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Best Quilting Machine?

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Beth posted on Thu, May 19 2011 7:07 AM

I apoligze if this has already been ask somewhere else.  I'm still learning how to get around the site...

My question is this:  What is the best quitling sewing machine and why?  the first answer being if money was no option and the second being if say you could only spend up to $500.

I currently have a Brother XL-6452 atm, but it is limited to say the aleast on what I can do.  I do put together quilts almost seem like weekly; always have a quilt in progress.  Machine quilting is a bit hard on it since the foot only rise so far and there not alot of choices on the stitching.  Freehand machine quilting is not exactly accurate, and yes, i am my worst own critic.  I would love to know what everyone is using; but also love to know what machine has the most to offer since I am thinking about upgrading to something that could offer me more. 

Thank you for any idea or suggestions!

Beth~

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Pat M. replied on Thu, May 19 2011 7:29 AM

I have a Bernina 440QE.  I love that I can use the stitch regulator when I want to or not use it at all.  I quilt all sizes with it and have no trouble--I even taught a non-quilter to quilt a very large quilt she made for her guest room (she was going to tie it because she didn't know what else to do).  I also do machine embroidery with my Bernina, so I have the what I feel is the best of both worlds.

Pat-"Keep Calm and Carry On"

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Hi Beth,

Baby Lock Symphony is the top Quilting Machine with all the bells and whistles for quilters.

For $500, I would say the Aline Baby Lock Machine Sophia! It also will embroider a 4x4 image.  I am partial to BabyLock if you couldn't tell. But be sure to purchase from a dealer, so you get free classes and proper service when you need it!

 

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Nana replied on Thu, May 19 2011 9:24 AM

Beth

I have a Bernina 440 that I love but for actually quilting the quilt my Janome 7700 is my favorite.  The Janome has a 11 in throat space.  It also has the accufeed that can be used at any time.  Now if money was no problem I would have the Bernina 830.  It does it all including embroidery and has a 12 in throat.  Some packages even include a frame to put it on for quilting.  I really can't give you any info on machines at less than $500.

Vinton, Virginia

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see post on " downpayment on the Millenium"  I had a Husquevarna Quilter 870.  it has a big throat and it came with an acrylic extension to increase the quilting area which you can also buy but I didn't have to.).  it has great options for a quilter.  I also just bought a HandiQuilter Fusion.  mostly because I wanted that model but also because there are no other dealers in my area (or province for that matter)  both I love.  If Bernina or Janome had been the dealer of choice at my local fabric store thats probably what I would have ended up with.  Service is everything.

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Jerry replied on Thu, May 19 2011 2:52 PM

Hi Beth!

Personally I LOVE my new Juki TL2010Q for quilting. This is a semi-industrial machine that will quilt through anything of any thickness and will accept any threads with little to no adjustments. I've quilted with metallics, monofilament, polys, cottons, any thread you can think of and the Juki just looks at me and says "Is that all you got?"...lol. It is a lockstitch machine which means it only does straight stitches but the stitches are beautiful! It is also amazing for piecing! For under $1,000, you can't beat it for quilting.

For $500, I'd suggest a Husqvarna Viking Emerald or anything by Janome in that price range. I know some top quilters who use older Bernina's such as the 1130, 1230 and the 1260 who love them for quilting. These can be found on ebay for $500 or a bit more is you really look.

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Beth,  I am partial to the Brother Quattro 6000 D.    It does it all.  It also has a pin feed system that means I don't  have to use the walking foot.   It is comparable to the Bernia 830, and Babylock Elegante.  Just does not cost as much.  But---look at what dealers you have in the area, look at those machines.   My dealer is 83 miles away and is usless as far as I am concerned. 

Granny M

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Beth replied on Fri, May 20 2011 1:03 PM

I want to "Thanks!" everyone for their opinion! 

There are two places aleast I can look in Joplin Area that I can explore later on for what they have and dont have! 

Again, Thank you!

Beth~

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I love my Janome 1600P which I don't think they make but they have something similar.  I have at least 6 versions of Janome's in prices ranging from $100 - $1,800 and love them all.

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I'm the third person to post with a Bernina 440 QE, and although I love many things about it, I've found the 7.5 inch throat to be cumbersome when attempting FMQ.  Pat M, how do you do it???  I now have a used HQ16 mid-arm for that step of the process (without stitch regulator, sigh....).


On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)

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MNnancy:

I'm the third person to post with a Bernina 440 QE, and although I love many things about it, I've found the 7.5 inch throat to be cumbersome when attempting FMQ.  Pat M, how do you do it???  I now have a used HQ16 mid-arm for that step of the process (without stitch regulator, sigh....).

My Viking Sapphire 830 has a 10" throat. I was nervous about starting the quilting on my 100x100 quilt but it's going easily. Partially thanks to my new quilting gloves. What a huge difference.

Nancy, I also don't have a stitch regulator and it is a problem. My FMQ is very imperfect. Perhaps someday I'll be able to afford a machine with a regulator. Until then, I do love my Viking and it hums along so sweetly.


In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

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Pat M. replied on Sat, May 21 2011 8:46 AM

Nancy--First off, baste well since you move the quilt so many times.  I either pin or thread baste (yes, it does take time to remove the basting, but I stitch at a slow/medium speed--I figure if stitching slow is good enough for David Taylor, it sure is good enough for me!  I don't spray baste-maybe someday but not yet).  Setup is very important.  I have my sewing table pushed against the wall and another table to my left (making an L-shape).  The quilt needs to be brought up to the level of the mahine bed--either using a large extension table Bernina sells or making your own (youtube has a video of how to make one out of foam board--my friend made one for her machine.  She did get strange looks when she checked out at the home improvement store and was asked what her project was!).  The weight of the quilt needs to be supported, so I sit close to my mahine with the quilt against me.  "Machingers" gloves are a must in my book.  At no time do you need to have more than half of the quilt to the right of the needle--think of it as dividing the quilting as doing half from top to bottom, then turning the quilt 90 degrees and quilting to that halfway point, then turn the quilt again for the last section.  It sounds complicated, but Patsy Thompson has free motion videos.  Go to patsythompsondesigns.com and check out the free tutorials--#4 shows how to a large quilt really does fit.  It really works and even though I have a Viking MegaQuilter, most of the time I use my "little" Bernina so I can sit and use the stitch regulator if I want to.  Hope this helps--watch the free Patsy Thompson videos (I own many of them and love them!).  You can do it!

Pat-"Keep Calm and Carry On"

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gini replied on Sat, May 21 2011 9:13 AM

i have a viking designer 1, which does an excellent job of quilting.  and i have a viking sapphire with a larger throat that does a great job.  i also got  fabri-mover, which is a small "table" that fits around the arm of the machine.  it works great on smaller quilts with tight quilting.

gini in north idaho

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Nana replied on Sat, May 21 2011 9:53 AM

Beth

As you see ...  you will get as many answers as there are machines.  My biggest recommendation is to get a machine that has a dealer in your area.  Having a reputable dealer nearby is a must with a good sewing machine.  You will want to be able to take it in for cleaning and checking at least once a year.  Good luck with your search and I know you will be pleased with any brand machine that you get.

Vinton, Virginia

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I had a Janome 6600 which had a 9" harp and traded it for a Janome Horizon which has an 11" harp.  That's a lot of space for machine quilting.  Th 1/4" foot is accurate. It has a dedicated quilting stitch length, thread cutter and lots of other features including dual feed. It's a little heavy and bulky to carry to class.

To solve the latter I also have a Janome 3160 which weighs 12 pounds, had a dedicated quilt stitch, thread cutter and other features.  It is a full size machine.

 

 

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