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Recommended Sewing Machine?

Recommended Sewing Machine?

Old 09-24-2022, 08:30 AM
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Default Recommended Sewing Machine?

I want to buy my first sewing machine! I have NO idea what to look for in a machine other than if I want certain features.
I basically want to be able to sew and learn to quilt. I donít need tons of fancy options but I want a good machine that I can grow with as my skills get better.
Recommendations on machines you like or donít like?
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Old 09-24-2022, 09:43 AM
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I love my little Janome Jem Platinum. It's a small, lightweight machine with a speed control, and a needle up-down feature. Other than that, not many bells and whistles. Because it's lightweight I don't use it for machine quilting (sewing the top, batting, and backing together) but for piecing it's my favorite. I also have a mechanical Bernina which is heavier in weight and which I do use for machine quilting. I prefer a non-computerized machine (though my little Janome does have a computer in it) because long after the brains are gone out of the computerized machines, the mechanical machines keep truckin' along. I still sew with my mother's 1970's era Viking-Husqvarna, a good machine in its time, and one which has held up well over the years. So -- bottom line, I guess, is this: For quilting you need a machine that can sew a straight line. Really, there isn't much else necessary, other than that. You may want to try something like an entry-level Brother, which would not be terribly expensive but would give you a chance to see whether you like quilting. Let us know what you decide!
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Old 09-24-2022, 10:21 AM
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Singer Heavy Duty 4423. Best machine I've ever owned. Sews extremely well and I can sew everything from fine netting to heavy duty sailing canvas without any problems. Only time I had a problems was when I put the bobbin in backwards and that was me not the machine. Other than that I have had no problems at all. Since most of my quilts will be tied off that will not be a problem either. I use a hoop for tying off my quilts. I have quilted my wall hanging on it so it does quilt small items extremely well. Also sewed 40 different aprons and many shopping bags from upholstry fabric. Again no problems. Bought mine online from Wards.com but you can also go to Singer.com and get it for a better price--no extra mark ups. I can do quilting on it as I have a "free machine quilting foot". Does not have a needle up/down option but for me that is not a problem. All I have to do is give it a turn and that is the way I grew up sewing so it does not bother my style.
Can you go to a store that sells machines and have classes on how to use them. Maybe they will let you try out a few of their machines to find out what ones are the best fit for you.

Last edited by MaryKa; 09-24-2022 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 09-24-2022, 10:36 AM
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It sounds like you will be doing mostly quilting with this machine, is that correct? Not general/garment/home dec sewing?

Also, how much experience do you have with sewing quilting?

What is your budget for a machine?

There's tons of option out there and often your best option is to go to a sewing machine store (or several) and try out some machines to see how you like them and how easy they are for you to use.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:05 PM
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Rather than suggest any particular machine I will list my favorite features on my best machine(Babylock-10 yrs old):

thread cutter -saves thread and most of the time no trimming of ends
ability for automatic lifting of the presser foot when stopping(needle is set down, foot raises - perfect for pivoting);
feet that press on and off(unlike some machines that require a screwdriver to change feet)

I find it's the little things that save you time and effort that are appreciated the most.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Deniwqa View Post
I want to buy my first sewing machine! I have NO idea what to look for in a machine other than if I want certain features.
I basically want to be able to sew and learn to quilt. I don’t need tons of fancy options but I want a good machine that I can grow with as my skills get better.
Recommendations on machines you like or don’t like?
Do you have a local shop where you could test drive several different ones?

This is just like buying a car - what one person likes and finds intuitive will sometimes frustrate another person. If you set a budget, most shops will suggest a couple different options in that price range and let you try them to see what you think. (and also like buying a car, machine brand preference borders on the Ford/Chevy arguing )

It's also important if you need lessons or service - a local shop will usually offer both of those. It's a great way to find a sewing mentor as well.

Another option is to see if there's a local quilt guild and when their next meeting might be - you could attend and introduce yourself and would likely get a lot of help from some guild members happy to help you learn.

Last edited by mkc; 09-24-2022 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:42 PM
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I like most of the basic Brother machines. Varying features, not expensive, work straight out of the box, sew through anything, take any thread. I have several of them accumulated over the years for one reason or another. My main machine lately is Brother PQ1500 but it is just a straight stitch that I use for piecing and free motion quilting. I have a bunch of vintage machines including two Featherweights and the sought after 201. But still prefer the PQ1500.
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Old 09-24-2022, 01:57 PM
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It is so difficult to recommend a machine without knowing your budget. When you speak of learning to quilt That usually requires a larger throat space if you are planning on making bed quilts. I have two that I use the most. I have a Juki 2010Q which I use to quilt with as well as piece. It has a stronger motor and is made mostly of metal, a 9" throat space, which can handle up to a full size quilt, needle up and down, thread cutter and most importantly if you are learning to sew, speed control. It is only a straight stitch machine. https://www.amazon.com/TL-2010Q-1-Ne...1-1e5b3de13370

I have several other machines to use if I want to do other stitches. If your budget allows, you could get a second machine like a Brother SE 600 that has a lot of features and decorative stitches including my favorite (serpentine stitch) and also does up to 4" embroidery, https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Quilt...7-93deae8f9840

Or even a less expensive Brother. https://www.amazon.com/Brother-Quilt...7-93deae8f9840

I like having more than one sewing machine. It's always good to have a spare in case one needs servicing. I have MANY spares, as I have an addiction to collecting sewing machines. Buying an older Singer sewing machine made with all metal parts is also an alternative. They tend to last forever, but don't have many extra features. There are favored ones which you could Google and read about. I have one, but for the life of me, can't remember the model number. It takes cams for decorative stitches, has a slanted needle, and has 3 positions for needle width (Left, Center, Right) which is very helpful.


Last edited by Schill93; 09-24-2022 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 09-24-2022, 02:03 PM
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Duplicate post

Last edited by Schill93; 09-24-2022 at 02:05 PM. Reason: duplicate post
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Old 09-24-2022, 04:18 PM
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If you want to start sewing, almost any machine will do. Frankly, I would start by asking family and friends if they have a working machine they don't want anymore. If you stick to vintage Singers (NOT touch and sews), there are lots of tutorials on YouTube on how to thread and operate the machines. If you decide you want a new one, don't buy too cheaply. You will have a lot of missteps in the beginning which may cause damage to a machine with all plastic parts.

I would make a list of basic features and types of stitches you need. If you are buying new, I would recommend an even feed system of some sort. I like the kind Brother has with the little pokey thing. Pfaff has an IDT system and Bernina has one as well. This will help a lot with piecing.

Good luck finding a machine. Join a Guild or at least go to one meeting. You'll get great advice.
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