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Thread: the repeated new machine discussion

  1. #1
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    Sorry. I searched for one I did months ago and couldn't find it.

    My husband suggested buying a new machine if a lot of stuff sells at the craft show. :wink: I love my machine--we've been through a lot. but boy a deeper throat would sure come in handy--and something to make that 1/4" seam spot on.

    Question about stitches--does a person really need more than 30? I don't think I've ever used more than 2. :oops: I see them for 100s and I wonder why the heck I'd ever need that.

    Besides a deeper throat (what is a good length to look for?) , and a drop in bobbin--what features are on your machine you're very happy are there? Which features could you do without?

    Is there a brand that floats above the rest in durability? Ease of use? Janome and Bernina? Pfaff? Are those the top three? I have a Singer--and if a new Singer would feel familiar, I'd love that.

  2. #2
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    I love my Elnas. I wouldn't buy a new Singer, though. I bought one about 20 years ago, not one of the cheapie ones either, and had so much trouble with it, I finally took it back and got my money back and got a New Home. I wore that one out and bought my first Elna and then a couple years ago, bought a used Elna Quilter's Dream. I have never used all of the stitches on my machines, although I do use some of the decorative stitches on my bindings.


  3. #3
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I love my Pfaff for all of the piecing the dual feed cannot be beat for just about all sewing I use my Bernina for decorative stitching the embroidery unit and the stitch regulator for quilting could not part with either one

  4. #4
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    Goodness, I've never heard of Elna--but "Quilter's Dream" sure is catchy. :wink:

  5. #5
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    What's a stitch regulator for?

  6. #6
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    You've never heard of Elna? I love my Dream.

  7. #7
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    Wow--here's a great review on them: http://www.quiltersreview.com/articl...t/001211_a.asp

    It sounds wonderful--just a bit pricey.

  8. #8
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnbum
    What's a stitch regulator for?
    For free motion quilting--keeps all your stitches the same length. It actually counts the threads it is hopping over as you move the quilt and puts a stitch at the exact spot it should be. (I would LOVE to have the new Bernina with the stitch regulator but $$$$$$) http://www.berninausa.com/product_de...=1218510534701

    I love my Bernina-the two features that I love the best are the needle up/needle down and the hands free system that allows you to raise and lower your presser foot with a knee lifter.

  9. #9
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    Elna and Bernina are top of the line machines, wonderful, but costly. Just bought a Janome this year and love it. Was mid priced, larger sewing throat area, needle down, needle threader, speed control, 1/4 in foot, walking foot, etc. An excellent, easy to use machine. Have trouble remembering how to use those machines with all the bells and whistles. :roll: If I don't use it regularly, I loose it!

    Good luck with your search, just so many great machines to choose from. Don't buy because of the number of stitches a machine can do, ask yourself how often would you use them. What type of sewing are you going to be doing. You may not need them. Buy what you will be comfortable with.

  10. #10
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    I dunno. I have an old Bernina and an old Elna, both with a certain number (15? 20?) of stitches. never used any of them 'cept the straight one. Am I missing sumthin?

    I suppose someday I will use the zig zag. Now that's getting progressive.

    tim in san jose

  11. #11
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    i have a elna quilters dream machinei brought it years ago ,it was put away for several like 8years because i was all ways at work and had little time for sewing. then about 3 years ago i got hurt at work and was not able to work, have not return to work ,doctor,s are putting me on total permanent disability so my husband felt sorry for me and he brought me a bernina 730e artist ,i have been playing with it and trying to get the hang of using it ,and than just the other day i got out my old sewing machine my elna and guess what it works and runs like a dream so now i have two great machines ,if you buy a new machine look for those two brands they good investments ,you,ll get your money,s worth i did good luck at sewing machine shopping

  12. #12
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    I'm with you, Tim. I have used zigzag on repairing kids' clothes...

    But I can see someday using a blanket stitch to applique. :D

    So, that's three I need. :lol:

    Good thing I asked this question--since I've never heard of Elna. I need to get out more.
    :shock:

    So--what is a good depth for the throat?

  13. #13
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    I JUST GOT A CARD FROM THE LOCAL QUILT SHOP YESTERDAY..ALSO A PFAFF DEALER... WHICH SAID THEY HAVE 3 NEW MODELS COMING OUT WITH DEEPER THROATS. I IMAGINE THEY'LL BE PRETTY PRICEY, BUT MAYBE THE OLD MODELS WILL BE ON A TERRIFIC SALE!! I CURRENTLY SEW ON A 30 YO SINGER AT HOME, BUT HAVE USED THE PFAFFS IN CLASS...WOW!!!! I WANT ONE SOOOO BAD. ALOT OF NEAT FEATURES THAT MAKE PIECING AND QUILTING MUCH EASIER. MAYBE IF I'M A REALLY GOOD GIRL ST. NICK WILL LEAVE ONE IN MY BOOTS!!! NOT!! :cry: :cry: :cry:

    LUCKY YOU..HAVE FUN CHOOSING :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  14. #14
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    well, you all know my love of old machines... for a fantastic old machine with lots of stitches, find a Singer 401 :mrgreen:

    Very few machines are actually made by the companies that started them... Singer is a perfect example - that name has been sold so many times, then company went bankrupt, then bought by conglomerate, etc etc, the only thing "Singer" about the machines is the name "Singer"...

    I've been doing some research and this is what I came up with yesterday - that's been over 24 hours ago so there might have been some changes since then :roll: And this was just a short run through Google looking for info....

    Pfaff, Viking, Singer and White - one company altho some Viking machines are still make in Sweden

    Elna, Kenmore, New Home, Janome, one parent company and they also make some of the Bernettes

    Bernina still makes/owns Bernina and make a pro machine Tacsew 950

    Babylock and Brother

    apparently all sergers are from the same place in Japan and just made cosmetically different for each company

  15. #15
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I love my Bernina and it has lots of extra stitches that I do not use. It is 20 years old and acts like new. Twenty years ago it was expensive, but I felt worth the money. I definitely would look for a machine with mostly metal parts. Some are all plastic now. I want to look at the Bernina Aurora 440 QE, but that is down the road.

    Good luck in choosing a new machine.

  16. #16
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    Janeen--that info is very interesting. :!: :!:

    Metal parts--I definitely want those.

  17. #17
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Karla, I just bought a Bernina 200 upgraded to be a 730E. It was a gently used machine and I am finding that I love it! It has already spoiled me with several things I now couldn't do without....the 1/4" foot, needle up or down position..needle adjustment- sideways positions., knee bar for raising and lowering the presser foot, the stitch regulator and of course the embroidery module. I'm playing with all of it and having a great time. The big new Bernina comes out in Oct....so I hear there will be a lot of trade-ins available...it might be a great time to check out those lightly used machines...you might be able to get a real bargain!

    Good luck and have fun! Don't buy a new Singer though :cry:

  18. #18
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    I now understand "stitch regulator" and want of of those!!

    Now I have to ask--what's "needle up or down position"?

  19. #19
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I like my new Kenmore because of the speed....its fast...I'm inpatient and want speed when I want it

  20. #20
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
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    I bought a Singer back in November-it broke down last week and there is no one to fix it in Montana. So I ended up getting a Husqvarna. It cost me alot, but so far am happy with it. Its an embroidery unit too. I still have to take it in for more lessons, there is so much to do with it!!

  21. #21
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barnbum
    I now understand "stitch regulator" and want of of those!!

    Now I have to ask--what's "needle up or down position"?
    Needle up or down position determines where your needle is when you stop sewing. On my Bernina, if I put it in the needle down position, then when I take my foot off the foot pedal it stops sewing with the needle still in the fabric. That way you can turn the fabric, remove pins, etc and can begin sewing again in the exact same spot. If you want the needle up, because you are finished sewing your row, then you tape gently with your heel on the back of the foot pedal and it raises the needle for you. It is a great feature. I always sew with my needle in the needle down position.

  22. #22
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I have an old Singer Touch N Sew. I keep saying I'm going to take it out of the cabinet and clean it to see if it will still work. Love that old machine! I now have my Kenmore Ergo 3/embroidery. If anything happens to it, I literally cry. Can't be without it for more than 24 hours. I do have my backup tho. It's a Kenmore, don't know the model, but it sits patiently in the closet in it's cute bag waiting for me. I should take it out so it knows I still love it.
    On my Ergo, I have about 100 stitches, haven't used them all. Embroidery function...love that.
    Needle up/down. Makes it where the needle will stay up when sewing/stopping or down when sewing/stopping. It has a speed control, but I always keep it on fast. I like going fast! :)
    Automatic threader...but it doesn't want to work all the time now. Thanks to a certain little furry girl.
    I can either use the foot pedal OR use the button to make machine go. I have about 50 feet that came with it. Haven't used but maybe 3? Somewhere in the holder I have for them is a Stitch in the Ditch foot. Need to find that one.
    I would love it if it had a deeper throat on it. Would make life a bit simpler, but I make it thru.

    Karla...why not just go machine hopping to try out what is out there? I'm sure you'll find the one you want. Between inspirations here and looking/trying the machines, I know you will find your perfect one. Then the one you have now will be your backup.

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I have a Viking with a 10 in throat and it makes shoving the quilt thru so much easier. I love it.
    Needle down is a must feature. Stay stitch is nice also.
    I use the letters on my machine to sign my quilts.
    I would like to have a stitch regulator but Bernina is just to expensive for me.
    Joanns sells Viking so it is easy to ask questions and get repairs if needed.
    Havnt needed any repairs, it sews like a dream.
    You really need a sewing cabinet that the machine sits level with the cabinet, makes machine quilting so much easier. With the larger machines you need a larger cabinet, most do not fit the larger machines.

  24. #24
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    i have 2 machines (well, four actually, but that's another story) - I have sewn on a kenmore for about 4 years and have really enjoyed it. It is a solid machine, but not a big throat, although it has about 200 stitches, which includes the alphabet. I enjoy the various stitches because it is fun to use decorative stiches when quilting in the ditch, and I do use the blanket stitch when I am doing machine applique. Other than that, I've only used the "fancy" stitches about 4 times. There are limitiations in size for quilting because of the small throat size but the machine is really good for piecing and doing smaller projects.

    To do those larger projects, I purchased recently a Janome 1600P, which is their mid-arm machine, single stitch, has a 9 in. throat. I haven't honestly used it yet, but it is out of hte box!! I have used a Janome before and it is smooth smooth smooth and can go very very fast! The price retail is about $1200 (which you should NEVER pay!) and you can get it online through an authorized dealer (on ebay) for about $800. There are package deals you can get which is how I got mine through a local shop - the machine was packaged with a quilting frame.

    Have fun in your search!!

  25. #25
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/9398.page

    here is one thread in the last month (started by my search for a mid-arm machine) that has a bunch of machines listed and raved over!

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