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Thread: What sewing machine you recommend?

  1. #1
    Member hrtireladie11185's Avatar
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    I am looking for a new sewing machine. I have only $400 to spend. I have never learned the difference in sewing machines and always bought the least expensive from WalMart. I want to be able to quilt, regular sew and some embroidery (if this is even possible at this amount).

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Nicole.

  2. #2
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    You are much better off going to a dealer and buying a used machine than a cheaper model at JoAnns, etc. Just tell them what you want to do with it, and see what they have in your price range. The machines that do serious embroidery are much more expensive...but you should be able to get some nice creative stitches for that amount.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrtireladie11185
    I am looking for a new sewing machine. I have only $400 to spend. I have never learned the difference in sewing machines and always bought the least expensive from WalMart. I want to be able to quilt, regular sew and some embroidery (if this is even possible at this amount).

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Nicole.
    I went to my sewing center and purchased a used, but refurbished Bernina. I did spent 700, but the owner let me put it on layaway. I know this machine will last forever!

  4. #4
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrtireladie11185
    I am looking for a new sewing machine. I have only $400 to spend. I have never learned the difference in sewing machines and always bought the least expensive from WalMart. I want to be able to quilt, regular sew and some embroidery (if this is even possible at this amount).

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Nicole.
    I agree with RustyQuilter. Go to a dealer and explain your needs and desires and how much you have to spend. A reputable dealer is very savvy at listening to the customer. They will also provide some lessons and backup whenever you have a problem. Sometimes you can even get a floor model for a greatly reduced price. I bought my Husqvarna Designer Diamond as a floor model. They added an extended warranty, and the price was reduced by $3000. So check around. And Good Luck :!: ;-) :D

  5. #5
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    I have an old non-computer Bernina 1030 that I love.

    I also have a Jem Platinum that I also love - got it for just under $400. It has a walking foot so you can quilt on it. It is semi-computerized, whatever that means.
    I really like 2 features 1. a needle down button and 2. the regular foot has a bar attached that keeps one sewing at 1/4" seam allowance.
    I recommend it without reservation.
    The Jem Gold is cheaper, no computer features but does have 1/4" bar.
    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    There are many people quilting on sewing machines from Wal-mart that fall in your price range. My machine that I use for decorative stitches is a cheap Brother from Wal-mart. Until recently it was my ONLY machine and I was able to quilt large throws on it it.

    Buy the best machine you can find that falls in your price range. Look at Wal-mart, look at dealers and do some research on the machines you find available. You can find many customer reviews online and get a feel for what people who own the machines are saying about them. Most of all don't let anyone push you into buying a machine that costs more than you are comfortable paying.

    I don't do machine embroidery, so I can't answer that part of your question.

  7. #7
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    The suggestions people have made are good. I have another thought.
    Make sure and 'try out' the machine. I go to a craft day with some of my sister's friends (I think they ask me because a couple of them wanted to learn to quilt). One lady has a machine that clacks when it sews....like the machine is angry that it's having to do its job. I've oiled it for her but it still doesn't keep even stitches and it still clacks..... and moves around. You want a machine that sounds like it's happy to sew for you.... a nice hum or click, click, click like my featherweight. And you want it heavy enough that it stays put when you're sewing a couple of pieces together. There are many good machines out there but look for a good brand (no new Singer ... the newer ones aren't worth the price). I have 2 Vikings, 1 featherweight and 1 treadle. All but one were used when I found them. I had to buy a 1/4" foot and walking/ darning feet extra. I love them all, keep them clean and oiled and they love me.... sew like it's what they live for.
    Good luck in your search. Let us know what you find.

  8. #8

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    I would recommend a used Bernina. They are great machines.
    But I don't think you can buy any kind of quality machine to do sewing and embroidery for $400.00. A dealer will probably let you make payments on a used machine.

  9. #9
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I would go for a good machine for quilting. A Brother 1500 has a large, little over 9", throat. Its great for quilting and piecing as it has the auto. cutter on it. It is a straight sewing machine. No fancy stitches, but a beautiful quilter. Later, you may find a used Janome 5000 for about 250. to $300. in my area. Does fantastic embroidery 4x5" but I think the nicest embroidery of all the machines.

  10. #10
    Super Member mimom's Avatar
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    I have my mothers old kenmore. I have made 40 quilts, FMQ on all of them, its never been cleaned and has never broken down. I know I am pushing my luck but its a workhorse for sure.

  11. #11
    Senior Member SewMomma66's Avatar
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    Dealer is definitely the way to go. Shop around. I have a Janome and Pfaff. Each has their favorite brands. Plus you have the support if you have problems and will get classes on the machine. You could also check with Brubakers. Amy will give you a great deal and they have fabulous customer support. www.brubakerssewing.com I know Amy and Brubakers from my Janome 7700 yahoo group.

  12. #12
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrtireladie11185
    I am looking for a new sewing machine. I have only $400 to spend. I have never learned the difference in sewing machines and always bought the least expensive from WalMart. I want to be able to quilt, regular sew and some embroidery (if this is even possible at this amount).

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Nicole.
    don't buy a lower priced Singer

  13. #13
    lllog's Avatar
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    I would recommend a Janome Machine. You get a lot for your dollar with a Janome.

    I also recommend that you don't buy it at Walmart or other such discount store or internet site, because they don't offer service and training. Once you buy it, you're on your own.

    Even a used machine can be very cost effective.

    Lanny

  14. #14
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    Let me put my two cents in. I also would buy a used or floor model for a reputable dealer. The machine usually comes with some sort of warranty from the shop where it is purchased and sometimes lessons to acquaint you with the machine.

  15. #15
    Super Member tutty's Avatar
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    Enjoy your journey ! Be sure to go out and try out several different names because once you do you will "know" which one is to come home with you !! Let us know !

  16. #16
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I love babylocks and brothers, not sure what you can get for that price, check dealers, they also have free classes. I got my espire for 1800, no interest payments for a year. Not bad for me. Sometimes they have slightly used that are higher end for cheaper than they would be normally, and you still get free classes. Dealers are the way to go if you spending that kind of money

  17. #17
    Super Member Ann912's Avatar
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    I bought a Janome machine at Hancock Fabrics for $260. It has a lot of stitches, needle down, and stitch width adjustment. I bought it to take to classes as my Janome 6500 is just too heavy. You can buy a quarter inch foot for it at about $15. I also have 2 other Janome machines and love all 4 of them.

  18. #18
    Super Member Quiltforme's Avatar
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    I have to agree put your money to good use and get a better machine. It will pay off in the end and the dealer can take care of your machine. I have some I bought from Overstock.com I love them but the thoat space was 5" and trying to quilt a queen size quilt it can be done but it is a pain. Keep looking also craigslist ect the good machines are out there that you CAN afford!

  19. #19
    Member hrtireladie11185's Avatar
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    Hi, Everyone:

    Thanks for all the suggestions. You all have given me a lot to think about. I am going to list everything down and research the different brands/styles. There are a couple of quilt shops in Richmond and Houston I can visit that sells used, floor models, cruise models and new.

    At least I can take embroidering off the list. My dh found in a copy paper box an embroidery machine (brother ult embroidery machine) in my sewing room. I forgot all about it. I had bought it over a year ago from a friend of mine who needed the money. I never used it and just kept it in a corner. Wow! Now all I have to do is concentrate on the sewing/quilting side.

    I really appreciate all of your help.

    Thanks.

    Nicole.

  20. #20
    Super Member MommaDorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobo2000
    I would go for a good machine for quilting. A Brother 1500 has a large, little over 9", throat. Its great for quilting and piecing as it has the auto. cutter on it. It is a straight sewing machine. No fancy stitches, but a beautiful quilter. Later, you may find a used Janome 5000 for about 250. to $300. in my area. Does fantastic embroidery 4x5" but I think the nicest embroidery of all the machines.
    How do I find out how large a throat a machine has, before I purchase?

  21. #21
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommaDorian
    Quote Originally Posted by hobo2000
    I would go for a good machine for quilting. A Brother 1500 has a large, little over 9", throat. Its great for quilting and piecing as it has the auto. cutter on it. It is a straight sewing machine. No fancy stitches, but a beautiful quilter. Later, you may find a used Janome 5000 for about 250. to $300. in my area. Does fantastic embroidery 4x5" but I think the nicest embroidery of all the machines.
    How do I find out how large a throat a machine has, before I purchase?
    Measure the distance from the needle area to the big part of the machine, that is the throat space. If a machine has a larger throat space, it will be advertised as that. This is an important thing nowadays. If you tell a dealer you want something for quilting, they will guide you toward the longer throat space. I have a Viking Topaz and Diamond that have 10". Viking has a quilting machine that has it also, forgot the name of it.

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