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Thread: Quilting Machines?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    Howdy y'all :c)

    Although I'm well aware that sewing machines can cost into the thousands of dollars, I'm poor. LOL! I'm fairly new to quilting, and I've made about 9 quilts and a dog bed so far. I've made a full-sized rag quilt, a twin-sized fat quarter quilt, several lap-sized fat quarter quilts, and a dog bed. I also made several scrappy pincushions as Christmas gifts using a log cabin design. I made my first quilt (the rag quilt) in August 2010...just 4 months ago. The rag quilt and the dog bed were "quilt as you go", and the fat quarter quilts were fairly simple to quilt just by making X's across the fat quarters, then sewing around the edges in straight lines. But I'm wanting to get into making some more complicated quilts that need to be quilted after the top is done. To be quite honest, it doesn't seem feasible to me to pay a boat-load of money to have someone else quilt a top for me if I can do it myself.

    Wal-Mart has a Brother sewing/quilting machine for $199.99. I'm sure it's probably not as good as some that cost much more, but would it be good enough for someone who is just starting out and learning how to do it? I was thinking about getting this machine when I get my tax refund, but don't want to just throw away a couple hundred bucks if it's not worth it. Does anyone know anything about this machine, or can advise me on whether doing my own quilting is something I want to even get into at this stage? I would sure appreciate it! :c)

    Donna

  2. #2
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I was told by a brother dealer not to buy walmart brothers. She said they are poor quality, she suggested I buy a used one out of the paper or online.

  3. #3
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    First off I love the brother machines. I have 2 of them. I quilt on both and both have a 6in. throat, quilting anything bigger then a lap quilt is a major pain. You might want to check around for machines that have a longer throat. Now having said that how big of a throat does it have??

  4. #4
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    I was told by a brother dealer not to buy walmart brothers. She said they are poor quality, she suggested I buy a used one out of the paper or online.
    I bought both of mine at walmart and paid less than $60.00 for each and have had them for about 2 years and they still run perfect.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bubblegum0077's Avatar
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    WalMart machines are on the low, low, low end of quality and will not handle constant and larger sewing loads. You will also have a difficult time getting it fixed - almost as much as the purchase price. Look for a better brand Brother at a sewing machine shop or on craigslist or in the paper. Check it out before buying so you can determine if the machine needs any fine tuning or adjustments; especially if it skips stitches. Look for that when you are buying used machines. Brother makes great machines, but don't get the WM one there.

    Janome also sells great inexpensive machines and my machine was purchased at Fabric Art Shop in Lake City Florida. Google them, ask for Barbie and have her explain to you all the good stuff about Janome sewing machines. She has several to fit everyones budget. Maybe she can ship you one. Depending on how much you put into quilting, over time the better machine will be worth your investment. Buy the best machine you can afford even if it means putting it on layaway and making payments. You won't regret it at all and you can sew on the smaller one until it's paid off.

    Good luck and enjoy the hunt because you will learn a lot about sewing machine features along the way.

  6. #6
    Senior Member klarina's Avatar
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    I have two brothers. Both are embroidery and sewing machines. Both work super great. They are very easy to learn. I don't know about the walmart thing but I wonder why would brother manufacture a low quality machine just for walmart? Never heard of this before.
    My two cents.

  7. #7
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I bought a brother machine from walmart and had nothing but trouble with it. I traded it in on a babylock (and hated it too, btw, but not as much).

  8. #8
    Junior Member Kryssa's Avatar
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    I would get a machine at a quilt shop if at all possible. I bought my Janome for $399 (they do have less expensive models) and all the machines at my shop come with free maintenance for a year, free classes, and lots of discounts for fabric and notions. Plus, if you ever have trouble with your machine, the owner knows you and will take care of you. You won't get that a at Walmart.

  9. #9
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Besides price, what would the difference be between a Brother CP6500 purchased at Wal-mart and a Brother CP6500 purchased at Jo-Anns?

    If you contacted Brother, how could they tell from the model number where you purchased your machine.?

  10. #10
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Joann's is no better than Walmart when it comes to machines. Also, does Joann's even sell Brother? I thought they only sold Singer and Simplicity machines.

  11. #11
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gale
    Joann's is no better than Walmart when it comes to machines. Also, does Joann's even sell Brother? I thought they only sold Singer and Simplicity machines.
    I looked up the 6500 at Walmart then went to the JoAnn's site and found teh very same 6500. Picuters are identical.

  12. #12
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kryssa
    I would get a machine at a quilt shop if at all possible. I bought my Janome for $399 (they do have less expensive models) and all the machines at my shop come with free maintenance for a year, free classes, and lots of discounts for fabric and notions. Plus, if you ever have trouble with your machine, the owner knows you and will take care of you. You won't get that a at Walmart.
    Good advice.

  13. #13
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    at a machine shop you may be able to purchase a better machine used at equal or lower price...at least take the time to check it out. As mentioned by other posters, having a place to take your machine if you have problems is almost essential....

  14. #14
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    I'm really surprised a Brother dealer would make a statement like that - Brother and Janome are both made by the same manufacturer, the biggest difference is looks and price, their functions are almost identical.

    If you want to check out reviews on sewing machines, go to
    http://sewing.patternreview.com/.

    I have bought several Brothers from Walmart and never had a problem. Sometimes you do get a lemon though, but that can happen with any machine.

    The Brother CS6000i and the XR9000 have good ratings. Look for them on Amazon, they have really good prices. Janome has good machines, they are a little more expensive and I don't think they have that nice extension table the Brother's have, but they also have a good reputation.

    My Joanns is now selling Vikings and they have a good reputation too. Stay away from the new Singers, they are suffering from poor construction these days - plastic parts covering metal gears, have a lot of "break apart" issues.

    If you see something you really like, I'd check out the reviews and ask the board members if they have/had one and what they think.

  15. #15
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    what machine are you sewing on now? i bet your own machine is every bit as good as that brother machine...just because they are putting 'quilting-machine' on the box doesn't mean it's going to stitch any better, it's just a gimmick to attract the market. unless a machine is a mid-arm or long-arm i would not waste money on a different machine for quilting unless i needed to replace my sewing machine. that is all the brother is,(and probably with alot less stitches than your machine)
    it may come with an extension table for quilting but you can probably buy an extension table for your machine for alot less than $199.

  16. #16
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    NEVERETT'S SEW AND VAC INC
    NASHUA'S SEW AND VAC SPECIALIST
    PHONE 1 603-883-5409 E MAIL [email protected]
    This store has been around for about 50 years....they sell new and used Jamones - if you are looking to buy a used one I would highly recommend buying from a store that fixes them. I have never heard any bad things about this store...My Mom use to go there when I was a kid...this is where my hubby bought my new machine....

  17. #17
    Super Member Yarn or Fabric's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a quilting machine, I would suggest saving up a little more or looking for at least a 9" harped machine. You will be trading one 6" for another 6".

    From what I have seen, the "quilting machines" sold just include some extra feet for quilting and whatnot. You are really going to want more neck room for maneuvering quilts. You might score one on Craigslist or from a dealer used as a trade in :)

  18. #18
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    I would avoid Walmart machines if at all possible. They are very low end--not the same as the Brother's you get at a sewing machine shop-they are specially made for those big box stores. Don't expect any instruction or customer service.
    If you can get used at a sewing machine shop that would be much better. Sears machines are also excellent-they are made by Janome I believe-and are very well priced and good quality.

  19. #19
    Junior Member sharkee's Avatar
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    I bought a Brother at Target and after 2 months I broke a needle and knocked it out of alignment. I finally found someone to work on it and have had nothing but trouble so I saved and got a Janome. The lady that fixed it told me that Brothers are very good machines as long as you DON'T get them from Walmart/Kmart or Target. She said they are made on an assembly line and not tested to make sure everything is ok before shipping because they are so cheap most people will just go buy another one instead of paying for a repair

  20. #20
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    First off I love the brother machines. I have 2 of them. I quilt on both and both have a 6in. throat, quilting anything bigger then a lap quilt is a major pain. You might want to check around for machines that have a longer throat. Now having said that how big of a throat does it have??
    Thanks for your reply! I also have a Brother sewing machine, Model number LX-3125 that I bought at Wal-Mart for $79.99. I bought it on the advice of one of the teachers/leaders in our quilting group at work who said she has had the very same model for years and has never had a problem with it that a good cleaning and oiling wouldn't fix. So far I've done all of my quilts, the dog bed, and 9 pincushions on it. I've quilted all of the fat quarter quilts on it. Even the lap quilts can be a pain, but the twin sized one I did was a bear! The one I'm looking at has a long throat and has 22 different quilting stitches, plus free motion quilting.

    I'd like to make some bigger quilts than I already have, and I know some of the women in the quilting group I'm in have paid $50.00 to have a twin sized quilt quilted by someone else. Anything bigger and the price just goes up. If I just quilted 4 quilts on it, it will have paid for itself in my opinion. But if that's something this machine can't do, I don't want to invest the money. I don't want to invest it either if it's something I might not be ready to do at my level. Y'know? ;-)

    Donna

  21. #21
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckcowl
    what machine are you sewing on now? i bet your own machine is every bit as good as that brother machine...just because they are putting 'quilting-machine' on the box doesn't mean it's going to stitch any better, it's just a gimmick to attract the market. unless a machine is a mid-arm or long-arm i would not waste money on a different machine for quilting unless i needed to replace my sewing machine. that is all the brother is,(and probably with alot less stitches than your machine)
    it may come with an extension table for quilting but you can probably buy an extension table for your machine for alot less than $199.
    Thanks for your reply! :-) The machine I have now is a Brother LX-3125 that I bought at Wal-Mart. It's a pretty basic machine, but it works great! The one I'm looking at has 22 different stitches (some very pretty ones!) as compared to the 14 that the one I have now has. It has a long-arm plus the extension table.

    Donna

  22. #22
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    Howdy y'all :c)

    Several people here have suggested that I go buy a used machine. Problem is, I already did that.....twice. When the word first started being spread that a quilting group would be started at work, I bought a Singer machine at a yard sale. I was REALLY excited about it and thought I had found a great deal! Unfortunately, once I got it home, I realized it had no bobbin, and with no owner's manual there was nothing to tell me what sized bobbin it used. I went to both of my sisters who have sewed for years, and even though both of them had several different bobbins they had picked up over the years, neither one had one that would work with it. No one seemed to be able to tell me what to buy for it. So I bought yet another used one from Craigslist and when I got it to the quilting group's first meeting, the thread bunched up on it so bad when I sewed with it that it was pretty much unusable. It was also so old that even the most experienced seamstresses in our group knew nothing about the machine or how to solve the problem. This was also a Singer, by the way. So I ended up going and buying a new one from Wal-Mart.

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is that even though I know how to use my own machine and have learned how to troubleshoot it, I don't feel like I have enough experience to buy something used and not get a lemon. I was hoping someone here had some experience with this machine, or could tell me if I should even be thinking of undertaking doing my own quilting at this stage of my experience. I sure do appreciate the responses I've gotten so far! Please keep them coming! You guys are GREAT! :c)

    Donna

  23. #23
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    My DH bought me the Horizon...it was 2,400 which is a lot but my husband is the one who said that it would pay for its self if I did not have to pay someone to quilt my quilts for me so he bought me one...this can do a King size quilt I am doing a queen size one now and half done in one hour...very easy and fits in without rolling it. I am loving!!! it...
    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaFreak
    Quote Originally Posted by cjomomma
    First off I love the brother machines. I have 2 of them. I quilt on both and both have a 6in. throat, quilting anything bigger then a lap quilt is a major pain. You might want to check around for machines that have a longer throat. Now having said that how big of a throat does it have??
    Thanks for your reply! I also have a Brother sewing machine, Model number LX-3125 that I bought at Wal-Mart for $79.99. I bought it on the advice of one of the teachers/leaders in our quilting group at work who said she has had the very same model for years and has never had a problem with it that a good cleaning and oiling wouldn't fix. So far I've done all of my quilts, the dog bed, and 9 pincushions on it. I've quilted all of the fat quarter quilts on it. Even the lap quilts can be a pain, but the twin sized one I did was a bear! The one I'm looking at has a long throat and has 22 different quilting stitches, plus free motion quilting.

    I'd like to make some bigger quilts than I already have, and I know some of the women in the quilting group I'm in have paid $50.00 to have a twin sized quilt quilted by someone else. Anything bigger and the price just goes up. If I just quilted 4 quilts on it, it will have paid for itself in my opinion. But if that's something this machine can't do, I don't want to invest the money. I don't want to invest it either if it's something I might not be ready to do at my level. Y'know? ;-)

    Donna
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  24. #24
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I bought a Walmart Brother for my granddaughter....and I've been sorry ever since. It's got a ton of problems that she didn't need!!!!

  25. #25
    Senior Member DonnaFreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarn or Fabric
    If you are looking for a quilting machine, I would suggest saving up a little more or looking for at least a 9" harped machine. You will be trading one 6" for another 6".

    From what I have seen, the "quilting machines" sold just include some extra feet for quilting and whatnot. You are really going to want more neck room for maneuvering quilts. You might score one on Craigslist or from a dealer used as a trade in :)
    Thanks so much for your reply! :-) This one actually does have more neck room, more stitches than the one I already have, plus an extension table as well.

    Could you please explain the first part of your reply to me? what is a "harped machine"? Is the measurements you gave referring to the neck size? Thanks in advance! :c)

    Donna

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