a pin-feed setting that feeds the fabric from the bottom (kind of like a walking foot). I love it and have had it for over 13 years. I'd buy another in a minute if mine ever stopped working.

  19. #19
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    Thank you everyone for the recommendations. For now, a Bernina 1031 was donated to a local sewing studio and I am the proud/happy owner of it. She's made from metal, weighs a ton, and it's so comforting to have a machine again. I wish I could say thank you to the person who donated it. It's in almost perfect condition, had about ten feet inside an accessories case, a darning attachment, about 20 bobbins, the manual and a machine cover! Only the knee lifter was missing and I found where to purchase one. I'm thrilled. Even when/if I get my new machine, I'll keep her until someone else is in need.

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    The new "Next Generation" Berninas are pretty awesome! The Bernina 790 is my dream machine. But not in my budget. A lot of Bernina Gals are upgrading to the 570 (about $1899). You can get it with or without embroidery (add $1000). The giant bobbin and built-in dual feed are pretty great. I still like the walking foot much better than the dual feed. But the Jumbo bobbin holds 70% more thread!
    Annette in Utah

  21. #21
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    What a wonderful find! Enjoy your new machine
    Lori

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