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Thread: Should I upgrade my machine?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Jerseyrayne's Avatar
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    I just started doing fmq, and I am using my Viking #1+ machine. It is a little tight, it is only 7 1/2" throat space. I have been reading alot and searching alot of machines and I am confused. I am wondering if 1 1/2" would make enough of a difference to spend the money on a new machine? I would really appreciate your opinions. Should I keep the Viking and get either a Janome 1600P or Juki 98Q or 2010Q? Or should I sell my Viking and get a Janome 6600P? I like the looks of the Janome 7700 but it is out of my price range. Also I quilt on a table, not a frame. But I thought maybe down the road a gracie frame, don't know, I only have a 10x11 sewing room and it is packed. I do have a Singer 201 that I can do piecing on also. Any input you can give would be really helpful.

    Linda

  2. #2
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I did a queen on a DSM with 7 inches of throat space. I thought about upgrading to a larger machine but decided against it. I can make do. I know how my machine works and it works well. I don't make enough quilts to justify the cost.

    I guess it depends on how often you quilt and how big your quilts are... is it worth the trouble and expense?

  3. #3
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    honey, i would love to have that much throat space.

  4. #4
    Super Member frarose's Avatar
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    I have a Gran Quilter by Pfaff with a 9" throat and 6" tall. It works great for quilting. My other fancier Paff on has a 6.5 throat and 4.5 high. I use to quilt on it but it was really hard maneuvering the quilt

  5. #5
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I do FMQ on my dinky Brother mechanical which isn't very big at all. I once wrestled a king size through it but that was SITD. If I start in the middle and work out I can do a pretty big one. For me, I have found that "puddling" works better than rolling. Just my preference.

  6. #6
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper
    I do FMQ on my dinky Brother mechanical which isn't very big at all. I once wrestled a king size through it but that was SITD. If I start in the middle and work out I can do a pretty big one. For me, I have found that "puddling" works better than rolling. Just my preference.


    I have a brother cs6000i and not much throat space either....and I also puddle.....is way easier to maneuver than a big roll

  7. #7
    Super Member frarose's Avatar
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    I have never been able to master the rolls myself.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Jerseyrayne's Avatar
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    Can you tell me how far or how long can you quilt with l bobbin? My machine has a concave bobbin and it only holds enough thread to do a 12 x 14 practice quilt. I went to a class on fmq and there were 2 other woman there, I had to change bobbins 5 times to their one bobbin. It was a real pain. That is one of the main reasons I am thinking of upgrading, otherwise I have never had a problem with my machine. Viking definitely screw up with the bobbin on the #1+.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Essiescott's Avatar
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    Well ya'll aren't gonna believe this---but a few years ago, before I knew better---I did a stitch in the ditch king size quilt on a Featherweight. Y'all know how much throat space is on those.

    Sibyl

  10. #10
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    If you have conquered FMQ on your Viking on smaller pieces, can you try to make it easier to quilt with it before buying a new machine? When I took the time to make a workable extension covered with slippery vinyl for my sewing cabinet, I had much less struggle with the quilt. I tried both my vintage Bernina 830 Record and Singer 15-91 this way, and ended up preferring the Bernina because it has easier bobbin access.

    If I end up buying a new machine for quilting I think I would go with a straight stitch machine like the Babylock Jane or a Juki 2010Q so I could get better lighting, needle down, and thread cutting.

  11. #11
    llcathey's Avatar
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    I have the Janome 1600DB and I love it for quilting, Iv done several it isn't fussy with thread I can use most brands
    I guess my only complained is the bobbin in on the side but hard to get too

  12. #12
    Junior Member Jerseyrayne's Avatar
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    I have my tables set up to fmq with a clear vinyl on top with the Sew Slip and have quilted a couple of lap size quilts. My biggest problem is the bobbin doesn't hold much for thread so I am constantly having to stop and change the bobbin which is not easily done with this machine in my setup. The bobbins my machine takes are plastic concave bobbins, to my knowledge it is the only machine ever made with these small bobbins.

  13. #13
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseyrayne
    Can you tell me how far or how long can you quilt with l bobbin? My machine has a concave bobbin and it only holds enough thread to do a 12 x 14 practice quilt. I went to a class on fmq and there were 2 other woman there, I had to change bobbins 5 times to their one bobbin. It was a real pain. That is one of the main reasons I am thinking of upgrading, otherwise I have never had a problem with my machine. Viking definitely screw up with the bobbin on the #1+.
    Change your bobbin thread to something finer... you will go much further.. Try Superior threads "bottom line" thread.

  14. #14
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Essiescott
    Well ya'll aren't gonna believe this---but a few years ago, before I knew better---I did a stitch in the ditch king size quilt on a Featherweight. Y'all know how much throat space is on those.

    Sibyl
    Very believable - I went to a quilt shop once and there were gorgeous quilts all over. The lady there said she makes all her quilts on a featherweight!! Not just piecing!! I guess where there's a will there's a way.

    :D :D

  15. #15
    Senior Member mtngrl's Avatar
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    I have the same machine. The more I use it the more attached I get to it. I am still a beginner quilter but I think it works well for small fmq projects. I do think the table space is important and am trying to figure out how to set up my little sewing room to accommodate a larger table to hold a double or queen quilt.

    I now have 6 quilt tops, and I'm a bit of a chicken...I have them sandwiched and ready to go. I'm afraid I'll wreck them. I've done one, it didn't work as well as I'd like and I spent a week picking out the stitching.

    I'll be interested to see how yours works out and to hear any tips you have.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Jerseyrayne's Avatar
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    I have my table set up pretty much like this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g14go...feature=relmfu

    I have a 4' fold in half plastic table against the wall, with my 40" machine table, which I bought from Leah Day, in front of it, which makes it 4'wide x 45" deep from front to back. Then when I want to quilt I have another fold up table which is 24"x4' which I put on the left side, so now my setup is 6'wide x 45" deep. I hope this is clear enough.
    When I am done quilting then the table folds flat and I can put it out of the way, and I still have 4'x45" to sew or use my embroidery machine. And I keep my Viking, Janome 300E and my Brother 1034D Serger lined up on the back table when not in use. Works for me.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mtngrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseyrayne
    I have my table set up pretty much like this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g14go...feature=relmfu

    I have a 4' fold in half plastic table against the wall, with my 40" machine table, which I bought from Leah Day, in front of it, which makes it 4'wide x 45" deep from front to back. Then when I want to quilt I have another fold up table which is 24"x4' which I put on the left side, so now my setup is 6'wide x 45" deep. I hope this is clear enough.
    When I am done quilting then the table folds flat and I can put it out of the way, and I still have 4'x45" to sew or use my embroidery machine. And I keep my Viking, Janome 300E and my Brother 1034D Serger lined up on the back table when not in use. Works for me.
    Great Idea, Thanks:) I have a few tables that I can juggle to try to make this work.

  18. #18
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    I have the Janome 6600 and the Brother 1500 - pretty much the same as the Juki 98. The Brother does the best job FMQ and straight sewing and the Janome is great for everything else. I suggest you keep what you have and purchase either the Brother 1500 or the Juki. They all have their advantages.

  19. #19
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Yes I think you should upgrade and send me your old one.... :thumbup:

  20. #20
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    We have a Designer 1 at our quilt ministry at church. It is a wonderful machine and we were so fortunate to have someone donate it to us - but I completely understand about the bobbin. Ours does not wind so well either so it is just a pain. Anyway, we also received a Sidewinder as a donation so that has made winding the bobbins a breeze. Takes a couple seconds to get one wound. Wonderful little invention.

    Best of luck with your decision.

  21. #21
    Super Member wanda lou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose
    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchnripper
    I do FMQ on my dinky Brother mechanical which isn't very big at all. I once wrestled a king size through it but that was SITD. If I start in the middle and work out I can do a pretty big one. For me, I have found that "puddling" works better than rolling. Just my preference.


    I have a brother cs6000i and not much throat space either....and I also puddle.....is way easier to maneuver than a big roll
    what is puddling?

  22. #22
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Puddling: my understanding is that it's kinda like folding the quilt like a fan instead of rolling. Alot of people find this easier to manage than the roll.

  23. #23
    Senior Member thseabreze's Avatar
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    I use the janome 6600P, and love it. I wouldn;t trade it for any other for quilting...the accufeed foot, is worth it all. I also use the thread made specifically for bobbins, the bobbin holds alot more of it because the thread is so thin, but it is strong also...I would suggest you to try the bobbin thread first before trading machines.

  24. #24

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    If you have a Singer 201, why don't you try FMQ on that before you spend your money? It has a huge throat and I believe that the feed dogs drop. If you don't have the right foot (I "think" its the darning foot) they are relatively inexpensive and very available. There's people on the board who FMQ with 201--ask them to tell you about it! Good luck on your decision:)

  25. #25
    Junior Member Jerseyrayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvTooQuilt
    Yes I think you should upgrade and send me your old one.... :thumbup:
    If I decide to upgrade to the Janome 6600, I will be selling the Viking #1+ which is also an embroidery machine, but I do have the Janome 300E which does embroidery, so I don't use the embroidery on the #1 anymore.

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