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Thread: Need help choosing...

  1. #1
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    Need help choosing...

    I just got back into quilting and with that I am slowly building my stash back up, right now I have been splurging on fat quarters. I also bought myself a Brother SQ9050 for piecing and FMQ for small projects (baby quilts, wall hangings). Now I will be in the market for another brand new sewing machine but one that can handle large projects, it will be used for FMQ only since I will still use the Brother for piecing. My question is what do you suggest, the price point is up to $1000, would prefer to stick around $500 but if there is an overwhelming response about one or two machines then I would be willing to go up to the maximum price point.

    Another question I have is how much of one type of material do you like to keep on hand, I mean you like a fabric, but don't have a project for it yet, you just want it on hand for a future project, do you buy a FQ, 1/2 yard, yard? Where do you get your fabrics online? I have a couple LQS's within a 1/2 hour from me, but I would also like to buy online.

    Also can you buy batting by the roll versus just precut sizes? if so can someone point me in that direction...

    Thanks in Advance, you have all been very nice and helpful.

    Rosie the Wyldwytch
    Grab a bull by the horns and enjoy the ride....

  2. #2
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I have a viking that I use, paid about a 1000, as far as fabric I buy about a yard, check out Marshall Dry goods.com. great batiks and its the same as at the store! I buy batting in a big roll, it may last for years but I always have what I need and I get it on line at battmart.com or Joanns with the 60% off coupon. Good luck.
    Patski
    always learning

  3. #3
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    Thank you Patski, that definitely helps to get me going to research the Viking and check out the places you mentioned.

    Looking forward to hearing others opinions on machines and fabrics.

    Thanks

    Rosie the Wyldwytch

    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    I have a viking that I use, paid about a 1000, as far as fabric I buy about a yard, check out Marshall Dry goods.com. great batiks and its the same as at the store! I buy batting in a big roll, it may last for years but I always have what I need and I get it on line at battmart.com or Joanns with the 60% off coupon. Good luck.
    Grab a bull by the horns and enjoy the ride....

  4. #4
    Super Member jcrow's Avatar
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    In buying fabric: I will buy a fat quarter bundle and then a couple of the fabrics I like, I will buy a few yards of each. Or I will buy a layer cake and a couple of different yards of fabric from the line. I can't just buy one piece of fabric because I think I won't be able to match it, so I buy charms, jelly rolls, etc., and some yardage that I know I'll need for sashing and/or borders. I pretty much buy part of a fabric line, so I have fabrics that match. I have never made a scrappy quilt yet.
    "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."
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  5. #5
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    You can buy Warm and Natural at Hobby Lobby from a roll. With a 40% off coupon, it is still pricy, but do-able. I have yet to buy a whole roll, but I am going to go look at battmart.com and see what I find.

    Dina

  6. #6
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    I like that idea, I never thought of that. Thanks Jeanne

    Rosie the Wyldwytch

    Quote Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
    In buying fabric: I will buy a fat quarter bundle and then a couple of the fabrics I like, I will buy a few yards of each. Or I will buy a layer cake and a couple of different yards of fabric from the line. I can't just buy one piece of fabric because I think I won't be able to match it, so I buy charms, jelly rolls, etc., and some yardage that I know I'll need for sashing and/or borders. I pretty much buy part of a fabric line, so I have fabrics that match. I have never made a scrappy quilt yet.
    Grab a bull by the horns and enjoy the ride....

  7. #7
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    I have a Bernina that I paid 1000 dollars for because the LQS was trying to get rid of them all and make room in her store for the newer models. I had to travel 2 hours to this shop but it was worth it. I used the phone book and let my fingers do the walking calling different quilt shops asking what they had available.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  8. #8
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    I prefer to buy from equilter.com for my fabric. Their selection can't be beat, their price is fair and their web site is the easiest one I have found to use. If I love the fabric but have no idea what I will use it for then I seldom buy less than 3 or 4 yards. If it is a rather basic type of fabric and is on sale I will buy more.

  9. #9
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    I have the Janome 6600P and the Viking Topaz II (because I wanted a machine that embroiders and sews) both are good for quilting. And I LOVE them both, plus my old Singer 15-91, so my advice is to check out several brands. Especially with year end you may get some great deals - and take your time. Which is hard with a good sales person right in front of you. But you should be able to find something at the top end of your budget without too much trouble. I have very little sales resistance especially when I am ready to buy - but there are a lot of great models out there and you just need to find the one that rocks your world.

  10. #10
    Super Member LAQUITA's Avatar
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    I have been told you should buy atleast 3/4 yard of fabric if you like it and 2 yards if you want it as your 'focal fabric'.

    I too buy my batting at Joann's with a 50% off coupon.

    HTH
    LaQuita (aka) - Yai-Yai to the most precious grandbaby around of course I'm partial! LOL

    HAPPY QUILTING!
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  11. #11
    Super Member Charming's Avatar
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    All my machines are Viking including my long arm and love them all..as for batting warm and natural by the bolt is cheaper from Joann's website with a 50 or 60% coupon (a lot cheaper than the store itself) or you can get it without waiting for coupon or even the Hobbs 80/20 from www.marshallsdrygoods.com
    As for fabric when I first learned quilting I was told to get a yard each and many times I was out of fabric when enlarging the project or changing pattern or whatever the reason is so now I either buy a bunch of different precuts with at least 3 yards of two of the coordinating fabrics for borders and smashing or I would just pick a line of fabric and get few yards of at least 4-5 fabrics of it that I like best. Now lately I am just buying bolts as it gets a lot cheaper and worth it.
    Hope this helps
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  12. #12
    Senior Member jollyquilting's Avatar
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    There should be a good machine in that category but I suggest getting a machine that you can get some information on it and maybe try one out to see if you like it. I have a Janome and love it , but there is also a place I can ask questions of.
    Jo

  13. #13
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    When I buy a fabric I've just fallen in love with, I try to find yet another coordinating fabric to go with it that I also love. Then I buy at least 3 yards of each, sometimes 4. I've got lots of blenders in my stash so I don't bother with that, unless there are some wonderful blender fat quarters that would be terrific. I've learned the hard way that if you get too little fabric, and then want to do a quilt, you won't have enough fabric if you only get a yard or so. I tend to "bundle up" coordinating fabrics for projects so that the colors are already selected by the time I decide what to do with them. This often involves several shopping selections, and Aha! That will go with my "peach and aqua collection!" or "what a fantastic contrasting color for my purple and yellow collection!" It seems I get my colors collected, and then I start my project, not the other way around.

    As for sewing machines, there are lots out there. I picked up a second hand, barely used Janome for $800 (was selling in the store for $2,400), and I'm just in love with it. Sews like a dream! Best machine I've ever owned. But do make sure there's a place where it can be serviced before you buy a brand. Or visit their service department. They may be able to tell you what's about to come in on trade, and whether its worth buying, especially if they've been servicing it for a while. I almost got a Janome that way, but in the end, the woman decided she couldn't part with it. The one I found was on Craig's list.

    Best of luck to you, and happy sewing/quilting!
    MacThayer

  14. #14
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    Another Viking girl here. Love my Platinum - which is about 10+ years old now but sews like a dream. The only thing it hasn't handled thus far was the welting on the boat canvas DH wanted me to repair! As to stash - I'm not a 'stasher' per se. I only buy for projects and just over buy what I'm getting for any given thing. I'm not into scrappy quilts and would just be afraid my tastes would change or that I'd decide I wanted to make x size quilt with y fabric and not have enough of it in my stash! Plus I have zero extra space for much of anything, despite (or maybe because of) DH's penchant for bringing all kinds of stuff home!

  15. #15
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    Thank you everyone for all the help, it seems Viking and Janome are the top winners here. I also have a Bernina store less then 10 minutes from my house so I am going to check them out as well.

    As for fabric, I love scrappy quilts, but I am also in love with the Stack and Whack quilts. So I guess if I bought 2 yards of fabric to stash for scrappy quilts and then 5-10 yards of fabric for my Stack and Whacks then I should be good. I'll still buy my fa quarters for throw quilts, baby quilts, and wall hangings.

    Rosie the Wyldwytch
    Grab a bull by the horns and enjoy the ride....

  16. #16
    Super Member Maureen NJ's Avatar
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    Servicing is the big thing. And classes too. I have a 1980 Viking which is still working great. Have in for servicing once and never oil. I have done many window treatments, cushion covers, quilts, clothing construction on it. I am religious about cleaning the lint out from the bobbin case. I bought a Bernina 3 years ago and biggest mistake. I wanted to use it for embroidery and quilting and big problems with tread breakage. Finally resolved after many many trips to dealer. I now learn that it should have been sent back to bernina in Chicago for servicing. Stick with Viking or Janome.

  17. #17
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    I just bought a Juki 2000 and I love, love LOVE it! I am kicking myself that I didn't order one sooner! It's under $1000 pretty much everywhere online and in stores. I'm not sure where you live to locate a dealer for you.

    The machine is lightning fast and the stitch quality is superb. It has a 9" throat. I now actually do my large project quilting on a sit down Tin Lizzie but I've got friends who use their Jukis to quilt all of their quilts with. I bought both machines at the same time (I was going to buy a HQ Sweet 16 but for the same amount of money, I was able to get both the Lizzie and Juki and I liked the Lizzie more than the HQ)

    Brother and Janome also sell machines that have a 9" throat. Brother's is cheaper, about $600 I believe. I'm not sure how much Janome's sell for.

    They are straight stitch only machines so the stitch they make is just fabulous! You'll probably want to do all of your piecing on one of those. I keep my older Janome for when I need to do anything other than a straight stitch

  18. #18
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    I purchased a 1 year old trade in Janome 6600P from my dealer for just $1100. Same warranty, etc as a new one. The previous owner decided to trade up, and I benefitted from it. I just love the 9 inches to the right of the needle. Sews like a dream!

  19. #19
    Super Member JNCT14's Avatar
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    If you want to do FMQ I would strongly suggest that regardless of brand, you go with a mid arm machine. They have a lot of features that regular sewing machines do not. I was not good at FMQ on my Bernina, which I love, but when I got my BabyLok mid arm I was AMAZED at how easy FMQ is to do. Mid arms are about $1000 and worth every penny.

  20. #20
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I have learned through the years if you are buying fabric you really really like with no idea what you are going to do with it get at least 2 yards I don't know how many times I have went to my stash found the perfect fabric for something but not enough so had to go buy something else also if you are buy a machine that you may want to do your own quilting on check out the ones with larger harp areas

  21. #21
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    I havre a Brothers 1500 straight stitch that I really like. It has a wider throat so it is easier to FMQ. Test sew machines at sewing centers to find out which one you like. Then check internet to find this machine at best price. I bought my Brothers from Amazon which is a authorized Brother dealer for $600 with free shipping and no taxes which was about $400-600 cheaper then a sewing center. No lessons but I can read and how hard is a straight stitch.

    As for fabric- I buy all fabric and pattern for one that I like. I have some stash but it seems that there is not any fabric that I need/like for a project. That is not to say I do not have projects to do. In fact I have fabric/pattern for about 10-12 quilts. I am not really fond of scrappy quilts so maybe that is why my stash does not always work for me. One of the quilting mags has a scrappy quilt on the cover that uses 500+ different fabrics. Way to use up your scraps.

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