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Thread: New Embroidery machine-Please help with advice!

  1. #1
    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    New Embroidery machine-Please help with advice!

    Hi all, My brain is turned to mush and I posted this enquiry on the wrong thread..so here goes. Can anyone help with advice..
    My DH is buying me an embroidery machine (Woohoo!) my first one. I have the Janome 7700 for quilting which is amazing.
    Our dealer stocks a few machines but I dont know which one is best or most reliable.
    I have a choice of janome 200, the 350 (Bigger hoop size and more features, with all the ports but no desgn software), the Viking 600E with Auto punch software ( its a dual machine, do I really need this?) and he also has an Elna 8300
    I am kinda torn between the Vking and the Janome 350- havn't seen them yet and have been trying to sort out all the specs this weekend before I head to the store. If I go with the Janome I wont be able to afford the Janome Designer software, but will be able to get the Embird which doesnt look bad.
    i was wondering if you have you any thoughts on either of these machines? The hoop size is 10" on the Viking and 8" approx on the Janome. I was also interested in doing a split design at some stage for a central piece on a quilt- one design broken into 4 pieces and hooped seperately, 4 times? I dont know if the Janome has that capability or if the design software takes care of it.
    Phew!! Anyway thanks for looking at my post, and I would be really grateful for any help.
    Lois

  2. #2
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    Good Morning Lois

    I don't know much about these machines since I have the Bernina Deco 600 but I can offer some advice. Get the machine that will do the largest embroidery size. Mine will only do a 4" size and many times I wish I could do a larger size without doing it in sections. Also, consider will you actually be digitizing a lot of designs yourself. The design software is awfully expensive unless you really plan on digitzng a lot. There are literally thousands of free designs to download on the internet and I've also purchased several designs that were excellent quality. I can buy a lot of designs for what the designing software would cost. I have embird and it's excellent. I use it quite a bit although I don't have the latest version of it.

    No matter what you get I know you will enjoy it. I combine my embroidery with my quilting.

    Good luck.

    Gene
    Last edited by mlsa; 09-09-2012 at 03:28 AM.

  3. #3
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    I have a Janome 350 and love it! I would definitely recommend it over the 200 because of the larger hoop and the thread cutter (a real godsend for embroidery, where you are changing thread frequently).

    I don't know anything about the Viking or Elna, but I would rather have a dedicated embroidery machine than a combination sewing/embroidery machine. I love combining embroidery with quilting, and with the separate embroidery machine, I can be making the embroidery design on it, while I am sewing on my Janome 6600.

    I bought the software with the 350, but have never used it! It's too complicated--or I haven't torn myself away from the machines long enough to take the time to learn. I get my embroidery designs online, which eliminates the need to design them myself. There are so many designs online that are free, or very inexpensive, so it isn't worth the time and effort for me to design my own.

    You can get a Gigahoop (large hoop) for the 350, but I've never felt the need for it. The large hoop that comes with the 350 is big enough for me.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask. And Good Luck--you will love the world of embroidery!

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    I love Viking and the great thing is you'll get free classes to learn how to do it. I have the 5D software that isn't free for my Ruby and I know that you can do split screens with it. I'd go with the biggest hoop, the most support or classes that you can get for your money. You'll need some kind of software if nothing else but to view the designs so having it free is great. I won't say how much I paid for mine even though I did get the organizer free so that I could do somethings with the designs. None of my Vikings are finicky about thread and have been easy to figure out when I'm trying to learn things that I haven't been taught in class yet. This week I start learning to digitize as well so that'll be fun.
    Judy

  5. #5
    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    Wow- thanks for that..I guess I will have to go into the store and see which one is easier to work. I have spent nearly all weekend on the internet, trying to find out about the two machines and which one would be best for me..the Viking has a super large hoop and the Janome has very intuitive interface and computer savvy also! Oh goodness! Thankyou Hubby!! Anyway I wil know more by mid-week, so will post up again!! I am really excited now- Iw ant to add to my quilts with this-am so looking forward to embroidering!

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    I don't think you need to worry about digitizing. The software is expensive, and there are lots of designs available.
    My Bernina 180E stitching area is 5 X 7, and thats about as large as I want for quilt blocks.
    As far as stitching a design and moving it 4 times, will you use it enough to make it worh the $$$?
    So many features on embroidery machines never get used or used so seldom its not worth the extra $$$.
    Don't forget after you buy your machine, you will need to purchase embroidery thread, you will need 30-40 different colors, you can pick up several each time you do a design,bobbin thread, stabilzer, adhesive, etc.
    Good luck in finding the machine you want, just be sure to do your homework ahead of time, and sew on as many machines as possible. My vote goes for a Bernina.

  7. #7
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I can't help you decide, except to mention that I cannot recommend Singer. My Singer CE-350 is only 3 years old and it has been out of commission for almost a year. I took it in for service in February of this year, they did not fix it, so I sent it back again for repair. It still is not fixed, so now I must mail it away to Washington to get it repaired.
    jlm5419-an Okie back in Oklahoma!
    http://according-to-ginger.blogspot.com/

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    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    biggest hoop and ease of transfer of designs-----carry a list of threads you have +want i love the robinson anton threads they have a great colour sample folder which is a great help

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    Embird embroidery software is very inexpensive. The basic software is easy to learn, will do color changes, splits, merge, resize, convert formats and a bunch of other things. Embird is sold in parts so you only have to buy what you need. For instance, the basic is one price to add Studio for digitizing that's another cost, etc.

  10. #10
    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    Hi everyone- thanks for all your help..yes, there seems to be such a big learning curve with embroidery machines. So far I havn't really got to grips with the software although have found out that many folk have the Embird software. The idea of buying in parts seems really good so you can get what you want as you go along.

    I think , I am really concerned about having a really reliable machine that lasts past its warranty if that is possible but of course I want all the added functionality as well like a big hoop size and easy use, like you suggested Jemma. But cant afford the really big machines. Seems like a few people have said they started off with a small hoop only machine and then as you get into the embroidery more, there is no chance of getting a bigger hoop. So that's why I am spending quite a bit of time trying to plan for everything before I go trry them out.

    My one reservation about the Viking, is that they have been taken over by Singer, and just my opinion, Singer are not the brand that they used to be. When they break down, like jlm said, that is the worry. Having to send it back to Washington after all the time spent trying to get it repaired is just awful.

    Pieces, that is really good advice about the extra costs after purchasing the machine, in the threads, stabiliser, and everything, so I have to make sure I do the math as well. I ahdnt thought of that!!
    So thanks everyone!...I will let you know what happens.
    Last edited by irishphoenix; 09-10-2012 at 12:05 PM.

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    I bought a Babylock Emore before it was discontinued, and have been happy with it. BUT if I were to do it again, I would possibly go with the Janome 350E - partly because you can use a flash drive to transfer designs to it - makes it a lot simpler. I use Embird, and I find that it does everything I need to customize my embroidery designs, and it's reasonably priced. I have no desire to do any digitizing, but their digitizing software is reasonably priced too. Good luck!

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    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    HI Ellietow, thanks..tell me I can see at some stage down the line I would like to do a multiple hoop embroidery as a centre panel for a quilt. Will the Janome 350 do this using the Embird software? The software with the Viking is fairly basic, but does do a multiple hoop resize. I think the Embird does a whole lot more though. I am just trying to think ahead at present to what I want to do, say 6-9 months down the line I hear great things about the Embird software but I know it will take time to learn!!

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    [QUOTE=irishphoenix;5504699]
    My one reservation about the Viking, is that they have been taken over by Singer, and just my opinion, Singer are not the brand that they used to be. When they break down, like jlm said, that is the worry. Having to send it back to Washington after all the time spent trying to get it repaired is just awful.
    --------------------------------
    Not sure where you heard this at but Viking has not been taken over by Singer. Viking is still in charge. Even the machines that are being put together in Shanghi are all manufactured and governed by Viking in Sweeden. Not all machines are done in Shanghi, my Ruby was completely done in Sweeden. Yes, Viking does now have other companies under it. For me that's not a bad thing. Since Viking and Pfaff use the same 5D software I can add any of the Pfaff machines under my machine manager in my software and that will give me not only all the stitches, designs, etc that are available with the 5D software for Viking it also gives me the extra ones that are in there for Pfaff. I found this out last night and was amazed at how much extra I had just by doing that one little thing.

    Someone said on here that Viking software is limited. You get a basic organizer with the machine which alot of machines don't come with any from what I've heard on here. You can then purchase 5D in three different versions depending on what you want to do and on top of that you can get extra modules to add to that.
    I'm not saying that Viking is the best thing out there or only makes their machines but if you look around you'll find out alot of machines are being made by other companies, that's just the way things are. I also found out that Viking is coming out with a Ruby Deluxe so I can't wait to see what that'll do. Mine does alot so I know this one will do even more.
    I did check my facts with my Viking rep. The Ruby, Diamond and deluxe are all on Vikings web site as being manufactured and made in Sweeden.
    I realize especially with the price of software that not all can afford even the lowest one Viking or anyone else has to go with the machines. There are others out there. Sierra offers a full design software for free as a download or 15 if you order the CD. Florani has one for aroung 300; I'm getting that one free with a two day workshop that I signed up for in Oct. There are many out there to chose from depending on what you need. It took me almost a yr to buy a full software package and now I'm learning how to digitize and do all kinds of stuff. I get amazed each month at stuff that I can do now.
    Judy

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    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    Hi there..Oh thanks very much for all your information regarding the Viking Machines. I knew my brain had started to turn to jelly..I have been looking at so many specs and different things that, I thought Viking was owned or taken over by Singer..so sorry for that but really appreciate all your great input about Vikings.
    I guess I am really buying an entry level embroidery machine - would love one of the bigger ones but of course, but finances are always a constraint so I have to get the one that does the most for around the same amount of money.
    I bet you are really looking forward to seeing the new Ruby, its exciting when manufacturers bring out a new product.

    I didnt know that the 5D software worked with the Viking. My dealer has that but it is advertised as Pfaff.So I am learning more every day! I would really like at some stage to do my own designs and some digitizing like you,but realise I have to come to grips with the basics first as its my first embroidery machine, and it is going to take a lot of learning.I think its nice to know that there are many add -ons like digitizing and design that can be done with entry level machines and I wanted to buy a machine that I could grow with if that makes sense!!
    So thanks again!

  15. #15
    Junior Member sewmagic's Avatar
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    I heard the Vikings are not as user friendly. I have a Babylock and love it. Very easy to use, so are the Janome.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    Singer is now owned by SVP Worldwide, which also owns the Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking brands (SPV stands for the 3 brands Singer, Viking, Pfaff). SVP is in turn owned by Kohlberg & Company.

    http://www.svpworldwide.com/109.htm

    There is a learning curve to whatever machine and software you choose. You will have to learn the basics of stabilizing, hooping and thread choices. Take classes if the dealer offers them, or research and watch Utube videos. You don't have to buy every type of stabilizer but try some different cut-away, tear-away, and water soluable products as each has it's place and you will find what you like. I choose to use only polyester thread rather than rayon because it is more colorfast and washable and I intended to use it on baby items that will get washed a lot. I did try some rayon at the beginning and got a lot more thread breakage. My biggest recommendation is to make sure you always do a test stitch out before doing the final product, at least when you are learning (ask me how I know!)

    I have a Bernina 440QEE, and own the Bernina software to use with it. I can tell you both are expensive! I picked my machine as a quilter, bought it used and the package deal included the embroidery unit. I do love the embroidery now, and have a great number of projects in my mind. I wish I had the time to do them all ... but retirement is a few years off yet. Have fun with whatever you choose.
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  17. #17
    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    Hi Skyangel..thanks for all your info, very useful about the different stabilizers and thread. I have to confess, I havent been online in the past two weeks -I took the plunge and bought the Janome 350e!!!!! I was so excited..my dealer knows very little about them and I spent a while telling him what buttons to push-well actually what I said was..'why dont you press that button on the screen and see what happens'!!
    So I am so grateful for all your help. I think I decided on the Janome for a couple of reasons. There are not that many machines in my price range- the Viking Ruby and designer look beautiful but out of my pocket at present..I heard so many good reports on the 350e and also I could download the manual on their site. I wasnt able to find the manual for the Viking model that is a half sewing and half embroidery machine. The learning curve on the 350e was easier for me as I already have a Janome Horizon for quilting so it is kinda similar witht he threading. i did spend out a bit extra on the janome Digitizer Jr, just to get to grips with some basic digitizing..I am going to get the Embird at a later date when I have mastered the softare I have already.
    So I was like a child with a new toy this last ten days, and then I discovered emblibrary as well and have made a few things to go on pillowcases and a couple of little Christmas items. it is such fun...I am thinking of adding a small embroidery design panel to a quilt I am doing at present, so I have to buy thread and my dealer doesnt stock a lot only a few lines in the 200m Gutenberg Sulky Rayon.
    I had to buy thread online, so started with some Madeira Classic thread and some tear away and water soluble stabilizer as well as a few designs..now I see what that lady says about the cost spiralling lol. Oh dear
    Last edited by irishphoenix; 09-28-2012 at 05:32 AM.

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    Since I have gotten 'into' quilting I don't do much machine embroidering, however I own a Viking D-1 that served me well but is now out of touch as it used floppy disks and not compatable with my new computer. I still love it for the wonderful deco stitches it does. I use it for deco machine quilting on small quilts. Viking is a wonderful product.

    I have since bought a Pfaff embroidery machine which is very nice also. I bought it for the walking foot that is built in.
    It too is a wonderful machine.

    I know a lady that does beautiful embroideries on a Pfaff machine for our church quilt ministry...I don't know what machine it is but it accomodates a large hoop.
    My dealer told me that Viking and Pfaff have merged so they are one company now.
    It ultimately will be your choice. Good luck..So many great machines for us to enjoy.

  19. #19
    Junior Member irishphoenix's Avatar
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    Hi Iofthe needle..that is it exactly..there are so many choices and as a newcomer I was really confused with all the different ones and how they related to each other. I am so glad I finally took the plunge and I ahve found that the Janome is relatively easy for me to set up start embroidering. I think it helped a lot having another janome too as the threading is quite similar.it is still a big learning curve but such fun alongside my quilting. Thanks again.

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    Congratulations! You will love your 350e! My dealer recommended Madeira polyneon thread. I buy it from sewphisticatedstitcher.com - their prices seem to be the best I've seen for the thread. And if you buy 48 spools of thread, you get a nice storage case free. (I am in no way affiliated with them; just a satisfied customer.)

    I love Embroidery Library; their designs are wonderful. And they frequently have specials and sales. I also like designsbysick.com - I got a one-year membership for half-price, and can download as many designs as I want during that time. That's a good deal.

    I also bought the Digitizer Jr. software, but haven't yet figured out how to use it. If you unlock the secrets for using it, please share!

  21. #21
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    JANOME!!!! I've had 3 Janomes and have had no problems. I didn't have to replace them--just kept trading up. I have 4 hoops for mine ranging from the tiny 2x2 one all the way up to the giga-hoop. It's nice to have, even though I seldom use it. They were doing some kind of package promotion when I got the machine and it was thrown in for free, along with a couple of boxes of Janome thread. I use mine to embroider quilt blocks and find that the 5 x 7 hoop is the one I use the most. I am currently working on 2 applique quilts. One's a canning/fruit jar theme and the other is Little Ponies for my DGD. Stitches are flawless and I love my machine!

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