Sewing machines

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NancySchk posted on Mon, Sep 12 2011 10:02 PM

I would like recommendations on sewing machines.

It is time to replace my Viking Husqvarna that I received as a graduation gift in 1971. It has served me well.

I piece quilts  and machine quilt some, too. Would like to try applique. Also sew garments.

Would like to buy a machine and not spend several thousand dollars.

What do you like about your machine?

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Nana replied on Mon, Sep 12 2011 10:07 PM


I actually have 2 machines and love them both.  But my favorite for machine quilting is my Janome Horizon 7700.  It has a large throat space and thread cutter.  It also has the autofeed function which takes the place of a separate walking foot.

I also have a Bernina and it does a fantastic job but the throat space is kinda small.  I really have to fight a quilt to get it quilted.  I love the embroidery unit with this machine though.

Vinton, Virginia

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gini replied on Mon, Sep 12 2011 11:05 PM

nancy, get as much machine as you can afford.  most of the manufacturers make good machines,  but most important is to buy one from a dealer who is close.    i have a designer 1 viking.  i love it.  i'm pretty sure i would have fallen in love with any of the machines i tried out at that time.

a needle up/down position is a must, i don't know how i lived without it.  make sure it has an accurate 1/4 inch foot for piecing.    buy as large a throat space as you can get for quilting.  any machine with a buttonhole stitch or zigzag can machine applique.  i got the D1 because i am lazy.  i didn't have to get up to see where to thread it or anything,  i could do everything and see everything from a sitting position.   try out a bunch of machines.  take some piecing with you. most quilt shps have a variety of machines to try out.  large  sewing expos and state fairs will have most of the manufacturers represented and you can try out a variety of makes and models at one go.  it took me two years of  trying out machines before i settled on the one i have. 

gini in north idaho

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Barbara replied on Mon, Sep 12 2011 11:33 PM

I have a Janome 6600 memory craft very similar to Nana's, it to had a big throat space and most of the features that Gini mentioned. it was alittle more then what you mentioned you wanted to spend but it has all the bells and whistles and to me it was well worth the cost. hopefully it should last me the rest of my life.. there are just so many nice machines and you can spend thousands if you don't shop around some. I sometimes think when trying out these machines ,that they pick you and so you will just know when you find the right one.. Good luck with your shopping..Barbara



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polack replied on Tue, Sep 13 2011 6:02 AM

I have a Baby Lock, and it's had to be fixed twice in one year. The service was terrible, and they would not honor their warranty. I ended it up bringing it to a private repair shop. I bought it in Sanford, Me.,  and it is two hours away from where I live which does make it hard for me-so people are right to shop nearby your home.

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I also have the Janome 6600 and am very please with it. It doesn't have a free arm, though. I love the table that came with it and it stitches beautifully.

"Love isn't what makes the world go round, it's what makes the ride worthwhile."

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I just bought a Janome Memory Craft (like Barbara) a couple weeks ago.  I chose that one because of the large throat space, needle up/down, thread cutter, 2 lights, it came with a 1/4" piecing foot, the walking foot type feed, many stitches, and it's heavy duty.  Nana mentioned she has the Horizon 7700 which is the new model.  It's a beautiful machine but more than I needed and was over the price point I set to spend.  It was double the price.  I also have a Bernina that I bought in 1984.  It's a great machine and has been a work horse and is still going strong.  Nana is right...... very small throat space and difficult to feed a quilt through.  

One thing you may be interested in is the $50 coupon offered by Arrow Cabinets that is a benefit of being a member of QCA.  I took advantage of it on the Bertha model.  

Be sure you get classes or one-on-one instruction and support from your dealer.  


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I also have the Janome 6600 and  I love it.  I think since they came out with the new 7700 the price on the 6600 is a bit better but I think it is a smaller machine.  Someone said buy as much machine as you can afford and I agree with that.

Life is like a quilt...bits & pieces, joy & sorrow, stitched with love

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I love my Husquevarna 870.  the best part is positioning the fabric under the needle with both hands and being able to hit the pedal and it starts and drops the foot without having to move my hands.

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Nancy:  I have two machines.  Both Baby Locks.  The big machine is an Espire, they call it the Symphony now and I have a smaller embroidery machine called the Ellure Plus.

The Espire has all of the bells and whistles.  I've had it for about five years and I have to laugh at myself, because I'm still learning great things about.

The Ellure Plus is a smaller and lighter weight.  So it's the machine I pack to class.  I've spent the summer learning to use it.  The two things that it doesn't have that the Espire has, is a way to lock the LCD screen so you don't bump it and accidentally change the setting without knowing you have done so and it doesn't have the pivot pressure foot.  I miss both.  However I'm really enjoying using it.

I had the three year warranty on the Espire and never had a problem with it being honored.  And I never took it back to the store where I purchased it.  I just took it to a Baby Lock dealer.  I haven't had a need to have the Ellure serviced yet. 

 A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars.

Patty Mc  

Oregon & Arizona

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