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sewing machines

Old 09-15-2015, 05:08 AM
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I am starting a program at church in which I will have Seniors (in High School) make a "Trip around the World" quilt for themselves, with my help. My friend does this at her church. I am going to have to buy 3-4 sewing machines to have available for students to use, whose parent doesn't own a sewing machine to bring along to class. Has anyone bought the inexpensive (like $100) Janome Brother machines from Hancocks? These machines will not get used much so wondering if they would be good enough? I cannot afford to spend a lot of money.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:12 AM
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Start with the congregation.
Ask if anyone has a vintage machine stuffed in a closet.

Easy to thread, easy to maintain, low value so someone won't think about walking off with them.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:13 AM
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Walmar sells Brother machine on Black Friday for $50. Maybe they can give you a deal working thru church
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:13 AM
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I would buy one and and try it out. If it does all you need and is easy to use then buy more. I would buy the one at Walmart, easier to return if it messes up.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:14 AM
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With these machine, you get what you pay for. You might ask that if any members of your church have an extra machine that they are not using to donate to your project. I just gave my old Singer to the church group I belong to. I am also going to be asking around for two more machines for young people who are interested at sewing projects for our various charities. It is terrific to get this young girls interested in quilting. Good Luck and God bless you.
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Old 09-15-2015, 05:22 AM
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I started off with a low end Brother from walmart, was around $90 and it worked very well for me in the beginning.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:53 AM
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See if you LQS's have any trade in's or floor models they would be willing to donate or sell at a deeply discounted price. If you get younger people started it might lead to future sales for them.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:54 AM
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I agree with the others about asking for donations (doesn't need to be vintage -- you'd be surprised what people will give away for a good cause!). Other option might be to see if a local trade school or factory might be willing to donate or sell their used machines on the cheap.

I'm sure the $100 machines would work fine to start with, the issue will be how well they'll work after sitting in a closet for 10 months for a couple years and then taking the standard abuse that new sewers put their machines through. If you have a volunteer who can tune/repair machines, the $100 machines might be okay. Unfortunately, though, I agree with the others that cheapy plastic machines are easily broken (not that I broke a machine a brand new low-end machine in my first sewing class or anything like that ).
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:32 AM
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I agree with the comments about you get what you pay for. Those low end models regardless of name brand, tend to need more servicing than than the original cost. A big problem is the timing, not an easy fix to do at home. Post a note on the board at church and/or put a request in your church bulletin and you may be surprised how many machines show up as an offering of good will.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:41 AM
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I have to agree with the others - I would not buy low end machines for this project. If you don't get donations or loaners from the congregation, try seeing what's available on Craigslist. The vintage machines are workhorses.
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