I have a basic sewing machine and I am always adjusting the tension. There is nothing worse than always having to redo quilt seams. (Yes,I change needles regularly, clean the bobbin case) I would like an electronic machine that is durable enough to do machine quilting for medium size projects. I know that Janome and Baby Lock make good machines. Any suggestions please.
I have a Pfaff Hobby 1200 Grand Quilter and I love it! Its not electronic but its perfect for piecing and quilting any size project. It has several different points for tension but I find the only time I have to adjust is when I go from piecing to quilting. When compared to other machines, especially electronic ones, I chose this machine because I got more bang for less buck:)
One thing I would like to mention: You should buy a machine that can be serviced locally and purchase item specific things for your machine. I have been looking at the Bernina and WOW do I love the 830. But the closest dealer that sells them is almost an hour away. So that combined with the price has made me think twice.
All the major dealers have web sites... I would suggest going to them first, look at their machines, find retailers locally and then narrow down the list:)
My first real sewing machine was a Janome mechanical machine. I used it for years, toted it all over the country and could not hurt the thing - until I got a Bernina Artista embroidery machine and it got put away in the closet. I basically stopped sewing and quilting (GASP!!) for several years and I didn't feel I was using the Bernina enough for the money I paid for it so I sold it (and shed a few tears!!). Fast forward to last year - I was asked to do a quilt for a friend so the Janome came back out. It was sewing like a charm and suddenly decided to stop zig zagging - not good on an applique quilt that was 1/2 finished. Took it to the local dealer and I was NOT happy with the customer service and it was not repaired. Started shopping out of need - not really budgeted for it and ended up with a Bernina 330. LOVE LOVE LOVE my 330. I intended to trade this one in on another embroidery machine within the next 2 years but I don't think I can give it up.
You will get lots of different opinions on machines. I think a local dealer is very important if it is available to you. If you have several different dealers that will allow you to test drive different models I say go in and play with them. You will find one that fits you and your needs that way.
welcome pattern seeker. the most important thing is to have your dealer close to you. western washing ton has a big fair in the fall. all of the major dealers are there and you can try all the machines out semi-side-by-side so you can compare. the big quilt shows will also have the major dealers with machines to try. they will also give you show deals if you are looking for a new machine. if you have a machine repair shop near. they will have used machines to try. demo as many machines as you can to see which machine will be most suited to you. i have a viking designer 1. i like it because all of the stuff is right in front of you. easy to use, enough space for your hands to thread the needle. we moved a couple of years after i got the machine. there are no dealer close and no classes on the embroidery machine part of it. i probably would have gotten a bernina, if i had known we would be moving. they have dealers all over the place. those were the two machines i liked the most. that was over 10 years ago. it took me two years of trying machines before i made the decision. sewing machines can be a huge expense, so try before you buy is a good idea if it works for you. gini
gini in north idaho
Dear Pattern Seeker,
I am sold out to Janome. I own two. I bought a used Memory Craft about 17 years ago. I've had it services maybe twice in that time and electronics still work. I used it primarily for sewing clothing for my girls. Two years ago I bought a Memory Craft 6600, primary for quilting. It has limited embroidery capabilities but I wasn't looking for for more. The main reason that I am sold on them is we have used them in the clothing department at our high school for the last 25 years and they are naturally tough. The students are everything from beginners to 3 and 4 year students, but like all teenagers they are not patient. Annually we may have 2 that have to go out for repair, which might sound like a lot until you think about our program averages over a 100 students all working on machines at some point for the day. All of the parts except the case is metal another strength. However as mention previously knowing your dealer and service man is there for you is crucial.
This is a common question that keeps coming up--why don't we tag it (is that the correct term?) so we can direct people to that to see the comments that have been made. I am copying my comments here for them.
Welcome also! I agree it is confusing about thesewing machines- I have the book-Quilters Academy -Volume 1 Freshman Year by Harriet Hargrave& Carrie hargrave here's what they have to say:
In the section on Choosing a Sewing Machine-
"we strongly advise you against buying a cheap sewing machine at a big box store. It is best to choose a quality machine that not only gives you the features you need to start out but also allows you to grow into other techniques."
They recommend a good used machine.
" the following are good used machines that you might want to look for and try out:
Bernina mechanical machines 930, 1020, 1030
Bernina computerized machines Models 1090, 1130, 1230, 1260
Pfaff Models 1475 through 7570
Viking -Lily, Rose, 1+"
Personally, I love Bernina but realize they are pricey. You may want to check Ebay for a used machine or even Craiglist.com in your area. I would rather invest in a great used machine than get a new junk machine.
Pattern Seeker, I have a husqvarna viking 1 and a Brother project Runway and I love them both. the viking does more stuff but for the price there is not a thing wrong with Brother machines. All of those mentioned here are great machines and I wish I could afford them but if you are on a budget and want a good machine look into the Brother machines they can go from afforadable ot very expensive. But the best thing is to shop and try out the machines and find the one that is going to work best for you..
EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!
i can't get my post to tag. is anyone else having this problem gini
I did get a new sewing machine, a Janome Memory Craft 7700 with table.
You got a really good machine. Hope you enjoy it.