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Thread: picking a newsewing machine

  1. #1
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    picking a newsewing machine

    I have a 12 yr. old Bernina. I thought when I bought it I was getting the best. I think I got rooked though, and was sold a demonstrator instead of the new one I ordered. Too late to do anything about that, but I've had nothing but headaches with that darn thing. Am thinking of buying a new one, but I am so spooked with all the "latest and greatest". My older sister had a Singer that she used for years with no problems. I'd NEVER buy a Singer though, old or new. Had one, had major problems...it was in shop more than in my home. SOOOOO, I'm in a quandary as to which brand to pick. Read on here that the Baby Lock is good, but stay away from Singer, Viking, Pfaff, and others. I do lots of sewing and quilting, but am NOT interested in machine quilting....I only piece on my machine and only do hand quilting which I dearly love. I'm not sure, but I think Great Gramma would turn her nose up at machine quilting...it's just not legitimate. LOL Let's keep tradition as tradition... Any help out there? Oh, I did like a Janome that I saw 4 or 5 years ago. It was priced around $500 or $600.

  2. #2
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    I just bought a new Janome. I bought it on e bay. Brand new, still in the box, shipped from the warehouse. Its a $700.00 machine and I got it for $419.00 no shipping and no taxes. Its a Janome DC 3050 I just love it. Bought it Nov. 28th and got it Dec. 5th The person advertising them on e bay is a Janome dealer. I called them and bought mine, dont like to use credit cards on line. Good Luck!!

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    I had my mom's old Bernina 830 that she bought in the 70's I think. It sewed like a champ! I did finally get a new Janome 6500 about two years ago ONLY because I wanted all the newer things like thread cutter, self thread needle, knee lift, and a whole bunch more stitches. Before deciding on that model, I searched the internet for pros and cons on all sorts of models IN MY PRICE RANGE. You find more cons than pros alot of times. But my advice to you is to decide on the things you want in a new machine and your price range. Then go to stores to actually try out the different machines. They all feel different. I found out some of the less expensive models felt like really cheap when sewing although they look great and price was right. Things to think about is will you be taking to quiltiing classes? if so think about the weight. My Janome is rather heavy but I don't take that one to classes. How many of those fancy stitches will you really use? How much room does the throat area have? I really thought I wanted another Bernina but in my price range all I could get was one that had only 6 inches! My 6500 has 9inches. SHop around, price compare and dont hesitate to try and get a better price. They can bargin like car dealers! Good Luck, and I am sure which ever machine you decide on you will love it!

    I did buy mine online and paid $900 for new in the box with a 30 full refund return policy if I didn't like it. They would even pay the shipping to return it! How could I not try it! I tried it and Loved it!
    Last edited by QuiltingKrazy; 12-23-2011 at 05:32 AM.
    Lisa B in NC
    Quilting is my Happy Thought!
    http://www.quiltingkrazy.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member scrappy2's Avatar
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    If you can test drive different machines might help. I would check what machine features I wanted. I have Janomes and love them. I have a local Janome store for support that is nice to have and also the $$$ you want to pay. Good luck in your search & let us know what you decide.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lenette's Avatar
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    I once had a Bernina that had a pedal that overheated. Boy, did that thing get hot! The dealer at the time was puzzled by that. A few years later, the company sent out some diverter or something to put in the pedal to keep it from overheating. Well, then it would shut down and not work till it was ready. Didn't take me long to get rid of that. I started getting Vikings because I liked the one I used at my sister-in-laws. Have had those over the years. Some had quirks, but I LOVE my Platinum. I still have my old #1, but the thread breaks when I am edge stitching, which I did a lot of, so that was frustrating.
    Lenette

  6. #6
    Super Member Nanaquilts44's Avatar
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    I love my Baby Lock. Sews like a champ and no problems. Had it for 2 years.

  7. #7
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I have both a Bernina and Janome. Sounds like your problem is with your dealer, not your machine. Look for a different dealer!

  8. #8
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    My recommendation is to look online at Ken's Sewing in Alabama. I have been to the store, and have purchased two machines from him. His online sales has now reached 46,000+, with a 99.7% satisfaction. It is a great place, his packaging for shipping is fantastic, and there are no shipping charges. At least give it a look.

  9. #9
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    I, too, love my Viking Platinum. A friend of mine purchased a new Viking either last year or the year before and is very happy with it as well. Sorry, don't remember the model on hers. I, too, machine piece and hand quilt. I will machine quilt charity quilts that require it but otherwise, it's hand quilting all the way for me!

  10. #10
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    I have a Pfaff and a Babylock. The Pfaff is my favorite by far. I have had it for years. I use the Babylock to do free motion quilting. Good luck on your search, don't get in a hurry and take your time.

  11. #11
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    I've had many Pfaff's and love them all!

  12. #12
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Have to stick up for my vikings. Have 6 and I really love them. I bought my first one 15 years ago and have purchased the rest over the years. Only had one in the shop once in all these years. I would never part with any of them. Lots of good machines out their but I will stick with my vikings. I own the plus1, designer1, designer diamond, mega quilter, mega quilter18x8, and serger. Good luck on your quest and happy sewing.

  13. #13
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I have Pfaff's and love them. Some friends have Vikings ... etc, etc, etc.

    Don't put the machines down til you try them.

    More important is to define your budget, your wants vs needs, and then service and learning assistance locally available, and of course, which machine do you bond with. If you don't bond with a machine you won't enjoy using it.

    ali
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  14. #14
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    I have 2 vikings, one is the lowest priced the other high end that does embroidery, both are 5 years old and the only time they haven't been home has been the once a year clean up and lube! They are wonderful machines
    Patski
    always learning

  15. #15
    Super Member feffertim's Avatar
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    Ihave a Janome 6600 and a Viking Sapphire. Both are wonderful machines and I would recommend either. You can shop around and get good prices on ebay.

  16. #16
    Super Member Arleners's Avatar
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    I have had a Bernina 440 QE for a number of years. It is a good machine, but did not have any of the bells and whistles that are on the market today. Last year I bought a Brother Innovia (Laura Ashley Edition) I am in love. It has all the features I wanted. Thread cutter, wide stitching, multi directional stitching, etc. Any problems I have had were operator generated as I have learned the tricks of the machine. I worked at a quilt store that sold Bernina's. Then the owner wanted to expand and took in Babylocks. It turned out, most of the employees would gravitate to the Babylocks when we were sewing projects. Brother manufactures the Babylock machines so if you like Babylock you will like Brother.
    Arlene

  17. #17
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    I would never say to stay away from viking I have two and love them. I think any machine you can have trouble with just like cars. Try them out get the one you like do not go by what others say. Make up your own mind and you will be much happier.

  18. #18
    Member JaneH's Avatar
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    After reading this thread, my head is spinning!!! So many "best" machines! It just goes to show that there are actually a whole LOT of good machines out there.... and like computers, no matter what you choose, you'll always then see another that is just a little better, has just a few more bells and whistles, is just that much better bargain, and on and on it goes. Probably the best route is to pick one that meets your needs at the moment, buy it, and live with it.

    I just bought a Brother Innovis 600, and a lot of people turn their noses up at Brother machines. But I love it and it does everything I need, so there you go.....

    Good luck!

  19. #19
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I love my Janome 6600.....bought her used and got a great deal....she has all the bells and whistles that I need, but I think the accufeed system (built in walking foot) and the thread cutter were the selling points for me!

  20. #20
    Super Member athomenow's Avatar
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    I also have Vikings and over the past twenty years that I've owned them I've never had a major repair. I did have to replace the motherboard in the #1Plus but that was because lightning surge got it. I love them and will buy another one. I will make sure it's made in Sweden and not China. That's why Singers are not good any more, they are all made in China.
    Debra

  21. #21
    Super Member maryb119's Avatar
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    I think the "best machine" is the one that is right for you. Go to several dealers and try different machines. You will know when you find the right one for you. I am a Pfaff lover. They are perfect for me. I have had my 7550 for 16 years and the only thing I have ever done for it is regular cleanings and a once every 18 month tune up by my dealer. My other machine is a Pfaff 2144 with all the upgrades so it is actually a 2170 machine. Again, I have regular cleanings and tune ups. You would not drive your car with out having it serviced now and then. My machines are work horses. I was head seamstress for a bridal shop for 5 years and used my machines for my work. The both have a "lot of miles" on them but run and stitch beautifully. The duel feed is a feature that I won't be without. You have to decided for yourself which one is the best machine for you. You know what you will use it for and your price range. Don't overlook a refurbished machine. Sometimes you can get more for less that way. Good luck on your search.

  22. #22
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    I love my Babylock and I highly recommend it.

  23. #23
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    The machines you haven't had good luck with may have just been lemons. For however many good a company makes there seems to be a lemon pop up every so often. Just as any thing mechanical.
    Don't put down machine quilting, it is the modern thing. I use to hand quilt, now at 66, I want to make 17 or 18 quilts a year to use up the fabrics I have, if I hand quilted them I would be doing good to make 2 or 3. I love making quilts and FMQ on my domestic machines and not worried about what others consider 'tradition', I've never been big on tradition anyway. I make quilts to suit myself and don't worry about what others think.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  24. #24
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    i purchased my last machine from kens sewing in alabama too it was my christmas present last year they have everything and great customer service too a small part came loose in shipping and broke they replaced it fast and without question. my machine sews great i wish they were close enough for servicing but we have an older gentlman in our area that is wonderful. so far its only had to have basic routine maintanence and were at a yr now. it the smoothest machine ive ever sewn on. its a brother it makes beautiful stitches and is very dependable and was cheaper than all the ones at walmart even the same model so i definately reccomend them. theve have lots of brands that was just the one i chose that was in my price range.
    carla
    Last edited by carla m; 12-24-2011 at 09:12 AM.

  25. #25
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    Like Candace, it sounds to me like your dealer is the problem, not the machine. There are generally advantages to getting a demo model - less cost, all the little startup problems solved. I've bought two demo models, and I was very pleased with both. However if you were told you were getting one thing and then got another, that's a dealer problem. Personally, I love my Berninas. If you already have one, you might find that a new one would be able to use a lot of the feet you already have (depending on the model). However I would recommend picking a good dealer and then the machine. All the big companies have good machines - Bernina, Pfaff, Viking, Janome, Babylock/Brother. Find a good dealer and the rest will follow.

    Pam

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