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Thread: Sewing Machines That are Necessary to Quilting

  1. #26
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    When I bought my Pfaff I thought it was the perfect machine for quilting. I love it- it is easy to use, sews beautifully & the IDT (dual feed) is wonderful & can be used with all of the feet. However, after I quilted my 1st bed sized quilt on it I realized I would like a larger throat space & being newish to quilting hadn't looked for that when I made my purchase. A few years later I ended up buying a machine with a larger throat space & love to do my quilting on it. You could do a toddler or a twin on your machine- I did, but found I liked the quilting process better with the larger throat space. Mine is 9" & there are 11" ones out there too.

  2. #27
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    I forgot to mention if you can get 1/4 inch foot and a walking foot (or an even feed foot) for you machine it will make things a little easier. But other than that you should bne fine with what you have

  3. #28
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    My machines that I feel are necessary for quilting are my Featherweight and my Gammill. The Featherweight for piecing and the Gammill for quilting. I also own a Brother Embroidery machine and another Singer which has a lot of decorative stitches, but I seldom use them (the stitches and the other machines).

  4. #29
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    There is no such thing as a "needed" machine for quilting. This is an art that can be done completely by hand. Most of us want faster results. Any machine that fits your budget and is reliable will make your quilting easier. Most of us do our piecing with basic machines. Some want and can afford more and that is what we have. As far as a machine on a frame, there are a few different types such as short arm, mid arm, and long arm. Long arms are financially out of reach for many of us (me), but I am researching mid arm machines, or maybe just a frame that I can put my basic machine (short arm) on. There are options available in all price ranges. I personally can't justify the price of a Gammill or any other long arm, and spending more than I can afford would take all the joy out of quilting. Enjoy whatever you have and move up as you decide what you want and can afford.

  5. #30
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    I have a Janome memory craft 3000 and do all my quilting on it, small to king sized. The throat/arm is only 6 1/2 - 7". Wish it were longer, but I make it work. Sometimes feel that I'm wrestling! I'd absolutely love getting the Janome 7700, but need more cash! Oh well, someday, maybe!!

  6. #31
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    all i have is a sears kenmore sewing machine , it has what i need, a reverse, drop the feed dogs, decrotive stitching, auto needle threader, and works !!! i have done king size to lap tops on mine , i may have to work harder at getting it done but i did it, i would love to have a machine with a bigger throat space but it is not in my budget and i can work around it for now

  7. #32
    Super Member Nanjun's Avatar
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    My friend just bought a Janome 8050 and she loves it.
    Her singer broke down ans she was undecided of what to buy. I told her a lot of you quilters like Janome products.
    Do any of you have this model? How do you like/rate it?

  8. #33
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    I just bought a Janome 8050 at an excellent price of $200.00 [refurbished w/full warranty] and I am delighted with it. The first work I have done with it are heavy fabrics and it has done a great job on both! This machine has been a pleasant surprise as I wasn't really expecting it to do well on heavier fabrics...denim, etc.

  9. #34
    Super Member Butterflyblue's Avatar
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    I just have a pretty plain, middle of the line kenmore. It doesn't have a lot of fancy stitches, but it does have a few. For quilting though, I use straight stitch for piecing, buttonhole and zig-zag for applique (and piecing batting) and that is it.

    The real deal-maker for me on a quilting machine is the ability to drop the feed dogs and FMQ. I have a smaller machine I use for classes and such, also a kenmore, 3/4 size, much less variety of stitches, but the real reason it would never hack it as my day-to-day machine is that it doesn't have feed dogs that drop.

    I also like for a machine to be able to handle denim and many layers - and mine does.

    My dream machine would have a larger throat space, and the ability to stop with the needle down automatically, plus slow/fast speed settings. I believe those last two were features on the Kenmore next price bracket up from mine, but I just didn't have the money.

    More fancy stitches might be fun, but I wouldn't use them often enough to justify the price.

  10. #35
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    I agree that you only really need one good machine. I started about 4 years ago with a $200 dollar singer that was made for home ec classes in schools. It is really still my favorite machine, although now I have a small Babylock embroidery machine and a big Janome embroidery quilting machine, as well as Babylock serger. That singer though - what a workhorse. It is TOTALLY gear driven, no electronics at all, and it sews like a dream. If I had decided to have a face lift instead of buying new machines it would STILL be the only machine I have. But the face lift - way, way more expensive that the big Janome and the Baby lock serger!!! Go with a machine that you are comfortable with. A larger throat makes the actual quilting process easier, but a lot of folks on this board do quilt bed size quilts on 7 or 8 inch throat machines (God love them!!)

  11. #36
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    A "pre-loved" Viking SE should quilt at least a queen sized quilt. They were top of the line about 4 years ago have been supplanted by the jewel line (Diamond, Ruby). They are really good machines which will let you piece, quilt and embroider and the price is down to $2,000-$3,000.
    The biggest thing to look for is a reputable dealer. You can go in and test drive all machines of any dealers within a reasonable distance from where you are. They should give you a couple of free classes after you buy and they should have a repair person on premises and hopefully be around for years for service.

  12. #37
    Super Member grandme26's Avatar
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    I have an Bernina 1530. It has lots of stitches etc. bought it in 1997 before I took up quilting. Used it for clothes. I am going to pick up another machine in a couple of months that has a larger throat opening so I can do some quilting on it as I do not sew by hand. I also need a lighter weight one to take to the various classes I sign up for. Bernina's are heavy but they can fall of a table and land on a concret floor and still run perfectly.

  13. #38
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff Varimatic 6085 and it does everything I ask of it. I've purchased special feet for it and admit that doing a large quilt is not the easiest, but until I win the lottery it serves me quite well.

  14. #39
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    I piece on a Singer 301 that is older than I am. It just does a straight stitch. I have a New Joy frame, it may be used on it or one the others I have..... I do have several. Beth in Co

  15. #40
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Some of the newer machines have 11" throats - I bought a 9 throat machine about 5 years ago and it is really worthwhile. It is also a straight stitcher only, with a single hole needle plate. That makes a lot of difference to the quality of the stitching for quilts.

  16. #41
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    Cute cockatoo, Becky Crafts! I bought a Brother HS 2000 for my kids to learn to sew on, and it's great! Better than the Singer I had for 20 years. If I'd had a budget, space restrictions, etc, I think I'd have been quite happy with it for myself. The boys are going to lend it to my mom so she can back to quilting and get some new experience before choosing a machine for herself.

  17. #42
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    I have a Janome 3500, have had it about 12 years now. I have rarely used any of the stitches except the straight stitch, that is really all I need. I piece the quilts and then send them out for someone else to fool with, too much material for me to handle. Once it is sandwiched I don't even want to go there.

  18. #43
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina 830 but it is very heavy and I don't like to move it so I kept my Bernina 1530 for my travel machine. The 830 has a large "throat" so I can machine quilt on queen and King size easier and it also has built in walking foot and many decorative stitches. (Also is an embroidery machine) It is my "dream machine" and I saved many years to buy one when I retired. I started out with Singers, then New Home, Janome and my last two machines have been Bernina's.

  19. #44
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I bought a Babylock Espire (now Symphonie) with a large throat opening, needle up/down and sideways needle position adjustments, good light, motor speed adjustments and nice fancy stitches. Those are my essentials. I used to think that a built-in walking foot was a must have but this machine has an external walking foot that is relatively easy to attach and works just as well.

    One of these days, I will be able to set up my frame and use it with the Pfaff Grandquilter. It is a very fast straight-stitch machine.

  20. #45
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhansen6
    I have a Pfaff Creative 4.0. It has a built in walking foot and a 10.5 inch throat. I have quilted several smaller quilts and it works wonderfully. I am sure I could quilt larger ones too, but I just haven't. There is an embroidery unit that goes with it, I just don't have the time to do the embroidery so I didn't spend the money to get it.

    I have had Pfaff machines for 30 years and I wouldn't own anything else. I am sure most ladies feel the same way about their machines. It takes quite a bit of research to find one that fits you. But the research is well worth the time if you find a machine that you love.
    I love my Pfaff's- I have an older one and an embroidery machine. I set them up with beige, white, or grey thread on one and colored thread on the other so that I can go back and forth and not re-thread! I have not done any embroidery with a hoop for a while, am going to have to be re-trained. :lol:

  21. #46
    Super Member desertrose's Avatar
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    I bought a new machine when my over 35 yr. old one couldn't be repaired. The new one is a Brother XR7700, not expensive at all but it serves the purpose and I mainly hand quilt. A friend who no longer sews is sending me her old Kenmore for a back up work horse. Between the two I'll have a machine with the capacity of more throat space should I wish or have to switch to machine quilting and a light weight one with a few gadgets and some fancy stitch capabilities. By no means are any of the high end machines necessary to have a great time creating your own masterpieces.

    Who says you have to own a Mercades in order to drive!

    Happy quilting,
    Andie :roll:

  22. #47
    Super Member ontheriver's Avatar
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    I have several machines because I love them. I have a Viking Mega Quilter I am learning to FMQ on. Usually hand quilt but wanted to learn on machine. I have a Viking Sapphire for all the fancy stitches. But, my very favorite and the one I do all my piecing on is an old Singer 201 made in 1951.

  23. #48
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    JulieR, your avatar made me bust out laughing... I love it!

    I *SO* love not camping, myself...

  24. #49
    jajudd24's Avatar
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    I have a Janome and an Elna...used both on sewing many quilt tops.

  25. #50
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    I have 2 brother sewing machine 1 stay at home and the other is a cheap 8lb one which I take to UFO day or a class my Guild is putting on can't carry a heavy one.And 1 Janome med arm that goes with my Handi quitler.

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