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Thread: Sewing Machines That are Necessary to Quilting

  1. #1
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    I'm new to quilting and have completed two quilts. I have a Singer Essential and that's all. What do you consider a necessary machine to have for quilting? If you have more than one machine, why do you? Also is there a machine that isn't a long arm but has enough space to put maybe a toddler or twin size quilt under?

  2. #2
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    My first really good sewing machine was a Husqvarna Viking Lily 545 that I bought back in 2000. It has many build in decorative stitches and alphabet.
    then in 2007 I decided I wanted to do embroidery so I bought a Husqvarna Viking SE which is a combo sewing/embroidery...LOVE IT...Has so many built in stitches for quilting, heirloom, deoorative etc...I'll never be able to use all of them. Well worth the money can't live without either machine.
    and yes, you can quilt a lap/twin easily on these two machine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hen3rietta's Avatar
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    I like my Brother single stitch 1500. It only does straight stitching but has a larger throat area. I can comfortably machine quilt up to a twin. In fact the machine came with a quilting frame and I took it off and now use it table top style.

    Diana

  4. #4
    Senior Member sandyo's Avatar
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    You really only need your sewing machine. It depends on how fancy you want your stitches and what you want to accomplish as you get more into it. I would suspect most quilters just use their sewing machine. I have an embroidery machine but has very little to so with quilting. Also have a back up old machine for emergency. I do not have long arm, to expensive and not sure where I would set it up. Do all my quilting on my regular machine. A long arm would be fun though, maybe I will get to try one someday.

  5. #5
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 2010 which is not an expensive home sewing machine. I have machine quilted a queen-size quilt on it. Just got done with a twin. When machine quilting, I roll up the right side of the quilt and start quilting in the middle of the quilt and unroll as I go toward the right side of the quilt. It's doable. I do have a great extension tabletop to my left to hold the rest of the quilt. Bottom line...you don't need a fancy machine. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I have a good old regular Singer sewing machine from the early 90s, and it does everything I need it to do. I've quilted full sized quilts on it before, and will be doing a queen here shortly.

    I have another Singer from the 80s that someone just gave me last week, and I have a machine from the 40s that I haven't set up yet, but neither of those is essential to me. I'm going to wait and see what the older one is like before assigning either of them duties.

    If you are ready or want to invest in a higher-end machine, there are several great ones out there. But don't think you have to have something special to turn out special work. :)

  7. #7
    Super Member debbieoh's Avatar
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    Great info will be sure to keep watching this thread

  8. #8
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    Sewing machines with all of the bells and whistles are great. However, they are not necessary. What is necessary is a sewing machine that sews really well, but more important is the skill of the individual operating the machine. If you can't sew, bells and whistles aren't going to help that. I would suggest staying with the machine you have and honing your quilting sewing skills, and then maybe sometime down the line getting an upgrade.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Baysidegal's Avatar
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    I have a Brother C-6000i. I just love it for piecing. I keep a walking foot on an old Kenmore that is heavy and so dependable. It makes it easier for me so that I do not have to completely switch out my worktable when I want to quilt a lap top or larger. I bring my quilt and Kenmore to the dining room table and use that space. I do quilt little things with my Brother though.

  10. #10
    Super Member ginnie6's Avatar
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    I've only been quilting two years but I have a Singer Rocketeer that is my main machine. My dd's just bought it for me as an early bday present. Before that I had an old White machine. I'm trying fmq on a full size quilt right now on the rocketeer and so far so good. I seriously doubt I will ever have a new expensive machine again. I had a kenmore that at 12 years died....it was top of the line when we bought it and did embroidery. Now i would love to have another machine set up just for the quilting part and keep my rocketeer for piecing and whatever.

  11. #11
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    If your machine sews a nice straight stitch that is all that is necessary for now. As you got more into quilting you might want to upgrade. I have three machines, one isfor taking to quilt guild and classes cause it is smaller and easuer to carry. The other two are embrodery machines and I have been quilting for 20 years. So as others said good luck and enjoy.

  12. #12
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    sew so many machines i find i like the one that is working the best at that time LOL

  13. #13
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    I love my Janome 7700. It is about in the middle as far as sewing machines are concerned. It has just enough technology to keep me happy!

  14. #14
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    I just started quilting last June and have a Brother HS2000 machine. The neck on it is smaller than I would like, but it doesn't slow me down much! I have a 20 lb lifting limit & space to quilt is in very short supply in our motorhome where we live FT & this one fits the bill on all counts. I've done oversized lap robes as well as many baby quilts on this & just love it!! Have even started doing FMQ with it! We learn on what we have & go from there.

  15. #15
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    The quilt I am finishing has been completely done on a 1956 Singer 301A. With the addition of a 1/4 inch foot, the machine has done a fantastic job. I have quilted a queen size quilt on my 1974 Elna that only has a 6 3/4 inch harp (space between the needle and the pillar.) The Singer has a slightly larger space. As the previous poster indicated, what you have is fine if it sews with a nice strong stitch balanced between the top and bottom tensions. I am ready to do my first FMQ ever. I'm not sure which machine to use. The Singer does a good sample, but I have better speed control with the Elna.

  16. #16
    Member tdvxh's Avatar
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    I guess I'm a fanatic. I started with a Husquvarna 200(?) Moved up to a 300 before 2 weeks went by. Within 2 months, moved up to a Janome, then to a Brother InnovisD, then to a Baby Lock Espire. Purchased an Inspira Quilt frame w/Pfaff Hobbie Craft and now I have traded all except the Espire and Pfaff for a Bernina 820. I'm loving being able to combine embroidery w/quilting. I have made at least one or more quilts on everything and find the 820 about the best because of the throat space. Needless to say, my FMQ leaves a lot to be desired. NO TIME FOR ANYTHING. I need to retire from my day job so I can quilt.

  17. #17
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    You can make a quilt on just about any machine as long as it sews forward. I started 50 years ago on an OLD singer that only went forward. In 1965 I got a singer that did zigzag..wow! Decided to do embroidery in 2004 and bought a used Viking Designer 1. Now have two of them. If you really have to have a new machine (need is sometimes a mental thing) look for Viking Topaz models with the longer throat. They also do embroidery. Should be some good used ones out there by now. Shopping for one is half the fun.

  18. #18
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I started quilting on a machine that my Husband bought me for my birthday years ago...it was an old seventies Europro he had bought used from our local sewing center. It had about 6 or 7 stitches on it, reverse, and one speed - FAST! I learned to free motion on that baby! Lol*

    I have several sewing machines now, but I'm a stay at home Mommy living on one income, so I cannot justify at this time in my life buying a high end machine. It's not essential to have a machine like that to make great quilts, but a lot of those bells and whistle features make things a lot easier. (Like stitch regulation! Lol*) I currently do most of my piecing on my featherweight and free motion on my Simplicity Quilters Classic...also a very economically priced machine. It does what I need it to do for now, but eventually I would love to upgrade. :)

  19. #19
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I think you stick with what you've got until you find out what it is you really want a new machine to do. Don't get blinded by bells and whistles if you don't think you will use them. My mom has a couple of Berninas that do everything but make coffee. And she uses the fancy stitches and embroidery functions.

    I had done enough when it came to plunking down big $ (for me) to know that I wanted the best straight stitch machine I could buy. I have a cheapy brother with fancy stitches that I use only for the occasional applique, but primarily I want to piece and quilt. I have a mid-arm Juki 98Q that i absolutely love. And a 1956 Singer 15-91 that is a powerhouse as well.

    Many folks use their bells and whistles, and that's great. But make sure you want to use them before you decide.

    Many of us like the older singers. My Juki is much like those older machines- simple to work, simple to clean, simple to repair, and all metal. You just need to keep oiling her and she will purr like a kitten and run like big cat.

  20. #20
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    the machines that have all the bells and whistles I bet most people don't use all of them and probably will never I know I have a husqvarna quilt designer 2 and it has a lot of stiches I don't use my machine is maybe 5 years old. So if your machine does what you want it to do you don't need anything else.

  21. #21
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I pieced my first few quilts on a 1959 Montgomery Ward machine. After I got a walking foot for it I quilted at least two full size and two twin size on it before I bought my Pfaff 2030. I love that Pfaff. I also have a Janome 6600. It sews really fast, has a larger throat and it's fabulous to quilt on. I still love the Pfaff for piecing and putting on binding though.

  22. #22

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    I have a Bernina I bought before I retired. Came with walking foot and BSR. Has all the perks, needle down ect. I love it. But the love of my life is my featherweight. Its great for taking to classes, retreats and sewing get togethers with my friends.

  23. #23
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    I have a Pfaff Creative Vision that does everything, but the machine I use the most is a little Janome that is light weight enough to take to classes, it's a full size machine, has thread cutter, needle down, walking foot, 1/4" foot a good number of stitches....love it, priced well under $1,000

  24. #24
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    any sewing machine in good working condition with a good straight stitch is all you need for quilting...you do not need anything special...our great grandmothers made quilts just as beautiful (and more so) as we do with their treadle machines, or little bitty singer featherweights...there is nothing that says you need a $5000 viking or pfaff to make a good quilt...you only need the desire and motivation to make a good quilt...you know, plenty of people still make plenty of quilts with no machine at all

  25. #25
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    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.

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