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Thread: Sewing Machine Question...

  1. #26
    Senior Member ywoodruff5's Avatar
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    Having owned a number of machines over the years I personally recommend both the Pfaff and Viking Mega Quilter. The Pfaff has a built-in walking foot which is great for quilting and the Viking is more of an industrial machine, but only does straight stitching. They both have auto needle threaders but the Pfaff is much easier to use. Also they have needle up/down position and the Viking will cut threads. It all depends on what features you want. As indicated before, make a note of what features are important to you and then take your fabric in hand and go test drive them and make notes. :wink:

  2. #27
    Senior Member so-sew's Avatar
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    Without hesitation, I would search Craigslist for a used Bernina. See what's out there, then go online to research available models. If you're looking for solid construction and dependability, go for a mechanical Bernina. If you're wanting more decorative stitches and bells and whistles, then think computerized Bernina. That's my suggestion! :-P

  3. #28
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    I agree with you - my Bernine 440 QE is the best machine I have ever purchased.

  4. #29
    Super Member Babs194068's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss_ticky2
    I'm another Janome fan (I have the 7700 Horizon too)and I don't think you would go wrong with a Janome. The Horizon is quite expensive but I don't think there's anything else I would want on a machine for quilting...it has an extra large harp area for fitting large quilts into an a host of stitches, including a few different blanket stitches. I love to applique with mine as well. And I love the built in walking foot.

    But, as suggested, go and try them out and see what might suit you and your budget the best.

    Good luck with it :)


    I agree I love my Horizon.

  5. #30
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    Try estate sales. You may be able to find your Kenmore parts or a machine of a similar age with all its parts. Needle down is a more recent feature and for that you would need a newer machine.

  6. #31
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    Well, you guys must have better shops than I do. I was pressured to buy a machine, they wouldn't take it back, & I got no training. I won't go back there and there are no others within 60 miles. I prefer the older, metal machines anyway -much more reliable & fixable.

  7. #32
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    My first machine I purchased was a Singer purchased in the 80's. It still works and #2 daughter has the machine. I replaced it several years ago with a Bernina. As everyone has stated, try out machines at various dealers. Check out the reputation of the dealer. Listen to customers when you are in the shop. After finding a brand of machine and dealer then ask about used machines. They take trade-ins just like car dealers. Just make sure its the machine you like, not what everyone else likes or what the dealer wants to sell. Good luck.

    mltquilt

  8. #33
    Senior Member lonestardreams's Avatar
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    The best part of my sewing and embroidery machines is the dealer. They offer great support. I agree with those that mentioned working with a good dealer. I consider the dealer I purchase from a friend after all the time I have spent with them. AND, I love my machines.

  9. #34
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    If your machine has a low shank (distance from screw holding foot on to machine bed) screw on foot there are generic feet that will fit. I think that from the age of machine it probably has screw on foot. Some fabric/quilting stores carry these feet. Generic feet are also made for the snap on foot. There are some generic shanks that use snap on feet. Lookup all information on machines through the internet, not necessarily through dealers. missbelle

  10. #35
    Senior Member quiltbuddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babs194068
    Quote Originally Posted by miss_ticky2
    I'm another Janome fan (I have the 7700 Horizon too)and I don't think you would go wrong with a Janome. The Horizon is quite expensive but I don't think there's anything else I would want on a machine for quilting...it has an extra large harp area for fitting large quilts into an a host of stitches, including a few different blanket stitches. I love to applique with mine as well. And I love the built in walking foot.

    But, as suggested, go and try them out and see what might suit you and your budget the best.

    Good luck with it :)


    I agree I love my Horizon.
    I've always had mechanical machines such as Bernina, Pfaff etc. and just bought a Janome Horizon and I'm in love. I didn't think the computerized features would make a difference but they do and I absolutely love, love, love it.

  11. #36
    Junior Member Lena1952's Avatar
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    The machine is how old and you've never had it serviced!! Here is a thought, PM with the model and let me see if I can find the manual. My son repairs machines for a living and has access to lots of older model manuals. Try Sew4less.com for attachments. Let's see if we can find what you need, have the machine serviced and Keep the old gal. They don't make'em like that any more. Just my thoughts on it.

  12. #37

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    Yes, I would go to the local dealers and actually sit down and sew on their floor models and get a comparison. I am particularly happy with my Janome machines - so much so that I hardly look at other brands anymore because they are not only reliable, but they sew beautifully. I hardly ever have anything that can't be sewn on one of them. (that's another thing - when new models are introduced, I generally end up buying 1, but I keep the old ones because I love them!) Anyway, I'd be surprised if, after shopping and comparing, you didn't end up with a Janome. Happy shopping.

  13. #38
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan
    What is your price range? I love my Bernina 440 QE but I know that is beyond what some people can pay. Mine cost about $3000.00 with the Bernina Stitch Regulator (Free Motion Quilting.)
    I have a 440QE as well and sew on it every day. I do everything on this machine and would not trade it for any other. However which ever machine you are going to buy I strongly suggest you go to a dealer for it. A dealer is going to be there for more than just the initial sale, classes, help with sewing problems, parts and service, all this is as important as the machine it's self. I get my machines cleaned and serviced every year. Just like you get your car serviced and tuned up regularly so you need to get your good sewing machine cared for. The dealer you buy from is the right person to care for your machine maintenance. Also dealerships frequently have sewing clubs so you might enjoy the get togethers and learning new techniques. You don't have to buy a computerized machine but you might find you are ready for an upgrade and that BSR is sure nice for free motion quilting.

  14. #39

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    For this, I'd highly recommend the Janome 6600!

  15. #40
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    First and formost clean and oil your machine. You can do this yourself just take your time and look it over. Can also find generic sewing machine care info on the internet. Check thrift stores for attachments that have the same style shank as yours. There are several types. Most common are a low shank, low shank square shaft, high shank, high shank square shaft, slant shank. There are others but not as common. Even if it doesn't say kenmore on the attachments they may work as most were made by only a handful of companies. Hang onto your machine it is a good work horse. New machines are not made of the same materials or quality. Most are made to be disposable and have a short life. Remember if you get into an electronic machine that you need to add that to the cost of repair as the cost goes up especially if it is on the computer board.Some repairs cost more then the machine- ask your local shop the cost of such a repair on the machine you lok at. Also the availability of a qualified repair person for the brand you choose. Many companies are refusing to deal with the little repair shop who doesn't specialize in their brand. If it is a nonelctronic machine you will have better success in finding someone to repair a manual machine. As far as a manual for the Kenmore. Go to the Yahoo group Vintage Sewing Mchine Collectors. Someone may have it. All the bells and whistles of a new machine are nice as long as they work

  16. #41
    Senior Member MarieM's Avatar
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    Patti, do you want a new machine for the decorative stitches? It is important to figure out what type of sewing you do. When my Viking died and couldn't be repaired I was in a hurry so I bought what I thought was what I needed (I didn't think it through). There is nothing wrong w/the machine I bought but I've recently been buying a few vintage machines (some from the era of your Kenmore). They have stronger motors and I just love the power they have. You can get several different aftermarket feet and attachments for most vintage machines. I've also had some luck on e-bay.

    There is also a "Vintage Sewing Machine Shop" on this board and the members are very helpful. Some of them may have what you need or be able to direct you to where to find it.

    Regardless of what you do I hope you find the perfect sewing machine for your needs.

    Marie

  17. #42
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    I would say go with Bernina...I have 4 of them...they are worth the little extra money and are made in Switzerland...and the warranty is excellent...blessings

  18. #43
    Super Member scrappy happy's Avatar
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    I would not buy a sewing machine for Walmart. I did and come to find out it was a rebuilt machine and and not a new one. The book that come with it had a ladys name and phone no. in it and I called her and she was having the same problem that I was having. No where did it say that it was a repaired machine.
    As for Pfaff, will I have the creative vision emboridery machine, long story not a good one. they are now sending me my 4th. new machine, the last one I had ran for 1 hr and 54 min. If I were u I would never get rid of your old machine . The older the Machine the better they are.
    I have an old Dressmaker machine and that is on old work horse.
    Thats my Story and I sticking to it. Good luck with your search.

  19. #44
    Junior Member overdew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti Mahoney
    Thanks so much for your suggestions. My old machine is still running strong. But I wanted a machine just for quilting, one that has the features I would need for quilting, needle down, drop feed, those kinds of things. A dealer is a good suggestion. I'll have to look into those. Thanks again!
    Whatever you do, hang on to your old machine. I guarantee that you will go back to "old faithful" in the future, no matter what machine you purchase.

  20. #45
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    Yes, test driving is the best and can only be done at a sewing machine store. Make sure you can get good service too. Please don't buy from a department store or wal-mart type store. I have a Janome 6500 and love it.

  21. #46

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    I just purchased a new machine. I researched on-line every brand that was sold in my area until I found what I wanted. I went to the dealer, who was having a sale on another machine of the same brand. I then told the salesman that I was really interested in another model and would wait until it was on sale. Amazingly, he was able to get permission to sell it to me at the sale price I had in mind. Also when I registered it on-line, the manufacturer said in no uncertain terms that if I bought it on-line and not from a dealer, they would not let me register it and would not stand behind it. It would have been a lot cheaper on line, but having a warranty was important to me.

  22. #47

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    I had an old Montgomery Ward machine that had outlived it's usefulness, so I bought a Singer. Didn't like it for several reasons so returned it (no problem returning, but it was at the base exchange at an Air Force Base). I then bought a Brother machine with quilting capability at WalMart for around $200 and I love it.

  23. #48
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    As a former store owner and dealer, Always buy a sewing machine from a dealer.......Dealers offer maintenance, classes, sometimes intitial training on the machine before you take it home. Machines are built different for dealers with with higher quality parts. If you have questions concerning the machine, the dealer will usually help you. Department stores:.."you buy it, its yours" You take it home in a box, No classes, maintenance programs,etc. Most generally the store employee won't know anything about the machine. Dept store machines are built for that store per their specifications. Sometimes its not the real thing. Also, the gal that mentioned on-line buying....her statement is absolutely true...no warranty, etc. Sometimes paying that extra $25 or $50 could be a big savings in the future having a waranty etc.

  24. #49
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babs194068
    Quote Originally Posted by miss_ticky2
    I'm another Janome fan (I have the 7700 Horizon too)and I don't think you would go wrong with a Janome. The Horizon is quite expensive but I don't think there's anything else I would want on a machine for quilting...it has an extra large harp area for fitting large quilts into an a host of stitches, including a few different blanket stitches. I love to applique with mine as well. And I love the built in walking foot.

    But, as suggested, go and try them out and see what might suit you and your budget the best.

    Good luck with it :)


    I agree I love my Horizon.
    i too would love a Horizon! I am still saving! The thing that makes me want one (not the only reason) is the large harp space. If you decide to look at other machines another much used feature would be needle up/down. Check to see how many feet come with the machine as they can be expensive and see if they can at least throw in a few extra feet.Good luck with whichever machine you buy. Also listen to the ladies when they say buy from a dealer but as you have found out there are good dealers and not so good ones...

  25. #50
    Super Member PS Stitcher's Avatar
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    I would agree with a couple of the other posts. Go to a dealer that has machines on display that you can sit down and try several. Also, I would also say that it is important to have a dealer that is close to you that does repair work just in case that you need it.

    I personally have a Bernina 440QE. And I absolutely LOVE my machine!

    Good Luck!

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