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Thread: Need advice and help

  1. #1
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    I have been looking into a quilting machine. I would really like to quilt my own quilts and learn that end of the quilting. Does anyone have advice for me? What kind of machine should I be looking at? Where to get the info on how to quilt with a machine? I'd also like to know who still hand quilts? Getting advice on that end too. I have 5 quilt tops done and ready to quilt. Any and all advice is welcome and needed. Thanks everyone I'm really enjoying this quilting board you are all wonderful.

  2. #2
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Do you mean quilting with a regular sewing machine or a longarm?
    I did learn that the big hoop embroidery machines can be used to quilt the blocks in a layered quilt. I dont have an embroidery machine but sure think I will save up for one.
    I have a regular machine with a 10 inch throat and it does make a big difference when shoving the quilt thru. Also my machine sits flush with the cabinet and that also helps alot.

  3. #3
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    I was wondering about sewing machines and longarms. I have an viking from 1988 I have loved it but looking to upgrade.

  4. #4
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You need to decide some things first. What is your budget and how much space do you have? Do you want a machine on a frame or a sit down machine? There are advertisements in every quilt magazine for longarm and midarm machines. Plus you can use your favorite search engine and find tons and tons of information on both.

    You can quilt straight lines with any sewing machine you can put a walking foot on. You can free motion quilt on a lot of machines too. I have stuffed a full size quilt thru a regular sewing machine so I know it can be done.

    You may also want to look at the regular machines with the larger throat areas. I think there are several brands now with 9 or 10 inch throats. Some of those can also be used on frames.


  5. #5
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    Well if I can quilt with a regular machine that would be great! What machine is good for free motion quilting? I have tried quilting straight on my machine and I can't figure out how to keep it from bunching.

  6. #6
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karielt
    Well if I can quilt with a regular machine that would be great! What machine is good for free motion quilting? I have tried quilting straight on my machine and I can't figure out how to keep it from bunching.
    Are you using a walking foot? If not try it. You will be amazed at the difference!

  7. #7
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karielt
    Well if I can quilt with a regular machine that would be great! What machine is good for free motion quilting? I have tried quilting straight on my machine and I can't figure out how to keep it from bunching.
    I've quilted a queen size on a regular machine and found that tightly rolling the material to the right of where I'm stitching helps it from bunching. I've also thrown the excess material over my shoulder to keep the weight more evenly distributed and not pull on the area I'm sewing. Some people put it on an ironing board. As for machine preference, you'll get all sorts of answers. One main thing to consider is how much you want/can afford to spend. I just upgraded to a Bernina embroidery machine with a larger throat that I can also put on a quilting frame. It has a stitch regulator that really helps when you are free motion quilting, but it does take some practice. You can do a search at the top of the page on machine preference or other subjects to see earlier threads that are very helpful. Good luck with you decision!

  8. #8
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    Can you quilt with the Bernina embroidery. What model did you get and how much was it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karielt
    Can you quilt with the Bernina embroidery. What model did you get and how much was it.
    Yes you can quilt with the embroidery. I've been sewing/embroidering a long time and just bought the new 830. It's quite pricey, you could get a car for it. I had a brother esante embroidery machine before that I loved. But when I tried to free motion quilt, it kept messing up and the dealer repairman couldn't figure out why. I'd had it for 10-12 years, and my DH told me as much as I enjoyed sewing that I should just get a new machine. Two of my friends have Berninas, and after looking around some, I bought the 730. Got a great deal on no interest financing for 18 months which helped. Then when they came out with the 830, my dealer told me since my machine was less than a year old she would give me full value for what I paid for my 730 if I upgraded to the 830. Had it not been for that I never would have considered the 830, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. I'm sold on Bernina now. I know technology has come a long way since I bought my esante, but I can tell you that Bernina is so user friendly and the it's unbelievable what those machines can do! IMHO, I'd buy as much as you can afford, and I think you'd love embroidery alone, not just to quilt. But I would also still compare brands and test them out to see what suits you best.

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I couldn't afford a long arm and there was no place for a frame in my crowded house so I got a Juki with a nine inch throat. It works great for quilting. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

  11. #11
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    What model number did you get... Thanks for the advice!

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have the Juki TL-98 QE. I've quilted king size quilts on it with no problems.

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Bernina is the only regular sewing machine with a stitch regulator but boy do they charge for it. I would love to have one but like someone just said you can buy a car for that price.
    I have a Viking with the 10 inch throat and it does make a difference but sure wish it had a stitch regulator.

  14. #14
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    I was able to find a used Pfaff GrandQuilter 9" throat machine with Grace metal frame for just $1,500, including the stitch regulator. I was even able to transport it all home in my little hatchback. Granted it takes up a lot of floor space, but I don't have to baste my quilt tops any more. Just roll the top, back and batting on their separate rollers and I'm ready to quilt. And I can quilt a 6" x 110" space at a time. I've since added a $4,000 computerized setup, with software to create my own quilting designs. Now, I get perfect quilting every time. At some point in the future, I may upgrade to a larger machine. But for now, this works great for my quilts.

  15. #15
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    I just have a Pfaff tiptronic 2030 and have machine quilted queen sized quilts on it by rolling the sides. You have to be careful but you can do it.
    I am still working at free-motion quilting with it, but am getting better. A stitch regulater would be great. That's the biggest challenge is keeping the stitches uniform. When I have studied some of the quilts hanging up in the shops, the free-motion stitches aren't all uniform, so maybe I am trying to be too perfect with them.

  16. #16
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    My stitches with my Juki are not perfect but they are getting better every time I quilt. I'm a work in progress. :-)

  17. #17
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    Thank you for responding $1500 was about what I was to stay within. I thought if I quilted for a bunch of the quilters here I could save up for the computer stuff.

  18. #18
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I strongly recommend going to a larger quilt show where dealers have various machines set up to try. They will have everything to try.

  19. #19
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    The Juki would be way below that price.

  20. #20
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    Betsy, I am curious. What are the big differences between the 730 and the 830? I bought my 730 in Jan. of '08. So, of course, when they came out with the 830, I wondered. But I am very happy with my 730.
    Judy

  21. #21
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudeWill
    Betsy, I am curious. What are the big differences between the 730 and the 830? I bought my 730 in Jan. of '08. So, of course, when they came out with the 830, I wondered. But I am very happy with my 730.
    Judy
    I was very happy with my 730 also, which was why it was such a hard decision for me. I'm still learning about the 830 and what it can do. One main difference is the longer arm and more height in the sewing area to give you the largest of any home sewing machine. The arm is 15 inches and allows a full 12 inches of sewing area to the right of the needle, so quilting larger quilts is much easier. The touch screen is also larger, allowing more functions to be right at your fingertips. If you embroider, you'll love the improvements in that. It is so easy to combine motifs by dragging and dropping and you can create an endless number of border designs and larger designs. You can even import most sewing stitches into the embroidery software. And endless embroidery is SEW easy (like borders on sheets, etc.) The software places registration marks on your design that allows you to know exactly where to line up your design when you re-hoop. I was always scared to try that, but believe me, your designs will start exactly were they need to each time you re-hoop. You can also use the improved slide-on table with your embroidery module - it just slides underneath the module. Not sure if the 730 may have this, but the 830 can baste around your motif and/or hoop before embroidering to give more stability. And the 830 is also faster with embroidery or regular stitching. The 730 has multi-directional sewing, but I THINK the 830 has more increment changes within the 360 degrees. Another unique feature is the dual feed control to keep the top and bottom fabric from sliding while sewing, which is especially good for matching plaids or sewing on slippery fabrics or ribbons. I sewed a ribbon onto minky fabric and it went on like a charm. The dual feed uses special presser feet that come with the machine (or at least several do). It also has a spool holder that can hold two spools at the same time. The bobbin is much larger also, and holds 40% more thread. These are just some of the things I know about, and I'm sure there are lots I will still learn. One drawback is the size and weight of the machine. I don't know how much, but it is right much heavier than the 730 (the machine, not the embroidery module), so some people prefer to take a smaller machine to classes. I didn't have another one to take, and don't mind carrying the 830, but give me more years on age and it will be difficult. And there is a learning curve to getting the bobbin thread in exactly the right place for regular sewing and embroidery. You use the same bobbin for both, but it's threaded differently, whereas the 730 had a different bobbin for embroidery. Because it is so cumbersome, my dealer does 3-day classes at her house, with 4-5 taking them at a time. She has had a 3-day basic class, and a 3-day beyond the basics. I don't know how other dealers have their classes, but I like the way she does it (we leave our machines there instead of taking them home each day). The negative on that is if you work like I do, I've taken 6 days off to learn about the machine. Hope this helps some and if I've misinformed on anything, I'm sure someone can correct me. I don't regret the upgrade at all. If you want to know anything else, just let me know. (Sorry this was SO long!)

  22. #22
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
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    i have loved my janome 6600. it's 5 yrs old. i have prob put at least 60 quilts thru it. and even quilted them. i've always figured it costs enough for the material, batting and backing to then pay for the quilting to give them away. when i lst started doing quilts i had top of the line sears, but it wasn't made for this quilting stuff. a 1978 model. i went thru several $300 machines, and one $600 quilting machine, before my janomee. my local independent quilt store recommended this janome, and had told me that it would be the last machine i owned. she was wrong!! but i still love it.

  23. #23
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    Thanks so much for all the info--not too long at all. And now I'm jealous! I do have the basting motif, but really didn't realize what it is for. Now I will try it. One thing that intrigues me is the dual feed. Is that different from the walking foot? That was one feature I liked much more on my Pfaff. To engage the dual feed all you had to do was bring down a thing that went between the sides of the machine foot. You didn't have to change feet. I really appreciate your taking the time to tell me all this. ~Judy

  24. #24
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudeWill
    Thanks so much for all the info--not too long at all. And now I'm jealous! I do have the basting motif, but really didn't realize what it is for. Now I will try it. One thing that intrigues me is the dual feed. Is that different from the walking foot? That was one feature I liked much more on my Pfaff. To engage the dual feed all you had to do was bring down a thing that went between the sides of the machine foot. You didn't have to change feet. I really appreciate your taking the time to tell me all this. ~Judy
    Yes, the dual feed is different from the walking foot. It sounds like what you had on your Pfaff - an attachment slides down from the back and clips on to the foot. Not all feet for the 830 are for dual feed. I think it came with two that are dual feed and they are marked with a "D" after the number. I'm sure there will be more to come in the future. I'm just amazed at all the different presser feet Bernina has. If you mainly sew, the upgrade would not be worth it in my opinion, but if you embroider and/or quilt, the enhancements are a huge plus. I never used the basting stitch on my 730, but have on the 830 and like that feature. And ask away, I don't mind at all if I can help!

  25. #25
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    It does sound like the one on my Pfaff. Now, I'm really jealous. That is the one feature I really, really miss! Thanks again!

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