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Help Newbie Question!

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Bama Deb posted on Mon, Jul 15 2013 5:03 PM

Hi there!  I have  decided to purchase a Brother SE400.  It is in my budget and does several things.  Does anyone know what size of quilt you can make on this machine?  A friend told me only baby blankets.  If that is the case I need something else.  I like all the features on this machine.  I searched here to see if I could find a photo of a quilt someone made on the Brother but couldn't find it if it were on here.

Reviews are good for this little machine and it says it quilts but if it is going to be hard to do I might want to look at something else but honestly can't go much more than the price of this one right now.

Thanks for any input!

Debbie

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Karla replied on Mon, Jul 15 2013 5:51 PM

You can make any side of quilt top, but you will be limited to what you can actually quilt on this machine.  If you're looking to do free motion quilting on larger quilts, you will probably have to find a machine with a larger harp (throat) space.

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Thank You Karla, at this point I am not sure what I want a machine to do.  I would like to sew some decor items, maybe some clothes, and some embroidery. I don't know which one I will really get into since I have not sewn a stitch in 30 years or more when my kids were small!  I guess I can go with the Brother then down the road decide what I like best and add to my "collection"....LOL  At this point the only machines I found with larger throats were way out of league!  Thank again for your input!  Really appreciate it!

 

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Patti replied on Tue, Jul 16 2013 8:30 AM

I think with Brother, some dealers offer an upgrade within 6 months without loss of what you used to purchase it.   Some of the bigger machines are also very heavy and maybe a smaller one to start would be good.  Also many dealers of the various machines offer used but serviced with new warranty for a much reduced price. 

Patti

Chiliwist Valley

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Bama Deb replied on Thu, Jul 18 2013 12:52 PM

Thanks everyone for your input!  Okay, yesterday I  bought 3 machines!!!  I took advice from some of you and visited a dealer nearby about 30 minutes away in tourist traffic! Maybe 20 non tourist... He has been in business (or his family) for over 30 years.  They are the closest dealer/repair shops to me.  The others are in Pensacola and Mobile which take a good hour and a half from where I live.  I don't like driving in heavy traffic.  Too many crazies around here!  

Dealer had a "sale" on... I decided even though the Brother SE 400 look good, a machine that can do more things is more likely to break down quicker and my husband read a econmy book called "Death By China" and that ended the Brother!  Well I guess it depends on the quality control.  I have iphone,  Nikon camera and lenses and they are great and they are made in China! I

Ibought me a new Elna Lotus. I had not researched it and when I got home it seems to be pretty new out and there are not many reviews online that I can find and it has some good some bad but that is most of  the machines I have read about.  It has a 9" throat and dealer threw in extra feet that I wanted.  I got the Janome 7730 for Jody, my oldest daughter who got a lesson on it there.  She is very smart and not real good with machinery and she loved it.  Then I got my youngest daughter Julie a Janome 2030dc.  My machine and hers are still in the box this morning.  We can take them back to get lessons on them at the dealer whenever.  We decided to get  machines to sew and quilt on and then later buy a separate embroidery machine when we get ready down the road to learn that.

What I am wondering about is should I take the Elna back and get the Janome? Dealer said the Elna Lotus was a better quilt machine.   I liked it when he showed me features and it is perfect to take to classes I may want to take. I think I may take the Janome 2030 back and pay the extra to order the 7330.  He did not have 3 or three of the same machine.  Also I watched Leah Day and Patsy Thompson videos on quilting on a domestic machine and it looked like it was probably a little harder but no impossible.

QCA has helped me a lot.  I am even thinking of attending the Quilt Retreat in Branson In Feb!  Just not sure what you do at a quilt retreat!

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Nana replied on Thu, Jul 18 2013 1:54 PM

Debbie

Elna makes good machines.  If it has the features you like then I would keep it.  Have fun with your new toy.

Vinton, Virginia

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Thank you Nana, I already have about decided that.  Also if I see quilting becomes a "habit" I will upgrade.  Still have some money in my stash for new material and stuff to get started.   My girls are coming tomorrow and we are going to "play' with all of our machines at my house unless the younger one decides to trade hers.  Dealer did say my Elna Lotus was a little more involved that their machines but I shouldn't have any problem.  

I am learning my way around this site a little at a time......

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Roxana replied on Thu, Jul 18 2013 5:06 PM

Debbie:

....  Also I watched Leah Day and Patsy Thompson videos on quilting on a domestic machine and it looked like it was probably a little harder but no impossible.

QCA has helped me a lot.  I am even thinking of attending the Quilt Retreat in Branson In Feb!  Just not sure what you do at a quilt retreat! ....

Debbie, I don't know what they do at a retreat either but I'm on the list for Branson. Won't it be fun to meet everyone and sew! I imagine just the fun of being with people who share the same enthusiasm I have for it all!

As for quilting on the domestic machine, I'm very much a beginner in the Free Motion Quilting part. My quilting teacher this summer has a little Bernina as well as as a long arm and she says she does most of her free motion on the smaller Bernina. So it's definitely DOABLE. I just think it takes LOTS of practice.

Have fun with your girls! That is so neat!

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Jacy replied on Thu, Jul 18 2013 5:38 PM

Roxana:
Debbie, I don't know what they do at a retreat either but I'm on the list for Branson.

Retreats are so fun. We sew of course, but we talk, laugh, and help others with projects, etc. I bet someone there will be willing to help you with free-motion Quilting.

My first retreat I had never met any of the ladies before but I had a wonderful time.  I wish I could go to every retreat.

 

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Nana replied on Thu, Jul 18 2013 6:03 PM

Roxana and Debbie

Retreats are the greatest,  We do manage to get some sewing done but we also do lots of talking and laughing.   I have laugh so much at retreats that my stomach muscles get sore.  And there is always someone showing new techniques or helping people get started on a project.  Retreats are so much fun and like Jacy I wish I could attend all of them.   I do manage to make 2 or 3 a year and look forward to each one.

Vinton, Virginia

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Roxana, I would love to go to the retreat.  I need to find out if they let husbands tag along and share my room?  We have never been up that neck of the woods and he  would love too go.  I have been to other kind of art/painting retreats and loved it never a week long one though....I would have to find sitters for my 2 parrots and do little terrier dogs!  I saw the Sandcastle is pet friendly and we haul all of them to our lakehouse 4 hours away but not all that way!LOL

BTW, I am very interested in Free Motion too.  I want to try ZenTangle!!  Couple of books out there on this but have not purchased yet....

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Roxana, I would love to go to the retreat.  I need to find out if they let husbands tag along and share my room?  We have never been up that neck of the woods and he  would love too go.  I have been to other kind of art/painting retreats and loved it never a week long one though....I would have to find sitters for my 2 parrots and do little terrier dogs!  I saw the Sandcastle is pet friendly and we haul all of them to our lakehouse 4 hours away but not all that way!LOL

BTW, I am very interested in Free Motion too.  I want to try ZenTangle!!  Couple of books out there on this but have not purchased yet....

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Roxana, I would love to go to the retreat.  I need to find out if they let husbands tag along and share my room?  We have never been up that neck of the woods and he  would love too go.  I have been to other kind of art/painting retreats and loved it never a week long one though....I would have to find sitters for my 2 parrots and do little terrier dogs!  I saw the Sandcastle is pet friendly and we haul all of them to our lakehouse 4 hours away but not all that way!LOL

BTW, I am very interested in Free Motion too.  I want to try ZenTangle!!  Couple of books out there on this but have not purchased yet....

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Lordy mercy, I don't know how I posted the same three replies!!!  I can' t figure out how to delete 2 of them???? Any suggestions!

 

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Karla replied on Thu, Jul 18 2013 7:57 PM

I know my husband attended the Branson Retreat with me and several other husbands were also there.  I think there were quite a few husbands in attendance at the 2012 Smoky Mountain Retreat, too.  While we women sew, husbands get together and do a multitude of things.  In Branson we attended several of the shows in the evening, too.

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