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Thread: Sewing Machine Savvy

  1. #1
    Junior Member Maggieloe's Avatar
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    Sewing Machine Savvy

    We have had a number of discussions about what is the best/most economical sewing machine for quilting with lots of people weighing in. Having become frustrated with the fussyness of my Sapphire 870 I recently purchased a mechanical straight stitch Brother PQ1500S just for quilting. Excellent machine. Not fussy at all, any thread, no expensive servicing (can easily clean and oil yourself), powerful, and I have finally been able to freemotion quilt and really enjoy it.
    OK - so yesterday I was at a dealer (taking a class unrelated to this) and I noticed the Baby Lock "Jane". Interestingly, an identical machine right down to the cute cartoons in the instruction manual. The only difference is the name. Baby lock, of course, is a bit more "upscale" than my humble Brother. But, like I said, these were completely identical machines.
    Price? I paid $529 including shipping from Amazon two months ago. It has now gone up to $699, ouch. Have seen it as high as the 9 hundreds. The Baby Lock Jane - $1899 plus tax of course.
    I think when making sewing machine purchases, it behooves us to try to do our homework and not be impressed by impressive names (and prices). The manufacturers do their best to keep us from comparison shopping by not publishing prices or giving them over the phone etc. But I think we need to recognize that there is a lot of game playing in this business and avoid being taken in.

  2. #2
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    the Brother machine may have plastic in side were as the Bock Lock for the price should be metal. You maintence man would know the difference. Just cause things look the same does not always mean they are.

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    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    for quilts twins or smaller- & home dec /clothing items i quilt on my 1956 singer...it has an absolutely beautiful straight even stitch- is really a dream machine- very easy to maintain- no fancy bells & whistles to deal with- and cost me $20! you do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to be able to quilt...you only have to practice with what you have. as long as your machine has a nice/even stitch it will do (it's part) your part is the practice.
    i do also have a long arm for large projects- but even that is a very basic machine.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I use a Juki TL98Q, which looks like the Brother 1500. My Juki is metal and a real, non-fussy, workhorse.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    Very interesting. After a little digging I found this article: http://www.ehow.com/how_4734304_sewi...-machines.html and another one that said that BabyLock agrees that they are the same except that they add more software and do quality checks.

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    Brother makes Baby Lock.....They just don't advertise it.

  7. #7
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I love my Sapphire but do not like my Jane.
    My Sapphire 830 does everything except embroidery. Never have had any problems with it.
    The Jane is complicated to thread and has the under machine bobbin which is awful.
    I have two Brother machines that are great and simple to use and cost very little. Both have drop in bobbins.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Also Jane is set up on a long arm table. I do not recomment a 9 inch throat machine on a long arm table.

  9. #9
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    My OSMG told me that sometimes what we think are plastic parts are really nylon and they are very strong. Could this be a mistake on his part?

  10. #10
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Don't let them fool you. I questioned my repair guy and this is how he explained it. Brother makes Baby Lock and usually makes a twin to each Baby Lock in the Brother brand. They are the same. An example is Brother's Laura Ashley NX 2000 (I own) and Baby Lock's Symphony. Baby Lock usually runs a little higher for the same machine.

    Now, Brother does make a lower line with plastic inters machine, but not all Brothers have plastic inters. Baby Lock just doesn't carry a lower line. Baby Lock is a bit "snobby." But, lower priced, lower lines serve a purpose too. They give people a chance to try out sewing to see if they like it. Most people wouldn't try it if they had to purchase a $900+ machine right off the bat, not knowing if they were going to like it or not.

    Shopping around is a great idea and getting to know your repair guy is also important.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  11. #11
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    The reason babylocks run at a different price I was told by a brother rep is that the companies have different marketing strategies so the price is dependent on ow much is spent wich is why the laura ashley was more expensive than the symphony, but the qc-1000 was cheaper than the espire because they pay for the name use, laura ashley, nancy ziemen, eleanor burns. they pay these people to endorse their products. If you notice babylock spends a lot of money on having shows endorse their products, fons and porter, nancy ziemen, quilt in a day which is why their machines are higher. They are the same machines from brother. the only difference is in embroidery brother uses disney designs and babylock uses nancy ziemen designs. Also brother has the my custom stitch feature which babylock doesn't have on their machines.

  12. #12
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    My go to machine has always been my Singer 401A I bought in 1958. Love that machine. I wanted some more stitches that it does not have so I bought the Brother project Runway cheap at Wal Mart. I loved it and when my DD said she wanted a machine I gave it to her. I went to get me another one and they had come out with the Brother SQ9000 with all the quilting goodies with it so I bought that one and it is a great machine. I turn to it more and more for all my sewing. I think I payed $ 169.00 for It and I have already got my money's worth out of it and it is still going great. My DDIL is still sewing on a cheap little Brother she bought when she we in High school in the 70's and she would not give it up for anything.

  13. #13
    Super Member virtualbernie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    I use a Juki TL98Q, which looks like the Brother 1500. My Juki is metal and a real, non-fussy, workhorse.
    Me too and I love mine!
    Bernie

  14. #14
    Junior Member Maggieloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug View Post
    the Brother machine may have plastic in side were as the Bock Lock for the price should be metal. You maintence man would know the difference. Just cause things look the same does not always mean they are.

    No - they are the same. There are machines with nylon parts - but you can tell the difference, in weight if nothing else. There are some cheap - as in poor quality machines out there. It is worth checking reviews, but don't assume that because it has a hefty price and a status name - it is better than one that doesn't.

  15. #15
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    Wow! The price of the Babylock Jane is $1899 + tax?? I got mine less than a year ago and it was $1100. Since then I have seen them on sale for less than $1000.

  16. #16
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    It is my understanding that Juki made the 1500 machines and the different companies re-badge them. I own the Brother Nouvelle 1500s which is essentially the same machine. I bought it when it was on sale here, reduced to $2,000.00. It is now selling for $1700+ so my view is that if one were lucky enough to get it cheaper. it is a bonus. A truly useful machine.

  17. #17
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitkaau View Post
    It is my understanding that Juki made the 1500 machines and the different companies re-badge them. I own the Brother Nouvelle 1500s which is essentially the same machine. I bought it when it was on sale here, reduced to $2,000.00. It is now selling for $1700+ so my view is that if one were lucky enough to get it cheaper. it is a bonus. A truly useful machine.
    I bought the Brother Nouvelle 1500 last month and I like it a lot. Very sturdy, fast quilting machine.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    There is a lot of "slippery pricing tricks" in the sewing machine world. This is a video done by a man who wanted to buy his wife a Bernina...very informative and somewhat irritating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mNOoQkQ14s

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Great research, thanks.
    I dont own a Bernina because they cost to much.
    Love my Viking.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathdavis View Post
    Don't let them fool you. I questioned my repair guy and this is how he explained it. Brother makes Baby Lock and usually makes a twin to each Baby Lock in the Brother brand. They are the same. An example is Brother's Laura Ashley NX 2000 (I own) and Baby Lock's Symphony. Baby Lock usually runs a little higher for the same machine.

    Now, Brother does make a lower line with plastic inters machine, but not all Brothers have plastic inters. Baby Lock just doesn't carry a lower line. Baby Lock is a bit "snobby." But, lower priced, lower lines serve a purpose too. They give people a chance to try out sewing to see if they like it. Most people wouldn't try it if they had to purchase a $900+ machine right off the bat, not knowing if they were going to like it or not.

    Shopping around is a great idea and getting to know your repair guy is also important.
    I'm reposting what Kathleen said because it is important and true.
    I bought my Brother 1500 when they first came out, over 10 yrs ago, might have been 2001. I can't remember for sure but I think the introductory price was $1200, I paid $799, that machine is still going strong, love it.
    Maire

  21. #21
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    :You right, the Brother PQS 1500 is a very easy machine to use. I really like the auto thread cutter for when I quilt.
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  22. #22
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    Buying a sewing machine is worse than buying a car. I used to dread car shopping but now I can go on line and find the best price and not have to deal with car salesmen. Were it only so with sewing machines.
    Pat

  23. #23
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolaug View Post
    the Brother machine may have plastic in side were as the Bock Lock for the price should be metal. You maintence man would know the difference. Just cause things look the same does not always mean they are.

    My Daughter has the same Brother Machine and there are NO PLASTIC PARTS INSIDE OF IT.
    Another Phyllis
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  24. #24
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My Daughter has that same Brother, she loves it. Like I just said there are no plastic parts. I have the Babylock Jane and a Juki TL98QE all three are pretty much the same machines - Price difference is what isn't the same. There are a lot of machine and thread snobs on this site. They act like they are getting a cut by running done ones that buy different machines and thread than what they have.
    You have a great machine and will love it.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  25. #25
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltnNan View Post
    I use a Juki TL98Q, which looks like the Brother 1500. My Juki is metal and a real, non-fussy, workhorse.

    I agree with QuiltnNan, I too, have the Juki TL98Q & I love it, love it. I also have a very pricey Bernina 820 Series 8 Machine, which runs almost $8,500. here in Canada. It has lots of bells & whistles but it is a QUALITY machine. No plastic here but for nothing fancy, basic, hard working machine the Juki is an excellent machine. These are my humble opinions.
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