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Machine suggestions?

Machine suggestions?

Old 09-11-2020, 07:43 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Massachusetts
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Post Machine suggestions?

I am new to the forum - I'm an advanced beginner I guess. I've been using a Husqvarna Viking Computer 500 - which my lovely step-mother gave me years ago. Finally I've had time.. and gotten the quilting bug! Quilting has been a real lifesaver during the pandemic lockdown - sewing saved my sanity!

My machine is a good horse (heavy!), but I would like to upgrade. I mostly have done straight piecing but would like to do quilting & try free motion quilting too. I want a machine I can take to my sewing group.

I'm looking for a machine like the Janome 3160. I would like these features: ability to FMQ, needle up-down, thread cutter, speed control, light enough to travel, lock-stitch. I am less concerned about embroidery, a bazillion stitch choices. I don't need the latest & greatest! I want to spend under $400 if possible. Is that reasonable or am I hallucinating?

Thank you! Misty
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Old 09-11-2020, 07:50 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Near Seattle, WA
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Welcome to the forums.

I think you can get most of what you want, especially if you consider serviced trade-in machines, but I'm not sure if you can get them all. I think especially the combination of FMQ and Light Enough will be difficult, but some people can quilt a queen sized project on a featherweight -- I am not one of them! If you have the space and budget it can be desirable to have one machine for portability and one machine with a huge throat space that just stays home. And that's how the sewing machine collection grows!

I have a vintage machine (heavy) and a modern Bernina (huge and heavy). For portable machines, I've been getting Brothers. I'm on my second now, first one survived about 7 years of heavy use and traveling. They might be slightly over your price point but I think you will get recommendations to look at the Sparrow by Eversewn.
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Old 09-11-2020, 08:30 AM
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I've had many machines, including a Pfaff that I liked very much, but it had a problem with free motion. If that's been solved on later models (mine was from the 90s), I liked it best and that's selecting from many Berninas and Janomes. The problem with machines is that they all sound great in the literature, and although they have good features, those features don't always work well. Iceblossom, of course, gave you good information. I would also check reviews before buying.
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Old 09-11-2020, 09:06 AM
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I think it's going to be nearly impossible for you to find a machine under $400 unless you look in the used market. There's been a run on machines due to Covid and in many regions, it's difficult to find anything new under $1000. I have a great machine (Brother 1500) that does most of the the things you want, but it is not lightweight. My opinion is "lightweight" and "ability to FMQ" don't really go hand in hand. Before I got my longarm, I found it easier to move a quilt through a heavy machine because it actually stayed put.

I'm not sure what kind of traveling you want to do with your machine, I take mine on retreats, sew days, and on business trips with my husband. I bought a rolling tool cart that my machine fits into perfectly. Makes traveling with it very easy.

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Old 09-11-2020, 10:22 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2020
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I also think that wanting all that for under $400, is not going to happen. I would suspect that once Covid is over, that there will be a flood of used sewing machines on the market! Of course, you can always try Craigslist or something equivalent, you never know.
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Old 09-11-2020, 10:59 AM
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oops! when editing, the whole first half of this message disappeared.
well, I'll try again
The Eversewn Sparrow 30 is still available for at or slightly under $400
I bought one when they first came out on the market, and I loved it. When they came out with the Sparrow QE I upgraded to that. I also love it.
They are light enough to pack around, and have almost everything you listed. One thing about lighter machines...they slide across the table when doing free motion work, unless you put a shelf liner or something under it to keep it from moving.
here is a review:


and another

I don't know if your LQS has any available for you to see and test drive, but here are several online places that you can compare prices/packages


(oops...now kens sewing center is also showing out of stock. But just in case they get more):

and.....now connecting threads is also showing 'out of stock' Maybe they will get more?


amazon has them too, but they are more expensive there. and they are blue.....not pink, if that matters to you

here is a review of the QE: (actually, this is more like an advertisement than a review )

Welcome to the board!!!

Last edited by mindless; 09-11-2020 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-11-2020, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 56

welcome. Check out the Janome 9850.
Does all you want and light weigh.

nannie is offline  
Old 09-11-2020, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Gaylord, MN
Posts: 2,963

I have a Janome 6600 Professional that I do most of my quilting on as FMQ all my quilts. It is not a cheap quilt but a good solid (and heavy) machine. For traveling I have a Featherweight. The two machines are all I need and am very happy with them. Hope you find what you are looking for. I would check the used machines out there. Good Luck
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:45 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2
Default Thank you thank you!

Wow - You guys are super! and fast. This is so helpful. I'm kind of blown away at how fast and welcoming you all are. I appreciate that even though my 'ask' was kind of a pie-in-the-sky, you didn't tell me I was nuts

Iceblossom - one* for home and one for travel is the way I'm thinking (of course one won't be enough!). I'm definitely open to a lightly used/refurished machine. - Finding the FMQ and light-weight machine - good point.

SallyS - Thank you for the intel!

Peckish - I forgot about the covid-mask run on machines! I don't think I'll be doing big quilts on a regular machine, maybe a long-arm is in my future.. I just want to go to retreats and local things, so a roller will be great.

Ladywingnut - Thank you as well for reality-check and suggestion for craigslist

Mindless - Oh, awesome advice. Thanks for taking time to share the links! Knowing about those websites/vendors is really helpful too. LQS - I'm almost afraid to go in... because I fear I'll come home with more fabric, kits and will want to buy a wonderful&pricey machine!

I'll definitely check out the Eversewn Sparrow 30. (I never heard of that company until this site... I've been a bit sheltered sewing-wise!)

Nannie - thank you! I will look into the Janome 9850

Karamarie - Thank you for the ideas.
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Old 09-12-2020, 04:49 AM
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Definitely check Craig's List. I just bought a Bernina 950 industrial, used, with less than 20 hours. Looks brand new. $650. This is only my second purchase. I've had my domestic Bernina over 40 years. Hubby spotted it. BTW,,,there's lots of good free stuff on that site!
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