Our March Member Survey question "What do you look for in a sewing machine?" prompted the largest response we have recieved so far!
Here are the responses from the three winners picked at random from all the responses we received:
Regina Hobbs includes testing machines out as one of her criteria:
listen to the machines - I like the steady hum of an even sounding
motor, not one that's labored or sounding like it's in high gear; I
listen to conversations and comments of others who own the machines I'm
interested in; I look at the stitches for evenness; I try multi
stitches to see how easy it is to adjust tension or not; I look at the
price and what goes with the edition I want to buy versus one above and
one below that model if it applies; I look for free classes offered to
teach me how to use the machine; I look for local dealers. I want the
most machine for my money for my usage.
Leslie Kendrick emphasizes getting the machine with the right number of features for your needs:
first thing to do is to find a reputable quilt shop and dealer who
offers sales and service that will help you learn through lessons or
just support to use the machine and be there if you have any problem
with it. Good service is very valuable. Get to know the staff and be
sure the shop is one you can enjoy and depend on for help and
support. Discount stores do not give a sewer the support and quality
Then decide what kind of sewing you will be doing - quilting,
embroidery, clothing, etc. Next shop several brands to investigate
their features and pick those that will best help you accomplish your
sewing goal. It always helps to have a sewing friend to go to for
advice. I think it is best to be careful to not "overbuy" by getting
advanced features that one will not use. If one develops a desire for
other features, it may be best to wait and trade up later, especially
if shopping with a set budget. Getting a machine that is complicated to
use will discourage a beginner.
Last, take your new machine home and read the manual and sew. This has worked for me.
Gail Maloney in Canton, Michigan shares her personal shopping experience:
years ago, after taking a twenty year hiatus from sewing and becoming
an empty nester, I decided to take up my former favorite hobby,
sewing! Believe me, a lot had changed in the sewing and quilting
industry while I was raising a family. I decided to shop around for a
new sewing/embroidery machine. My first research was done on the
Internet. There are plenty of websites proclaiming or disclaiming the
virtures of all the latest sewing machines. Overall, their number one
recommendation was buy from the best dealer.
After taking copious notes, I attended a Sewing Convention held in
my community. That way I could see numerous machines and talk to the
local store owners to see what they had to offer in terms of
sewing support, instruction, and maintenance. I also talked to their
customers to hear what they had to say about their sewing machines and
the dealer. Satisfied customers are key to making a wise choice when
it comes to making a sewing machine purchase.
I am happy to say that my research paid off. I don't know
which makes me happier; the new friends I have made at my sewing
machine shop or my great new machine! If your sewing machine
shop owner loves their job and shares all the latest techniques and
technology, you will love your new machine.
COMMENTS TRANSFERRED FROM ORIGINAL POST:
on Saturday, 17 April 2010, 4:09 PM
response to Leslie's post I find her advice excellent if you live in
the appropriate areas but, saying something and being able to do it are
sometimes two very different things. Yes, it would be wonderful to
browse many quilt shops and get to know the staff prior to choosing
your machine. However, that's not always an option. First of all,
if you live in a rural area your choices as to availability can be
limited. We are fortunate in having three excellent quilt shops, all
with lovely staff, within a reasonable distance from my home but, none
sell Baby Lock. When I finally decided to make the big leap I had the
choice of driving 110 miles round trip one way or 132 miles the
opposite. The only one having the machine I wanted was, of course,
the furthest distance. They do not respond quickly to mailings and
rarely ever return phone calls. And, now I find out I'm stuck with her
since that's where I purchased my machine. So, sometimes you just
have to choose and hope for the best. It' not feasible to just "hop"
over to her shop when I have a need such as instructions so when I'm
having difficulty I just muddle through. So, I would add to her
advice that sometimes, if you love the shop and how they run it, how
they treat their customers and if they offer enough classes you're
interested in it might just be a good idea to purchase whatever machine
they're selling because after all, that's what they're using to produce
all the lovely things you see hanging on the walls.
on Thursday, 22 April 2010, 11:25 PM
like a quiet machine, one that is easy to switch stitches and can fill
the bobbin without much trouble, has a self thread cutter (mine
doesn't) a large sewing table for quilting.I love my machine I got for
Christmas I just wish it had a better light on it.