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Thread: Recs on new machine for my novice quilting mom

  1. #1

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    Hello,

    My siblings and I (all adults) would like to get our mother a sewing machine for Christmas so that she can start to really branch out in quilting. We think it's a hobby she enjoys but she has an ANCIENT Singer from probably around 1950 that's just not up to the task. Was wondering if all of you pros could recommend a few machines that would be in the order of what we should look for.

    One requirement is that it should have foot-pedal control/speed capability. I know she really likes machines like this but do machines still have this? Is this a feature of the table you buy for it or the machine itself?

    Any recs you could make (either for machines themselves or of features that a machine should have) would be SO appreciated. We're trying to stay around $800?

    THANK YOU! :-) :-)

  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the board. There are many things here to consider and I am sure that many people will help me here with suggestions about machines. I will start by asking what does she intend to do with this machine. Will she be only piecing and sending her quilts out to be quilted or will she be doing the quilting as well. I ask because a few years back my sister got my mother a $500.00 sewing machine to replace her old Singer (electric and with foot pedal). My mother never took the machine out of the box. I sent her $$ to get fabrics, because I live in another country and instead of getting fabrics she got her old machine serviced and still uses it. She liked it too much to even consider another machine.

    To aswer your question, the speed control is a feature of the machine and some come with a button that adjust the speed, and many older ones had the speed controlled by how hard you press on the pedal.

    I am sure there will be many more answers.

    Maria

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    How sweet to do this for you mom! It's important to be near a dealer for any problems or questions after purchase. And a good dealer will have free classes so your mom can learn about the machine.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I think all new machines come with a foot pedal. Some also have a button option (on the machine) that you can also use.

    The older machines in cabinets often had a knee controller. All this was the foot pedal mounted inside the cabinet, and a knee lever on the cabinet so you could operate the foot control with your knee.

    Sewing machines are so personal, I think it's very tough to buy one for someone else.

    For $800 or under, I'd probably look at Janome machines or possibly Sears Kenmore (which I understand are made by the same company that makes Janome). Does your mother like taking a machine to classes? If so, there is at least one full-featured Janome that weighs only 12 lbs. Try going to the top of this board and doing a search on Janome to find threads about specific models. Also visit http://www.patternreview.com to find multiple reviews of each model; these tend to be very informative.

    Be sure the machine you get has the needle-down feature.

  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Once you narrow it down to a few different models, here's a website that has reviews of almost all machines, old and new. Lots of good info, too. http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingMachine/Reviews/

  6. #6
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I just wanted to clarify my previous answer. I don't mean to discourage you from getting a new machine for your mother. It is a wonderful thing to do for her. Maybe take her shopping with you so she can pick the one she lokes and feel comfortable with. Just a thought.

  7. #7
    Power Poster SulaBug's Avatar
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    My Mom is 85 & bought a new sewing
    machine a couple of years ago. I don't
    know what you are looking at for cost,
    but she found a nice Kenmore at Sears.
    It seems to suit her needs just great!!
    Hope this helps you out.
    :D :D :D :D :D

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Have you checked any of the older and ongoing sewing machine threads on the QB? There is a lot of information on a variety of machines.

    For me, it's Pfaff all the way, even though I would give Janome a chance also. I love my Pfaff for the built-in walking foot, the needle-down position, and needle-side position (not sure what the correct term is), the low-bobbin indicator, and the nice blanket stitch. I can select a slow mode on the machine, or I can go pedal to the medal.

    It does not have a very large throat area for actual quilting but, I make it work for me. If it were me, I'd want to test drive a new machine to see if I liked it and it felt like a good match.

  9. #9
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    For the money and to get a decent machine, I would look at Janome, Brother or BabyLock. Go to the shops that sell sewing machines and start asking around. You want something that is easy to operate and doesn't cost an arm and a leg for accessories.

  10. #10
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
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    Bernina makes a model called Bernette or a Viking They are good sturdy machines and the cost is reasonable. I recommend you to buy from a dealer not JoAnn's( unlessthey have a dealer in the store) or Walmart. If she has trouble with the machine she can call someone for help. At times this machine comes with a few free lessons. Buy the best you can afford and has the most features and capabilities to add on later. Make sure it has a 1/4 inch a Walking and Darning foot. You make want a few decorative stiches as added features.
    Just my opinion hope this helps you some :wink: :D :D :D Remember the saying you get what you pay for. :!: :!:

  11. #11
    Dix
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    Senior Member Dix's Avatar
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    A sales person told me just the other day that Sears machines is made by Panasonic. I was really surprised. You can not go wrong with Janome. I have 2 of them a 6600 prof. and a Jim Gold to take places.

  12. #12
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Just my 2 cents worth, but a sewing machine is a big investment and they should all be tested and tried by the owner before a final decision is made. Does it need to be a surprise ? What one person may think is very important, may not be that important to your Mom . Can you take mom out and let her test/try some of the machines ? And you don't want to get her a machine that she thinks is so complicated she will be too nervous/intimidated to use. Just my thoughts. i think its great that you want to get her a new machine though :lol:

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It is hard to make a recommendation without knowing just what it is that your mom is wanting... The suggestions of taking her along while shopping may be best.

  14. #14
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    Brother has a nice machine for under $800.00. I love brothers I'm on my third. :shock: Just keep up grading.

  15. #15

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    I agree with Sharon B. I would certainly want to be able to choose the machine and not have my children choose it for me. What a lovely gift to give your mom!

    I am a Bernina owner as well as a Babylock Ellageo. For quilting, Bernina is it! However, they are not cheap.

    May I suggest you give your mother a nice card and the $ so she can choose it herself? Maybe one or two of you can make a day of machine shopping with her and have lunch together? I know that would do it for me!

    Good luck!

    Tensi

  16. #16
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    I, too, hung on to my "old machine". Finally got out the new one and was sooooo sorry I waited so long. Needle up/needle down is great. Perhaps lessons for your mom. You are so special to have noticed what your mom needs.

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