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Thread: Sewing Machine Question...

  1. #51
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I was buying a new machine 10 years ago and I haven't used any of the fancy features on it except for the lettering feature. It has a computer, embroidery attachments and many fancy stitches, etc. I only use the straight stitch, FMS, and the walking foot. Never again! I want simple!
    peace :D

  2. #52

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    My advise would be to try out a lot of different machines if possible. Also at Quilt shows there are usually demo of different Machines. Stay away from Dicount stores and Walmart. (you get what you pay for). It is very important to purchase close to home. Classes, repairs, and parts are a nessasary feature.Low noice level, Needle down, droped feeddogs,free classes and many differant stitches are a must. And also a very nice feature is a built-in thread cutter, that is extra nice. I have an ELNA that has that frature. I love it. I have 2 Elnas, love them both, A Bernnena, A Phaff, Viking(not so quiet),and 2 old singers.They always say, purchase the best you can afford. It will pay in the end. No discount stores!!!!

  3. #53
    Dee
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    I'd go and try some out. A sewing machine is an investment you have to feel a bonding with.

  4. #54
    Dee
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    I'd go and try some out. A sewing machine is an investment you have to feel a bonding with.

  5. #55
    Senior Member emmah's Avatar
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    About the Kenmore you have--why not post an ISO (in search of) in the buy/sell section of this board. Someone may have a copy of the directions and also attachments they would sell you.
    I would not buy a new machine till you have tried quilting with your Kenmore. Lots of people on this board end up using their vintage machines as backups cause the new GOOD machines are very pricey to buy...and to fix. Quilt for a while on the Kenmore, the old reliable, and meanwhile, try out a few machines that are in the price range you are thinking of.
    I do all my piecing on a 1950's little singer 99 and my 30 year old Kenmore is fine for free motion quilting with a darning foot. I cover the feed dogs with a thin piece of plastic, and away we go. I just did a twin size quilt on it, and it worked great. It is a trusty friend, and I have never had it to a repair shop..just clean and oil it when needed.

  6. #56
    KLO
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    An accomplished quilter that I met a number of years ago gave me this advise. First, find a shop(s) near enough to you that you can get help and servicing easily. Then try a few different machines out (at different shops if need be) to see what feels good to you. You may only have one shop close enough to you to do this but if you have a problem with your "new" machine and have to travel hours to take it in for servicing, you will curse the day you bought it. I have a second hand Bernina 153QE which I bought at my local shop because that's what they sold. I was using a 1970's Singer. I could not believe what this new-to-me Bernina could do and how well it sewed. I don't need too many bells and whistles so this one had enough to make me happy. Best advice .... figure out how and what you want to use a machine for and then try to buy locally. And as others mentioned, read reviews before buying. Good luck and hope you find your next "best friend"! PS: I do have a non-computerized machine also for back up in case my Bernina goes belly up. At least I can then still sew until I can get the Bernina serviced. So, keep your older machine even if you buy a new one .... just in case.

  7. #57
    Member latebloomerar's Avatar
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    The way I see it is this. You can probably find the attachments for your old machine with the help of this board, but if your yearning is for a new machine, look for features.

    For quilting
    - the ability to drop feed dogs is a must for free motion quilting
    - can the needle up / down position be set
    - an on / off switch to either use the pedal or not
    - can you find a walking foot for it
    - are you wanting a bigger harp

    Once you have all that figured out then find out what brands the dealers in your area have. Because you will be restricted to the brands they sell if you want their help and the services they supply.

    I bought a cheapie Janome 8050 from Hancocks but I know not to expect any help from them if there is a problem with the machine. Luckily there has not been a problem and it is so much nicer than my old Singer decorative touch machine that it is like night and day. I intend to keep this machine and take it to guild, after I buy my dream machine which is a 6600p.

    Beware, prices vary radically. My local dealer has the machine for 1699.00 but I called a dealer in Memphis that said that they would sell it for 1399.00 regular price so I have the big decision of do I drive the 80 miles to Memphis or buy locally. Lots of decisions.....

  8. #58
    Senior Member MarieM's Avatar
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    Latebloomerar,

    I would recommend you talk to your local dealer to see if they are planning a sale anytime. I would be honest and say that the machine is available in Memphis for $300 less, they may not be able to come down the entire $300 but them may be able to do something. Also ask if there is a discount if you write a check/pay cash or use a credit card. I know our LQS will frequently give a 5% discount on machines if you don't pay w/credit card. The reason I would recommend local is for service, not to mention supporting your local economy and keeping your tax money w/in your state. What is the AR tax rate? TN is 9.25% (or was when I lived there) so you should consider that as well.

    Hope this helps.

    Marie

  9. #59
    Member latebloomerar's Avatar
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    That is my intention, that is as soon as I can have cash in hand to pay for it. :wink:

  10. #60
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    If you want a relatively inexpensive but good machine for piecing, I recommend my Brother SQ9000, which has decorative stitches and comes with quilting attachments. It only costs $199 at WalMart. Brother machines are well made and just run and run and run.

  11. #61
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    I lost my manual for my Kenmore. I was able to pull a copy and download and printit from the Sears website. You might try that for your manual. My Kenmore is now my backup machine. I have a Janome 6600P. I bought it from the dealer 10 miles away from me. The dealer's husband works in the shop and is also the repairman. Sadly, they didn't offer lessons, and showed me very little on the machine. I had been sewing for over 45 years, just not quilting. The wife was more interested in trying to get me to buy a Janome Embroidery machine which was way more expensive. My machine is 3 years old and I haven't done a thing to it.

  12. #62
    Junior Member wyoming_quilter's Avatar
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    Like everyone else is saying, I would recommend you shop around at your local dealers. I did this several years ago. I also had a list of the things I wanted. Something I considered was the space under the machine arm. I wanted to do FM quilting and knew that there was only so much fabric I could move under there, so space was a big issue for me.

  13. #63
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    If the machine you have works and stitches a good straight stitch don't give it up for new. New isn't always better. Post the model # and serial # of your machine and there might be parts from other older machine parts that will work for you. we have a vintage forum on this board please post a picture and the #s I mentioned on that forum and see if they can't help you.

    Good luck suzy

  14. #64
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    I have had any sewing machines in my lifetime (75)and have tried all the major brands except Brother and Janone. My first good machine was a Bernina 830 in the early 80's (which my daughter has) , then several Vikings, Babylocks, Pfaff Creative 2. Now I have a Pfaff Creative 4 which I am selling because I purchased the Bernina 803 at the Lancaster Quilt show in March (at a very good price with trade-ins and I can't afford to keep both machines, although I would like to... In general, all were good machines and I liked them, but there are features in each that bugged me. However, you learn to adapt. I am just learning the 803- at first I thought it was too advanced for me, but thanks to lessons, I'm beginning to think it's a fabulous machine. I doubt that I will ever use it to it's full potential, however. The Lancaster dealer arranged for me to get lessons from the local Bernina dealer at his expense. I would not have bought it otherwise. You definitely need a good dealer who is willing to give you lessons. The local Bernina dealer is excellent, and I would have preferred to buy it locally, but the price difference was too great. I started out wanting a Bernina machine because of the stitch regulator. No other machine maker offers that. I just had my lesson on it, and it will take some practice , but I think I will love it.

    My experience is that unless you purchase the machine from a local shop, they aren't willing to help you, and you can't blame them. Most owners will give as many lessons as you need. Since I have finished the basic mastery classes, I will have to pay for any more lessons, but they are more than willing to help me if I have a question.

    Sorry this is so long- I would have preferred to send this privately, but I can't figure out how.

  15. #65
    Super Member Annya'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 that the Janome is a great machine. I have had 5 since I started sewing and pass them down to DD when I get another one. I have 2 now a light weight for workshops and 6600P for every other home quilting as it has a bigger throat.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by latebloomerar View Post
    The way I see it is this. You can probably find the attachments for your old machine with the help of this board, but if your yearning is for a new machine, look for features.

    For quilting
    - the ability to drop feed dogs is a must for free motion quilting
    - can the needle up / down position be set
    - an on / off switch to either use the pedal or not
    - can you find a walking foot for it
    - are you wanting a bigger harp

    Once you have all that figured out then find out what brands the dealers in your area have. Because you will be restricted to the brands they sell if you want their help and the services they supply.

    I bought a cheapie Janome 8050 from Hancocks but I know not to expect any help from them if there is a problem with the machine. Luckily there has not been a problem and it is so much nicer than my old Singer decorative touch machine that it is like night and day. I intend to keep this machine and take it to guild, after I buy my dream machine which is a 6600p.

    Beware, prices vary radically. My local dealer has the machine for 1699.00 but I called a dealer in Memphis that said that they would sell it for 1399.00 regular price so I have the big decision of do I drive the 80 miles to Memphis or buy locally. Lots of decisions.....

    Sounds like it's time for a road trip!

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