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Machine Advice

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ladooley posted on Mon, Nov 18 2013 8:13 AM

I'm in the market to upgrade my machine.  I recently started working with felted wool and need a machine that is:

A. heavy duty enough to handle thick fabric

B. preferably comes with a walking foot 

c. has a decent space for the rolled quilt; extra table space would be great also.  

Thanks, I'd appreciate any recommendations!  

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Answered (Not Verified) Roxana replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 9:04 AM
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The Bernina 700 and 800 machines do all of that. I have both a Viking and a Bernina. The Bernina handles multiple layers of fabric much better than the Viking. It's a workhorse in comparison.

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 9:37 AM

I think it depends on the models my Vikings are much better at thick layers than my 830

go to several dealers and play with the top models. They will have them available for a test drive.  By as much machine as you can afford.  All of the top models will be comparable in tasks.   I mean manufacturers.  Try all the modelos for each manufacturer.  Tale some Denim Ford it to 4 thicknesses and see If it goes thru them easily  Go for the ideaste throat spa e You can aforad.  Lo ok for a needle up/don posiyioner and a cree motion feature, does a walkie-talkie foto come with it

gini in north idaho

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 9:39 AM

Crud, I hot a different language while typing

try the machines out on several thicknesses of denim, get as much throat space as you can afford, get a needle up/down positioner, does a walking foot come with?

 

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 9:44 AM

F you have a large fair or quilt show near you go try out all the machines. Take some denim with you. The Viking sapphire has a large throat space.  There isn't enough room for my fat fingers to change the needle.   So I would try all the models out, do everything you would normally do on a machine like changing needles and cleaning the bobbin area, wind the bobbin, hem a pair of jeans .  See how the machines work for you. And try to get one with a dealer close so you can take classes and there is someone close to yo that works on that machine

gini in north idaho

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gini replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 9:44 AM

F you have a large fair or quilt show near you go try out all the machines. Take some denim with you. The Viking sapphire has a large throat space.  There isn't enough room for my fat fingers to change the needle.   So I would try all the models out, do everything you would normally do on a machine like changing needles and cleaning the bobbin area, wind the bobbin, hem a pair of jeans .  See how the machines work for you. And try to get one with a dealer close so you can take classes and there is someone close to yo that works on that machine

gini in north idaho

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Thanks Roxana, I have a Bernina dealer in town that I'll check out today.

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Roxana replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 9:55 AM

Also... Check out service and classes. I know most Bernina Dealers offer Mastery Classes for free if they sold you the machine. That includes a workbook and hands-on learning of your machine. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you can have a working dealer with whatever machine you buy. I'd also look for the needle-threading feature which I think all the machines you will be looking at will have. Again, my Viking needle threader breaks easily as does the cutting feature and I bought their top model about 4 years ago.

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ladooley replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 10:38 AM

Thanks for the suggestions Gini!  I'm checking out the Bernina & Viking stores later today.  Like the idea of finding a quilt show also.  Appreciate the quick response!

PS  Gotta love that auto text, right? It makes for a fantastic word puzzle sometimes =)

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ladooley replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 10:40 AM

Roxana:
I'd also look for the needle-threading feature which I think all the machines you will be looking at will have.

RIGHT, I forgot to add this to my list, but it's definitely on the top of my list!  Middle aged eyes don't work so good anymore!

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Karla replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 2:54 PM

I have trouble changing the needle on my Viking Sapphire, too...and the needle threader is always getting out of adjustment so I have to take it in for adjusting, but other than that I love the sapphire.

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KathyF replied on Mon, Nov 18 2013 3:12 PM

I have a Baby Lock Symphony and love it. I has a walking foot and needle threader and a whole lot more.

Kathy F

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Karla - I bought a Sapphire 875 Quilt - found that the lights were too hot and upgraded to the 930 Sapphire. I absolutely love this machine! Haven't had trouble changing the needle or with the needle threader. My 875 Quilt came with walking foot and open-toed free-motion foot and a sewing table. When I upgraded - they said just keep all the great quilting stuff! I am not sure what their newer model Quilt comes with.

Linda Gless - Hartford, WI

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Marjoeal replied on Sun, Nov 24 2013 10:54 AM

I love my Brother PQ1500s. It's a work horse machine. Simple, easy to use, straight stitch only. First machine I can free motion on, AND it hems blue jeans. The price is sensible ($600) and repairs are far and few. Wouldn't trade it for all the fancy models made.

 

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Ginny replied on Sun, Nov 24 2013 6:25 PM

MMMmm yes Kathy isn't the Babylock Symphony a dream though.  The only thing that I really don't care for is the walking foot .  Much preferred the built in one on my pfaff but it is a much older machine and needed a rest.    Ginny

 

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