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Thread: What to get for a new sewing machine

  1. #1
    Senior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    What to get for a new sewing machine

    I know I will hear of lots and lots of different suggestions, but here goes....

    I got money and gift cards for Xmas and I am going to get a new sewing machine that I can use for quilting. I am asking for suggestions for something that won't frustrate me and is under $500.00. I want to use it to peice quilt tops with and I want something that will quilt the 3 layers without a hassle. I have not really done machine quilting before and I currently sew with a Janome Mini sewing machine (don't laugh! It at least has gotten my quilt top done). I tried to quilt the three layers with it just doing a straight line for a jelly roll quilt top and it was not straight and kinda bunched and I had to pull the quilt through.....you get the picture.
    I want to take all the suggestions and visit JoAnn's so I can play with them before I purchase and it's either Joann's or WalMart for me as there is nothing else in my area. Thanks in advance for your help. Terina

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Perhaps the stores in your area are set up differently, but there's no playing with the machines in my local Joann's or WalMart. The advantage with buying at WalMart is that there's no fuss if you decide to return the machine. I'm not familiar with the machines that either one sells. Good luck - for $500 you should be able to find a good machine, but I would also look online.

  3. #3
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    You can usually demo machines at a sewing shop or fabric store that sells machines, but my Joanns and Walmart won't let you try them either. I bought my Brother 420PC Project Runway Limited Edition from Amazon.com with no sales tax and free shipping 2 years ago for $450.00 (regularly $599.00)They are on sale now for approx $399.00. I love my machine, free arm, auto thread cutter, needle threader, plus tons more features. Look at Amazon.com for complete descriptions of various machines, and search for a larger sewing machine shop where they have sales, repairs, classes etc. I have one about 40 minutes away and I have been a few times to play with a Long Arm with stitch regulator they have set up for people to try out. Everyone has different opinions about machines, so it is what you feel comfortable with in your price range that counts. $500.00 will buy a nice machine plus extras for it if they don't come with it ( walking foot, FMQ foot, etc). You can find a very good machine for $200 - $300 and upgrade in a few years or so if you decide you really want more in a machine. Personally, I really don't like machine quilting on a standard machine, especially on quilts. I am struggling now with just a tree skirt, but that os just me. I do some stippling on small projects, like purses and fabric bowls!!

  4. #4
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have quilted queen size quilts on a cheapie Brother machine from Walmart. I think it's all about the walking foot. A good walking foot makes it so much better.

    My advice is to figure out what the most important things in a machine are for you. When I bought my new machine, I was looking for more throat space. My cheapie Brother has all the fancy stitches I will ever need so I went with a straight stitch only in order to get an 11 inch throat.

    If FMQ is your goal, needle down is a great option to have.

    Do you plan to take it to classes? If so, make sure you can carry it.

    Start asking yourself exactly why you want a new machine. Whatever that reason is, is likely the most important feature to shop for.

  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    For under 500 I would get the brother PC-420 off of amazon, but that would just be my choice. It has more metal and is more heavy duty than the walmart machines. Are they joanns gift card because you cant use those in the viking department. You don't have any dealers nearby or a quilt/craft show coming up where you can try out machines. I have a walmart machine and its not bad, but for the amount of money you have you really can get something nicer than at walmart or the joanns singers if your not going to get one in the viking department
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I would definitely find a Brother 1500. Usually they are under $700 new and used should be around $500 or less. It is a straight stitch quilting machine. Lots of features like auto thread cutter, knee lift, auto threader and comes with extension table and quilting accessories. I love love love mine.
    Got fabric?

  7. #7
    Member kookey426's Avatar
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    I use a BROTHER CS6000i..it has everything I need except thread cutter..I have quilted everything from mug rugs to king size quilts on it..never had it in the shop..I clean after every project..and she is still humming along!!

  8. #8
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    You really can get a better machine for your money than they will have on the shelf at Walmart. The Viking dept at Joann's will have some nice machines. I think you should check out differnet machines on line and maybe decided which machine will meet your needs. For the money you have to spend you should be able to get a pretty nice machine. Good luck and enjoy your new machine!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Check your local sewing machine shops. Down here most have end of the year sales and you can really get a lot for your money right now. You could also check out their used machines as so many have traded up as Christmas presents and now is a good time to get a good deal.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    At least get one with a large neck so the quilt can go through it. My Pfaff sewing machine has a 7" neck, I suggest you measure the machine's neck, some are even smaller. I do not quilt large quilts on mine, twin is as large as I go. My Mega Viking Quilter has a 8 3/4" neck, my 15-91 has 7 1/4", so you see the difference? There is also a height difference, The older machine is taller the the modern one!

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