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Thread: Opinions needed on sewing machines

  1. #1
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Opinions needed on sewing machines

    I'm looking to possibly upgrade. I currently have a Janome "Heart" machine (like a Gem?). I am finding that the area from the right side of the needle to the right "arm" of the machine is too small (a bit shy of 5"). [Does this make any sense?]

    I am currently looking at: Brother PQ1500SL or Juki TL2000Qi. Both have areas from needle to the right side of machine of 9" and come with an extension table. Both are in the $600-700 range (which is my absolute maximum to spend). I have not seen these machines in person yet, only on the computer.

    Does anyone own these machines? What can you tell me about them? Are there other machines that I may want to consider?

    Thanks in advance!
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  2. #2
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    I have the Brother PQ1500SL, have had it for almost 10 years, and have never had problem with it, a great machine.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I have the Brother 1500. I have been very happy with it. I do all my machine quilting on this machine.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  4. #4
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    They're both great machines. Lots of quilters here on the Board use them. I have the Juki TL2010Q. Got it 5 years ago. I've done a lot of quilts on it. Never a problem.

  5. #5
    Senior Member maudeflanagan's Avatar
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    I have a Juki TL-2200 QVP mini. It's the latest in the TL series, and I love it. It's a workhorse and I wouldn't trade it for any other machine. One difference between mine and the 2000 is the pre-tensioner which I'm not sure if it's a deal breaker between the 2000 and the 2010/2200. I think it's pretty unanimous that people who own a machine from this line absolutely love it. I can't recall anyone saying bad things about them. I picked up my machine used on eBay for $600+shipping. There were some feet that were missing and it had only been used for about 3 months.

    I don't have experience with the Brother machine, but I think it's loved as well. The major difference besides price is the Brother doesn't have a speed adjustment. Everything is done with the foot pedal. The Juki has a speed slider and I can set it to low and no matter how much I press the pedal, it will only go slow. To me, this was an important feature. The Juki extension table is also larger.

    You may want to look into these machines used as well. I feel like any of the Juki TL or Brother 1500 series will suit what you need.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TheMerkleFamily's Avatar
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    I think in the $600-$700 price range you can't beat the Juki (or Brother) for an excellent straight-stitch only machine with a generous throat space that will FMQ beautifully! As already mentioned, I haven't heard a negative comment on either of these machines as they seem to perform wonderfully.

    I suggest you test drive both to see how they feel to you but I can't imagine you'll be disappointed with either. Before I bought my Juki I had played around on both and they are very, very similar but the Juki is the one that followed me home. Primarily, because I decided to pay a bit more for the TL2200QVP mini that came with several add'l feet.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide!
    Christine
    In my dream world.... fabric is free and quilting makes you thin!

  7. #7
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Anita, I don't know about the Juki TLQi but I have the TL2010Q and it's a great machine. My FMQ has improved a lot since I bought it I paid 874.00 for mine.

  8. #8
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Thanks! Sounds like I will now need to test drive both machines. Not purchasing just yet (unless there is a super, duper fabulous $$$$$ off deal) as this is a large purchase and I still need to save up some more pennies. I am researching now and hope to own a new machine by July or so.

    Thanks again!
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  9. #9
    Junior Member CurliQ's Avatar
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    I have the Baby Lock Jane. It has a very big throat space. It's only straight stitch. I have quilted full to almost queen on it with no problem.

  10. #10
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    The Baby Lock Jane is the same as the Brother PQ1500s. They are excellent machines and can be found used for $350 to $500.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158 model 1914/. 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  11. #11
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    ILoveToQuilt - that area on your machine is called the harp area. My Janome 6600 has a harp area that is 9" and makes it so much easier to do my own machine quilting. There are machines that have larger yet harp areas. Good luck in your search for a new machine.

  12. #12
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    I have the Brother 1500 and love it. Straight stitch only. Use if for piecing and quilting. Work horse.

  13. #13
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    I've been exploring machines online and found that the JukiTL2000q is the top rated machine for quilting. I have a Viking Sapphire which frustrates me so I have been researching other machines. My question is : does anyone know what the difference is between the 2000q & the 2010Q? Since the 2000q is top rated that is what I'm probably going to buy but I'm curious about the difference.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TheMerkleFamily's Avatar
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    There are improvements from the TL-2000 to the TL-2010.. the 2010 has speed control, a sub-tension and I believe it comes with both a 1/4" and 1/5" quilting foot. Both machines get wonderful reviews.. Then there's the new and improved TL-2200qvp mini that comes with several add'l feet including a walking foot..

    Can't go wrong with any of them!
    Christine
    In my dream world.... fabric is free and quilting makes you thin!

  15. #15
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Going out tomorrow to test drive the Brother PQ1500SL and a Baby Lock Jazz. The Jazz is on sale for $700 and has a larger harp (12") and has 28 stitches as opposed to just the straight stitch on the Brother and Juki. Since the Jazz is now in the price range, I will definitely consider it. Both of these are available locally (tax free!) but the Juki dealer is a bit of a drive and would add 6.25% tax (an extra 40.63) bringing the Juki price up to $700 as well. I have seen the Brother as low as $599 on Amazon and up to $700 at JAF. Don't know what the dealer will charge as yet.

    Thanks everyone for your input! A new machine might be coming home with me sooner, rather than later! Yay!
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  16. #16
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Be sure to let us know when/what you get. How exciting!!!

  17. #17
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILoveToQuilt View Post
    Going out tomorrow to test drive the Brother PQ1500SL and a Baby Lock Jazz. The Jazz is on sale for $700 and has a larger harp (12") and has 28 stitches as opposed to just the straight stitch on the Brother and Juki. Since the Jazz is now in the price range, I will definitely consider it. Both of these are available locally (tax free!) but the Juki dealer is a bit of a drive and would add 6.25% tax (an extra 40.63) bringing the Juki price up to $700 as well. I have seen the Brother as low as $599 on Amazon and up to $700 at JAF. Don't know what the dealer will charge as yet.

    Thanks everyone for your input! A new machine might be coming home with me sooner, rather than later! Yay!
    please read reviews on the Jazz. It doesn't have needle up and some quilters have other issues with it. The baby lock Jane is the sister machine to the brother. I have the Brother 1500 and love it. I have never missed the speed control.
    Alyce

  18. #18
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Test drove the Jazz and I like it. Neither the Brother nor Juki are available in my area. One dealer was nasty when I asked it they could order one...not unless I buy it sight unseen. Huh? At another dealer I was told that the Juki was discontinued and replaced with a higher priced machine (the 2010). One Brother dealer was pushing me to order the Jane at $500 more than the "equivalent" Brother. I will be looking at the reviews of the Jazz. I think that I will probably be going with that machine. It seems to have everything I am looking for and the dealer is local, offers free instruction classes (as many as I need), increases the free service warranty to 2 years and has been in business for many, many years. I spent almost 3 hours "playing" on the Jazz and will take DH to see it this weekend.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

  19. #19
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Please be sure you don't want needle up/down which the Jazz doesn't have. You can order a new Brother 1500 or Juki on Amazon. They really don't need classes to operate.
    Alyce

  20. #20
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    Hello, I just got the Juki TL 2010Q a few weeks ago from Overstock and used a coupon and store credit for writing some reviews, so my total price came to just under $805.00, for a machine I've not been able to find at that price ever. I had been doing my piecing with a Brother Limited Edition Project Runway and having issues with sewing over several layers in the seams. The Juki plows through those seams like butter! I have yet to try fmq, but I'm sure it will go better than my few (feeble) attempts on the Brother. Good luck on your journey!

  21. #21
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Things to think about with the Jazz: although it has 12" to the right of the needle, the space from the bed to the bottom of the arm is much lower than the space in either the Juki or the Brother PQ1500s, so it actually doesn't have any more room to offer for pushing a large quilt through the machine. The entire harp space, side to side and top to bottom can make a difference in ease of maneuvering a quilt when FMQ. Also, the head of the Jazz is much wider in order to allow for movement of the needle while forming the extra stitches which means that the visibility around the needle won't be as good as on the Juki or Brother PQ1500s-- this won't matter if you just want to do straight line quilting using a walking foot or regular foot, but it will be important if you are interested in FMQ. Both the Juki and the Brother can be set up to stop with the needle down which is useful (though not necessary) when FMQ. The Jazz does not have this option. Several people have reported that when piecing with the Jazz, they had a problem with it not wanting to go over seams. That was reported in at least one review here on the board.

    If you go for the Jazz, be sure to take a lot of samples with you to make sure it will do everything you want it to do. I'd take a largish quilt to see what it's like putting it through the harp. I'd also take some piecing that has lots of intersecting seams to make sure it will feed over the thickness of the seams. If you have been FMQ on another machine, then take some sandwiches and see what it's like as far as visibility goes for FMQ.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158 model 1914/. 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  22. #22
    Super Member ILoveToQuilt's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone! I ended up buying the Jazz. Could not test any of the other machines I was interested in and would not buy a machine I couldn't try first. I don't make bed sized quilts, so putting a "large" quilt through the Jazz won't be an issue. I bought at a local dealer who offers 100% trade-up for one year, prorated after that. My DH (who is an engineer) really put the machine through it's paces and he that it was a well-made machine.

    Thanks everyone for their help.
    Anita

    The only place that housework comes before quilting is in the dictionary.

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