Go Back  Quiltingboard Forums > Main
Need a New Machine >

Need a New Machine

Need a New Machine

Old 03-04-2023, 02:37 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mankato, MN
Posts: 76
Default Need a New Machine

I'm a low key quilter and also use my machine for minor alterations and other small sewing projects. I have only ever used mechanical sewing machines.
I have a Viking 250, but the poor dear is almost beyond help and no one local will even service her.

What brands and specific machines would you recommend?
RosieQ is offline  
Old 03-04-2023, 04:19 PM
PatriceJ's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Southeast Georgia, USA
Posts: 9,058

How much are you willing to spend?
Which features does it have to have?
Are there dealers in your area that also do repair and maintenance?
  • necessity is the mother of invention. lazy is the crazy aunt.
  • for issues regarding the reminder emails, please contact [email protected]
  • To contact me with questions or suggestions that relate to our community, you may email [email protected]
PatriceJ is offline  
Old 03-04-2023, 07:24 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chula Vista CA
Posts: 7,243

I have the Janome MC6600 P. And it's about 12 years old now and never been a problem. I bought it because the biggest local quilt shop sells them and services them. Felt if they could endorse Janome then they must be good. I also love my Singer 15-91, it is 73 years old and works well for straight stitch sewing. I have the button hole attachment and another attachment called an embroidery attachment, they are a royal pain since the Janome does a lot without the hassle. And I have a Viking Designer Topaz 20 which is an embroidery/sewing machine. I use it mostly for embroidery. So it all depends inwhat you want it to do and how much you want to spend. The Janome was $1500.00 when I bought it on sale. It came with the table it sets into so I didn't need the extension table that came with it. The Viking was a floor model at the dealer's and was around $2,000.00. It would have been more had I wanted one in the box. Oh, I have a Singer Featherweight that is from 1947- I bought it from Shopgoodwill.com. It is my travel machine. I got it about 12 years ago for around $200.00 and it will use all the attachments I have for the 15-91.
If you like older full metal machines and a local repairman, he probably has some for sale. They were bought up when COVID hit and everyone was making masks. A lot are now back in the thrift stores and are great bargains.
My sister had a Brother machine she bought from Costco many years ago - it lasted her for years. And everyone I know that owns Brothers love them.
quiltingcandy is offline  
Old 03-04-2023, 08:03 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: northern minnesota
Posts: 1,819

I currently have a Bernina 475 which is a bit pricey, but I am really liking the way she stitches. Has a number of different types of utility stitches as well as some fancy stitches, letters, buttonholes. I do like it for quilting better than my Bernina 590 because it has a narrower 5.5 mm stitch which in my opinion makes it a lot better for making that 1/4-inch seam. Both models have a knee lift which I have learned to really like as I can lift the presser foot with my knee easily so I can keep both hands on my fabric to make turns and place fabric right up next to the needle and under the foot when piecing. The 590 does embroidery, the 475 does not. Both can use the Bernina Stitch Regulator, but you have to buy it separately for the 475 and it comes with the 590. I also think it is a good idea to have a dealer and a tech close to service these fancier machines. I also have a Viking Topaz 40 which I like but haven't been using as much as the Bernina's. I panicked when my older machines hit the dust at the same time and picked up too many replacements! I also have a Bernina 215 which I don't believe is made anymore. I did have a Bernina 570 but had problems with that one, so I traded her in for the 590 which so far has been great. (except that 1/4 inch seam can be fiddley at times because of the wider 9mm feed dogs)
sewingpup is online now  
Old 03-05-2023, 03:47 AM
Super Member
aashley333's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Posts: 1,236

Check Craigslist in your area. I bought a great Bernina Industrial only been used 10 hours.
aashley333 is offline  
Old 03-05-2023, 04:20 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 10,962

You will get a lot of suggestions. It is really up to your budget and what you want. There have been some very recent threads on this topic maybe you can look for in the search. What one person absolutely loves may not be what you like. Go try some machines out. Read amazon reviews to see if what people complain about isn't an issue for you (other than poor function). Vintage machines are nice but not always easy to come by and have few features. Good luck
Stitchnripper is offline  
Old 03-05-2023, 04:37 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Keller, TX
Posts: 1,796

Hands down, the Janome HD9. Look on you tube for comparison with the Juki. Janome has an extra large bobbin, large comfortable foot control. Most all industrial style feet can be purchased at Wawak for much less. It is mechanical. Recommended for jeans, purses, quilting.
Lady Diana is offline  
Old 03-05-2023, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 21

I'm not an experienced sewer. I just came to my sewing machine obsession in the last year or so and I've resurrected (to varying degrees) 30 or so machines. Take my comments in that light.

Based on this:
"I'm a low key quilter and also use my machine for minor alterations and other small sewing projects."

I think a Singer 237 should be on your radar. Made in the late 60's and early 70's, they look like a modern, boxy machine, but they have the old school guts similar to the Class 15 Singers, which we know are rock solid. BUT - they have Zig Zag! They can be set on a table, put in a case or installed in a table. To me, the 237A is the sleeper of vintage sewing machines.

The other option, to me, would be a 15-91, 201-2 or 301A, all very fine straight stitch machines, backed up by something with zig zag. Maybe a hundred dollar big box store machine you'd break out for occasional stretch stitches or whatever else. I've been sewing on my 201-2 of late and have a Kenmore 158.xxxx on standby in case I need it. Along with my overlocker.

I do have a Brother 600SE for embroidery. It has 80 or 100 stitches, most of which will never see the light of day.

The Goodwill auction site is a great place to hunt down these old machines.

Good luck with your decision.
AlZilla is offline  
Old 03-05-2023, 06:51 AM
Power Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern USA
Posts: 14,860

Prices vary from $10 at thrift stores to $15,000 plus for the very top of the line sewing machine. Consider the cost of yearly maintenance for the higher machines and the cost of repairs after warranty. Juki makes a great mechanical machine starting at around $700 and fancier models around $1500 plus. I would buy two, a straight stitch and one basic computerized with decorative stitches you will use. You'll save money and less wear on each machine.
Onebyone is offline  
Old 03-05-2023, 07:33 AM
Super Member
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: northern minnesota
Posts: 1,819

yep, you are getting suggestions for machines with a wide variety of features. I would make a list of what you want your machine to do. Just a straight stitch? want some utility stitches like zigzag? Do you make buttonholes? Do you like to embellish your other projects with decorative stitches? Do you stitch on fabrics other than quilting cotton? Use denim or upholstery fabric? I would also look at what machines are serviced in your area. In my area I have two dealerships. One does Bernina and Janome. The other one does Viking, Pfaff, and Singer. Having a dealer close by helps with maintenance, repairs, and getting those wonderful accessories.
sewingpup is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

FREE Quilting Newsletter