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Thread: Sewing machines

  1. #1
    ready2quilt's Avatar
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    I searched for some threads on this topic which were interesting.

    Thing is, I just got a job at Hancock Fabrics---whoo hoo! OK, low pay but good discounts.

    I'm looking to upgrade my sewing machine. I have a computerized Brother, don't know the exact model, but I got it like two years or so ago at Wal-Mart. It was on clearance. The first projects I did on it were fine. Now, I'm having all kind of tension issues. I play and play and still it's not right.

    As I said, at Hancock's I can get a Bernette 65 by Bernina (this is the most expensive one they sell but with my discount it will only be maybe $40 more than what I paid for the Wally world one.)

    Any recommendations? I was also thinking of going across the street to the sewing machine repair shop and see what's there. It maybe a better deal as I can use the Brother as a trade. It's in mint condition with everything it came with.

    Gotta get a good machine and get going. My stash is now large enough that I can actually make a few things before I *have* to get more fabric. :D

  2. #2
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    My advice is to get the best you can afford. By all means check out the repair shop as well as any other sources available to you. I got a relativily inexpensive one 2 years ago because I wanted more decorative stitches than my Bernina had for less money than a fancier Bernina would have been. I have a drop in bobbin and the whole thing is plastic and doesn't hold up well to the amount of sewing that I do. If you try to go too fast on a stright run, the bobbin pops out of palce and causes all sorts of headaches. I was using it as my primary machine because of the embroidery stitches but had to switch back to the Bernina. So don't settle for inexpensive. If it means holding off a while until you can upgrade, then do so. Bernina's mahines cn't be beat for dependability. I am not familar with the Bernette models, but love my 1080 to death. I have had it 10 or 12 years with minimum amount of fuss. Wish I coould afford to shell out for one other pricier models. But I am waiting and saving. Maybe one day.

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    not to contradict vicki's advice. just something to try as a "what the heck".

    my favorite machine started having tension tantrums recently. it was driving me right up the wall. it just so happens i recently decided to splurge on some 100% cotton thread because i wanted to see what all the excitement was about. until now, thread was thread was thread ... y'know?

    well, much to my surprise, i not only found some 100% cotton 50 wt/3 ply for less than i'd pay for a blend at walmart, when i put a bobbin of the stuff into my machine, the tension was suddenly perfect!!!!!

    i don't know if it's the difference in weight or content, but i soooooooo don't care. it solved my problem AND will save me money. (i can still use the thinner poly/cotton blend in the top. thank goodness. i have a lot of it to use up. the thought of tossing it or letting it rot from old age was killing me. LOL)

    here's what i got

    http://threadart.com/shop/category.asp?catid=5

    i know many people swear by the more famous and exponentially more expensive brands. to each her own. but this works for me and my budget. :P

  4. #4
    ButtercreamCakeArtist's Avatar
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    ready2quilt~
    Maybe you could get a quote from the repair shop on how much it might take to fix your computerized Bro'. You may be able to talk to them and see if they can give you any advice.
    Unless you really hate your brother (machine! LOL!)....
    Maybe give Patrice's thread advice a try, too.

  5. #5
    ready2quilt's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll try switching the thread and see if that makes a difference. The girl at WalMart fabric dept. said she had the same problem with her Brother machine and went back to her old Singer but it needs replacing too.

    I'll try to get to the machine shop before starting work at 1 and see what's up, but I'll still keep checking here.


  6. #6
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Your Brother may only need to be serviced. I have a cheapie Brother from WalMart.. bought it 3 years ago. It is not computerized. I started having tension trouble with it about a year after I got it. To it to my local sewing machine repair person and he cleaned and serviced it. I have had no problems since.. BUT I also learned to clean the bobbin area myself regularly and I only use 100% cotton thread. Barb C

  7. #7
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Patrice is right. Thread will make a difference. I should have brought that up, but was so intent on describing my sewing achine problems that I forgot that it was you hat had asked for help not a llist of my sewing machine problems. :D

  8. #8
    ready2quilt's Avatar
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    No problem, vicki reno! Sometimes what you talk about may be the very thing needed to trigger my troubleshooting skills---or lack there of. LOL

    I can't possibly think the machine needs servicing already. It's only got like 10 or so hours of sewing on it. It shouldn't have to be broken in with the tension so messed at this point. ???? But I'll certainly ask when I get to the shop. Hoping to make it there before going to work today.

  9. #9
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    Good Luck! Let us know how it turns out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member k_jupiter's Avatar
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    I cannot emphisise how important good thread is. I have used Coates and Clarke (on my first quilt), and it works OK. I have heard that it doesn't hold up over the long run and that friends don't let friends use Coates and Clarke. So I have been using Mettier Silky finish thread for awhile. Works great. My Bernina just doesn't have tension problems no matter what thread I put in it. Do a slight (and I do mean slight) adjustment to the tension control and it handles anything from 50/3 to 40/2, even some thicker stuff in the bobbin.


    But... I used some cheaper stuff (I don't remember where I got it) in my Elna. All of a sudden it started skipping threads, creating huge messes on the back side of the fabric. What the heck? Turns out the cheap thread was leaving deposits of fiber on the hook assembly of the bobbin. Cleaned it out, put in good thread and the skipping went away. Like that.

    Check it out on yer Brother. Most people who have those machines like them.

    If it's hopeless, I can always recommend a Bernina 830. About 400 bucks in full running tuned up condition. And it will last you forever.

    tim in san jose

  11. #11
    ready2quilt's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the replies. I had about 10 minutes in the shop before I had to be to work. I looked at a Janome 525S.

    Then at work I looked more and saw a Janome 3022. I'll look up some info on the web, but at this point I'm leaning toward the 3022 because I get a great discount.

    Not sure when I'll get to tinker with the Brother. Tomorrow's lookin' pretty busy.

  12. #12
    Leslee's Avatar
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    Janomes are very good machines and have a great reputation. You may want to check out their website, where you can compare the different features of each model and look at the details (www.janome.com) Some of the top of the line models are quite pricey, but the more economical machines are still just as solid and user-friendly. Lots of our fellow board members have Janomes. I've got the 6600 Memory Craft and love my newest "best friend"!

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I just bought a husqvarna viking with a 10inch arm. What a difference a couple of inchs make when quilting, the extra space really helps. It dosnt have a stiche regulator which I really wanted but could not afford.
    It has many good features for quilting. Its the new Sapphire model. Cost $1200. at Joanns.
    Thread does make a difference especially for keeping your machine clean.

  14. #14
    Carla P's Avatar
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    My main machine is a computerized Brother my DH bought me for Christmas about 4 years ago. I have had tension trouble twice... both times were from using cheaper thread (I was making Halloween costumes one of those times & cheerleading bags another & didn't want to use my precious quilting thread on such menial items. :lol: ). Well, each time the service guy told me the threads had wrapped around the tension discs on the inside. So, with the $65 I spent each time I had it repaired, I came to realize that not only should I have used good thread, but that money would have bought a whole lot of fabric!!! (& thread :lol: )

    I am an avid fan of Brother machines, but they do not play well with lower end threads. For all of my piecing, like Tim, I use silk wrapped cotton Mettler. For quilting, well that depends on the project, but I assure you it is never the cheap stuff... it costs way more in the long run.

    Good luck in your decision & congrats on the new job!! :D

  15. #15
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    :P Ya I fully agree sooo often it can be your Thread. I have found out I have to do some experimenting and find out what really works for a fabric or project.

  16. #16
    ready2quilt's Avatar
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    OK, I took the plunge and bought a Janome 3022 from work. It happen to coincide with payday for us and some unexpected work hours, so I haven't even had time to take it out of the box! Shameful I know.

    I haven't checked the Brother and changed thread either. So I'll do that first and see what happens before I take the next steps as to what to do if it works. Keep it, return the Janome, sell the Brother......decisions, decisions.

  17. #17
    Power Poster cutebuns's Avatar
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    I am fond of the brother, I have 2. I worked for wally world for a time and the ones they carried were not bad ones. You might just want to get your machine a tune up. I am not fond of tune ups myself but sometimes they are neccessary. If you lived in Edmonton I would take a look at it for you.

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