Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53

Thread: Which machine (s) are best - from a Beginner

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    2

    Which machine (s) are best - from a Beginner

    Am just beginning - don't even have a machine, or anything else but a book I purchased a few years ago. Am now ready to begin in ernest - I would like to hear from some of you about which machine is the best - I am not looking for the cheapest (within reason) but the best and most versatile, comprehensive and easy to use - specifically for quilting. I am toying with the idea of embroidery - if that complicates the issue - then just stick to the best for quilting.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated - even if you can just let me know the features necessary to quilt.

    B. rgds,

    Virginia H.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    St Peters, MO
    Posts
    467
    Blog Entries
    1
    I would suggest you get a name brand, Brother, Janomie etc. with the basics that you need for piecing and comes with a walking foot for quilting. I have 2 Brother machines and love them. Go to several quilt shops and try them out, usually they are very friendly and helpful. I would stay away from WalMart machines. They carry the low end of the brand name and don't have a long life to them. Good luck and welcome to the world of sewing, quilting, material and stash.
    The Future is Now!

  3. #3
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    2,890
    My recommendations:

    - set your budget limit.
    - decide if you would accept a good used machine.
    - consider what features you need vs want ... needle down, fancy stitches, feet that come with machine, additional expensive accessories such as an extension table or walking foot.
    - try out different brands and see what you bond with best.

    As you talk with other quilters you may find a good used machine at a great price.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  4. #4
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,385
    There are great used machines that are quite affordable. As people upgrade they turn in machines all the time. if you have a Sew and Vac in your area check them out . Many will give a warrenty on a used machine. The all mechanical machines are much easier to maintain than many of the computerized machines and will last and last . Just a note light weight is not always a good thing ... it means many of the metal parts have been replaced with plastic.
    But think about what your REAL needs are before and write them down .. it is very easy to get "up sold" .

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    Here is a new portable that everyone is raving about:

    http://www.husqvarnaviking.com/ca/en/25554.htm
    Got fabric?

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Gun Barrel City, TX
    Posts
    13
    Personally I've had Singer, Brother, and several others I can't even remember and I am totally in love with my Bernina. However, it was pricy. See if any of the sewing repair places/sales of used machines will allow you to rent something for a week or so. Then you can try them. Perhaps take a class with a store class rental machine, and ask others if you can try theirs during lunch? If you are careful and they are watching, they might let you.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Kansas
    Posts
    4,829
    I wouldn't be nearly as concerned with what brand of machine you get as I would dealer support since you're new. Go to a reputable dealer in your area and sit down with the machines and try them out. Find out what sorts of classes the dealer offers and how many classes you'll get for free.

    I would say the minimum is needle up/down, either built in walking foot or a good separate walking foot and the ability to drop the feed dogs and the right foot for free motion quilting.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,211
    I grew up on Singer machines. I hadn't sewn in about 20 years and started back about two years ago, with a Singer. I bought a Brother in December and love it! It's a SE400, does both sewing and embroidery. It's considered a beginner machine but has a wide variety of stitches.

  9. #9
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    18,361
    I so agree with ScissorQueen!

  10. #10
    Senior Member pinkberrykay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SOO, MI
    Posts
    825
    Im a newbie and went to my local Janome dealer and got a Janome DC3050~easy peasy to use! Cost $499.00

  11. #11
    Member Singerjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    29
    I would suggest going straight to a bernina dealer and trying out their machines first. I went through buying other brands because I just thought bernina was too expensive but the more times I used them at classes or used friends machines I found the expense was worth it. I gave my daughter my Viking Saphire and bought a bernina 550 and everyday I am glad I did. It was worth every penny and with the way a bernina is built it will last me 20-30 years. I believe bernina is the only machine not made in china now. Their bernette is made by a subsidiary and is made in china and I would not recommend it.

  12. #12
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,699
    I think a small brother, they are inexpensive, lightweight, very user friendly, have loved all of mine. if you have a higher budget, I like the higher end brothers and babylocks. really its hard to say people love and hate all brands so you will get lots of opinions. I would try some out at a dealer to see what features you would like to have, also maybe hcekc yard sales or craigslist you can get some nice machines for cheap that people are trying to get rid of, and then save up for a nicer one untill you find out what you like and want in a machine. I was able to do all my tops on my low end brothers and saved up for my babylock espire. I was going to purchase a cheaper high end machine but I tried my machine and fell in love

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    1
    If you have a quilt show nearby, visit it as you can try many machines, but as mentioned before, pick something with service nearby! You may not need repair, but many of those shops also have classes which can help you get the most out of your machine. My sister only uses Bernina, but that's also because of service options where she is. I have almost 30% off a Bernina 550QE if I choose one used at an upcoming quilt show. New out of box, used for three days of classes and sold for $1700 less. Still up there in price and I'm struggling to decide between that and a Husqvarna Viking (Tribute or Sapphire).

  14. #14
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    496
    Check out Babylock machines.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    2
    Thank you all for your help - can you tell me the advantage of an electronic, and/or computerized machine might have over a manual?

  16. #16
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bosque County, Texas
    Posts
    3,028
    You will only be a beginner for a short while. After that you will just be trying out new patterns, ideas, etc. BIG DIFFERENCE. Have you ever used a typewriter? The difference between a computerized sewing machine is about the same as the difference between using WORD and using a typewriter. Both can do the same thing depending on the skill of the person and the demands of the person. I can type a note on a typewriter that is as good as a note on Word. I can sew a straight line on a manual sewing machine as well as a computerized machine. However, I am not content to NOT learn anything new in sewing just as I am not content to still use a typewriter. I invested in a machine that I could learn to do everything I could imagine doing in the future. I can't say enough how much I recommend a computerized machine if you possibly think you want to learn anything except how to sew straight lines. It's like the age old question of bike or car? Both will get you there. In 1960 I bought a Pfaff that isn't out of date yet for fancy stitches and it made a manual straight stitch old fashioned. Computerized machines have buried my Pfaff in the dirt!
    Last edited by TanyaL; 02-19-2012 at 04:58 AM.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    rhode island, USA
    Posts
    58
    I would definately recommend a Janome, especially if you are in the market for a lower priced machine. They have some really nice basic models available. If you have a little more money to spend go for a BERNINA, you will have it for years and years. Good Luck !

  18. #18
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    1,420
    I have owned Sears Kenmore, Janome and Singer. I have had problems with all of them in one way or another. From talking to other people, quilters in my guild, relatives and reading online, if I could have anything I wished, I would buy a Bernina. They're expensive, but they're quality machines. I just don't believe you can beat them. I just ordered the small Bernina 46 to take to quilting retreats and workshops. It will be here next Wednesday; can't wait!
    Karen in Kentucky

  19. #19
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    4,984
    Blog Entries
    1
    In your area you should have some machine dealers. Since your are starting out find one that has classes to go along with the machine. You can even find some beginner quilting classes from some LQS. My favorite things to quilt with are: 1/4in foot, needle up/down button, auto thread cut, auto tack stitch good lighting and auto threader can be great. If you are considering embroidery you might want to take into consideration the hoop size because that is where some of your limits will be at; some of them will only allow you to do a 4 x4 which is really small and if you don't plan on upgrading for quite sometime you might want to go at least one to 2 sizes bigger now. Try some different machines out; we all have our picks and what we like about them that makes them good for us.
    Judy

  20. #20
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    tx
    Posts
    665
    When I first started I didn't want to spend alot since I didn't know if I'd even like quilting..so I got the brother CS6000i
    and years later it is still a workhorse, super user friendly, under 200.00. I am going to upgrade to a laura ashley
    quilting/embroidery but I know I will still use this little brother. It likes all threads, whereas the singer confident quilter I got as a gift is very touchy about thread and is sitting in its box!

  21. #21
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Rosedale, Indiana
    Posts
    2,003
    I agree with ScissorQueen as well.

  22. #22
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Small town in Northeast Oregon close to Washington and Idaho
    Posts
    2,733
    Blog Entries
    5
    I started with my mom's Singer and traded it in for a Viking Huskavarna 101 (I think that's what it was). Then I went to a computerized Viking 10 years later and now I'm using the Bernina 830. I had to work my way up. I gave my daughter my 1st Viking. I'm keeping my newer Viking for when I have to take my Bernina in to be cleaned or if it needs work done (which I've had no problems with it for 2 years). But, I started small and worked up. But I didn't have the needle down and it wouldn't thread itself and it wasn't self cutting and I lived with it, but now that computerized sewing machines came out, I could never go back. The difference is HUGE! If you just want to get your feet wet, there are a lot of good suggestions for inexpensive computerized sewing machines here. Maybe get one of them and after a couple of years, upgrade.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
    Strong people don't put others down...they build them up."
    "Remember that your instincts are more important than rules"

  23. #23
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    i agree with Janome and the parts are readily avaiable.
    if you can't fly as high as you want, fly as high as you can. -me.

  24. #24
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    currently central new jersey
    Posts
    8,700
    i agree with Janome and the parts are readily available. is this a double post?
    if you can't fly as high as you want, fly as high as you can. -me.

  25. #25
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mena, Arkansas
    Posts
    1,355
    Blog Entries
    2
    For quilting, all you need is a machine that sews a straight stitch, both for piecing and quilting. Most older, vintage, all-metal machines have the capability to do patchwork as well as free motion quilting. You can even learn to do free motion embroidery on them. A nice Singer 15 or Japanese made Singer 15 clone machine will run you anywhere from $25 to $150 dollars depending on condition and accessories. Parts and feet are readily available, and there is a nice large harp to make your quilting experience easier.
    Yes, you will have to thread your own needle and you will have to use the handwheel to raise and lower your needle. You will also have to cut your own thread. Big woop. You will also have a machine that will likely last your lifetime and then some. For a beginner, this IMHO is the best way to go. You can always throw massive amounts of money at a computer with a needle if you want to.
    Just my opinion; your mileage may vary.
    Stephanie in Mena

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.