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Sewing machine quandry...

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Tanya posted on Sat, Dec 17 2011 8:28 AM

I recently had both of my singer sewing machines die on me...I love to quilt and play with the fabric. Now all i can do is look at the fabric. I have been searching for a new machine but have no clue what I should go for. I want something easy to use, multiple stitches, lettering and can easily handle multiple layers. Both of the machines that just died are Singers. the one the motor just quit, the other i was told had gears shear off and it would be cheaper to replace than to fix.

I need people to give real opinions on singer, brother, janome, juki, baby lock and any other machines. I am going stir crazy with out a machine!

HELP!!!

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Answered (Not Verified) Nana replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 9:19 AM
Suggested by Joy

I have both a Bernina and a Janome.   They are both really great machines but I do like the stitch quality on the Bernina the best.   However the Janome has accufeed and a 11 in throat space that I really love.    I think one of the biggest things is to get the most machine that you can afford and make sure that you have a reputable dealer in your area with a good service dept.   All of the big name machines are good machines.   Have fun searching.   I suggest you make a list of the options that you feel are absolutely necessary such as,  needle up / down,  throat space, etc.   And then find the best dealer in your area and look at their machines.

Vinton, Virginia

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Suggested by Barbara

Dtf 95, I have a Janome 6600, I love mine it can do all of the above things you mention ,plus has more bells and whistles then I'll probably ever know about ..the most important thing is to go to shops where you can try out the machines before you buy .and ask question of the sales people ,see if they offer a class for your machine and where you have to go to have it serviced yearly .you do not want to have to drive 2 hours  to have it serviced . Good luck in your hunt and keep us posted on your find . Barbara.

Liberty,Missouri

EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!

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I also have the Janome 6600 and an older Bernina.  I love both machines.  The things I wanted that the Bernina doesn't have are:  automatic thread cutter, larger throat space, blanket stitch for applique, lettering so I can make labels, and there are probably a few more things I'm not thinking of right now.  

I didn't go with a new Bernina because the price point was much higher than I was willing to spend for the things I wanted and the dealer moved nearly an hour away. Not convenient! The Janome stitch quality is comparable to my Bernina.  I love the feed system on it, plus it comes with lots of feet.  

I agree with everyone who says to go with a list of must haves, test drive the machines, and make sure you get classes or some kind of one on one instruction.  Happy shopping! 

 

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Ginny replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 9:47 AM

Hi dtka95, I recently bought a Babylock Symphony. I can't tell you how much I love that machine and how much more I have yet to learn about all the fabulous things it can do. It has all the things you are looking for and much,much  more.  Right now I just found the basting stitch on it.  Wonderful for gathering the 4 skirts I am making for my GGDs.  I am going to use the feather stitch to apply the binding to 2 quilts as I am running out of sewing time.  It also has the wider throat so youm can free motion quilt more easily.  I also have a smaller Janome DC2010 that I like, but it doesn't have many of the features of the Babylock that I wanted.  No alphbet, but other than that I am going to keep using that to take to classes. 

The only thing missing from either is a built-in walking foot that I found was excellent on my older Pfaff.    I found my Babylock by going to the sewing expo near me in October and test driving the various machines.  My Babylock was 1/2 price as they had used them to sew garments at the show.  You can really get some good sale prices at the shows from reputable dealers.  ....Ginny

 

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Thea replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 10:16 AM

Hi, Wish you lived near me - have a machine you can have... too many machines in this house - 

I have let me see - a Pfaff 2170 - love the stitch but it has been a nightmare keeping it running - this last fix we hope is the final one - I do truly love the stitch and it has all the bells and whistles - has the auto feed foot always attached - has needle down and scissors - it is an embroidery machine also and stitches out beautiful embroideries. Expensive - retail is around $7000 but you can get refurbished for $3000

I have a Brother 270D - small machine - great work horse - nice stitch - needle down - scissors - all the fancy stitches - also an embroidery machine - does only a 4" hoop - light weight - inexpensive - bought it on Ebay for less the $300

I have  Janome 6500 - great machine - 9.5" throat which for me is plenty for quilting - very nice stitch - all the bells and whistles - good price - around $1000 comes with lots of feet and nice table.  

Whatever machine you get - make sure that you have good technician for that machine in your area - I think all the machine today are relatively the same except for the price - depending on how much you want to spend.  

For me - I needed a good size throat for my quilting - this didn't use to matter to me I would fluff and stuff with the smaller area but since I got the Janome that has been a great plus...so I would look for a machine with that space if I was shopping again.

I love my Pfaff because the stitch is really awesome and we feel that the technician in this area was my problem - I had it worked on by a different tech and since I got it back it has been like new - 

check out what others are saying about their machines in your area - if machines are constantly going in for repair - bad tech!

 

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Thea replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 10:16 AM

If you have a quilt guild in your area - go and ask the ladies there what machine they have and recommend.

 

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gini replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 10:45 AM

dtka, welcome to the gang here.    i think most of the companies make good machines, have a check list of your must haves, buy as much machine as you can afford, and pick one with a dealer close to you.  then use it before you buy.   take some jeans that need to be hemmed.    take off the feet and replace them, i have one machine that does a great job with everythng i want, but the space in the head area is so restricted, it is hard to get my hands in to change the needle.   two things on my list are a needle up/down positioner, needle threader and i love the thread cutter, too.    i'm short and i love the viking designer.   everything is on the front, so i don't have to stand up to see to do the bobbin or thread it.

if you have a sewing expo or a large quilt show in your area, they will have a number of different companies represented and you can try out machines side by side.

gini in north idaho

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Linda replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 11:19 AM

Hi dtka! I have an Elna Quilters Dream Pro that I just love! It has just about everything I could ask for and wasn't too awfully expensive...$2-3,000. I was expecting a lot more. I also have a very old Pfaff Tipmatic that I wouldn't trade for anything. She so very reliable and is a good standby when the Elna is in for a tune-up. Happy shopping! Let us know what you decide.

 

 

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Thea replied on Sat, Dec 17 2011 12:19 PM

gini:
take off the feet and replace them, i have one machine that does a great job with everythng i want, but the space in the head area is so restricted, it is hard to get my hands in to change the needle.

Yes, this is one of those things that should be on your list - how easy or hard is it to replace the feet - how many feet come with the machine - how much do the other feet that you need to buy - what is the cost - if the machine is inexpensive but you have to buy all sorts of things to go with it - sometimes that is not worth the price...

I know the Pfaff 2170 came with a few feet but open toed feet and the different free motion feet I had to buy myself - they were not inexpensive... 

My Janome came with quite a few feet as did my little Brother 270D... 

If you don't have a drop down table for the sewing machine then check to see if it comes with an extension table - or how much it costs to buy one -

My Janome came with one of these too - 

There was one other thing that came to my mind but the phone rang and dang this senior moment - but when I think of it - I'll post it too - lol

Oh guess what - just remembered - LMAO - the weight of the machine... 

the weight became very important to me with the destruction of my body - I was thinking about trading up to the new Pfaff creative vision but tried to pick it up and I couldn't lift it on my own... so If I was to get it it would be set up and never moved - the other thing was

It would not fit in my sewing machine table - My janome just barely fits so a bigger machine was out of the question... 

So there you have it - all the things I could think of that I would use to search for a new machine...

 

 

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Good morning Ginny,

I love my Baby Lock Machines, for quilting my Symphony is fantastic. I know it sounds kind of funny but when I go to class my Baby Locks is always quieter than the other machines. I have not had any failures to function. The only problem that I have had was than I messed up my needle threader, my fault not the machine.

I hope this helps

Judylee

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On the subject of new machines...I saw the Singer 160 special commemorative edition on the Martha Stewart show.  WOW, it sure is perty.  I called every Singer dealer, The Singer website and Singer E tailers and none of them have it or know anything about it.  I found some blogs that have them available in Australia.  The cost looks like aroung $500.  I wonder what features it has.  Anyone?

Andrea

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http://www.singerco.com/160

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Ginny replied on Sun, Dec 18 2011 8:26 AM

Oh, I know it is so quiet, but just try using the walking foot-OMG I can't stand the noise.  the only problem that I have had with mine is the bobbin sensor not letting me know I was running out of thread.  But I found out it was a combo of using linty thread and sewing 2 flannel quilts.  There is one place I was missing when cleaning out under the bobbin.  Now that I found it everything is much easier.  I am asking Santa for a vacuum attachment to keep it cleaned out.  I don't think I will be taking mine to any classes though- it is quite heavy for me to lift.  I thought I would just take my Janome for that.....Ginny

 

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I'm getting a Brother SE400 that sews and does 4x4 inch embroidery. It was less than $400.00 and I've really wanted to try embroidery. I'm also getting a good light for my office/sewing room and haven't been able to sew since moving my sewing into my office. I have been knitting like crazy though. Can't wait for Christmas when I get my new machine and light.

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