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

  1. #76
    suesews's Avatar
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    I have a 10 yr old Pfaff...and I love it! It is computerized, a 2030, and cost $1400 new, but I've got my money's worth from her! The Pfaffs have the built in even feed, so you don't have to use a walking foot for quilting...this is the best. Also like the needle down feature. You might see if you can buy one used. If you don't want to go computerized, even the mechanical Pfaffs have the even feed. That's what I started with, then traded it in on the 2030. Check Pfaff dealers to see if they have used machines traded in.

    Sue

  2. #77
    Bernice H in Calif's Avatar
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    I have 5 sewing machines. 3 are Singers, one is 38 years old, the second is 26 years old and the last is a brand new Futura C250. I love them all. I am using the older ones to teach my granddaughters how to sew.

    The other 2 machines and as follows: A brother about 6 or 7 that I purchased to have something to carry to class. The other is a Euro Pro, which my children bought for me for mothers day. The brother I use but can do without. The Euro Pro I love.

    First decided exactly what you want to do with your machine, then set a budget. If I had the funds I would love to have a Janome, most of my quilting friends own them, even a couple of award winners.

  3. #78
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    I have Singer that was made to be used in home ec classes in school. Totally gear driven, no electronics, and I love that machine. It is just a total workhorse. Bought it at one of those "special" sales at JoAnne's. Also have a small Baby Lock embroidery machine (the Sophia model) that I really do like. I'm seriously considering trading it in on a much larger, slightly used model (Ellegante I think is the name) with a much larger throat and the ability to embroider on a field up to 6 x 10 inches. I suggest, like the others, that you visit dealers and try out a variety of machines. But then, I would search out independent sewing/vacuum sales and repair shops. We have one here in Bradenton (FL) that sells used, refurbished machines and gives a full 10 year warranty on any machine they sell. The place has been in business for about 40 years and has a stellar reputation. I've talked to a number of people who have bought their machines there, and not on single complaint. Good luck no matter what route you take.

  4. #79
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lab fairy
    Sorry, I can't help with location. I'm in Texas (but my parents still live in VA if that helps).

    Things I think are a must with my machine:

    For piecing:
    1. The built in "walking foot" (on my machine it is called IDT).
    2. The sensor light that indicates when the bobbin thread is about to run out.
    3. Adjusting my needle position so I can get an accurate 1/4 inch seam (It is important to me, maybe not so much to others.)

    For quilting, quilting:

    1. Being able to drop my feed dogs.
    2. As big a throat as I can afford so I could handle more quilt bulk.
    3. Is there an big open toed free-motion/darning foot available? I hated the little darning foot that came with my machine. I couldn't see a thing.

    I'm sure there are more but I didn't think of them yet.


    I would think that the following would be part of things to think about:

    1. cost of feet [Can you get a 1/4 inch piecing foot with a blade, stitch in the ditch foot (mine is called a knit edge foot because I wanted the all metal construction for durability), etc]
    2. warranty and repair facility [Does the machine get serviced on site or does it have to be sent away? That is a big factor for me]
    3. if the machine can download stitched from a computer, is the software compatable with the new Windows 7 and Vista updates. (My machine will not load the software on the those new operating systems but the machine itself is still wonderful. Just wanted to give you a heads up on the software issues since my old computer "ate itself and I bought a new one".)

    I own a Pfaff 7570 and bought it new. I paid a lot for things I really probably haven't used enough of like the computerized emboidery, but I can't say enough about how the way it handles all sorts of fabric. That is important to me because I sew a lot of other things besides quilt pieces. Front bobbin loading has never been an issue for me because I don't think I've ever owned a machine that didn't do this. However, I bought my daughter her first sewing machine, a Janome DC2010 (fairly economical, has some good features, access to feet that are inexpensive, serviced at the place I purchased, etc.) It has a top loading bobbin and I liked it a lot. That little machine sews pretty well and has handled everything she has given it so far. She hasn't pieced anything so I can't tell you how well her new 1/4 inch foot works yet (or the stitch-in-the-ditch one either). We do use those feet for other sewing needs and they've preformed well so far.

    My point of view is just mine, but I have bought many machines over the years. I have to say I'm getting better with each one I purchase.

    Make sure you take fabric and thread with you to test drive a machine (make a small quilt sandwich or two as well.) I'm sure other people will think of more things to consider. I always envision sewing everything when I buy a machine (I kind of sound like Alton Brown, all things should multipurpose not just single task) because I usually end up doing it.
    I agree with your point about the IDT. I have a Pfaff 2170. I also have an older Pfaff and wanted machine embroidery. For me, the IDT was a "must have". When I teach machine quilting classes, non-Pfaff owners need to purchase a walking foot (which helps the machine feed the quilted layers evenly), while Pfaff owners do not. While this may not seem a big thing 'on paper', when you really get into the quilting, some even feed feet do not let you do decorative stitches with it on, where the Pfaff does. Also, you can use any foot with the IDT - I find that the open toe is wonderful for stitch-in-the-ditch, but many even feed feet do not come with an open toe variation. I also have the stitch-in-the-ditch foot, which works great with the IDT - again not generally available in an even feed foot variation. Just some quilting things to consider.

  5. #80

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    Hi!
    I'm in Elizabeth City, not too far into North Carolina. I have a Janome and I love it. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, as they say, but it does a fantastic job. I bought it here at the local Singer's store. They carry other brands other than Singer.

  6. #81
    ruthieg's Avatar
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    I have a Janome but I like the features of the newer Berninas.
    Definitly get one with the 1/4 inch foot and a walking foot unless it is built in.

  7. #82
    Senior Member gail-r's Avatar
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    Hi Cheryl,

    If you want a machine for peicing and machine quilting I would recommend a Juki TL98Q or TL98QE, These are semi-industrial machines, so they are heavy enough to handle heavy quilts. They also have a larger neck opening than most domestic machines, they are also very fast. I would recommend getting the 3/16" compensating foot, (got mine on ebay for $6.95) this foot will give you scant 1/4" seams even if you can't sew straight. The other thing is, they are great for free motion quilting, you can put them on a table or on a machine quilting frame. These machines are what a lot of the top nationally recognized quilters use, also many dress designers use them. They are resonably priced, new under $1000. and gently used around $500.00. Also they are metal construction, which you won't find in domestic machines. I also own Babylocks Ellegante, Ellure and Evolve, the Juki TL98Q was the cheapest of the 4, even new.

    Also, the Juki TL98Q does come with a maual needle threader.

    If you would like more info check online.

    Good luck, if I could only have 1 machine it would be the Juki.

    Hugs, Gail

  8. #83
    Junior Member SSTeacher's Avatar
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    Hi Cheryl:

    I am Sue and live in Newport News (Denbigh area). So glad you are getting involved in quilting. Anyone who is finishing their first quilt is no longer a "new" quilter.
    :lol:
    Your questions on sewing machines is a very personal decision. As you said, it is best to "test drive" and see which suits your need and is in your price range. There are many, many choices. I have a Janome and love it. If you would like to PM me anytime I would love to hear from you.

  9. #84

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    i have 2 bernina machines. they are quite expensive and if all i did was quilt i would not have spent so much money. actually a machine that straight and zig zag stiches would be sufficient to start down the quilting road. my mom used a treadle machine and her quilts were beautiful. welcome to this wonderful adventure of quilts. don't feel so alone. i do not have a quilting buddy but get encouragement from reading this newsletter. if you quilt or want to learn to quilt, you have more friends than you realize. keep us posted, dear friend.

  10. #85
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    My 2 cents - my Pfaff Expressions 2 is my main work horse and I felt very affordable (about $2,000) for all the sewing & quilting I do. It has dual lights, large throat plate area, easy to change out feet and many of the features required for quilting. In addition to the Pfaff I have a lightweight Janome for workshops and traveling (weighs only 12 lbs) but it's a great little machine. I also have an old Singer Serger and a very old all metal BelAir that goes through 6 layers of denim like a hot knife through butter. And recently I added a Bernina Embroidery machine. Though I used a Juki Long Arm machine and expandable table for a number of years, I found it restrictive which is why I use the Pfaff now for all my long arm needs. I've also found that the Pfaff (which I use daily) is in the shop a lot less than any of the others.
    Test driving is a must but the key is to find a service center you can work with that won't rip you off. I've been blessed with one of best family owned and operated service centers in all of Northern Arizona. Good people.

  11. #86
    Senior Member kclausing's Avatar
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    Since you are first starting out, I would not spend alot on a machine. I know you said you would stay away from a brother 6000, but I have the runway model and don't have any issues with it. I had one issue once, but it was my own oops that i figured out after walking away from it for a day. It has all the options I want, I am able to buy accessories on line for it. I figure the money I save now can be put towards a long arm later.

  12. #87
    Super Member JAGSD's Avatar
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    I have a Kenmore that was given to me as a graduation gift in 1981. I love it still!and use it 99% of the time. I have also been given a Viking that is probably 5 years old. I have used it but I always go back to my Kenmore. My Kenmore basically has 6 stitches but for quilting it has been great and have free motioned all my quilts up until this last February when purchased my dream APQS long arm. I still quilt small quilts on her(kenmore).

  13. #88

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    Hi. What model Kenmore do you have? What features does it have? Thanks for the input - it really helps.
    CherylR

  14. #89
    Super Member JAGSD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CherylR
    Hi. What model Kenmore do you have? What features does it have? Thanks for the input - it really helps.
    CherylR
    Kenmore Model # 13413
    As far as features it is all metal, it has blind stitch, overcast stitch, smocking stretch and special mending stitch and then straight and zig zag. Definetly not a fancy machine. But she has sure been worth her weight and more in gold. The only thing have ever had to do with as far as fixing was one time I got a new needle plate, and then about 4 months ago the foot pedal wire came unattatched(I'm sure from all the packing around of it that happens) so my husband reattatched the wire and just keep her cleaned and oiled on a regular basis.
    Hope you find a really good machine that you're happy with.

  15. #90

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    Thanks so much for the input. I will check out this machine online.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAGSD
    Quote Originally Posted by CherylR
    Hi. What model Kenmore do you have? What features does it have? Thanks for the input - it really helps.
    CherylR
    Kenmore Model # 13413
    As far as features it is all metal, it has blind stitch, overcast stitch, smocking stretch and special mending stitch and then straight and zig zag. Definetly not a fancy machine. But she has sure been worth her weight and more in gold. The only thing have ever had to do with as far as fixing was one time I got a new needle plate, and then about 4 months ago the foot pedal wire came unattatched(I'm sure from all the packing around of it that happens) so my husband reattatched the wire and just keep her cleaned and oiled on a regular basis.
    Hope you find a really good machine that you're happy with.

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