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 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 94

Thread: What sewing machine do I buy?

  1. #26
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    I'd back up what Terri said by saying start with a basic cheap one - we all quilt differently and the features indispensible to some of us a re useless to others - you need to discover what kind of machine quilter you are first! Just my 2 cents!

  2. #27
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    In the middle of a mess...
    Posts
    20,009
    Exactly! You can pick up an inexpensive Singer at Walmart or even a Brother at Kmart. Won't cost you over $100 until you get the hang of it.

  3. #28
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    In the middle of a mess...
    Posts
    20,009
    Darn tootin, Loretta!
    I'd love to have a $5000 machine, but will it do something different than the one I have? Probably not. Might have a bigger throat for FMQ, but if I'm going to spend that much on a machine, it better cook dinner for me and draw me a nice bubble bath too! :)

  4. #29
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    In the middle of a mess...
    Posts
    20,009
    LOL Loretta, mine too!
    There were no free lessons for mine since I bought it at Sears. But, I did find a Yahoo Group that helped me tremdously.

  5. #30
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    chicago, IL
    Posts
    9,692
    I've read all the posts, and I think the most important thing to do is to test drive a machine....Go to all the sewing machine dealers in your area, and check out the machine that they recommend to you, and a few others...just explain to the sales person that you are just trying to find a good fit for you... they will understand.....PLEASE, make sure that you get a machine with a strong enough motor, quilting takes it's toll. Many of the cheapy machines can't handle 1/2 hour of stippling without shutting down...
    P.S. I have worked for a dealer for many years, and have helped many newbies find the right machine for their needs. Good Luck, Susie

  6. #31
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    7,302
    Blog Entries
    1
    Blahel is absolutely right, there are as many opinions as there are machines. And everyone of them is valid. I don't like Bernina, I am a Janome fan. My best quilt buddy had one, top of the line, and after sewing on my little basic Janome changed brands. And there are as many people that do the opposite, so it's all a matter of taste and what you want to do.

    I do just straight piecing, with maybe some decorative stitching. I have an older Janome that can do some fancy stitches and buttonholes, but I don't need a machine that can calculate the square root of pi to the 100th position. Try to figure out what you will use the machine for the most, and start there. Then try and decide if you would be able to even figure out the more expensive models. Some of them have a fairly steep learning curve. Do you really want to HAVE to take a separete class just to learn how to make your machine do one of it's functions? Then go to different dealers and ask for a demo and to be allowed to play with the machines for a while. Any reputable dealer will be happy to show you everything they've got and let you try the various machines. Then go home and sleep on it before plunking down your cash. Unless you have a more experienced quilter to go with you and guide you.

    Good luck and let us know what you got!

  7. #32
    Super Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    NE Pa.
    Posts
    1,646
    I suggest if you have a friend who sews or quilts ask for their opinion. then find a dealer who sells machines and is willing to let you try them out and help you decide . Tell them the price range you are willing to pay.
    I have three Janome machines. Not one of them has ever had to go to the shop for a repair. Bought my first one ten yrs ago. They are workhorses. And good luck in your search. Marge

  8. #33
    Dkm
    Dkm is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Frankfort, Ky.
    Posts
    754
    I have two Bernina's (153 and 640). My favorite is the 153 which is longer made. My first suggestion is not to rush into buying. Go look take notes and compare. As you review your notes make new questions and then when you have narrow down your choices go back and get those questions answered. Everything looks wonderful, because they are, but your needs are the most important issue.

  9. #34

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,301
    The only person I can ask clos eto me is my mom but she doesn't machine quilt really so I don't think she would know to much. Thats were you guys have come in handy with all the suggestions. I will have to plan a weekend for my husband to drive me out to the shops(because i wouldn't know how to get there) so I can look around and try them out. thanx everyone, all the 2 cents are adding up :lol:

  10. #35
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by STAR
    The only person I can ask clos eto me is my mom but she doesn't machine quilt really so I don't think she would know to much. Thats were you guys have come in handy with all the suggestions. I will have to plan a weekend for my husband to drive me out to the shops(because i wouldn't know how to get there) so I can look around and try them out. thanx everyone, all the 2 cents are adding up :lol:
    If you want to machine quilt free motion styley, make sure you get a 'Big Foot' and that you can drop the feed dogs. If you're doing lots of big quilts then a larger throat might be important but I get a queen size with cotton batting no prob through a standard throat. I don't have it, but they say being able to adjust the speed of the power from the pedal is a good thing too. Although KLue has a brace for her pedal to stop it going too fast - it's on hubby's list to make me one! :D

  11. #36

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,301
    I would want to go slow just so I don't mess up! here is a list of a few things that I'm not sure of


    needle up/down (is that where you can lift up the needle to get your piece underneath it?)

    walking foot and darning foot


  12. #37
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by STAR
    I would want to go slow just so I don't mess up! here is a list of a few things that I'm not sure of


    needle up/down (is that where you can lift up the needle to get your piece underneath it?)

    walking foot and darning foot
    I don't have the needle up function either but I think it's where you can set it to automtically leave the needle in the fabric when you stop sewing - you should always start with needle down, if you don't have this function, you have to manually put the needle down every time;

    You need a walking foot for quilting striaght lines and putting on binding - it 'walks' up an down over the sandwich so the layers don't shift. The darning foot is what I called the 'Big Foot' - it's a big, round job that you use for free motion quilting (don't EVER admit to being able to do darning, mending or putting on buttons - I tell my family I can't do THAT kind of sewing! :lol: )

  13. #38
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    7,302
    Blog Entries
    1
    Now that I have needle up and needle down, with the touch of a button, I couldn't live without it. It is wonderful, especially if you are turning corners or stopping and starting to always have the needle stop in the down position. The only thing I don't have that I covet (but don't really need) is automatic thread cutter!

  14. #39
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Camarillo, California
    Posts
    35,478
    My Bernina has a slide on the front to control the speed of the machine so I have variable speed control. When I was teaching my sons girlfriend how to quilt I set the speed a lot slower because she was not used to me machine and was nervous about it going fast. I will slow it down some when using some of the specialy stitches or alphabets. Occasionally I will slow it down for the embroidery unit too. My older Pfaff had it on the foot control, though only 2 speeds. When you are just starting out you probably don't want your machine going 90 miles an hour.
    The needle up/down is one feature I just love. You can set the machine to always end with the needle down, that way if you are in the middle of quilting and you have to turn the corner or leave the machine or whatever the needle is automatically down so you can start again exactly where you left off. Too many times I ended up with a little "jump" when I forgot to manually put the needle down when pausing. I have a little button on the front of the Bernina to lift or lower the needle or set it one way or the other.

  15. #40
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Camarillo, California
    Posts
    35,478
    I wish I had an auto thread cutter as well, but I like the other features my machine has that another brand with the auto cutter did not have. I do have 3 places on my machine that has a "thread cutter". I like the separate motor for bobbin winding as well, though I like to have lots of extra bobbins and wind them all up before I start sewing so I don't have to stop for winding. If you get a machine without the separate winder for bobbin, I hear those little bobbin winder thingies are great. I don't need one for me.

  16. #41

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,301
    ok, i understand the needle up and down now. that was what my mom does manually to raise and lower her needle, thanx

  17. #42

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4
    I bought a used Bernina from a sewing machine sales and repair shop. Bernina was coming out with a new model and people were trading up. I got lessons there. I love it! 8 years later it works like brand new. However, it is heavy. Since I go to Sit & Sew and a quilting Lock In Nite and other quilting groups - I got tired of lugging it. So I bought a Singer Featherweight. It was made in the 1940's. I bought it at my "home" quilt shop. The owners get them from E-bay and fix them up before selling them. They also showed me how to use it. Now I carry the Featherweight when I go out and use the Bernina at home. I tested to be sure both machines were sewing the same 1/4 inch for seams.

    Choosing a machine takes time. I think they each have different pros and cons. When I was beginning, I just wanted one that would go backwards and forwards. I didn't know about self threading and bobbin warnings, etc. You can't miss what you never had. I would start with something simple and trade up as your skills improve.

  18. #43
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Clay Springs AZ
    Posts
    3,228
    Good idea to check out used machines at a good repair shop.
    I find the needle down option is a necessity.
    I really like the stay stitch option too.
    You can get a walking foot for any machine.
    I have a large throat area and find it is a must if you quilt your own quilts.
    Would love to have the Bernina with stitch regulator but cannot afford one.

  19. #44
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    440
    I love my Janomes!! You can try them out at the dealer's. also, most places will give you lessons if you need them. I have a new embroidery machine (Janome) and I call my dealer with questions all the time. I also stop in when I'm over there and he will show me things on the machine while I am t here. Just tell your dealer you will need lessons--they will be free, of course! Hope this helps

  20. #45
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Maryville, Tn
    Posts
    1,791
    Just had to get my 2 cents in.. I've sewn for YEARS.. but I (did) quilt and piece by hand.. My machine would not handle a quilt.. I was in Target the other day and found a Brother XL3750 that has "quilting features" for only $99. Talked it over with my roommate and decided to get it... I think it's a wonderful machine for a beginner.. be it quilting beginner or stitching beginner.
    The handbook is VERY thorough!! and that's important. also if you're just starting to sew on a machine.. a very good basic sewing book is a handy thing to have.. it explains all about fabric, etc and basic machine sewing.. I know that Vogue makes one, as does Singer. Who knows you may want to branch out and make an apron or something down the line. As I said.. just my 2 cents worth. :-)

  21. #46
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    3,050
    I have 4 sewing machines. 2 Kenmores & 2 Babylocks. My 1st Kenmore I got about 1970 & it was barely used. Sewed a million miles on it & it still sews great just didn't have a free arm & you had to use a buttonhole attachment with it. Got the freearm Kenmore, built in buttonhole about 20 years ago. Still sews good, mainly use now to sew denium. Got the babylock Quilter's Choice Pro. Love it, couldn't ask for better machine just doesn't do zigzag. Now the queenbee of the bunch is my Babylock Ellure Plus. I got the embroidery thing down but the decorative stitches have given me the blues. Makes beautiful buttonholes. Just put button on the presser foot & it makes it the right size. Decide what you really want to do with it. Do you really need all those decorative stitches or what. I would defintely try some out first. Also note if you buy a sewing machine from Walmart or other discount store, the embroidery machines only do a 4 x4 frame. Not much room for anything. If you want one with more size save it for it because mine only does up to a 5 x7 & I wish I would have saved up more money & bought the next one up.

  22. #47
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    543
    Take some scrap fabric with you to the store. Ask to sew on that. Most all are dealers have machines set up for demos, but they have fabric with a lot of sizing and it alway sews beautiful. If you mostly use cottons, take those scraps with you. Ask such questions as how do I sew a straigh 1/4" seam??? How many extra feet come with the machine???? What kind of thread should I use??? What kind of needles do I use for ______??? Let the salesperson demo, then ask if you might sew. Don't be shy or imtimidated!!!!!

  23. #48

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,301
    Thanx. I think I will go cheap at wal-mart or somewhere, my husband says the worst you cab do is break it!! :shock: But if I start out with that then I can get to know what I'm comfortable with and then really go looking around at the dealers for something bigger and better

  24. #49
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bluebell
    Posts
    4,265
    I would strongly suggest picking up a used older machine at a thrift store or such as that. Good solid machine for quilting, and you don't have to spend much. As you get into it more and then you will know what you want to spend your money on. A lot of quilters have more than 1 machine,
    I have 3 machines. My old singer, what a workhorse, and 2 janomes that I really love. Take your time and don't rush into it.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    :wink:

  25. #50
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bluebell
    Posts
    4,265
    If your looking for new, Janome has several smaller light weight machines that are reasonable. Janome Jems. Pretty nice machines, several diffrent machines to choose from. I have one, love it. If you plan on attending any classes, might want to choose something light weight that travels well. My first Janome I bought was the Memory craft 9500, nice machine, love it. kinda pricey, since it embroderys too. Way to heavy to haul around, started taking classes and that is when I bought my smaller one. Much easier to tote up and down stairs and in and out of classes. Food for thought anyway!

Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 ... 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.