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Thread: Stitch Regulators

  1. #1
    Junior Member GiddyUpGo's Avatar
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    Stitch Regulators

    I've been quilting for a couple of years now and I think I'm ready to move into a nicer machine. I'm probably going to try buying something used, though I really don't know what I can get in my price range (I have about $1000 saved, and I'd be happy to wait until I have another $1000 saved if that gets me a nicer machine ... though I don't know if I'm willing to go much beyond that. I still have to buy groceries.)

    I really like the idea of a stitch regulator. I know it's training wheels, but my FMQ is really terrible. Really, really terrible.

    So three questions: 1) if you've used a stitch regulator, do you like them? 2) is it even possible to get a used machine in that price range that includes a stitch regulator? And 3) does anyone have a suggestion for a particular machine I should be shopping for?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the Bernina is the only domestic sewing machine that has a stitch regulator.

  3. #3
    Junior Member trennag's Avatar
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    Baby lock just released a stitch regulator that you can use for a few of the high end machines but you have purchase it separately.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I watched the video for the Babylock stitch regulator. I can't quite figure out what it does. If I understood correctly, there's a control that you have to set for machine speed, and also stitches per inch. The woman in the video had to stop and change the machine speed setting when she wanted to go slower (to make a smaller quilting design). I don't understand that. To me, the purpose of a stitch regulator is to automatically change the machine's speed so that you get consistent stitch length. That's what the BSR does, that's what the SR on my longarm does. Does anyone have experience with the Babylock SR?

  5. #5
    Junior Member trennag's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I have not used it either. I just got an email from them saying they had the true stitch regulator for my machine. I do know it has to be purchased in addition to the machine and cheapest I have seen people post is $999. at that price I'm going to keep practicing my FMQ .
    To Giddyupandgo, I upgraded my little Brother from Wal-Mart to a Babylock Symphony and I'm in love. it has a larger throat space and sews like a dream. I have done some FMQ and love it but I don't have a regulator. you can get it for the symphony but it's an extra purchase. I bought mine new from a dealer and it was $2100 out the door.

  6. #6
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    My Bernina 440 with stitch regulator was about $3000 two years ago. I believe the 550 replaced the 440 and it was supposed to be less? You would need to look into a secondhand Bernina at that $1000 but your Bernina dealer might have some trade in machines as others upgrade.

  7. #7
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    I have used the Bernina stitch regulator and the tru-stitch regulator on the Handiquilter sweet 16. I did not like either of them- I thought both were jerky and didn't allow me to get a nice rhythm, I also felt rounded patterns didn't look as round as I would like them to.

    The BSR frequently beeped at me that I was going too fast for it (and I don't think I quilt fast, I'm rarely at my top setting).

    So for me, I would say totally not worth the money. What got me good at quilting was practice.


    As for budget, $1000 WITH a stitch regulator is going to be tough.

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I really do not think it is worth it for a domestic machine. I have it on my longarm.
    Anna Quilts

  9. #9
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    As far as I know, the Bernina is the only domestic sewing machine that has a stitch regulator.
    Not true babylock now has them but the stitch regulator by itself is over a 1000. Stitch regulators can be pricey. Brothers and babylocks do have the AHA system built into their TOL machines which regulates the tension automatically. I got a babylock espire used for 1800 and did not need a stitch regulator, tension was good you just had to practice the speed of your hands. A lot of it is practice and I don't think regulators are necessary as many people FMQ without them. You can now buy the stitch regulator for those TOL babylock machines like the espire but again you will shell out about another 1200 bucks
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  10. #10
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Skittl, I was under the impression that the BSR only works on a Bernina, and only on some models. It ties in with the electronics. It definitely isn't meant to be used with a longarm, where the speed (stitches per minute) is much higher. Is it possible that the SR you tried with the handiquilter was a different brand? There are quite a few on the market to be used with machines on frames.

    I used the BSR on my Bernina quite a bit until I bought a longarm. I loved it! I also have a SR on the longarm and personally would not be without it. There's so much to concentrate on that I need the extra bit of help that the SR provides.

  11. #11
    Super Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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    I just got a Juki 2010Q and I know there are stitch regulators that work with it (part of my reasoning for that machine was it could be upgraded if I so desired).
    Beth

  12. #12
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    I have a Bernina With the BSR, and I love it. I have had my machine a little over 4 years, so you might be able to get one, that someone traded in when they up graded. I tried FMQing before I got my BSR and there was just no way. I would recommend the BSR anyday!!

  13. #13
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    Skittl, I was under the impression that the BSR only works on a Bernina, and only on some models. It ties in with the electronics. It definitely isn't meant to be used with a longarm, where the speed (stitches per minute) is much higher. Is it possible that the SR you tried with the handiquilter was a different brand? There are quite a few on the market to be used with machines on frames.
    Sorry my grammar was poor. I have used the bsr on various berninas. I have used the tru stitch on the sweet 16 (a sit down, no frame). I assumed people would know I used the bsr on a bernina because that is what it can be used on. The tru stitch can also be used on some baby locks if I understand correctly, I haven't used it on those.
    Last edited by Skittl1321; 01-11-2013 at 03:39 PM.

  14. #14
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Sorry my grammar was poor. I have used the bsr on various berninas. I have used the tru stitch on the sweet 16 (a sit down, no frame). I assumed people would know I used the bsr on a bernina because that is what it can be used on. The tru stitch can also be used on some baby locks if I understand correctly, I haven't used it on those.
    Sorry, I should have realized that's what you meant. My BSR beeped at me occasionally too.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Patti25314's Avatar
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    I, too, vote for continue saving up for a used Bernina with a BSR -- like the 440. Please don't think of a stitch regulator as training wheels. It is a very nice tool. I've done FMQ for about 1 and a half years now doing with and without the BSR and definitely prefer the BSR. Good luck.
    Since I gain weight reading cookbooks, why can't I lose weight watching a fitness program?

  16. #16
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    I bought a Bernina 440 with the BSR back in October for $2500. It was used -- original buyer traded in for an upgrade. I bought it from my LQS, a Bernina dealer. I saw one on Craigslist for $1800, but without the BSR, around the same time.

    It took me many years to get to the point where I could spend that much on a sewing machine. Not just able to afford it, but also feeling ok to spend that much on a sewing machine! But I have not had a single regret. I LOVE this machine. I've done more sewing in the last 3 months than I have in the last 20 years combined, and truly enjoy it.

    Keep saving and get what you really want. It'll be worth the wait.

  17. #17
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    I have worked on a Nolting Hobby quilter with a SR but I did not use it, but my friend using it loved it. She said that once you use it you don't want to work without it.

  18. #18
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I bought a Janome 1600 (9" throat) used for $400 and a stitch regulator for it from Allbrands.com for $500.

    You might want to check Allbrands, it's possible there is a stitch regulator available that is compatible with a machine you already own.

  19. #19
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I bought a stitch regulator for my Baby Lock Jane but it is on a long arm table. It cost $500.
    It dosnt do any thing for speed it just keeps the stitches the same size no matter how fast you go.

  20. #20
    Junior Member GiddyUpGo's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I didn't know about Allbrands so that's a good tip! I had been thinking I'd like the Bernina 440 QE but it sounds like it might be hard to get one in my price range. It is good to know you can get the stitch regulators for other machines--I definitely need something that will help me keep all my stitches the same size.

    Thanks again!

  21. #21
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina 820 with the BSR & that machine cost me $7500.00 here in Canada. I am sure it is cheaper in the U.S. Obviously at that price point the BSR is included with this machine - I believe it cost about $1300.00 if purchased separately.
    Dance like no one is watching

  22. #22
    Super Member d.rickman's Avatar
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    I have the Bernina 550 and also the Bernina 830 LE, both have the stitch regulator, which I love. You can turn off the beeping sound if you don't like the noise, and then you can move the switch to regulate your speed, or you can just leave them on. It really does keep your stitches regulated and looks very nice for quilting or top stitching purposes.
    Perhaps check with your Bernina dealer, and ask for a demonstration of the stitch regulator on one of their machines.
    They will probably even let you try it out. No better way to find out for yourself, than to see exactly how it works.
    I think you will be impressed, and you deserve to have a good working machine. Best of luck in your search.
    Quilting People are the Best, Have a great sewing day!
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  23. #23
    Senior Member mshollysd's Avatar
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    I have stitch regulator for my Juki 2010 for the mini pinnacle frame and on my long arm, but I don't know how to use a stitch regulator on a regular sewing machine. The stitch regulators I have seen attach to the frame so don't have a clue. When I quilt without a frame I set my stitch speed and you can get really great at regulating your stitches manually.

  24. #24
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    I bought my Bernina 440 QE in 2006 for $2000, and it came with a stitch regulator. I love it! I agree that you can do the FMQ without it if you really practice and practice and practice, and are really an artist. I am not, so it helps me a lot for FMQ.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  25. #25
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    You might want to look at a Brother ( and other machines may do this, too) where you can control the speed with a push of a button and it stays the same speed, rather than your controlling it with your foot pedal. Not exactly a stitch regulator, but it takes one variable out of the FMQ process, and seems to make controlling your stitching easier.

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