Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 69

Thread: what to buy when you're not made of money?

  1. #1
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Delhi, Ontario
    Posts
    380
    I need a new machine here at home, I cannot afford a mid arm or a long arm, either financially or even space wise. I think I have narrowed it down to Janome being the brand name, but what I really need to know is.....what bells and whistles do I really need? There are a few different machines, some are more basic than others (ex; more stitches available). I do not trust a man to sell me a machine that does not use it to do the same thing I want to do. He may know everything about all the machines but he is not a quilter.
    Long story short....what features are absoloutley essential to you to have on your machine to get the job done?

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Southwest Kansas
    Posts
    4,829
    Needle up down.

  3. #3
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    West central Illinois
    Posts
    2,973
    try hancock fabrics. i was in same boat when i started last year. janome 8077 had needle up down, the blanket stitch for applique and a bunch of others. I still use it a lot even though i just bought a 1600 P-QC. Runs about 250 on sale if I remember right. They even still carry it. saw it in the mailing last week or this week.

    Only bad thing is it isnt from a janome dealer. BUT you could try a dealer and ask about used machines and trade ins too! sometimes they even have a little layaway plan.

  4. #4
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    north east
    Posts
    8,531
    Blog Entries
    1
    Knee lift lever is key for me. When I'm piecing or quilting, it is so helpful to use my knee to lift the presser foot while keeping both hands on the fabric. Needle up/down is also very important.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cindyg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cypress (NW Houston), TX
    Posts
    583
    Needle up/down, auto thread cutter, knee lift (great to use while doing applique), and several embroidery stitches and an alphabet. I have a MC6600P Janome. Now if we could just find one that will vacuum itself out at the push of a button!

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NE Pa.
    Posts
    1,614
    You can't go wrong with a Janome. Go to your local shop and try the various ones out. There is a large range of prices to choose from. Needle up and needle down, the ability to move the needle right or left, knee lift is nice if you do machine applique. Mine have never been in the repair shop and I have had one of them over 10 yrs. the others are newer. ALso aome people might not know this but use ONLY Janome bobbins in them. I had a lady put a metal bobbin in her machine and it messed up the timeing. Enjoy

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    My have to have feature is that the needle can be moved a stitch width at a time. My next have to have is a built in needle threader that is easy to use. The thread cutter is a time saver and the needle up/down is nice. I have a knee lift and have never used it.

  8. #8
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    north east
    Posts
    8,531
    Blog Entries
    1
    Oh Bella, you need to try the knee lift lever. You'll wonder how you went all this time without it!

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outer Space
    Posts
    9,839
    My main have to have is the knee lift feature and the needle up and down. Several applique stitches are mandatory. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Posts
    59,092
    Blog Entries
    1
    Needle down, and the ability to move the needle left/right.
    Blanket stitch, a few other decorative stitches, needle threader and a 5mm stitch width, but 7mm is nicer :wink: :D:D:D

  11. #11
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW (I wish it was the Ozarks!)
    Posts
    6,509
    Blog Entries
    6
    I have the Janome 8077, qubby just bought it for me in September, and I love the thing! It has MORE than I need for quilting and sewing...the price was right...

  12. #12
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Horseheads, NY 14845
    Posts
    4,018
    Needle up/down, ability to move r/l, drop in bobbin. I do have the knee lift, but haven't used it yet ??? I upgraded from the DC3050 to the Memory Craft 4900 because I wanted more decoratie stitches. I also notice that the 'bed' of the machine )front to back)is a little wider (not the throat) and I also like the Janome feature of the slanted front piece which makes it easier for me to see what I am working on.

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Clay Springs AZ
    Posts
    3,223
    Mine is a Viking Sapphire 830 and when you set it for needle down the foot automatically lifts a little when you stop sewing so you can move the fabric around. I love that feature. It also has a 10 inch throat and many different stitchs.
    If you are looking for a feature for free motion you cant beat the Bernina stitch regulator. That is the one feature I wish I had.

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I tried the knee lift. It feels so awkward but I'll try to remember to use it.

  15. #15
    moderator
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,968
    Needle up/down, thread cutter is nice, but it wouldn't be a feature that would be the deciding factor whether to buy a machine or not. I have a thread cutter on my Grand Quilter and I don't use it, I am not spending hours clipping those silly little tails of thread it leaves behind.

    I have a knee lifter which hangs on the wall for decoration, my machine I can set it to needle down and whether I want the foot to raise and what height.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I use the thread cutter when piecing. I don't like clipping the thread tails when machine quilting unless I'm at the edge of the quilt.

  17. #17
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    ELVERTA, CA
    Posts
    15,178
    Blog Entries
    1
    built-in walking foot
    needle up/down
    low bobbin indicator
    large throat opening
    needle position left/right
    good lighting
    easy bobbin winder (that does not disrupt sewing)
    consistent blanket stitch

    Those are mine

  18. #18
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Home town: Rehoboth, MA Now living in OK
    Posts
    7,897
    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Needle down, and the ability to move the needle left/right.
    Blanket stitch, a few other decorative stitches, needle threader and a 5mm stitch width, but 7mm is nicer :wink: :D:D:D
    all good choices.

  19. #19
    Blockhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Tasmania Australia
    Posts
    80
    Don't discount the vintage Singers, especially if you don't have a lot of cash. They are cheap, reliable, make a beautiful stitch and you can get a large range of feet and accessories either cheap or free with the machine.

    I'm using a Singer 201 for FMQ and it's brilliant! Straight stitch only, so no stitch wobbles. The feed dogs drop, it takes a regular needle, there is masses of room in the harp. Mine has a knee control, which I find can do very presice stops.

    Some beautiful antique quilts were made on these style machines, without a lot of expensive do-dads - you don't NEED them (but they are certainly nice to have if you have the money).

  20. #20
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW Iowa
    Posts
    32,958
    I think a Janome would be great. I like needle up and down and I like to be able to move my needle over to get my seam allowance where I want it. Some other stitches are always a plus. You don't have to spend a lot to get a good machine.

  21. #21
    Super Member bebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    3,068
    1/4 inch foot and a walking foot one you can buy attachments for later if needed,

  22. #22
    Senior Member sewgray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Houston area
    Posts
    897
    The first thing I look for is if it makes a really nice and consistent stitch.

  23. #23
    Super Member sewNso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    S C michigan
    Posts
    2,000
    Blog Entries
    1
    i think the main consideration would be, how avidly do you quilt and what size quilts do you make? and how much money you want to spend. if you make 3 or 4 laps a yr, and a few wall hangings, you could go cheaper and smaller and even used.
    if you make a queen every 2 weeks, nothing but a janome 6600 P. and especially if you quilt them yourself.

  24. #24
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    other side of the black stump, Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    1,889
    Blog Entries
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by Quilter7x
    Oh Bella, you need to try the knee lift lever. You'll wonder how you went all this time without it!
    my machine has a knee lift but i have never used it.. :oops: :oops:
    maybe i will now..is it really that good??

  25. #25
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    other side of the black stump, Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    1,889
    Blog Entries
    16
    having bought a machine when first starting quilting and not really having much of an idea, I would recommend you get a machine with the biggest throat space that you can find..that would be my number one pick as it is a pain trying to quilt a quilt and fighting with the machine to get your quilt into the right position. Needle up/down is second and I use that all the time and would not be without it. I also use my threadcutter on the side and I do love that and miss it when using my other machine. I also love my walking foot even though it isnt built in and check what feet you get thrown in as my walking foot cost me $150 (aussie dollars)
    As to fancy stitches I find that you can manage without, it depends on what you want to do. There are lots of other features too which everyone else has mentioned and which are good to have but you have to decide what features you need the most. i wish my machine had a warning that the bobbin thread was low...
    My best advice to you is to go to different shops and try the machines out. If the shop isnt helpful then go elsewhere because if they dont help you now they never will! Buy from a dealer and take lessons if buying new to fully get the most out of your machine. Buying from a dealer and taking lessons from them as well will get you familiar with them and when your machine needs a service they will look after you. Take some fabric with you both thick and thin as some machines do not like to sew over joins and in quilting some seams are sometimes bulky. Maybe an older machine might be better too as some of them are made of metal and are real workhorses. A lot of the newer ones are so plasticky.
    Also computerised machines cost more to service (something I never realised) so check that out before parting with your hard earned cash. Let us know what you decide! Above all dont rush into anything!!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.