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Thread: Sewing machines Styles and brands

  1. #1

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    Hi, I havn't been on in a long time and I just spent the day on the computer looking at all kinds of sewing machines. It is unbelievable what is out there. I am curious-What machines do you have and use-Name model- What is it you love and hate about each of them? I don't have thousands of dollars to spend but I am a quilter and that is what I want to use it for. Thanks in advance for all the input.

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Lots of us in my quilt guild have Janomes of all different price options and styles. What makes it so appealing to us is that we have a wonderful dealer who isn't pushy and is very helpful. A good dealer you can trust is worth so much, in my opinion and experience. Ask people you trust ahead of time. There is a dealer that is about three minutes away from me and noone I know is happy with him/her. I don't know how he/she stays in business. It really does make a difference.

  3. #3
    Senior Member spinnergs's Avatar
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    I had vikings for years but the tension was always a problem for anything other than a straight and zigzag stitch. I bought a Bernina and love it for everything!

  4. #4
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    I have the 301a Singer that I love for straight stitching and a Sears Kenmore model 385 that is fabulous with all of the fancy stitches and learning FMQ. Good luck in choosing!

  5. #5
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I have the Babylock Quilter's Choice. Love it. Only wish the throat was bigger.

    When looking for a machine, I would also look for something with the largest throat you can get, possibly a stitch regulator, bobbin empty warning light, top loading bobbin?, feed dogs that drop, a walking foot, an open toe or closed toe darning foot (depending on your preference), knee lift, self-threading...

    Try the machines and see if you like them.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Brother XL-3500i
    pros: lightweight(good for class)
    nice stitching
    economical
    cons: small harp
    no needle up/down feature
    have to cover feed dogs
    Love this machine, there's not too much I don't like about this machine, great for piecing, starting out new as a quilter, doesn't hurt the pocket book, but the down is that once you've driven the mercedes benz of your brand its hard to sew with such limited features

    Babylock Espire
    pros: needle up-down
    pivoting feature
    knee lift for presser foot
    adjustable presser foot pressure and height
    automatic tension adjuster(great for FMQ)
    lots of accessories
    lots of decorative stitching
    speed control
    quiet
    cons: price cost me 1800 dollars

    Love everything about this machine, well worth the investment in my opinion. I did a payment plan to make it more affordable to me. I would say for the first 6 months I didn't really use the machine a little intimidating, but now I won't use anything else unless its in the shop

  7. #7
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    I have vikings one is quilt designer 2 and the other is topaz 30 love both of them. My dealer is also very good.

  8. #8
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    401A Singer
    301A Short-Bed
    301A Long-Bed
    Kenmore Vintage
    Janome
    Singer Serger

  9. #9
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    Bernina, Bernina, Bernina!!! Worth every cent in precision, power, and performance. My Berninas are Trouble-free, easy to learn and use workhorses. I started with a vintage 930 that I bought here, then I was hooked. Next I got a used 440 from my dealer. Now I've got a new 820. They do not disappoint. No trouble going over thick seams. Excellent stitch quality. Another machine I can personally recommend that has excellent quality for a lower price is the Baby Lock Quest Plus. It's $999 at my nearest dealer since it's been replaced by the Serenade. The Quest Plus has built-in dual feed, beautiful perfect stitches, comes with many extras like the extension table and straight stitch plate, and really compares favorably with more expensive machines.

  10. #10
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Janome all the way!!!! High dollar or bottom dollar, will always be my machine of choice!

  11. #11
    Super Member jdiane318's Avatar
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    Janome in anything, worth the money, has the best needle threader ever.

  12. #12

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    Had an old Singer. Replaced it about 6 years ago with a Bernina Activa 220. While I love my Bernina, accessories (like a walking foot) can be pricey. Worked for a LQS that sold Janomes and would recommend them. Plus accessories aren't overly expensive. Hope that helps.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    Owner of a husqvarna viking Designer 1, Pfaff Select 3 and Janome 6600P...all have great qualities....but for quilting would have to go with the Janome, followed by Pfaff, then Husqvarna..
    Have had the Janome a month now and there have been somethings I have had to get used to....thread constantly coming out of the needle...rectified by holding thread at back...for small piecing it really is happy with the start/stop mode not using the foot pedal.....didn't think the walking foot was as good as the Pfaffs IDT to begin with but am beginning to rethink that now as I get more used to the machine...

    My advice when looking for a machine is write down your must have features, followed by your would love to have features, and take them into a dealer....don't come away with anything that isn't on your must have list otherwise you will be dissappointed and take fabric and batting... try as many machines as you can. If you only try them with a scrap of fabric they will feel totally different when you have the batting etc under the needle.
    Also if you have a good dealer buying second hand can be a great way to get a wonderful machine at a knock down price....Good Luck.

  14. #14
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    viking designer one
    singer-1956 99K
    brother 3---somthing

    the viking is my standard- use in the sewing room for everything (has embroidery capabilities)
    singer- my at work- take to classes machine
    brother the great-speed controlled easy enough for the granddaughters to use basic machine.

    and then the long arm.

    any machine you like is a good choice- great quilters quilt their quilts on domestic machines- some on old singers- some with fancier computerized machines-it's just what has a good even stitch= and works for you
    try out as many as you can--when you visit most dealers they will let you try out machines
    shows also have machines to try out

  15. #15
    Senior Member Morningcoffeegal's Avatar
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    At this moment I have a Euro Pro that is my take with machine because of weight its very light and has enough stitch options & accessories to hold me over till I am home. My everyday do all machine is my Janome MC10000, I have had this machine 6-7yrs now and still haven't used every stitch or embroidery design available on it. I do alot of FMQ on it. I also have a Juki which I use with a grace quilting table for quilting, love its speed & its a work horse also a great machine for sewing very heavy or layers & layers of fabrics.

    But honestly I think its what you become comfortable with I learned on an old Singer trettle and there really wasn't much I couldn't do on it except all the fancy computerized embrodiery stitches, I did do monograms & even some fancy embroidery designs using a small wooden hoop and free handing it. Just took lots of practice. I did have a great teacher she would make me sit and sew circles, squares, zippers & button holes till I was blue in the face before she actually let me make anything real! LOL Wasn't until I sewned my own finger then she said ok your are now officially a seamstress! LOL

    My best advice is test drive them before you buy and make sure your dealer is reliable for service. So far I have only needed limited service on my machines although I clean & oil mine regularly myself.

  16. #16
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Janome 6500 knee lifter for sewing foot, large throat opening, needle up and down, needle threader,push button automatic thread cutter this is generally the machine I quilt on. A lot of bang for the buck. What I don't like is that I had to spend the money to buy a straight stitch plate. It did not come with it. Also it is way to big/heavy to lug around.

    I have many vintage machines including two that are treadles. I love the all metal parts. That makes it that many are also to heavy to lug around with the exception of the Bernina 830 (vintage one), Elna super matic, Singer Feather Weight and Singer 301. Currently a white Feather Weight is what I am piecing on. What I do not like is many are very heavy, no knee lifter (except for the Bernina 830) and no thread cutter. Some of them in cabinet have a knee control instead of a foot control. It takes a moment to get used to but I like it. Many are straight stitch only. Things I miss on them needle threader, even a basic thread cutting area on the machine is abscent, no needle up and down, no automatic thread cutter etc. All the wonderful bells and wisthles on the more modern Janome 6500.

  17. #17
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    My Viking Sapphire 830 has some great features.
    10 inch throat
    Needle down
    Auto lift in needle down for all my sewing.
    The machine automatically lowers foot when you start to sew.
    push button to lift foot in increments.
    The only thing I do not like is the height around needle area, it is to low and hard to get your hand in to change feet.

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