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Thread: Sewing machine recommendation

  1. #1
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    Sewing machine recommendation

    Hello!

    Iím so excited... I just won a ticket to a sewing retreat next month. Itís a weekend getaway and we will be making a bag one day and a quilted cathedral pillow the other day.

    I have one problem, I need to figure out how to get a sewing machine there and my machine (I only own one) is a brother dream machine so is huge. It would cost me 75.00 each way to take it with me and I would have to trust it to the baggage people in cargo which I think it a really scary idea.

    My husband suggested that I try to find a local shop to rent me a machine... alternately Iíve thought perhaps if I canít find that I might need to buy an inexpensive travel machine.... I thought maybe I could have it shipped there then would only need to pay to bring it home and if it is small enough perhaps it could be a carry on?

    Has anyone traveled with their machine? How was it?
    What machine is a good value and sturdy enough to sew thick layers? (Bag and quilt will require layers of interfacing, batting etc.)
    Which machines travel well?

    Any and all suggestions, comments, ideas are welcome!

    TIA!

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on winning the ticket! I like your husbands idea about renting a machine. I've never been lucky enough to fly away to a quilting retreat so I have no further advice!

  3. #3
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    My Walmart brother sews through thick layers. It's the sq9050 but has been replaced by the sq9185
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  4. #4
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    I would buy an inexpensive machine thru Walmart. Pick it up at a store near your retreat and then pack it in a carryon or checked bag to get it home. My DD flew her little machine several times in a small suitcase with fabric and clothing packed tightly around it

  5. #5
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    My friend flew with a small (Walmart) Brother sewing machine. She and I have both used it and it sews really well for an inexpensive machine. It fit as a carry on for her when she flew.
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  6. #6
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    If you buy one in your retreat town just save the box and styrofoam and repack the machine in it for the trip home.

  7. #7
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    Even the low end Janome and Brothers have a good reputation, but would definitely stay away from Singers.

  8. #8
    Super Member Teen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesing View Post
    If you buy one in your retreat town just save the box and styrofoam and repack the machine in it for the trip home.
    That's my thought....I'd take it one step further and just UPS the machine home after the retreat instead of carrying it or checking it on the plane.
    Quilting therapy for the therapist...
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  9. #9
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    I have a heavy duty Singer that I got at Walmart. Cheap and a great machine. I've sewed like crazy with it for a couple of years and had no trouble with it at all.

  10. #10
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    After seeing the pics of UPS delivery people tossing packages around, I'm not sure I'd send a machine UPS.

    That being said, my husband has bought me a few vintage machines that were delivered by the post office and came thru well so I don't know.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  11. #11
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    Why not call the place where the retreat is being held and ask them about machine rentals?

  12. #12
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingcandy View Post
    why not call the place where the retreat is being held and ask them about machine rentals?

    best answer!
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome 3160 QVC/ Janome 1100D serger, Juki 2020 Mini
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  13. #13
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    What a wonderful prize! Enjoy your trip.

    My first move regarding the sewing machine would be to contact the shop or retreat center. They may have ones that could be borrowed, or know where you might rent.

    If that doesn't work out, and you are interested in purchasing, contact shops that are near the event. At least you'd save hauling or shipping one way.

    With bag sewing being one of the activities, I would be careful about getting a machine. Some bags have a lot of layers of fabric and stabilizer to get through and not all machines can do it. A friend borrowed mine for part of a class (I think it was for the Professional Tote) bc her Pfaff wasn't balking at the thickness.

    As I travel quite a bit, I bought a Featherweight specifically for that purpose. In addition, I bought a Blue Fig tote for it. I do wrap the machine in bubble wrap inside the case, which then goes in the tote, but have not had any problems. I have also shipped it via UPS 2x in this way and have not had any problems. UPS tracking is much more user friendly than USPS.

    Again, congratulations and have a great trip!

  14. #14
    Super Member quilting cat's Avatar
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    Congratulations, and enjoy your retreat! No other hints available.
    Retired math teacher --
    I CAN FIGURE IT OUT!

  15. #15
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    How exciting...I’m sure you’re going to have a splendid time. I would inquire about a rental machine before I would purchase one. Good luck.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  16. #16
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    I like the suggestions about renting, but if you do buy: a mechanical machine will travel better than a computerized one. Computers don't like to be bumped around.

  17. #17
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    I have a small featherweight for traveling as well, but previous to that I had a small Brother that I bought from a shop here for 200.00 I still have that one as well and it still sews great. I have my Janome 6600 for home sewing. We go on retreats a lot and usually there is a local shop or a place you can rent or use a machine. Someone local who is attending may have a spare machine you could use as well.

  18. #18
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    Everyone needs a backup machine. Treat yourself to a small, relatively inexpensive Brother or Janome and have it shipped to the retreat or to a store near the retreat. You may find it useful to have a small machine for some specialty uses and the prices at Walmart are reasonable.
    "The great doing of little things makes the great life." Eugena Price

  19. #19
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    The inexpensive Brother’s & Janomes are good for retreats. My personal favorite is Janome Jem Gold, mechanical, sturdy, can sew through layers, strong, fast. Great for travel.
    After this retreat you’ll want more so you’ll need a travel machine again!

  20. #20
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Oh I would not let cargo baggage handle a Dream Machine or any machine. I agree to buy the most expensive Brother from Walmart. It will last you a long time and be a great travel machine plus back up.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  21. #21
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    I have a friend who bought an inexpensive Brother machine at Costco. That's an option too. I agree with those who suggest buying it AFTER you arrive in your retreat city if that's an option; then you only have to worry about one-way shipping. Also, maybe a smaller machine would fit under the airplane seat if set on it's side...

  22. #22
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    I had this same dilemma when I flew to a retreat. I bought an inexpensive machine at Walmart when I arrived at my destination. I have an expensive huge Brother machine at home so I packed up my bobbins and other tools and spare feet from my big machine. That way I knew I'd have the 1/4" foot as well as few others that normally do not come with the small inexpensive machines. Plus being familiar with Brother means no learning curve. I did repack it in the original box and checked it as luggage on the plane. That was 3 years ago and it has been on many trips with me, as well as sewing days at church and our community center. If the retreat is in a small town they probably have a Walmart but they may only carry one or two machines. I suggest looking online before your trip for Walmart's near your arrival airport as well as a few others and make some phone calls.

  23. #23
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    You have lots of good ideas from the others but I just wanted to congratulate you for the win!!!!!!!

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