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Thread: Machine Snobbery?

  1. #176
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    Shop elsewhere

    I have had the SE400 for a couple of years and LOVE it. Before that I had the SE270. Although, I have to admit I've used it mainly for embroidery work. I also have made about 75 of the Craft Apple Patchfolois and have had no issues. I did want to take it in to have a good cleaning and the one big place that used to service Brother machines actually moved out of state for personal reasons. I visited one of the other local shops and inquired about a cleaning and the oh so professional lady told me "Honey we don't service those low end things. We only sell and service good machines." Not kidding, those were her exact words as she literally snurled her nose. Haven't set foot in the Bernina place since and probably won't. The other place I refuse to shop is one of the largest quilt shops in the area. The first time I shopped there, a lady kept following me around. First floor, second floor, back to first floor. Made me very nervous because she wasn't looking at any fabric, just watching me. I finally got some nerve and asked her if I could help her. She said to me "We have to keep an eye out for shop lifters". What tha? Yep she was an employee and basically told me she thought I looked like a thief! Needless to say I was absolutely livid and told her exactly what I thought before leaving. I don't care if it is the largest fabric shop in 50 miles. They will NOT get my business, ever.

    I finally found a good local shop. First time I went in they were extremely friendly, helpful, and not the least bit snobbish. I told the owner about the machine I had and asked if they offered classes to those with Brother machines. She actually giggled and said that a teacher worth their salt can teach on any brand of machine, even a manual model. Explained to me that quilting is the skill of the person, not the machine. Said she knows a woman that makes absolutely awful quilts on a top of the line machine and another woman that makes perfect quilts on a machine older than I am. This is my new favorite shop.

    I recently decided to purchase a machine just for sewing and quilting and keep my SE400 for embroidering. Did I look at the popular expensive machines? Yes. Did I buy one? Nope! Went with another Brother and bought it at Wal-Mart. I could afford one of those fancy machine with all the bells and whistles but I prefer to look at it like I look at my car: I could afford to purchase a new car but I prefer to keep my 13 year old car with 250k miles on it. It runs just as well as when I bought it and still gets over 35 mpg. And the seat is molded to my rear! It may not be the prettiest thing or have all the bells and whistles of the new models but it does exactly what it is supposed to do and I am extremely comfortable with it.

  2. #177
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntnana View Post
    I have had the SE400 for a couple of years and LOVE it. Before that I had the SE270. Although, I have to admit I've used it mainly for embroidery work. I also have made about 75 of the Craft Apple
    I recently decided to purchase a machine just for sewing and quilting and keep my SE400 for embroidering. Did I look at the popular expensive machines? Yes. Did I buy one? Nope! Went with another Brother and bought it at Wal-Mart. I could afford one of those fancy machine with all the bells and whistles but I prefer to look at it like I look at my car: I could afford to purchase a new car but I prefer to keep my 13 year old car with 250k miles on it. It runs just as well as when I bought it and still gets over 35 mpg. And the seat is molded to my rear! It may not be the prettiest thing or have all the bells and whistles of the new models but it does exactly what it is supposed to do and I am extremely comfortable with it.
    Auntnana, I loved your whole note-you sound very wise.
    I love Brother machines, from low end to high end, they are all great. I have a Brother low end from Walmart that I keep at my youngest daughter's home & whenever I visit I catch up on their mending, do projects when I'm there for a long visit, etc. Love it & always excited when I get it out again. I also have a low end Walmart Brother here that I use for classes, charity projects at the church, also does great. And I have a Brother TOL from a dealer & a couple more in between Brother's. I love them all. My local dealer has never put down my Walmart Brother's, in fact I take one to classes at her shop, never a negative word. Of course I do spend money at her shop & she knows I tell others about her shop & tell others how great Brother machines are.
    A wise dealer never puts down other machines, it keeps customers coming back.

  3. #178
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    I love my Brother machine. It sews like a dream.
    Fabric is like money, no matter how much you have it's never enough.

  4. #179
    Junior Member weatheread's Avatar
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    I am glad my dealer is not like that I buy what I can afford and to buy a more expensive machine prove to me that its worth my money or just show me how to use what I have and sell me lots of fabric and notions
    Weatheread
    Caddo Mills ,Tx

  5. #180
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    I had the same experience, but not with a machine - it was just by striking a conversation with a shop owner on Long Island's north shore - not even a ritzy area! The woman was a total snob when she realized that I was asking 'beginner' questions. I have always sewn and crafted, but had only started quilting just before my visit to that shop. She made me feel like an intruding lower class citizen and have never returned there. A shame really, for her, because I spend A LOT OF $$$ on fabrics now!!

  6. #181
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Since this post I have bought a Bernina and not from the local dealer. She was excited for me that I had a Bernina and not snobby at all I didn't buy it from her shop. It was a one time buy I couldn't pass up and she understood that.
    Got fabric?

  7. #182
    Junior Member angelahen's Avatar
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    I have had a similar thing happen to me I bought a Bernina 440 of ebay. I read the description very carefully and when I went to collect it I knew it had hardly been used and was a great bargain. When my DH went to the local sewing shop to buy me more bobbins the shop owner was very short with him. Went on about no guarantee etc. I knew all this and took my chance. I think he was a bit cross that I had not bought it from him. I am very pleased with my machine, don't care that its not brand new, but know that the previous owner had looked after it. If we are happy what does it matter what other think. Just enjoy your machine and don't worry.

  8. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    and making minimum wage and a discount makes them a lesser person HOW???
    I agree, Jackie. If they were the owner and made a 6 figure income would your reaction be different?

  9. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlee View Post
    I don't think paying $50 for a class was her point...she paid the money to take the class, and then was singled out as having an inferior machine in front of the class...and THAT is not good business, and it'd be a cold day you know where before I EVER spent another dime with that dealer.
    I agree with you 100%!

  10. #185
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    First of all, it's hard to accept or feel bad about snobbery based on 'mass production,' when what she really meant was 'mass distributed'...because, of course, you are absolutely correct, all sewing machines are mass produced.
    I agree here as well! Good point as the person giving the class didn't make any sense--mass produced? (as if all machines weren't produced in a factory? They aren't hand-made are they?)

  11. #186
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    Thirty some years ago I bought a top of the line machine (New Home- now Janome) as I love sewing in High School but my mom knew nothing about machine sewing so I was on my own. My SIL told me she bought a new machine and, you guessed it, it was a Bernina. When I told her I had a new machine too, she told me I had wasted my money, that Bernina was the only machine worth buying. When I started to have problems with my machine, which I now know was due to not cleaning it or replacing the needle (I really didn't know better then) I thought it was because I bought an inferior machine. Years later I discovered that my machine really is a gem and now I know how to take care of it. It has NEVER been in for service, runs like a dream, and does so many things that modern machines boast of. My SIL has had several Berninas, trading up over the years. I do not blame her for her snobery, although it did and still does exist. I blame myself for falling for it, for being too inexperienced to know that a machine had to be cleaned (okay, read the manual) and needed new needles from time to time. Years lost in sewing. But now this is a valuable experience as I realize that it is necessary to have strength in our convictions. That how you react to a situation is up to YOU. For example, if I'm stuck in traffic I can either be angry about it or take it as a part of life. I can't control the traffic but I can control my reaction to it. That is the lesson that I learned and the best lesson you can take away from this awful situation. Yes, that teacher is a fool. Hopefully, one day she will see herself in this situation and realize what's she's done. But regardless, YOU are the one who controls how you react to it, so I encourage you to say, "what an idiot", smile, and enjoy your wonderful machine. Imagine yourself laughing when she made that remark rather than turning red and shrinking in your seat.

  12. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandmaSewNSew View Post
    Thirty some years ago I bought a top of the line machine (New Home- now Janome) as I love sewing in High School but my mom knew nothing about machine sewing so I was on my own. My SIL told me she bought a new machine and, you guessed it, it was a Bernina. When I told her I had a new machine too, she told me I had wasted my money, that Bernina was the only machine worth buying. When I started to have problems with my machine, which I now know was due to not cleaning it or replacing the needle (I really didn't know better then) I thought it was because I bought an inferior machine. Years later I discovered that my machine really is a gem and now I know how to take care of it. It has NEVER been in for service, runs like a dream, and does so many things that modern machines boast of. My SIL has had several Berninas, trading up over the years. I do not blame her for her snobery, although it did and still does exist. I blame myself for falling for it, for being too inexperienced to know that a machine had to be cleaned (okay, read the manual) and needed new needles from time to time. Years lost in sewing. But now this is a valuable experience as I realize that it is necessary to have strength in our convictions. That how you react to a situation is up to YOU. For example, if I'm stuck in traffic I can either be angry about it or take it as a part of life. I can't control the traffic but I can control my reaction to it. That is the lesson that I learned and the best lesson you can take away from this awful situation. Yes, that teacher is a fool. Hopefully, one day she will see herself in this situation and realize what's she's done. But regardless, YOU are the one who controls how you react to it, so I encourage you to say, "what an idiot", smile, and enjoy your wonderful machine. Imagine yourself laughing when she made that remark rather than turning red and shrinking in your seat.
    Thank you for the refresher course.

  13. #188
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    i bought a se400 brother on amazon for 310 dollars. I love it! I do alot of different embroidery projects on it and they turn out beautifully! I'm keeping it! i hope you have fun on yours like i have fun on mine.
    joan
    jjmmhh

  14. #189
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    Been there had that.

    I have a high end machine that unless the stars are aligned can give me trouble. But my little 4030 Janome purrs along and never let's me down. Because of this I always take her to classes and smile politely as The Them (as I call them) brag about their flash machines until something goes wrong and the tutor has to fix it for them. It Always happens. And my little 4030 gets another gentle stroke. I wish in fact that the Beach Boys were still around to write a song about my little machine she deserves it. I will post this question now.
    Merivale
    Australia.

  15. #190
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllieGirl View Post
    I bought a Brother SE400 from Amazon. It's a combination embroidery/sewing machine and it was on sale. I called a local sewing shop about classes and told them my machine. The woman commented about my machine being mass produced (isn't everything mass produced) so they don't sell the machine and I would have to pay $50 for the class. No problem and I attended the class today. My machine was the simplest one there and the only one a combination machine. During the class again it was mentioned about mass produced vs dealer. What's the difference and is there an "attitude" about buying machines online or at stores other than sewing stores?
    It doesn't have to be a dealer to have an "attitude" about machines... owners can also have "attitudes" ... When I bought my first Viking, 32 years ago, it was not top of the line but the fact that it was a "Viking" put me in a higher standing with other seamstresses... yeah... just owning a Viking was a status symbol... so stupid. I just wanted a good machine and after trying several different brands over the course of about 2 years (I had my Featherweight that I got at age 12) so I wasn't in a huge hurry, I decided to go with the machine I'm still sewing on. Oh and I still sew with my little 1932 Featherweight ...

  16. #191
    Super Member TFquilter's Avatar
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    Somebody without brains...
    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give....

  17. #192
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    my local quilt store is a viking dealer, and their classes are for all no matter what machine you use. I have attended classes from a bernina dealer and nothing I had was good enough, including thread , batting and of course my machine. If you like your machine like I like mine no not let it bother you.

  18. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val in IN View Post
    My opinion? Use what you have and can afford. Beautiful quilts don't know what kind of machines they were made with and they don't care. Neither should we.
    YES!! Exactly! I cannot stand machine brand snobbery, burns me to no end! I made a point at my last quilt class to compliment a newbie quilter who was using a "mass market" machine - her piecing was much better than some of the seasoned quilters using Berninas! It is the HUMAN who makes the quilt, not the machine!
    Last edited by kittyannart; 04-26-2012 at 05:37 AM.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  19. #194
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    I've done instruction in heirloom type sewing. As long as a sewing machine had a basic zig-zag stitch, it was usable and welcome in class. I learned heirloom and cutwork before embroidery machines so older techniques could be applied. You can needle paint with a straight stitch machine, a hoop, and some patience.

    I would assume that anyone who learned to quilt before automated machines should be able to teach on any machine.
    There are generic outlets for machine parts - so some machines might be able to be fitted with a special foot or single stitch plate if necessary. I remember reading about those with zig-zag plates and nothing else, blocking off part of the needle opening on the plate with tape! Where there's a will, there's a way.

    If the store also sells fabric, the store is doing themselves a disservice by limiting machines for quilting. I've hauled my Pfaff 2170 to stores that sell other machines.

    FYI - I have an old book on machine embroidery done with the first non-treadle Singers! The stuff is fantastic. All kinds of lace.

  20. #195
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I love this thread, and didn't read all the posts, and may have already put my two cents in, but even though I have a Featherweight, treadle, and Singer 66 electric, plus another vintage singer (turquoise) and a vintage Elnita, my "go to" machine is my Walmart Variety Brother - it sews through anything, will take any kind of thread, needle, plastic or metal bobbin, etc. It is about 10 years old and other than when the needle holder fell off, has never been to the shop. They say it doesn't need to be oiled, but every once in a while I take the cover off and put a drop or two of sewing machine oil on the moving parts. I also clean it regularly. I am guessing there must be the dreaded plastic in there somewhere, but I can't see it. I also have two other basic Brothers, one at each of my sons' houses and they both sew like a charm. I can even do FMQ on the Brother. It is getting better with practice, but not because of the machine, but because of me. It always hurts my feelings a little (well, okay, a lot) when people say "Stay away from the Walmart variety Brothers". I am glad we can all have the machines we want and like. I want and like my dinky mechanical Brother. End of vent. Thanks for listening!!!!

  21. #196
    Junior Member weatheread's Avatar
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    This is a expensive hobby so always start out with what you can afford I started with the Walmart Embroidery machine 4X4 hoop Brother PE150 there were no classes near for me lucky I had the internet and joined some groups learned a lot and after 2 or 3 yrs Husband got me the Brother 2003D ULT in 2004 Love this machine bought from dealer but they were too far to take lessons again I taught my self the only Software I had purchased was Embird and I love it for edits and Merging designs now I have a Janome 11000SE and a MB4 so I am hooked just search Internet and try out all the techniques they show you you will be amazed
    Weatheread
    Caddo Mills ,Tx

  22. #197
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllieGirl View Post
    I bought a Brother SE400 from Amazon. It's a combination embroidery/sewing machine and it was on sale. I called a local sewing shop about classes and told them my machine. The woman commented about my machine being mass produced (isn't everything mass produced) so they don't sell the machine and I would have to pay $50 for the class. No problem and I attended the class today. My machine was the simplest one there and the only one a combination machine. During the class again it was mentioned about mass produced vs dealer. What's the difference and is there an "attitude" about buying machines online or at stores other than sewing stores?
    Hmm I wonder if that womans big mouth would fit under your presser foot so you can stitch up her mouth, that was very rude and insulting not to mention unprofessional of her to make those types of comments. I would go somewhere else next time. A shop owner is there to cater to the customers and their needs, she should keep her opinion to herself and bend over backwards for the customer, you are her bread and butter.
    Quilt outside of the box!

  23. #198
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    My local repair shop, looks down their noses because I bring in my singer for tune ups. Mine didn't cost a fortune but it works well and has been working for 15 years. They sold me a viking, and it was trash. I don't have to bring my machine in for repairs like the more expensive ones. I am sewing while they wait for their machine to be fixed.

  24. #199
    Senior Member TeresaS's Avatar
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    I had the same thing happen to me when i was researching what to buy

  25. #200
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    I purchased a Babylock Ellure Plus at a local sewing shop. When I took the class to learn more about my machine, one other lady and myself had a Babylock, the rest of the girls had Huskyvarnas (sp) which is their main seller. The lady was not the most helpful, she really focused on the other ladies. Funny thing though, they had alot more trouble working with their machine than I did. The Baby is very user friendly, which I am told so about the Brother. I also seem to learn much better with trial and error by myself. There are some great books on the market, one of my favourites is Nancy Ziemans Machine Embroidery With Confidence.

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