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Thread: Need Advice, looking to purchase a machine...

  1. #1
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    Question Need Advice, looking to purchase a machine...

    I have a Viking Designer SE already, use it for everything *but* I'm looking to purchase a machine I can leave set up for FMQing, the SE is set up for embroidery a lot of the time and I hate breaking it down when I have a few minutes to quilt!

    That said, I have $1000 to spend on a machine but which one?! There seem to be so many on the market that are sold with FMQing feet. I have Bernina, Janome, Baby Lock, Viking and Brother dealers here in town so lots to choose from (nearest Pfaff dealer is 2 hrs away).

    I've gone by the dealers and looked around a bit, except for Bernina as I figured I wouldn't get far with only a $1000! =0)

    The only requirements I have in a machine are:
    *needle up/down
    *knee lever or sensor foot such as Vikings have
    *thread cutter would be nice but do not have to have

    I've had a Pfaff previous to the Viking, have become very spoiled by all the goodies on the SE! I also have a vintage Singer in a cabinet, it's a big black monster that was given to me by a friend's great aunt. I've toyed with the idea of trying to FMQ on it as I've heard good things about the old Singers.

    Anyhoo, now that I've broke your ears - please do tell me what you FMQ on and why you like your machine!
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  2. #2
    RDM
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    Super Member RDM's Avatar
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    Not a Janome owner but many friends are and LOVE theirs. Another cosideration is Juki with it's automatic cutter. Not sure if that's an option where you live. Janome may be my next machine as I've heard great customer service stories. Make a list of must have options then test drive all that meet price and needs. Good luck-sounds like you're doing your homework.

  3. #3
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    You may want to look at a straight-stitch quilting machine such as the Pfaff Grandquilter, Juki 980?, Brother 1600.....they are pretty much all the same machine and should be available in your price range. They only do straight stitches but they do them really fast. The Grandquilter does not lower the feed dogs but does have a cover plate. These are mechanical machines which require a bit of fiddeling with tension (until you find the right setting) and they have a large harp.
    Martina
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  4. #4
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    What about the Viking Sapphire? It has all the goodies you're looking for; feet should (?) be interchangeable for you; shorter learning curve? My friend bought hers a couple of years ago for about the same price. And I do love my Viking Platinum as well.

  5. #5
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    MadQuilter - I had thought about a straight stitch only but the tension fiddly thing might be too much for me! Have seen lots of posts about the tension issue.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  6. #6
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    NJ Quilter - I did sew on all three Sapphires the dealer had, 835/850/875. I liked the 875 best of course =0) as it has the thread cutter and, to me, sewed a lot better, and sounded very different than the 835. The 850 was great but no thread cutter. The 875 is $600 more than the 850 to get the cutter and a few more stitches. The 850 was $500 more than I have to spend. The 835 sounded odd and felt very flimsy, at least to me. Nice harp area on all.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  7. #7
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    RDM - I've heard the same as you re the customer service for Janomes and there are lots of models to choose from. I have the day off work today so just may swing by the dealer and give a couple a try. The dealer has the big 7700 right up front when you walk in, tried it last time I was there, but at $2500 is way outta my price range.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  8. #8
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    If you have a vintage Singer sitting there, why wouldn't you try it out first before buying a new machine? I love my vintage machines for FMQ.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RUSewing's Avatar
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    I've a Juki since 1999 and it's still a good machine.
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  10. #10
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    Today, 01:03 PMCandace

    Candace, is there anything special I'd need to do to the machine to use it to FMQ? I'd love to give a try!
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  11. #11
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    RUSewing - Sadly I have no Juki dealers here, I think the closest is about 4 hrs away. I've heard good things about Jukis though. Which model to you have?
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

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    I say try the singer first!!!

    Do you have many Viking feet? They're expensive, aren't they? That would factor into the cost.

    I have a brother pc420 and really like it a lot. It's similar to the brother nx450 (which is the same as Babylock Melody I think). All 3 of those machines have the knee lift and thread cutter. Or there is the straight stitch brother 1500s/Babylock Jane you could consider.

    But truly, I would go vintage singer. Either the one you have or another vintage machine. I have my grandmothers 15-91 I plan to use for FMQ. Otherwise I might look for a Singer 201 or 301.

    http://quiltedcupcake.blogspot.com/2...episode-8.html
    Last edited by misskira; 04-19-2012 at 09:34 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    I am in the process of putting up my Viking Designer 1 for sale....a thing I thought I would never do but like you about a year ago I decided I wanted a machine that I could use soley for quilting including improving my FMQ.
    Things I looked for were....Good FMQ ability, Bigger harp to actual get the quilt in for FMQ, Needle up/down position.
    I ended up buying a new to me Janome 6600 for approx $800 (500...am in the UK)...in truth it took a bit of getting used to as it is very different to the Viking......but a year on I really love this machine and wouldn't swop it for anything including the 7700. Along with the above features I like the accufeed, needle cutter, the lighting, the sturdiness of the flatbed, the huge sturdy extension table, the thread holder.....infact my list is endless. The only thing I miss from the Viking range is the 'pivot' capability....but I hardly even think about it now.
    The stitch quality is lovely and FMQ is very neat.
    I have used the Viking for embroidery for the last year, but a couple of weeks ago had the opportunity to buy the Janome 11000 very reasonably....again am very happy with it. It is set up for embroidery at the moment but is very easy to change to domestic sewing.
    I still think that Viking make wonderful machines but for patchwork and quilting I think I have become a Janome fan.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I FMQ on my Juki TL98QE, no extension table, I bought a table for it to set down into. BabyLock Jane W/extension table. My Daughter has the Brother 1500, all are straight stitch only W/ quilting feet, Needle up and down Thread cutter - not on Juki. All have a pretty stitch, very seldom have to feedle with the tension. They do need a lightweight sewing machine oil. All under $1000.00. All are very good machines.
    Another Phyllis
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  15. #15
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    misskira - Yes, I have almost all the Viking feet, purchased most off Ebay at a good price. I have a friend who just bought the Brother you have, 420, she says she is really enjoying it so far. Do you FMQ on it?

    I am definitely going to set up the vintage Singer and give it a go, who knows - I may be saving myself a $1000! =0)


    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  16. #16
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    Little RoO - I've seen the 6600 at the local shop, wish I'd tried it instead of the 7700 which I coudn't afford anyway but I couldn't resist the lure of it at the time!

    I didn't make it by the dealers today as I thought I would, too much else going on with car repairs and such. Will put the 6600 on my list for next day off.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  17. #17
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    Jingle - Thank you for all the info on the machines you have! I had to Google BabyLock 'Jane', I didn't know which one it was, I believe the local dealer had this one too, will have to check! Is the Brother 1500 the same machine as the Jane? Sure look a lot alike, I'll have to print off the specs to compare.

    I have my Viking in a table, I really like have a flat surface all around.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jingle View Post
    I FMQ on my Juki TL98QE, no extension table, I bought a table for it to set down into. BabyLock Jane W/extension table. My Daughter has the Brother 1500, all are straight stitch only W/ quilting feet, Needle up and down Thread cutter - not on Juki. All have a pretty stitch, very seldom have to feedle with the tension. They do need a lightweight sewing machine oil. All under $1000.00. All are very good machines.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  18. #18
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    Have you looked for an older Bernina? I have a (really) old 1008; not much of a harp space but I love the way it sews. HAve had h er since she was born and she ain't going nowhere...some of her "siblings" might before she does...
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kittyannart View Post
    misskira - Yes, I have almost all the Viking feet, purchased most off Ebay at a good price. I have a friend who just bought the Brother you have, 420, she says she is really enjoying it so far. Do you FMQ on it?

    I am definitely going to set up the vintage Singer and give it a go, who knows - I may be saving myself a $1000! =0)


    If you have all the feet thats a good argument for going for another Viking. But brother and Babylock feet are inexpensive, and the machines seem to come well stocked.

    I have tried FMQ with my brother. I've only done it a couple times and was pleased with the result. I need lots of practice though.

    The brother 1500 is the same as Jane.

  20. #20
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    The Brother 1500 is a great one to leave set up for free motion quilting. It is a workhorse and fast.

  21. #21
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    momto5
    -- Actually, I'd forgotten all about a little Bernina Minimatic 707 that's in the closet! It was my sisters. Hmmmm, I'll have to drag it out and see what it can do. It's a small machine, bigger than a Featherweight though. Who knows? Might do well.

    Quote Originally Posted by momto5 View Post
    Have you looked for an older Bernina? I have a (really) old 1008; not much of a harp space but I love the way it sews. HAve had h er since she was born and she ain't going nowhere...some of her "siblings" might before she does...
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  22. #22
    Member kittyannart's Avatar
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    Quiltngolfer
    - Thank you for the info! You're the third person who likes this machine, is it around $1000 new?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltngolfer View Post
    The Brother 1500 is a great one to leave set up for free motion quilting. It is a workhorse and fast.
    Happy Seams to you, until we meet again!
    Ani

  23. #23
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If its just for FMQ I would go with a simple straight stitch machine like the brother PQ1500s or the juki 2000Qi they run about 4-600 and get great reviews and are workhorses from what I hear, great for piecing too.

  24. #24
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    If you have a vintage Singer sitting there, why wouldn't you try it out first before buying a new machine? I love my vintage machines for FMQ.
    I have several vintage singers and I FMQ on all of them. My 401 and 500 slant needles do great quilting. I have a viking mega quilter on a frame I use for large quilts now and just use the vintage for baby quilts and wallhangings but I have done a king size on the vintage with no problems.
    Jeanann

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  25. #25
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    Janome makes Brothers and some of the Brothers are virtually identical to the Janomes. I have had the Janome 6500 and now have the 7700. Both work well for FMQ -- if you are looking for less expensive, the 6500 and 6600 are the two older models that should come in your price. There is also a 6300 -- they all have good harp space (which you need for FMQ). Sorry, I don't know the model numbers of the Similar Brothers.
    QuiltnLady1

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