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Quilting Sewing Machine Recomendations

Quilting Sewing Machine Recomendations

Old 03-11-2018, 01:32 PM
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Hi! So 15 years ago I took a sewing class and ended up buying a used Janome SL2022 machine. Very heavy and great with the basics. Over the years I have spent 95% of my time making quilts and 5% on 2 sun dresses and a few Halloween costumes.

The timing is starting to need adjusting more and more frequently and I am thinking instead of sending it in again that I should get a new machine. I feel my top thread is usually looking straight but the back thread isn't. I want a solid good machine but I don't have the budget for a really, really good machine.

So, I've started the research and I need some help and guidance. Since I have had just the one machine some of my questions will be very basic, and maybe even stupid.

First -- I'm thinking of $400 as the top of my budget. I want a machine mainly for quilting, so wide opening and the little table. I want a good solid metal construction. I want the needle up/down feature (I don't have that now). I don't use a lot of stitches and I would prefer my funds go towards a solid machine instead of a computer for a pile of stitches I won't use. Or is the computer just a basic part of sewing machines now?

Second -- it would be nice if the extra feet I bought for my Janome would work on my new machine. Are they universal or does each machine brand make different feet?

And, I do have a sewing machine shop in town. I haven't looked at new machines there since they have all the big expensive ones. I should check with them to see what selection they have. It's the place where I bought my used one and they are super nice, but I would like to be more informed before going in.

So any suggestions or advice and what you like and has worked for you. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:16 PM
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I get what you're saying.

Unless you're super lucky your feet from 15 years ago won't fit. Heck I can't get mine to fit when it's been less than 15 years.

Your budget I don't think is large enough to get a machine with a large throat area, up/down needle/ and extra feet. I think computerized is a standard now.

I just purchased a machine. I have large throat, up/down, and more feet than an octopus needs. The stitch choice on the machine is amazing. It was expensive. I also purchased a table to put it on as the table I currently have won't fit the machine.

Look at Janome's and Bernina's. Stay away, far away from Singer.

I will tell you that a narrow throat and less stitches is less expensive. As far as feet go that depends on the model you choose as to what comes with it. My last machine I had to buy a 1/4" foot and a walking foot. This machine has those feet plus more that came with it.

Have fun shopping! Try them out. You could also ask if the store you're working with will sell their floor model.
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:35 PM
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I bought a Juki TL2010Q for less than 900.00, which is probably more than you want to spend but it's a great, solid, mechanical straight stitch only machine. It has a large throat, 3 thread cutters, speed control, and a great table. I love this machine. Oh and it's metal. More features that I'm forgetting.
I have a Bernina with all the bells and whistles, computerized, but the Juki is my FMQ machine. I love it!
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:42 PM
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Since you have a limited budget I would recommend that you ask around for demo models or trade-ins. The kind of machine you want is the kind I just bought myself. It is pretty much a no frills model and the kind that lots of people I would imagine might trade in because they want more options. Your local quilt guilds and fabric stores are also good sources of information on who has one to sell. Sure hope you find what you want. After 15 years you deserve it.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:20 PM
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Have 2 Vikings. Have 2 Janomes, one with the wid(er) throat. Have an Eversewn Sparrow. And, to fill out the stable, a 1917 Singer 66. If you want a brand new machine for about $400, you won’t get the wider throat, probably not the extension table, don’t know about needle up/down or thread cutter. If it has been 15 years since you shopped for a sewing machine, be prepared for sticker shock. A top of the line Bernina will out you back the orice of a small car. But you can try some of these ideas.

—get an eversewn sparrow. Great little machine, but no wide throat
—look on craigslist for a used machine that fits your criteria.
— see if your sewing machine dealer has a used Janome 1600, Brother 1500, or Juki 2000/2010 taken in trade for a reasonable price.
—see you can get last year’s model of any of the above machines, which will bring the, closer to your budget. Try to get the dealer to throw in some extras.

Good luck.

Last edited by Krisb; 03-11-2018 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:44 PM
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I purchased my Brother Nouvelle 1500s used for $400. It has a 9" harp space, is straight-stitch only, mechanical (not computerized, so no boards to replace), knee lift, thread cutter, needle threader, needle up/down. I own 7 machines and this one is my favorite. Retail price is $800-$900, although sometimes you can find it for $599 or $699. I haven't checked prices in a couple of years, so it's possible my info is out of date.

Janome makes a very similar machine, the 1600P. It has all the same features as the Brother I listed above, only you can't lower the feed dogs. I have to put a special plate on it if I want to quilt.

To be honest, I think you'd be very, very lucky to find such a machine with a table for $400. I bought mine from a friend who was upgrading.

I think your best bet is a used mechanical machine such as one of these. Put the word out to your local guilds, quilt shops, and dealers that this is what you're looking for. Watch Craigslist and other social media outlets that allow you to search by local, such as NextDoor.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:37 AM
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I'd look at the Juki 2000! It's the same as the Juki 2010 straight stitcher except without the speed control and you can find it on Amazon for less than $700. Has a very large throat, very heavy and sturdy, excellent stitch quality. The mechanical straight stitchers on always on my local craigslist, perhaps that's something you could look at? The Brother 1500s is another good machine that is usually less than $700, also on Amazon.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:22 AM
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I agree with looking for a used Brother 1500 or comparable Juki or Janome. I lucked into my Brother PQ 1500 Nouvelle used. It has all the features you are looking for. I couldn't be happier with it. Even new on Amazon they are less expensive than the others. They are simplemechanical machines that don't need a lot of service. They use high shank feet so guessing yours won't work. Good luck on finding something.
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Old 03-12-2018, 07:40 AM
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I may get kicked off this site for what I'm going to say here, but ... I have a high priced, fancy sewing machine. It's sitting on the floor of a closet. A few years ago I bought a standard, manual heavy duty SINGER for $99 from WALMART of all places to be a back-up for the fancy one, just in case. And, guess what? The fancy one stays in the closet and the cheapy Singer is used all the time! I'm really old. I don't even have a cell phone!

Please let me stay here. I love y'all!


My advise - Hang onto your old one --- for a 'back-up.'

Last edited by SillySusan; 03-12-2018 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:26 AM
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Why would we kick you off for saying that? That's just silly, SillySusan.
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