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Embroidery Machines

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Melissa Halpain posted on Sun, Aug 25 2013 4:39 PM

Hi everyone - I have been looking into buying an embroidery machine. I have been doing a lot of research on them but I still haven't decided which one. My question is: how much thread do you all go through. It just now occurred to me that it must be quite a lot of thread. Maybe I will rethink this. If it just goes through so much thread I wouldn't be saving much money by doing it myself. The web sites don't discuss the average amount of thread per project.

Thanks in advance for  any help you can give me.

Georgetown CA I'd Rather Be Quilting

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Donna B replied on Tue, Aug 27 2013 11:29 AM

BTW, in the last year I have had the opportunity to sew and embroider on a Pfaff, Brother and a Bernina 720 Embroidery Machines.  While I would say the Pfaff and Brother are both good machines, I would still chose the Bernina.  

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Nana replied on Tue, Aug 27 2013 1:43 PM

Donna

I agree that the Bernina is the top dog I had to switch over to the Pfaff to be able to afford to get the really big hoop.   Even the 700 series was out of my price range.   Wish their prices were just a little cheaper.

Vinton, Virginia

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Nana:
Even the 700 series was out of my price range.   Wish their prices were just a little cheaper.

Nana, I hear what you are saying.  Without the 0% payment plan I wouldn't have been able to afford it either. (And every once in awhile, I think...what was I thinking...LOL! Especially right now facing the bills coming in for our water system.  But, I do love my 830!!!)  

I know your Pfaff is a great machine and has some really neat features that I like too. But, as much as you use a machine (ie production sewing of tents!), you need a machine that will really hold up to heavy usage.  I sincerely hope it works out for you, but I have seen some at our LQS that have just not been that durable.

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Nana replied on Tue, Aug 27 2013 4:01 PM

Donna

I know what you are saying.  I am hoping she will hold up to the abuse.   One good thing I can always give her a break and use my Janome or Featherweight every now and then.

Vinton, Virginia

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Jacy replied on Tue, Aug 27 2013 6:00 PM

Donna B:
I know your Pfaff is a great machine and has some really neat features that I like too. But, as much as you use a machine (ie production sewing of tents!), you need a machine that will really hold up to heavy usage.  I sincerely hope it works out for you, but I have seen some at our LQS that have just not been that durable.

Nana, my Pfaff is 10+ years old and has had very heavy use, I haven't had any trouble at all, just had to replace the light bulb. Hopefully the newer Pfaff's are just as hardworking. Although you know, having a machine that lasts forever is not the greatest, you've got to have an excuse to buy a new machine every once in a while!

 

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Jacy:

Although you know, having a machine that lasts forever is not the greatest, you've got to have an excuse to buy a new machine every once in a while!

Jacy, LOL!  Depends on your perpective and age I think!  Personally, I am hoping mine will last my lifetime...but we will see.  I might be tempted in another 10 years or so.

 

Of course you know my last machine before the Berninas was 40 years old...No Kidding!  I was really due at least one new one, and finally made it two!

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Donna and Jacy,

I have the original Bernina 830 that i wouldn't part with for anything. It will sew anything from lingerie to canvas/denim/leather without a hitch. I used it to make awnings, boat cover, circus tent, etc. I was making motorcycle patches and sewing them on for the bikers. My new 830 doesn't really like leather so i pulled out the old workhorse (40+ years old) and it went thru it like butter. LOL The new 830 is wonderful but you can tell that times have changed because the machine is geared toward domestic sewing. The old 830 was more of an industrial machine. I believe Bernina has corrected that "industrial" oversight with the 700 series. Bernina does come with a "bumper to bumper" 5-year warranty. You just can't beat that!  If I had to choose a different make i believe it would be Babylock. My local LQS sells several makes and I've had a chance to work with several manufacturers. Babylock is extremely user friendly and almost idiot proof. Bernina requires a little more thought and sewing knowledge. Bernina is not aimed at the casual sewer so it depends on how you plan to use your machine. As you can tell, I'm definitely not a casual sewer.  LOL

aka Grandma Sunshine

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Carol replied on Wed, Aug 28 2013 11:28 PM

Maggie aka Grandma Sunshine:
I have the original Bernina 830 that i wouldn't part with for anything.
       I have the original 830 also, and feel the same way about it!  Shall we start our own club?  I like my newer Bernina, which is the Virtuosa 153, Alex Anderson quilter's edition,too.  But the 830, I just sit down and sew -- no adjustments or buttons to push, just keep it set for 1/4 inch seams and go!  I have put so many hours on I should get frequent sewer miles!  I'm most comfortable with the 830.   Also like the old Singers, of which I have several that I also use sometimes, including my original machine, 15-  it's such a heavy duty I always suspected it was industrial strength, used it for 20 years before I got the first Bernina.  Can you tell I'm a Bonnie Hunter follower?  Love all the old machines and the scraps!

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Wendy replied on Tue, Sep 3 2013 4:54 PM

Hi. I have been embroidering & digitizing since 2001 and I have to say you actually don't use that much thread.  I've owed a commercial machine for 5 years and the only had to replace one 1,000 m small cone once and that was because I did 45 towels of the same design.  I think in the 5 years of owning that machine I only had to re-buy 5 spools total.. When I bought the machine I just jumped all in and bought all 288 colors in 1,000 m cones. Although I have downsized to a home embroidery machine, and kept all my thread from 2007, since then still only re-bought 5 spools. (side note I made some awesome storage drawers for my spools too)

But my advice when buying a machine is do your research, the embroidery area is a biggy!!!  When my mom first started out I bought her a singer embroidery machine with hoop size 10x6 which was the largest area for CHEAP I think I paid $699 off HSN for it, the reason I did that was because it came with digitizing software!  Although my mother really doesn't use the software she uses me.. but she loves the fonts that come with it.  Drawbacks to the machine is you have to hook it up to your computer, software isn't that great.  

What I looked for in my recent purchase of a embroidery machine was.. LARGE AREA, auto threader, auto thread cutter, SNOWMAN marker, and UBS stick to transfer designs. Once I saw the snowman marker by brother I had to have a machine with that because i HATE trying to center a design in a hoop.  Actually I NEVER hoop any fabric.. ever.. ever ever.. I hoop my stabilizer and then spray a basting spray and then just lay it over my hoop and stitch. and the snowman marker I LOVE it I just place the sticker where I want the design, hoop it crooked, press the scan button and my machine finds the snowman marker and makes the embroidery straight.  Everyone will have a different NEED.. so shop around and look try out all models. 

Embroidery Thread is a biggy.. don't buy a lot until you buy your machine, each machine likes different thread!!!!!!!!!!!  So I would hate for you to buy 100 spools of Poly X40 only to not be able to use them in your machine.  So far my poly x40 has worked with singer, janome, and brother machines.  I would have cried if I had to replace all 288 spools!!!!  Keep in mind when you are buying thread for Embroidery projects Polyester is advised.. it's a color safe thread so being washed 50 times baby bib the colors won't fad.. using a cotton or rayon thread they might.  I don't actually own cotton or rayon to use with my embroidery machine. I keep that stash by my juki sewing machine ;) 

Lastly if buying the machine and the LQS offers a deal with software go for it.. and get the free classes!!  Software is the second biggy when purchasing an embroidery machine.  My mother buys most of her designs online and just adds her names with her font program.  I however do a TON of custom work so I'm always digitizing.  My advice on software is pick one with classes so you can learn to use it and then don't ever swap programs.  Once you learn on one program it's hard to switch.  I learned in 2001 on Janome Digitizer so now that is all I can use, I'm sure I can use other programs they are just about all the same.. but the words and frustration of figuring out another program is too much heartache. 

Why buy from your LQS!!! why? classes!!!! I bought my brother innovis quattro 6700D off ebay and although I got a good deal I haven't even begun to use it properly because I just don't know how.  If you are never taught how to use the machine it goes to waste.  I wish now I went ahead a paid the additional 2,000 more from my local QS because well I would use it more!!!!  I've even offered to pay them 100 a class and they turned me down because I didn't buy it from them. :(  I use it for embroidery and NOTHING else, I would love to know how to quilt with it and use it for sewing..:(  

Hope that helps, Wendy

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