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Thread: Sewing machine question

  1. #1
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    Sewing machine question

    Hello,

    I have been quilting off and on for years - but not very seriously. I do alot of hand sewing/quilting and borrow my sister's sewing maching when I need one.

    I recently started a project thinking it would be one quilt and now I think it has grown into 4 quilts... so I am seriously considering breaking down and buying my own sewing machine... but I don't know much about them

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good sewing maching would be? Not too cheap and not too expensive, but a good machine as well. (I am on a budget so please keep that in mind)

    I was looking at Amazon and I am considering purchasing the
    Brother HC1850 Computerized Sewing and Quilting Machine with 130 Built-in Stitches, 9 Presser Feet, Sewing Font, Wide Table, and Instructional DVD

    But I don't know exactly what everything means.....Are these types of sewing machine truly capable of quilting? Would I still have to hand quilt - - since it is not a long arm

    Please let me know your thoughts

    Thanks

    Teresa

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Go to your local dealer and test drive them.

  3. #3
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    I suggest a Janome. I have a friend that new nothing about sewing when we got her addicted at the Houston show. She ordered a Jem and it has been a good machine for her, easy to use, and reliable. Gina

  4. #4
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    For quilting you need a straight stitch and sometimes a zigzag is nice. The other decorative stitches will likely not be used.

    In looking at a picture of the machine, the throat space looks tiny so stuffing a quilt through it to machine quilt would likely be frustrating. The measurement that counts is distance on the right from needle to machine - not the distance that the table affords you to the left of the needle.

    I agree - if you can test drive multiple machines, you will likely find something that works for you.

    Cheers, K

  5. #5
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    Well I understand that test driving would be good, but here in the sticks there is not a "local dealer". Maybe I can google and see where the nearest dealer is so I can try one out

    I will look up the Janome machine and see how that looks

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If you can't go to several dealers to test out machines, buy a machine online that has a guarantee return if you don't like it. Check the return policy before ordering. Some want the machine to be shipped back in the original packaging.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Learner747's Avatar
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    I have used a Bernina for twenty years without any problems at all. Mine is a Bernina 1000 and is pretty basic but she is a work horse. It will sew through four layers of denim and keep on going. If I were going to buy on a budget, I would look on-line for a used Bernina. New ones are very expensive but used ones are quite affordable.

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    A little over 2 1/2 years ago Jim got me a Brother SQ9000 at Walmart. This machine has a lot of features for the price. Nice variety of stitches, light weight, needle threader. It was $199 before tax. I love this machine.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  9. #9
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    The Pfaff I bought when I was just starting to quilt is called a "Quilt Expression" machine. I can definitely piece a queen or king sized quilt on it but when it came to machine quilting, I had a bear of a time trying to wrestle the quilt through. I did a few large ones in it, but it was just too much of a challenge for me. If you are considering machine quilting look into machines with a large -9" or larger- throat space. I still love my Pfaff for piecing & sewing but I now do all of my machine quilting on my Janome 1600p.

  10. #10
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    What type of machine does your sister have? Are you happy sewing on it? If so you might see if you can find one like it.

  11. #11
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Do you have second had places to look at. In UK we have gumtree, preloved etc or contact a dealer or search on site. I have purchased janome from direct sale type places which offer next day delivery servicing and some machines are those you try at shops. Do a good google.you could buy second hand better machine tha new age would be only proble.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  12. #12
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I have the Janome 6600 and love her dearly. She has a lot of bells and whistles, some I use, some not.....and I do use the deco stitches as they can add a bit of pizzazz to most any quilted item.....I would hate to see you buy a machine without trying it out first, but I do understand your dilemma....do take some time and research all kinds of machines here on the board and using google....everyone will have a differing opinion, but make sure there aren't issues with your choice (i.e. parts breaking easily, tension problems, warranty issues).....it is great fun looking and comparing machines, but take your time!

  13. #13
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Basically, when a domestic machine is advertised as a quilting machine, it has one or more of the following features:
    Large harp area (area to the right of the needle), extended sewing base, comes with built in dual feed or walking foot, and has a setting or foot to achieve a 1/4" seam (which you will probably have to adjust anyway). These machines are not going to piece or quilt your quilt better than a machine without 'quilting' in the name, the features just make it easier. All these features can be used for regular sewing and many regular machines have some or all of these features.

    I looked at the picture of the brother model you mention. Looks like a very small harp area. You are not going to easily get a big quilt in there to piece or quilt. I agree with the posters who mentioned going to a dealer and looking at what they have, or just getting an older straight stitch machine.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  14. #14
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    Do as much research online as you can. Decide what functions you really want and then start narrowing down your choices. Check the websites for dealers close to you. They will be more willing to work with you if you have issues. I'm sure any dealer would send a machine through the mail.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltstringz View Post
    What type of machine does your sister have? Are you happy sewing on it? If so you might see if you can find one like it.
    I would second this...or the other poster who mentioned a used machine. Craigslist usually has a ton of 'vintage' machines for very little money. A Singer 201 has a somewhat larger harp area. I think it's only straight stitch though, no fancy stitches. Or go with a slightly newer machine if the different type stitches are important to you. These machines are generally very easy to personally maintain as well since a local dealer is an issue for you. You can probably find older higher end machines, such as Bernina's or others, there as well.

  16. #16
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I live in the sticks too. I had to drive an hour to the nearest dealer and I think any other dealer is even further away. If you want a machine like a Janome, they sell them online at brubaker sewing. They have great customer service too.

  17. #17
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Most entry level brothers are good beginner machines. I love all mine. You can upgrade if you decide you really like machine sewing
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  18. #18
    Senior Member janegb's Avatar
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    I love the Brother machines. Walmart sells them. I have one in use for the past 8 years, has so many stitches that i've never used. I do have 3 other Brothers and swear by them. I also have 3 or 4 singers and 14 or 15 Japanese machines that only do straight and zig zag stitches. I use them all, but for a newbie, I do think the Brother would be a good machine to start with.

  19. #19
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much for your input. There were some brand names mentioned that I had never heard of - so I will have to do some research. Good food for thought here

  20. #20
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    I have this machine and am very satisfied with it. I do like the decorative stitches and use them often on my quilts. It would be difficult to quilt a large quilt with it, but I have quilted large throws and baby quilts without much problem. Have only had mine a few months, so I don't know if it will last as long as my old kenmore (now 40 years old), but I have a Brother embroidery machine that is still going strong after 3 years.

  21. #21
    Junior Member trennag's Avatar
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    I dont know anything about that Brother machine but I used a Brother SQ9000 for years. I made several quilts and lots of other projects and never had a problem. I still have it and use it as a back up when my other machine is in the shop.
    Brother SQ9000, Baby Lock Crescendo

    Slowly but surely restoring these lovely machines...
    Singer 66 (1929) Singer 27 treadle (1909) Singer 99 (1925)



  22. #22
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    I got a brother sq9050 for my birthday about a month ago and really love it, it's very user friendly. It does have a small harp though but think it would be ok for smaller quits.

  23. #23
    Senior Member tate_elliott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meyert View Post
    Are these types of sewing machine truly capable of quilting?
    I think this question has been overlooked. Teresa, most people start machine quilting by using either stitch in the ditch (SITD) or straight line crosshatching. To be clear, SITD means to stitch along the blocks' seams in your quilt. Crosshatching is going diagonally in straight lines across your quilt. To quilt intricate designs with a machine, you will need to learn free motion quilting (FMQ).

    If you're sewing full-sized quilts, you'll need a machine with a decent sized throat or harp. For STID and crosshatching, you'll want a walking foot. For FMQ, you'll need a hopping or darning foot.

    I've never FMQed. Even though I mainly crosshatch, there are variations you can quilt with a walking foot. I've recently finished my first all-curves quilting with a walking foot and I'm very happy with it. It's very gentle curves, but hey, you walk before you run.

    Tate
    King of the Rocketeers!

  24. #24
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    I quilt with my Pfaff 7570 and 2140 No problems with either.

  25. #25
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    I would go to a local sewing center and test drive what they have then see if you can find the one you like online. I did that and got my Brother a hundred dollars cheaper online than in the store.

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