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Thread: Machines too computerized?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Machines too computerized?

    Is there a such thing as a machine being too computerized?

    For example, say you like to FMQ and leave those feed dogs up, stitch length set to 0. But perhaps you have a Pfaff Performance 5.2. There is a specific setting for FMQ on those machines and the feed dogs automatically drop when you engage that setting.

    Does that mean you cannot FMQ leaving those feed dogs up and adjust the stitch length to 0 if you wanted to? Or can you just not choose that setting, set your stitch length to 0, attach the foot you want and proceed to FMQ ala Leah Day?

    I'm wondering if there is a point where a machine is "too smart"? Is there a time where too much control is taken away from the user to the detriment of a sewing or quilting project? The FMQing example was the first I thought of, but I am sure there are others where there are auto settings that perhaps aren't giving the best result - and maybe the user can't over ride them.
    Dawn

  2. #2
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    I can't tell you anything about the Pfaff Performance 5.2, but I agree, some new machines aren't very accomodating to the user's wishes. A friend has a new washing machine that she absolutely hates, just for those reasons. She says once a cycle is started you can't stop it and open up the lid. You can't start the machine in the middle of a cycle as you may do when you've hand washed an item and want top spin it out in the machine and air dry. She says the door remains locked too long after the washing is complete, too, a source of frustration if you are there waiting for it. Next time I need a washing machine, you can be sure I won't buy one that insists on being the boss.

  3. #3
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
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    i have a brother with a fmq setting just push the button I use a floating foot but I can fmq with the feed dogs up or down with a hopping foot and i also started using the piecing setting following the edge of my foot which is 5.5 on my machine have the machine for 10 yrs never used that setting now I love it I don't use my quarter inch foot anymore and if I need a scant 1/4 I just set it on number to the right 6.0 something I can't do with the 1/4 inch piecing foot. sewing machines have come a long way the machines brother and babylock just released are supposed to be way over the top mostly focusing on the embroidery. i do like the features on my computerized machine but don't have any desire to get a newer machine right now.
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    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The new Eversewn Sparrow X does embroidery by wi fi. You need a wireless device like a phone, tablet, ipad, etc.
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  5. #5
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    I had one of those fancy Viking computerized one that I couldn't get the feed dogs to lower. It had other problems also and I couldn't find anybody to fix it. It was only a few years old, but they all said it would cost more than it was worth. I bought a cheap mechanical Singer Heavy Duty one at Walmart and have been a happy quilter since! I refuse to have a machine that won't cooperate!

  6. #6
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    One of my favorite quotes is from Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park
    "They were so busy knowing they could, they didn't stop to think if they should..."

    Cars are too complicated, remotes, USPS online, weight/money/exercise/news apps...all too complicated when they don't need to be.

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I took a class on FMQing and did it both ways. feed dogs down and up. Seemed to make no difference on my machine.

  8. #8
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I do agree that some of the new features aren't always good. I've heard about machines with sensors to tell if you bobbin is low (which is an awesome feature) have the sensor go bad so that the machine thinks there is no thread in the bobbin and won't run (which is really bad). I prefer when there is an override for the machine's setting so that if I want to do things manually and my way I can. This probably explains why the only new machine I own is a Juki 2200 QVP Mini which has minimal electronics and features.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    I like that quote, KalamaQuilts! I was just thinking about it today, and happened to be looking at a Performance 5.2 - and that is when I wondered about machines being so computerized that the quilter loses some control.

    And I agree cashs_mom - I hate giving up control - because of exactly the example you gave. A problem created where there should be none!!

    Just for grins on the 5.2, I asked if I could try FMQing on this machine with the straight stitch set to 0. With the foot they had in the store, no - it did not work. The machine did FMQ well on the correct setting - but my thinking goes to - what if it didn't? I have a couple of machines where I think the stitching is just a bit better doing it this way (feed dogs up).

    At any rate - this just got me to thinking and I wondered what others take on it would be!
    Dawn

  10. #10
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    I think that way too many things are too computerized, not speaking of machines in particular, although I do have 1 computerized machine, but it's not over done, personally, I wouldn't buy a machine that I considered over computerized. I was speaking of vehicles, recently drove a new Suburban for my job, and the wipers are always on intermittent and if the wipers "sense" rain, they start up, if it becomes heavier rain, the wipers will increase speed, but there is a minute or so, before they do so. I'm sorry, but I feel that if someone has a license, they should have enough sense to know WHEN and at what speed the wipers should be.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Pococellie I disagree with your comment about windshield wipers. Some people don't have sense enough to turn on their lights in the fog or before it gets light enough for others to see them.

    I don't have computerized sewing machines.

    I have found on some quilts it is nicer to have feed dogs up and lessen the pressure on the presser foot a little bit.
    Another Phyllis
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    I have an Eversewn Hero, and the only two things I can think of that I am not crazy about have to do with the thread sensors.

    It's annoying when empty bobbin sensor wont let me sew the last inch I need even though I KNOW there's at least a foot of thread left in the bobbin. And, I learned to ease fabric (like for setting a sleeve) by running it thru the machine with no thread. My Eversewn won't let me stitch without thread, so that's a more complicated and time consuming process.

    Other than that, it is an awesome machine.

  13. #13
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    The new Eversewn Sparrow X does embroidery by wi fi. You need a wireless device like a phone, tablet, ipad, etc.
    Yes, I caught that live stream yesterday with MSQC. You can just walk off and watch the stitching progress on you mobile device or tablet.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

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    Jingle, I do have to agree with you on the headlights, I see it all the time also.

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    Yes, to me, some machines are too computerized. After watching a demo of one of the new $20,000 machines out there, I wondered who wants it. It does everything for you. All you do is set the parameters and it finishes it itself. At least for embroidery. It had a quilting mode also where you could end up with absolutely perfect feathers or other complicated design. It seems to me that it does what digital photography does for photographs. Yes, it can be a great photo, but no one knows what is real and what is fake. So where is the challenge?

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    I have several computerized machines and love them all. If I have a problem it’s usually my lack of knowledge. Lucky to have a great dealer with well educated staff to call upon.

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    I have to agree with junegerbracht on loving my computerized machines. There is often a way to do things differently if I know enough about the machine and when I don't know how to do something, the machine knows how to do it .
    As long as it doesn't learn to call me names when it gets mad at me, everything is good

  18. #18
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    I agree with your comments! I hate it when manufacturers try to rule us. It's true that some people don't have any common sense and may need to be protected from themselves, but give us a break!! We are not all doothless and stupid and I resent other folks trying to think for me. (That's my rant for for today.)

  19. #19
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJBlaine View Post
    I have an Eversewn Hero, and the only two things I can think of that I am not crazy about have to do with the thread sensors.

    It's annoying when empty bobbin sensor wont let me sew the last inch I need even though I KNOW there's at least a foot of thread left in the bobbin. And, I learned to ease fabric (like for setting a sleeve) by running it thru the machine with no thread. My Eversewn won't let me stitch without thread, so that's a more complicated and time consuming process.

    Other than that, it is an awesome machine.

    This makes me think of another topic that I wonder if people would find useful. What are those little things on your machine that you did not realize was a feature (or a consequence of a feature - such as bobbin thread sensors) - that you want others to know if they are considering purchasing said machine.

    Because I have learned some things on a new purchase that I did not realize (from lack of experience in trying out machines OR I might have noticed vaguely, but for some reason didn't grasp the practical impact day to day). I love seeing reviews on machines, but just as important as the "I love" features, are the ones that are quirky, different, the buyer didn't realize, etc.

    I think I'll post that topic!
    Dawn

  20. #20
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    Totally agree with you especially on laundry machine. I had a front loader and hated it for all those reasons so bought a good old brand, Speed Queen and LOVE. It. No more computized fir me. But I did hear they were changing some too so hope mine lasts as long as I do. LOL I. Would try looking for the best sewing machine with what features you want only and go from there. There are still a few machines out there without alllll the bells and whistles.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustAbitCrazy View Post
    I can't tell you anything about the Pfaff Performance 5.2, but I agree, some new machines aren't very accomodating to the user's wishes. A friend has a new washing machine that she absolutely hates, just for those reasons. She says once a cycle is started you can't stop it and open up the lid. You can't start the machine in the middle of a cycle as you may do when you've hand washed an item and want top spin it out in the machine and air dry. She says the door remains locked too long after the washing is complete, too, a source of frustration if you are there waiting for it. Next time I need a washing machine, you can be sure I won't buy one that insists on being the boss.

  21. #21
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    The advantage of being able to test drive a sewing machine is that you can choose a machine with the bells and whistles you want. Don't like some of that computerized stuff? Just go down to the next cheaper machine. I have computerized machines, mainly Vikings, and love them. I have a longarm so am not concerned with FMQ on the sewing machine. I also have a fairly new fangled washer, a Kenmore, and I love that it doesn't have the agitator in the middle. I can pause it to add another item. True, it is hard to do just a partial cycle, but mine has an option to make my own cycle, which I have not tried. But I do wish you could go into an appliance store and "test drive" before you buy.

  22. #22
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    I know what you mean! My sewing machine is still flexible enough to do what I want, but like a couple others here, I don't like my washing machine, because it can only be run with their pre-set programs which don't always do what I want.

    Maybe it's a sign of me getting older, but I feel like most appliances don't gain much by being hooked up to the internet. I don't need my fridge telling me when I'm out of milk - that really doesn't improve my life in any significant way - and it's a security and privacy nightmare.

  23. #23
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    I have an extremely sophisticated sewing/embroidery machine and a Juki 2010 set up all the time. I use the Juki more often than I use the computerized machine. The Juki price is 1/10 of my fancy machine and it gets at least 2X the use. However, there are some things that the Juki can't do. I like to have both options. I do, however, believe that we often buy options that we never learn how to use. Let's face it, we are not going back to the days before computerized anything--even sewing. We can hang on to our Featherweights, 301's and even our treadles, but the next generation of quilters will use computerized machines.
    "The great doing of little things makes the great life." Eugena Price

  24. #24
    Member reneaunoel's Avatar
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    A few years ago, I talked myself into purchasing a HV Sapphire for Quilting. Especially for FMQ. If I used the computer setting for FMQ, I had all kinds of problems! mostly tension, some setting issue with having the feed dogs down. When I tried FMQ with the feed dogs engaged, not as many problems. When I was moving/downsizing, I chose to sell that machine and have been doing all my sewing on my Kenmore. It is semi-computerized and is a workhorse. I don't get as much FMQ done, but it is a super machine to use for Quilt as you go! Much smaller throat size, but it will do everything I need it to do! I am not scared of the computer programming, I just like having better control!

  25. #25
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    I think it’s horses for courses, some love computerised, some done, choose what suits you best. I have both kinds and use them for different things.

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