Sewing machine for a class

Old 01-06-2017, 08:51 AM
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Default Sewing machine for a class

After a couple of beginner quilts, I'm ready to take some classes. I'm debating the "class" machine. I'm not all that crazy about featherweights, mostly because of the cost. Although, at a good price, I'd buy one. So, I'm thinking of a Singer 301 or a cheap Walmart machine that is not very heavy. (There haven't been any of those little Japanese aluminum machines around lately.)

When they list all the stuff you have to bring to the class, it sounds like I'll need a pack mule to carry it all. So, a big machine in a case sounds unworkable + really heavy! I've never actually seen/handled a 301, but it sounds light enough to carry around. Plus, the attachments would be usable on my other vintage machines.

There's a tan 301 on Craigslist for $100.00. That's about the price of the Walmart machine. The 301 has been on the list for 25 days and has no case, so they might negotiate. It looks really clean with no paint chips showing in the photo.

Any suggestions?

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Old 01-06-2017, 09:04 AM
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Even though it doesn't have a case, you can always get one at JoAnn's or a local quilt shop and Walmart. If you know the size of the machine measurements just make note and check the cases to se if it'll fit. There are also file box carts that can fit your machine. Most of these cases have compartments for your supplies. Lots of tips for class/guild situations. With the 301 on CL check to see if it works. If you go to pick it up take a test kit. My test kit includes a 10" (aka layer cake slice) of denim. I like to see how it will sew through the different folds/layers of denim. Make sure to take a spool of thread and a bobbin and a couple needles. I did this when I purchased my 401 at an estate sale. I was very pleased to get this machine in a desk cabinet for $150. My husband used it the next day to mend his denim jacket. I woke up to the slightest hum of a well maintained machine.
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:34 AM
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What bobbin does it take? I'm assuming a 66 style bobbin.

Also, I missed a belair on craigslist, which I'm inquiring about.

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Old 01-06-2017, 09:56 AM
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i don't do classes but i do belong to two quilt groups that meet monthly & weekly. i have had my grmothers fw for several decades and take that with me to the group meets. it has case and all attachments. i love the wt & portability. i put the case into a cheap rolling tote from walmart and it works great. perfect fit. there are a couple other members now bringing fw but most use janome gems or golds. many others tho use huge rolling 'craft' totes to transport standard sized machines. the drawback to the fw is it's only straight stitch so for my fellow group members who do a lot of machine embroidery etc i can understand their desire to lug around thier monster ..average sized machines. but, if i were looking for a nice machine i would get that 301 or look for a janome gem or gold on cl or ebay ..they are very well rated and my fellow group members who have them love them so much they say they will never part with them! i've tried to get them to sell me one for my grand daughter
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:59 AM
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I have a 301 (takes the same bobbin as a featherweight, and make sure it has the bobbin case - original bobbins are better) Great machine. I also have two featherweights and several Walmart version Brother machines. I would first go for the 301 if it had the bobbin case and bobbins, (but you can get them on line at various places) but I would not hesitate for a basic Brother. Mine have all been great over the years. Remember the 301 is slant, so you would need to be sure it came with a slant presser foot or get one. Let us know what you decide!
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:56 AM
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I'd go for the 301 as well but I'd certainly try to negotiate. Then again, I'm really cheap when it comes to machines! No case would not be a deal breaker for me but it certainly would be a strong negotiating point. There was a complete 301 set up on my local CL a couple of weeks ago...machine; case; attachments; AND table for $150. I just didn't have the room or I would have jumped on that deal.

You can do a search but I think a 301 is about 14 lbs vs the 12 of the FW. And if you don't anticipate doing anything beyond straight stitching at a class, that would be my choice and you seem to be actively collecting lots of vintage machines so would think that might be your preference. But if you anticipate branching out to to some machine applique at some point, I'd go with a modern machine at a reasonable price. Just my 2 cents. Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:32 PM
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I have the FW and yet the machine I take places is a small Europro that I got from HSN about 10 years ago. It is very light weight and sews a perfect straight line and has a zig zag stitch too. I understand the 301 is a good machine, it weighs a bit over 16 pounds. It is a slant needle machine so are you sure the attachments are interchangeable?
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:42 PM
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The 301 would be an excellent choice, just make sure it has the original bobbin case. To replace it is expensive and the reproductions are usually of poor quality.

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Old 01-06-2017, 12:47 PM
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I have a 301 and it's the machine I'm going to make my going places machine. I used to lug that big Bernina around. Although I love that machine I don't love the big case and the weight. I find the 301 easy to tote around. You can probably find an aftermarket case or a "real" one on ebay.
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:47 PM
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Since the 301 is a slant needle machine it's likely the attachments won't work on your other machines.
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