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Thread: Which sewing machine

  1. #1

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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm sure this has been asked a dozen times, but please give me some suggestions about which sewing machine to purchase. I've gone through a general purpose Kenmore and Janome and want to get one with more features and durability.

    I piece quilts constantly, and occasionally machine quilt some. I do general purpose sewing as well. I don't want to spend too much money, but I want ideas about what to get and brands that are good.

    I would appreciate any responses and help about this. Thanks.

    Suzie2730 :)

  2. #2
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Suzie ~ You will get dozen of answers. Myself, I'm a Janome person.

    The best thing that I can suggest is to find a good local machine dealer. Test various machines. Only you know what you want and what your price range is. Sometimes dealers have some super deals on trade ins that have lots of bells and whistles. A good dealer is worth having, not to mention the extra support they can provide. Not so with the big box stores.

    good luck on your hunting

  3. #3

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    Thanks. I think that is a good idea. I have really liked my Janome, but I think I just didn't get one that was quite enough for the work I put it through.

    Thanks again,
    Suzie

  4. #4
    JAQ
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    I like my Husqvarna Freesia. I'm relatively new to quilting but I have been using it for years for various household projects (roman shades, duvet cover, bedspread etc).

    I bought it over five years ago and haven't had any problems. Its keeping up with my piecing and quilting too.

    JAQ

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If you could narrow it down to your price range and the features you are looking for (e.g., needle down, embroidery stitches, auto needle threader, thread cutter, etc.), you could get better recommendations of machines to look at. Based only on what you posted originally, I would suggest looking at used Berninas. Some of the older models, such as the 830, are workhorses likely to last forever. Better machines like this have the power to sew upholstery materials, etc. too.

    If you are looking for a newer machine, new or used, I suggest checking the reviews at http://www.patternreview.com before actually buying anything you find. You get to see the older reviews if you join, and joining is free. The reviews are very honest about pros and cons of machines. Your biggest issue will be that many reviewers don't test out a machine for years before posting about it, and one of your concerns is with longevity.

    If you have been purchasing lower-end models, then you may find that mid-range or higher models in the same brand lines will be fine for you. I can't imagine one of those konking out after a few years of piecing and a few sets of curtains......

  6. #6

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    Thank you for all that information. I will check out those things for sure. I think that my problem is that I have been buying lower end machines and because of how much I use mine, I really need to go with a better quality one.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I love my Bernina, but like others said, cost it a big factor. Do a search on "what machine do you prefer" on this board.

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Since you already sew/quilt, I am sure that you could easily list the features you wish you had. Why not start there. Make a list of all the MUST HAVES and add the WOULD BE NICE TO HAVES.

    For me it has always been about needle position, low bobbin indicator, built-in walking foot, and a nice blanket stitch. I own 3 Pfaffs, so you can tell where I landed. There are some things I am not impressed with on mine and that is the relatively poor lighting. I added an Ott-lite and the problem got solved.

    You can check your list of features against the different brands and eliminate some right off. Then I would go to a dealer and start test driving.

  9. #9
    Promise's Avatar
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    I love my Bernina. Yes they are a bit more costly but they last forever. Go on ebay and you can find some really good deals on them.

  10. #10
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    I will agree with you on the older Bernina 830. It will sew through anything. I have upholster sofa, chair, etc and it always did a beautiful job. If you are going to quilt with this machine, you may need the walking foot. Bernina has some of the most wonderful feet. I also, have several other machines that I like, but only used them on regular fabric. I feel the newer computerized machine will have more services calls then the older mechanical machines.

  11. #11
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Suzie,

    I looked, and I looked and I looked before I bought my Husqvrna Viking Sapphire machine. It is not the top of the line with all the embroidery (that I would never use), but it a true jewel. It threads itself, it knots and cuts the threads on the bottom of your quilt, it free motion quilts like a dream, has needle up/down feature and you don't have a lever to pull up or down before sewing. AND it will wind a bobbin while you are still threaded and have your quilt under the needle.(Warns you when your bobbin is low. I'm sure there are a lot of good machines out there, but this one does exactly what I wanted in a machine. Give it a look if you can.

    Judi

  12. #12
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    Susie,
    I would go with the Jamone if that is the only choice you have. I don't think the entry level machines are made as durable as the middle to upper machines. If you are trying to keep the cost down, I would look at Estate sales for a good machine or a good trade in. As I stated in another posting, I have the Bernina 830, great machine. I use a Singer feather weight for quilt piecing. Presently for everyday sewing I have a Pfaff with built in walking foot that I love. But, I never purchases the bottom of the line.

  13. #13
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    As many others have told you, think about what you need for the machine to do for you. I don't think the sewing machines that you purchase at Wal-mart is the same quility as dealer machines. If you notice the serial number on a Wal-mart machine has a WM as part of the number. In my opinion this shows a machine make for Wal-mart. This my opinion.
    I personally love my 2 Pfaffs and older model 628 Singer (over 40 years old). I not would trade either machine. Dont' give up you will find the machine that fits your needs. Have faith.

  14. #14
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    I have had one of the least expensive Berninas for about 5 years. I sew every weekend. I occasionally do machine quilting. I have never had to adjust the tension. I previously had a Kenmore. I could not get it to machine quilt without missing every other stitch. My machine has more types of stitches then I will ever need.

  15. #15
    Super Member Shorebird's Avatar
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    Almost as important as the machine itself is the service AFTER THE SALE from the dealer. Do they offer owner's classes at no cost? Do they, periodically, offer creative classes so you can "get hte most" out of your machine? Are they available when YOU need them, either in person or on the phone?

    You can get the machine with all of the features you want/need - but if your dealer is not there to help after the sale has been completed, you will not get the most for your money.

    In my area, the Viking dealer is absolutely the BEST, and I have 4 different Viking machines, including my serger, as in addition to quilting, I do home dec, machine embroidery, and garment sewing.

    Take your time, TEST DRIVE everything, and good luck with your search!

  16. #16
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    Here's a few more things to consider:
    l bought about 35 years ago an Elna. It still sews beautifully. But, as the other ladies , stated it has more bells and whistles then l use. Plus it is very heavy.
    l bought about 5 years ago, a White. It's a basic machine with a built in buttonholer, and a few stitches. l use it constantly and have had no problems. It is much lighter .
    l do recommend, that you stay away from the electronic sewing machines. The quilting classes l've gone to, the ladies who have them seem to have a lot of problems adjusting them. We had a fella from the local Singer sewing centre come to our Guild meeting for a talk. He said , that those electronic machines are not made to last very long. Also, make sure you have them on a surge protector bar. If you have a power failure and the power comes back on rapidly it could destroy some of your electronic components. And your warranty will not cover replacement of those parts. Also,parts on those machines are hard to find he said after 5 years.

  17. #17
    Nzm
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    Ive been debating between a Husky & Brother for the embroidery feature. I used quilt designs to quilt my daughter's quilt and enjoyed that, so want a machine with a bigger hoop, but dont want to spend too much either. Im not good with free motion, but the Husky has a large throat and that should help with maneauvering the quilt.. Any suggestions are welcome

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chrickett's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6600 and I love it, it sews like a dream, and I also have an embordery machine and serger, that are both Janome. I have sew on these machines for years.
    this is my input.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Chrickett's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention the battery bacjup and serge protector I have on my machines , also we have a serge protector from the electric company on our meter. but the very safest in storms is to unplug it from the wall socket. Might I suggest you go and sew on all of the machines, thread them and try them out in the stores and then buy the one you like. My friend has a new brother and it has given hernothing but trouble. Personally I would not have one. good luck.

  20. #20
    Jamie's Avatar
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    I am biased when it comes to baby lock machines. They have a style for every need, and all needs.. My Ese is 10+ years old, and she still runs like a chap, plus she is computer operated, and does embrodery too. If your not interested in spending a lot of money, check out shops, and stores, that offer older models used...We have a shop by us, that will have a quilt show, use a machine for the weekend, then sell it for more than half off....

  21. #21
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    All the newer machines seem to be popular so do your homework and list what you want a machine to do.
    I need a machine with a large throat, needle down, etc.
    I have a cheap work horse machine for backup when my more expensive computerized machine is in for serviceing.
    I have a Viking and it is a great machine, just wish I had bought the more expensive one with embroidery in it.
    Bernina seems to be the winner but is so much more expensive than others just because it has a stitch regulator. Everyone wants that.

  22. #22
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    Older models of Singer will hold up many years, but the newer ones are not made to last. Must be made of plastic. Machines that are heavy in weight are not made with plastic and will last longer. I would not trade my old Singer (over 40 years old) nor my Pfaff embroidery machine of 12 years. Serge protecters help, but always unplug machine, iron or like items it storms are expected or if you plan to away from home.

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