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Thread: New sewing machine for graduation!

  1. #1
    Member LauraEllen's Avatar
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    Hello all,
    I just graduated from Nursing school this weekend (hooray!) and my fiance and parents surprised me with $1,400 for a new sewing machine. I was totally shocked!
    So my questions is... If you had this amount of money (with possibly the option to add a bit more) what type of sewing machine would you invest in?
    Any suggestions would be welcomed!

  2. #2
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Oh my goodness, what a wonderful gift!!!! :)

    Are you looking to do embroidery, free motion quilting, sewing clothes or piecing? Some machines are better at some things than others.

    Congratulations on becoming a nurse!!!! :thumbup:

  3. #3
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    6600 is a good choice. If you could come up with a xtra $1,000 then the 7700 would be my choice.

  4. #4
    Senior Member katiescraftshop's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Good luck in your career and with a new machine. What a wonderful gift.

  5. #5
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your Nursing degree! And Woot! Happy shopping, as mentioned, it depends on what sewing you do or wish to do. A combo sewing and embroidery machine or just a great machine for quilting.!!

  6. #6
    Super Member Airwick156's Avatar
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    Congratulations on becoming a nurse. Thats a job in itself. I haven't a clue on what kind of machine to buy but I am sure that lots will be able to give you suggestions.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    congrats on your graduation! my suggestion would be to go to a sewing machine center and try out the different types. that will give you a better idea of what would be good for you. there are so many great machines out there.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Go to more than one sewing machine dealership to try out machines in your price range. You may be surprised to find that you "bond" with one brand more than the others.

    If you can, try out Janome, Bernina and Pfaff brands; they are three of the top brands right now.

    Also ask at a dealership if they have used machines in these brands in your price range. You get more "bang" for the buck with a used machine; some people trade up every year, similar to cars.

    Instead of going for a machine that can both sew and embroider, I would get one machine dedicated to sewing and another machine for embroidery. Embroidery takes time to sew out; with two machines you can still be piecing while one machine works for you on embroidery.

    I would add that, for me, the sound of the machine is important. My Bernina purrs when I sew. Loud machines and clunky machines are annoying to me. However, YMMV!

  9. #9
    Senior Member fabrichore's Avatar
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    congrats on your graduation, and what a wonderful gift...

  10. #10
    Member LauraEllen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraEllen
    Hello all,
    I just graduated from Nursing school this weekend (hooray!) and my fiance and parents surprised me with $1,400 for a new sewing machine. I was totally shocked!
    So my questions is... If you had this amount of money (with possibly the option to add a bit more) what type of sewing machine would you invest in?
    Any suggestions would be welcomed!
    Sorry, I forgot to mention that I would be using this primarily for piecing quilt tops. I'm not that into FMQing or embroidery.

  11. #11
    Super Member vintagemotif's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your nursing degree!
    I would only buy vintage machines since I'm into vintage.
    Have fun shopping for your modern machine. If there is enough money left over for a cheap vintage machine that you can pick up from CLs then treat yourself to one, like a Singer 301. The cute 301s are cheaper than the Featherweights, you can take it to quilting classes, and when not in use it can sit on a bookcase to decorate your sewing area.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Well, I think it's HUGE overkill to spend $1,400 on a machine that will be used exclusively for piecing with no FMQing or embroidery. In that case, you just want a very reliable machine that makes a perfect stitch and have a few additional features such as:

    needle down
    variable needle position
    variable stitch length and stitch width
    standard decorative stitches (potentially for applique)
    maybe auto cutter for thread

    Many, many good quality sewing machines have these features for much less than $1,400 when you are not concerned about harp size (area under the arm that affects how much quilt can be stuffed in there when machine quilting). Maybe you can use the excess money for fabric?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagemotif
    Congratulations on your nursing degree!
    I would only buy vintage machines since I'm into vintage.
    Have fun shopping for your modern machine. If there is enough money left over for a cheap vintage machine that you can pick up from CLs then treat yourself to one, like a Singer 301. The cute 301s are cheaper than the Featherweights, you can take it to quilting classes, and when not in use it can sit on a bookcase to decorate your sewing area.
    I would second this, or even suggest a cheap! vintage to begin with. Put the money you save into FABRIC or savings for one with more bells and whistles later on! I started with an Elna SU nearly 40 years ago (sorry, it wasn't cheap then, but oh well) which I have used and even have a second one. However, I recently picked up a Featherweight (sooooo much lighter weight!). Given that I only piece and don't quilt, the Featherweight is really all I need. Besides, it's really cool!
    Happy Quilting and let us know what you get.
    Again Congratulations on your nursing degree! You go girl!

  14. #14
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i would get the Juki F600 you can get it for about $900 and that leaves you with enough money to buy an awesome stash to go with it.

  15. #15
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I agree with the folks who said $1500 was too much for a machine that you are just going to piece with. I would get one with as large a harp as I could, even if you are not going to FMQ now, you might change your mind! It is so nice to have the extra room to work, then you'd have all that extra money for fabric!!!!!!

  16. #16
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I would get a top of the line used Pfaff. Many of us are sure we'd never do FMQ, etc. but later we might feel differently. With a machine like this you will easily be able to as well as doing excellent piecing. But then I am a Pfaff lover!

  17. #17
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    Check out your local dealers - it is so important to have a reputable dealer who can do on-site repairs. Congratulations on your degree!!

  18. #18
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Well, I think it's HUGE overkill to spend $1,400 on a machine that will be used exclusively for piecing with no FMQing or embroidery. In that case, you just want a very reliable machine that makes a perfect stitch and have a few additional features such as:

    needle down
    variable needle position
    variable stitch length and stitch width
    standard decorative stitches (potentially for applique)
    maybe auto cutter for thread

    Many, many good quality sewing machines have these features for much less than $1,400 when you are not concerned about harp size (area under the arm that affects how much quilt can be stuffed in there when machine quilting). Maybe you can use the excess money for fabric?
    This is excellent advice. And someone else said to go to a few different shops and try out the machines. Janome, Bernina and Pfaff are the biggest names right now, so those are the ones you want to try out first. You're going to "fit" better with one brand than another, so it's going to be up to your own personal taste.

    Needle up/down, a needle threader and a knee lift lever (for the presser foot) are my absolute musts on a sewing machine. I passed on a beautiful Bernina 150 because that model doesn't have a needle threader. Sorry, but these eyes just can't see to thread a needle anymore! :roll:

    And although a new machine sounds wonderful, if you're not quite sure what you want in a machine, get a used one for now and put the money away until you decide what features you really "need" in a machine.

  19. #19
    Super Member CarolinePaj's Avatar
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    Just want to say congratulations on completing your degree!

    Hugs and best wishes for the future!

  20. #20
    Super Member natalieg's Avatar
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    CONGRATS!!!

  21. #21
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    Congrats on the nursing degree. For me a Janome would be my choice. I have a 6600 and have been looking at the 7000--some day.

  22. #22
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    First of all congratulations!! My local sewing machine dealer has an offer, if you purchase you have a year to trade up. Test drive and go for the fablous features suggested. In a year trade up, never know in a year what direction this will take you!! I am sure other dealers have the same policy.

  23. #23
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    Congrats on the nursing degree! I've been a nurse (BSN) for 15yrs, and still remember the immense relief when finishing school. My suggestions for you to look at are the Janome 6600, Pfaff Smarter C1100Pro, or a used Bernina. You can piece on a $50 vintage Singer, but I suggest you get something that you can grow into and that makes it easier and even more fun. I have several machines, and love the built-in dual feed on my Pfaffs. I got a used Bernina 440, and though it doesn't have the built-in dual feed, it's also a joy to sew on. Happy hunting!

  24. #24
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    I would check out Pfaff with their built in walking foot. Makes piecing so much easier!

  25. #25
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    I would look at a Janome 6500 which is the forerunner of the 6600 and the Horizon. It is a real work horse, has needle up/down, thread cutter, lots of stitches and a 9 inch throat space. I have quilted twin size quilts and one that was half way between a double and queen without any issues. They are selling new for around $1100 but you can find them on ebay for less than $1000.

    Good luck with your search but most of all, CONGRATULATIONS ON BECOMING A NURSE!

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