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Thread: Newbie Quilter Needs Your Input & Recomendations Desperately!!

  1. #26
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    Hi Cheryl;
    Wow, getting a sewing machine is such a personal thing, you really need to test them out for yourself. One thing can be a high selling point for one person, and the reason someone won't buy that machine.
    I have a janome, I absolutely love her, she has a thread cutter(automatic), and a few bells and whistles. I have tried the bernina and found it to be very user unfriendly, and I found the babylock not for me, too complicated. Pfaffs were too small. And I was able to use my machine from the get go.
    But you might not like the Janome, for one reason or another. I know now is a good time to get a Janome because people are turning in their older models to get the new one that just came out, so you may be able to get a good deal.
    Don't make any hasty decissions, try them all out, then think about it. After all, yu won't be able to buy another one for a while, so make sure you like it.
    Another thing is make sure they come with classes on how to use the machine, you can learn so many tricks and pointers that will make your sewing life so much easier.
    Good luck,
    Lucinda

  2. #27
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    I went through this a few months ago and boy do I feel for you. Soooo much info out there and so many different machines it gets soooo confusing. I didn't check out the Bernina because the dealer I called didn't have time to discuss any machines. I didn't feel I would get very good service there, so I went to Viking and Janome.

    Viking has some beautiful machines but are $$$$$. Wonderful features. They also have trade-ins that were OK priced. If I would have had the disposal $$$$$ then I probably would have purchased one of these without going to anywhere else. That wasn't the case so I continued on.

    Janome also has wonderful machines. Very well built!!! No plastic at all, ball-bearings. Hubby loved this fact since he's a mfg. eng. and knew how long it would last. I made him go with me to check out the mechanicals and ask those kind of questions. I actually ended up purchasing the 6600P which has just been delicious!!! Wonderfully easy machine to use. With the new Horizon, a lot of individuals have been upgrading so you'll probably get a good deal on one of these. I paid $1049 for mine and has actually been worth every penny. Would recommend highly.

    My other machine I have I've had for 17 yrs and purchased it just to make clothes and home decor. I never thought about quilting. Used it to piece and to do some machine quilting, but because the throat was so small it was very limiting. Luckily I love hand work so I learned how to hand quilt.

    The only piece of advice I can actually give is, get as much as you can afford. Give yourself room to grow. It'll be cheaper now than in the future.

    Good Luck!!!! :-D :-D

  3. #28
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    I have 2 bothers, CS6000i can get at walmart and ULT2005 with disney. Love them both, no problems other than normal maintenance. It really boils down to what you an afford, people who you can go to for questions and servicing of your machine.

  4. #29
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I like the older ones, too! But my friend has a Janome, and swears by them!

  5. #30
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
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    I think you'll find we all have our favorites - and you will too eventually. I have an older model Pfaff, a newer Bernina and a BabyLock - what can I say? It's an illness. I use all three although the BabyLock is mainly for classes & travel. My suggestion is to find dealers in your area and 'test drive' their machines. Pick the one you can afford and that best meets your needs.

  6. #31
    Senior Member mms61371's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina and I love it! It was very expensive as are the extra feet and it needs to be serviced once a year. I have an old metal machine my mom bought from fingerhut 39 years ago. It has cams you use for different stitches. It runs great. I made my first three quilts on it. Then my DH (most amazing man in the world) took me to a Bernina dealer and let me pick out one. I have the 430E, it came with the embroidery unit and a BSR foot for a great deal (someone traded it in). I have to have a computer to use the embroidery, but I love it.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam
    AWwww, you need to find a quilt guild in your area and get some quilting buddies. I have an older Bernina, it is about 17 years old, and I love it. I cannot tell you anything about the newer machines, I like the oldies.
    I too have an old #1030 Bernina that I love. Also have a Jem Gold and Jem Platinum (Jenome products) that are reasonably priced and can do a whole lot (I've used their walking foot to machine quilt,and the standard foot comes with an attached bar that keeps you from going over 1/4").
    My LQS has machine sales a couple of times a year. Ask yours if they do.
    I, when in a wild moment thought I'd like an antique featherweight, Googled for "Singer Featherweights" and found a lot at a full range of price. Do use the "s or you'll get tons of sites unrelated to what you are looking for.

    Have no idea where the face came from, but I can't seem to delete it. on the update it's a ), which is what I'd typed.

  8. #33
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    I have and love my Janome- I did test drive quite a few different machines before I bought. A couple of imoprtant things for me was: Being able to drop the feed dog- stitch regulator- having an start/stop button- Needle up/down feature all the fancy stitches I don't use those too much But the cost is a bit more than some of the other machines but I love it and it was worth it to me. Just go and test drive as many differnet ones as possible. Take a 3 layer patch or 2 with you and try-try-try. then buy

  9. #34
    Junior Member MsMel's Avatar
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    I just went through the ordeal of buying a machine within a budget about 4 months ago. I purchased a Singer Futura 2000 Computerized Machine with Embroidery from COSTCO for $599.00 brand new. After overcoming the fear of using it instead of my trusty hand me down from Grandma, I have grown to absolutely love it. It came with a bunch of feet, computer software, embroidery hoops, the whole enchilada :D. I know that QVC carries the same machine for alot more, but they have a demo video if you would like to see it. Now my daughter is learning to use Grandmas machine. Enjoy your new machine when you get it.

  10. #35
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I had a low-end Brother that I passed on to a friend and she loves it. It has the drop-in bobbin and was very easy to adjust. My problem was that I would forget the settings on a stitch and would forget to reset the stitch. Some of my work looked a little wonky as a result.

    I have a Pfaff 7530 Quilt and Craft which I consider my backup machine. It runs beautifully like so many of the older Pfaffs (still made with Pfaff Craftsmanship). It has the built-in walking foot, low bobbin indicator (which can become useless if lint blocks the sensor), needle up/down selection, and more stitches than I need. I have a custom extension table that goes with it.

    http://www.quiltersreview.com/articl...t/001002_a.asp

    I don’t like that it only has a regular-sized throat area and the lighting isn’t very good. It also is a bit temperamental and wants to pull the seam down into the feed dogs (I could buy a straight stitch plate if I wanted to to divert that problem.

    My Pfaff 1200 GrandQuilter is a 1600 stitch-per-minute straight stitch machine with a large throat and I have it set up on the frame. (Only no gumption to use it at the moment.) It is a mechanical machine that drinks a lot of oil. Tension can also be a little tricky.

    http://www.pfaffusa.com/272_2846.html

    Last year I added a Pfaff 2058 and we never managed to become friends. There is nothing at all wrong with the machine – geesh she has more features than I know what to do with and it got good reviews. She sews very smoothly so it is mostly little quirks that bother me. We are just not compatible. I payed $1,300 (the 2058 is a discontinued model that will be supported by Pfaff for a long time) and want to sell her for a decent discount.

    Because Pfaffy and I never bonded, I just spent a long time researching machines. Checked out the Janomes (and did not like the way their walking foot works. Also found them a little rough compared to the Pfaff). Looked at the Babylock Quest but it didn’t have all the features I wanted. Then I ordered a Singer that seemed to be a combination of the Janome 6600 and the Quest. I really really wanted to like it because the price was nice! But – she ran like a tractor, skipped stitches, jumped in the Free motion process, so I sent her back to HSN.

    Ended up with a Babylock Espire that came with 4 classes, so right now “Quilla” and I are becoming fast friends. I love the way she handles. Funny thing is, she does not have the built-in walking foot (which I thought I had to have), a drop-in bobbin (which I didn’t want to have), and no low bobbin indicator (which I thought I had to have). She has sooooo many neat features that I am even considering sewing some clothes. Now she is not a cheap machine but to me – worth every penny.

    http://www.babylock.com/sewing/espire/

    Babylock has one of the best warranties in the market and currently they are sponsored by Eleanor Burns and Nacy Zieman. I respect these women but that was only one factor in my decision.
    Regardless of what you get. TEST DRIVE!!!!! Have a list of features you need and a list of features you want, then see which machine (price point) matches with the most features from your list.

  11. #36
    Senior Member Char's Avatar
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    I would look for a used or refurbished Bernina. I love mine. When I got my 440, I sold my older one to a friend for $300. She thought that was a great deal and is still using it.

  12. #37
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    I have 4 Berninas. Two sewing machines, a serger and a stand alone embroidery machine. My first Bernina is a 1260 that I was able to purchase for wholesale in the early 1990s because I worked for a dealer at the time. It was one down from the top of the line since. It probably has the equivilant of 200,000 miles on it. Last year I bought another newer model Bernina. It is a much less expensive machine than my first one and actually has more built in stitches. The main reason I got it was for the lighter weight. It has a lot more plastic which makes it at least 10lbs. lighter than my older model. One reason it was less expensive is that it did not come standard with the knee lift or the better foot pedal. I ended up spending another $300 to have both of them added. At this point I have about $1100 in it plus a few feet. I had spent $1800 plus probably another $500 in special feet for my 1260 plus had to replace the computer in it several years ago for about $250. While it seems like a lot of money for what you get now adays on the machines the price really is not higher in today's dollars.

  13. #38
    Junior Member Mellina's Avatar
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    Hi CherylR, You are not alone. Take a look at my location and you will see we are neighbors. I have a Bernina Aurora 440 Quilters Edition. Plus I have a Kenmore 150 which is about 15 years old and still sews like brand new. But my favorite is my Singer treadle that I have had for over 20 years and sews like a dream. Hope you find something soon.

  14. #39
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    I have an old, 24 years, Bernina 910. Every time I sit down to sew on it, I want to hug it!! In all these years, I have never had to take it in, except to be cleaned. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the new ones do, but it sews beautifully, is easy to use, I just love it. I will probably never get another new Bernina though, they are just too much money, hard for me to believe.

  15. #40
    Super Member topper1's Avatar
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    the brother would be great for a starter machine, I have a Viking 1+ that I love. and a Designer 1. Can get on ebay for a reasonable price. I live near Richmond, VA. if you want to pm me for any help on quilts etc.

  16. #41
    Super Member KathyKat's Avatar
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    I recently bought a Husquavarna Viking Sapphire 870 and I love it! I bought it froma local shop that has been in business for over 25 years. These are popular machines in the Midwest.
    Features:
    automatic tension adjustment for thicknest of fabric (love it!)
    needle threader
    you can operate by using start stop buttons or large foot pedal
    button to cut thread (love it!)
    can refill bobbin while machine is still threaded
    presser foot up/down buttons
    needle up/down buttons
    5 speed control settings(love it!)
    loads of stiches
    easy to use buttons and screen which tells you what function you are on and what foot to use
    large throat for machine quilting
    you can select "fix" to make several stiches in place to fix your row of stiches
    check it out online and read review. I think it's great but it's always good to get a machine that is siold and serviced locally so maybe it's not available in your region.
    Goog luck!

  17. #42
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    I have a pfaff hobby,an elna jubilee boughtnew also a bernina 1630 given to me used from a friend two singers and am elna 9000. I love them all I mostly do top stitching by hand I had had a few top stitched on a long arm but I have done sme stippling by machine on most of them. Hope you find one that you like. I invest enough on fabric and notions not on a fancy machine good luck on your quest

  18. #43

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    CherylR,
    I have a couple Berninas, and thats all I've ever sewn on.
    I wouldn't buy anything else but a Bernina.
    The needle down/up is a great feature as well as the knee lift.
    My 180E is a older machine but still sews perfectly. With this type of machine you can piece quilts and machine embroidery.
    What I don't use is all the decorative stitches.
    To keep within a budget consider buying a used machine, you can then buy a "good" machine that will give you quality performance. Buying a new "cheaper" machine may not give you a quality performance. Its kinda like you get what you pay for. Don't rush your purchase, research the information on the net and test drive all the machines available.
    Waving back from Missouri.

  19. #44
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff. I have had Pfaffs for over 30 years. I just recently burnt out the motor on the Pfaff I used the most. It served me faithfully for 20 years. The thing I like about the Pfaff is the IDT, Integrated Dual Feed. It is a built in walking foot. I bought a Pfaff Creative 4.0 to replace my old Pfaff. So far I just love it. I looked at all sorts of different brands when I went to replace the machine I burnt up. I always came back to the Pfaff. Buying a new machine is definitely a personal thing. You must go out and try as many as you can. Don't be in a hurry to buy a machine. Look at them all.

    Good Luck.

  20. #45
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    Hi,

    I also was new at quilting a few years ago - did it all by hand - hated sewing - never wanted a machine. Then I decided putting on borders by hand was boring and maybe I should buy a "cheap" machine (not the $5000 Husquevanas that my quilting friends had) just for borders. Well Janome had a small machine that 3 of the 14 friends bought. (Now I think there are about 20-25 who have it and love it). It is the Janome Gem platinum (they found a good deal for $400, including walking, 1/4 inch, and darning feet) (feet can be expensive), loved it, and told me that is the one I should get for a starter machine. I did - LOVE it - a little work horse - only thing missing is the scissors cutters - only has 60 stitches but a good place to start for me. Since it's small the quilting "bed" is very small and hard to use to quilt larger pieces (even twin size). BUT, it is small and light (only 12 lbs) so is great to take to classes and on weekend retreats. A GREAT STARTER MACHINE - until you decide what features you really want/need on a machine. I will NEVER get rid of it! Use it all the time now - hand work is now only redwork and applique - pieceing is done on my little Janome). I just bought the Janome Horizon (about $3000) which I now know has some great features that I wanted. Haven't used it much yet but it is getting great reviews and selling fast. Does not do embroidery - I "never" want to do machine embroidery - however, if my "never" changes and I still love my Horizon - Janome does have a machine that does just embroidery - so I could just get that machine and still keep my Horizon piecing and quilting while the "embroiderer" is busy embroidering on its own - don't like the idea of tying up my "pieceing" machine to do embroidery. Some of these comments (embroidery) come from hearing my quilting friends. They have Vikings, Bernina, Phaffs, Janomes. Heard lots of complaints about Vikings. Heard lots of praise about Phaffs (like have 3 and never would be without one - by a teacher - who bought the Janome 6600 (predecesor to the Horizon/7700)a year ago ($1200) and loves it). Also have 3 other friends with the 6600 who love it. SO - I guess my advice sums up to be to buy the little Janome Gen PLATINUM to use till you see what features you really want/need. SORRY FOR THE LONG STORY and GOOD LUCK with whatever you decide!

  21. #46
    Junior Member stillwaters's Avatar
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    I think Lab Fairy made a lot of good points. The walking foot, feed dogs the drop, etc. I have a 20-something year old Pfaff which I LOVE! When I first "invested" in this machine, my DH took me to the fair and made me "test drive" every model that was there. It was a good plan.

  22. #47

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    Just to chime in, I have a new Babylock for quilting and I love it. It practically sews by itself. I'm using it to teach my grandchildren, age 6 and 9, how to sew also. It has three speeds. Slow for beginners, medium for most uses and FMQ, then let her rip for long continuious seams. I gave away my Singer that was 42 years old because it frustated me with sloppy tension. I'm now in the market for a good little machine for portability. Thanks for all the discussion on this topic.

  23. #48
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    I'm waving back at you! I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland near Salisbury and have visited your area more than a few times. Had a nephew stationed there in the navy a couple of years ago. Now I have another nephew who lives down there with his girlfriend.

    You'll get a lot of ideas about sewing machines, probably enough to confuse you. I used to have a Bernina 1230 and loved it, loved it, loved it. Now I have a Bernina 440. It's great but I don't love it. I miss the metal bed from the 1230, have had to replace the plastic one on the 440. Somehow, fabric just doesn't glide over the plastic one (when machine quilting) like it did the metal one.

  24. #49
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    Reminds me of an old Singer model called the touch 'n sew. If you got a good one it was great, not so much if you got a lemon, then you called it the touch 'n jam. Fortunately, my grandmother had a great one, I learned to sew on it. If she'd had a lemon I probably would have given up.

    Quote Originally Posted by CherylR
    Sharon B
    I eliminated the 6000 because of the reviews by owners. I did see some reviews that praised the machine, but most of the others were having a lot of problems with "clunky noises" after 2-3 projects and not being able to get someone to figure it out. They also said that the thread gets all bunched and tangled up. From what I've read on the 6000 - it's either feast or famine. They either have absolutely no problems out of it and wouldn't trade it for anything and the others hate it because of the noises and thread and jamming problems. Thanks so much for your input!

  25. #50
    Senior Member bob1414's Avatar
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    I learned to sew on 2 Sears Kenmore machines as well as a treadle sewing machine. Look into Kenmore machines at Sears. They are priced very well and always worked for me - simple to operate.

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