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Thread: Need help deciding on machine...

  1. #1
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    Need help deciding on machine...

    Hello everyone! I am new here. I have been lurking for awhile trying to make a decision. I am more than open to suggestions. I am a beginner to intermediate sewer and I am just starting to learn quilting. I currently have a Singer 5050c which I will be keeping as a backup machine. I am looking for a computerized machine under $400. The main qualities I am looking for is a decent sized harp, auto threading, auto tension, needle up/down, and a decent amount of stictches. Anything else is gravy or I can live without.

    My current forerunner is the DC 3050 by Janome. I have also been looking at the Janome 7330/8077, Brother CS6000i, Brother HC1850, and Singer 9960. Please feel free to steer me in a direction I have not been looking at.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I would go to a local quilt show where many dealers will have numerous machines set up for you to give a trip around the blcoks. You need to test drive them to see what suits you and your budget. I bought my Bernina 1530 over 15 years ago and have never regretted that purchase. Skip the Singer.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
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    I agree with ManiacQuilter2, if you don't have a quilt show coming up go to the dealers. Leave all your money and credit cards at home because you want to test several before making a decision. (I am horrible with impulse buying so that is why I say leave your money at home.) I bought my Janome MC 6600P when I went to my local dealer which is also the largest quilt shop in San Diego county and it did all I wanted and more, and they did not try to sell me more than I wanted. It was on sale because they were making room for the new models so I felt confident it getting it. I bought it before belonging to the QB and didn't have any friends that sewed. I wanted the lessons that came with a new machine too.

  4. #4
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    If you have the time pre-shop all brands of machines available in your area. Add this to going to a quilt expo or such and you will have more knowledge. Then the bonus is that on the last day of any quilt expo or large show dealers often will give you great deals rather than take the machines back to the stores.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  5. #5
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    Ditto what she said and welcome to the board
    Quote Originally Posted by ManiacQuilter2 View Post
    I would go to a local quilt show where many dealers will have numerous machines set up for you to give a trip around the blcoks. You need to test drive them to see what suits you and your budget. I bought my Bernina 1530 over 15 years ago and have never regretted that purchase. Skip the Singer.

  6. #6
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    Take a look at the Juki line if you have a local store nearby.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for the suggestions! I did go to a few local stores and there is one model I am looking at. A pre owned Baby Lock. The Janome dealer didn't have a 6600 and that was a model I really wanted to see.

  8. #8
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Keep visiting when possible, test driving machines until you find ( The One) you love. Buying a machine is like buying a car-- try out as many as you can. We are all different with different likjes/ dislikes. Find the one You like. All you mentioned are good machines, plus many more
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  9. #9
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I will discuss the Janome 3050 since I own that one. It does NOT have needle up and down. It is a 3/4 machine. It does NOT have a large harp. I would never try to "quilt" a quilt top on my 3050. I did not buy it for that purpose. It is an older model and Amazon had it for $449.00 the last time I looked. They do not have any on Amazon at this time and they are not sure if they will have. Probably discontinued. I paid $499.00 for mine in 2006. It is computerized. I love my 3050 but it is my portable machine to take on vacation or to class. It is great for piecing/sewing.

    You will not find a large harp in your price range. My everyday machine is my Janome 9900. I do use the embroidery once in a while but I mostly sew on it. MSRP is $4,999.00.

    Now, my next opinion has to do with "go to a large show". If you do NOT do your homework before you get to the show, you may NOT get that infamous "deal" on a machine. The top machine dealers vend at shows and they know how to sell machines. You are all excited and they can read you. ( you had better know general pricing, features, bring your list of which machine you are TRULY interested in because you did a lot of research online, on vendor websites, read reviews, compared/listed features, etc. asked friends....) honestly, I bought a serger at a huge show and my regret was that I did NOT know pricing beforehand. Did I get a "deal"? To this day I am not sure. It does not matter because my seger was shipped from their store that same day. Too late to back out of the deal. I like my serger but rarely use it. My bad.

    What I did NOT get was a local dealer for support, classes, one on one instruction, etc. You will not get a lot of time to just play on a machine at a show...IMHO. if these things do not interest you then go shopping at a show. Frankly, I feel bad that I did not work with a local shop.

    Buying a machine is like buying a car. Go to vendor sites and start making comparisons. Go into shops armed with info. Expect to make compromises from one machine to another. Best of success in shopping!

    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  10. #10
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    The JANOME 6600 is a great machine, SO IS THE 8900....I have both and love how they sew and free motion.

  11. #11
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    I have some real reservations about machine models that are "low end" of major brands.
    Be careful about those made with plastic parts in China and Taiwan because plastic parts will warp with heat created by heavy machine use-like free motion quilting. What about shopping for a used machine. I agree that you should go to a dealer that has lots of different brands-if you are open to that. I have heard nothing but good things about JUKI if you want a lower price workhorse of a machine. I happen to be a Bernina gal and have loved several over the years. As others have said, don't be in a hurry and do your homework.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    One thing you might do is check out the previously loved and open boxes at your local quilt shop. The closest two to me are both having inventory clearance. Big savings. Your money might go farther! I personally am a Viking fan, but the Janome is nice too! Those are the only brands close to me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sheri.a's Avatar
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    I've had a Janome 3160 for about 5 years. I paid $550 at the time. It has been a wonderful machine. I "graduated" to a much larger throat, but still love this one for classes and back-up.

  14. #14
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheri.a View Post
    I've had a Janome 3160 for about 5 years. I paid $550 at the time. It has been a wonderful machine. I "graduated" to a much larger throat, but still love this one for classes and back-up.
    Excellent price! I think the MSRP is $999
    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  15. #15
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I would not get too hung up on the "decorative stitches"..the basics will be there. BUT I did want the Serpentine stitch!! It is on my 9900 but not on my 3050. Maybe it was not available at the time. My Janome 9700 does not have a serpentine stitch either . $2200 machine at the time.
    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  16. #16
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    Stay away from newer Singers, a couple of our gals at quild bought them and they didn't last much over a year. I have a new Juki TL98, has a larger harp but is straight stitch only and is a workhorse. I thought I wanted a Bernina & bought 2, because, well, just because, & I don't like them at all, they are expensive to service, feet are expensive, complicated to learn, expensive to buy & I just don't use them except to collect dust. My Janome 6600 is my favorite for everything. Bought it as a floor demo & didn't exactly get a deal. Didn't get classes or any perks either. Look for a good used machine of your choice, a lot of ladies, just like the men, want to trade up to a newer model so there are usually a lot of good used machines around. The Juki, Brother, Janome, Bernina are rarely ever used up. Your price range is limiting & you may not get everything you want, but do we ever? lol Good luck. let us know what you decide and what you like and don't like.

  17. #17
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    I have the Janome 6600. It's wonderful. I purchased mine used from a dealer, but have since seen several used on Craigslist for as low as $725. I've quilted up to a double sized quilt on mine.

  18. #18
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    I'm not shopping YET for a new one but I noticed here that I don't see any mention of Baby Lock. They must be much more expensive.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingbuddy View Post
    I'm not shopping YET for a new one but I noticed here that I don't see any mention of Baby Lock. They must be much more expensive.
    Baby Lock was one of the manufacturers that I considered when buying my new machine (the other manufacturers were Janome and Bernina).

    In case you don't know, Baby Lock is an American corporation. Brother manufactures the Baby Lock sewing machines. In many cases you can find a twin Baby Lock machine for a Brother machine e.g. Baby Lock Crescendo and Brother Dream Weaver. You will find that the Brother machines cost substantially less than the Baby Lock machines and are the same machine.

  20. #20
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Diana View Post
    The JANOME 6600 is a great machine, SO IS THE 8900....I have both and love how they sew and free motion.
    I love my 8900. I bought it after going through a Viking Designer 1 and a Pfaff. Definitely, try different machines.

  21. #21
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    My friend and I both traded our 6600 in for the 8900 and in some ways I still like the 6600 better. It could be that I am just more used to it. I live in northern Indiana, and I know my dealer has many 6600's for sale that were trade-in's for trade-ups. Definitely check out used machines.

  22. #22
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    If you have a Singer dealer near you, have a look at the S18. It is made by Janome for Singer and is the same machine as the Janome 6500P for a little less money. It has the larger harp space, needle down, thread cut, tons of stitches, many dedicated for quilting and so far it's been fantastic. My only complaint is that the light is only on one side of the needle so I had to get an accessory lamp, but that's pretty minor. Anyhow, if you're looking at the Janome, you might consider the Singer as it's the same machine.

    Watson

  23. #23
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to say, but under $400 will not buy a machine with the longer throat, unless its a used machine. I have the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, it has a 10" throat and built in walking foot. It's wonderful for all my quilting/sewing. I am a quilter and also make garments and bags.
    Sharon in Texas

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris P View Post
    I have the Janome 6600. It's wonderful. I purchased mine used from a dealer, but have since seen several used on Craigslist for as low as $725. I've quilted up to a double sized quilt on mine.
    My 1st janome I purchased from a dealer at the Houston quilt show. It was one that classes were taught on at the show. Got it for half price. And I have quilted a king size on it. That one was a 6500 now have a 6600p. Love my janome.

  25. #25
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I love my Baby Lock machines but they are much higher in price.

    If you are looking for a quilting machine, you may give the straight-stitch machines a look. Brother and Juki have those and you get high speed, large throat, built-in scissors, needle up-down. They are work horses with relatively large bobbins but they do like their oil. You will not get any frills.

    When I was in the market, I made a list of MUST HAVE features and a list of BE NICE TO HAVEs. Then I compared different brands and models. Test driving is super important. And have fun!
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

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