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    New basic/beginner machine

    I'm considering an upgrade from $50 Brother used for basic home sewing to a $200ish machine. I was considering the Laura Ashley CX155LA but found nothing on the message boards about this machine. My current machine is bouncy at faster speeds, only has 3 needle positions and the bobbin is a pain to load. I'm new to quilting but not to sewing. And actually, haven't even started my first quilt yet, I've only sorted the jelly roll strips for my first jelly roll jam quilt. Obviously, I will start on my basic machine, but is it dumb to so quickly upgrade without getting a feel for what my new needs will be? I'm a chronic crafter, scrapbooks, cards, crochet, chances are I will just make quilts for my own home and for family members. Is there enough benefit to an upgrade immediately? My current machine only has one presser foot, Not even one for button holes, only straight and zigzag stitches although I wouldn't need much more anyway. Hoping the Amazon Prime Day sale on July 12 will have this model on sale and make my decision for me. Any advice?

    #2
    Re: New basic/beginner machine

    You could probably get the Brother CS6000i for under $200. It is a nice little machine, with an annoying feature of having the needle to the left when you turn it on (there is a fix for that). Another machine that has been recommended recently on this forum is the Singer S16, but I think it cost around $500.

    Are you planning to machine quilt? Depending upon the size of the quilt, that can be difficult with the smaller machines, as there is not much space to the right of the needle, but the machines with a larger harp space are more expensive. You can quilt on a machine with a small harp - but there may be limits to what size quilt or the type of quilting based upon the machine you are using.

    There are 3 feet that are pretty basic for quilters: 1/4" foot; walking foot; and quilting/darning foot. You will be sewing 1/4" seams for your quilt top; the walking foot is great for straight line quilting as well as some design quilting; the quilting foot is used for free motion quilting.

    There are three features I really like on my machine. One is that I can set it for 'needle down', so when I stop sewing, the needle is down in the fabric so that my stitching remains consistent when I start sewing again. Another is my automatic needle threader. (The Brother has a needle threader that works well, though it isn't automatic.) The third is that I can change the needle position in increments. Occasionally, a quilt pattern will call for a 'scant' 1/4" seam, and moving the needle to the right allows me to sew that seam.

    If you don't have a cabinet for your machine, you will want to have a 'quilting table' attachment that can expand the area around your needle. Many machines include such a table in the purchase.
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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      #3
      Re: New basic/beginner machine

      I don't plan on doing the machine quilting beyond basic size baby quilts. I have a friend with a long arm that I can pay to do that part for me. From my understanding, this Laura Ashley model does have the needle down position. $200 is really my limit. I wil check into automatic threader and verify the needle position increments. Thank you for your input.

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        #4
        Re: New basic/beginner machine

        Under $200 isn't really upgrade area, it's a basic machine with decent features. So long as the machine was designed within the last several years, anything in that price range should serve you well.

        I quilt on a Singer Heavy Duty. That and the Brother CS6000i can be had for under $150. Use a price checking site for Amazon and you can see the lower prices they sell for and when the lowest prices occur during the year. You can buy generic feet for any of these machines, they are all the same. At this price you throw it away instead of having it serviced.

        My Singer HD is all metal inside, a good old fashioned mechanical machine that I can service and fix myself. I've never had to fix it, I keep it well maintained by cleaning out the lint and oiling it regularly. A few screws to remove the case, and I can clean it out for a more thorough cleaning and inspection. There is no point in doing that to the Brother, as it's all plastic and circuit boards inside (which is why it has so many features for that price).

        I'm not familiar with that Laura Ashley sewing machine, but there are very few manufacturers left so it is probably made by Brother. There is probably a nearly identical machine under another brand name, you might check into that because it's likely you could get the exact same machine for less money.

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          #5
          Re: New basic/beginner machine

          Just taking a quick peek, I believe it's the same as the Brother CS6000i with a different cover and possibly more stitches.

          It was $170 on Amazon just two months ago. I'd contact them and ask if they'd sell it for that price and tell them otherwise you'll wait until the price drops again. I've found Amazon to be very accommodating like this! They can only say no. And it's a great place to buy, if something goes wrong they will just replace it for you easily (any of these cheap machines, expensive ones too actually, can be lemons and it's just best to exchange them). And of course make sure it's sold by Amazon and not one of their sellers. I think at that price you really get a lot for the money.

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            #6
            Re: New basic/beginner machine

            That is very helpful info! Thank you so much. My biggest concern is the computer vs mechanical aspect. I equate it to the computerized kitchen appliances vs tried and true old style. Now to get a non computerized oven/range, you need to yo upgrade to an expensive Viking.

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              #7
              Re: New basic/beginner machine

              Originally posted by stitchwishes View Post
              Just taking a quick peek, I believe it's the same as the Brother CS6000i with a different cover and possibly more stitches.

              It was $170 on Amazon just two months ago. I'd contact them and ask if they'd sell it for that price and tell them otherwise you'll wait until the price drops again. I've found Amazon to be very accommodating like this! They can only say no. And it's a great place to buy, if something goes wrong they will just replace it for you easily (any of these cheap machines, expensive ones too actually, can be lemons and it's just best to exchange them). And of course make sure it's sold by Amazon and not one of their sellers. I think at that price you really get a lot for the money.
              I'm really liking that CS6000i...thank you again!

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                #8
                Re: New basic/beginner machine

                I have the CS6000i as a spare, and really like it. My grand kids sew on it also. I have been using it recently, and plan on taking it on vacation with me. I think you will like it for the price. BTW...to get a 1/4' seam move your bottom +/- button to 4.5....for a scant 1/4 move it to 5.5.
                Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love

                Marilyn......
                sigpic

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                  #9
                  Re: New basic/beginner machine

                  I saw a used brother se400 on sale on Amazon for $241. I'm assumig it's refurbished?
                  https://forum.missouriquiltco.com/co.../icon_wave.gif
                  Women are Angels. When someone break's our wings we will continue to fly-usually on a broomstick.We're flexible like that.

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                    #10
                    Re: New basic/beginner machine

                    Originally posted by Lshx1 View Post
                    That is very helpful info! Thank you so much. My biggest concern is the computer vs mechanical aspect. I equate it to the computerized kitchen appliances vs tried and true old style. Now to get a non computerized oven/range, you need to yo upgrade to an expensive Viking.
                    I'm right there with you! I like things I can fix on my own. I was just looking for a plumber, and half the good reviews for companies were for installing a new flush assembly - for the price of a new toilet! Sheesh, $12 and I can do that myself (anyone can, you don't have to be handy!). I like to pay for things I can't or don't want to do.

                    So that's one reason I love my Singer HD. I'm also looking for an old mechanical machine to fix up. I like to get into it and tinker. But ...that range of Brother machines is feature packed and people really love them. They can be very reliable, and if you get a lemon just exchange it. There is almost nothing repairable on the cheap computerized ones, just be aware of that and you won't be disappointed. Most of the sewing machines in this range are a great way to get started and even keep going for quite a long while.

                    I've wanted to upgrade my machine and would have if not for medical expenses and a home construction emergency. Then again, my machine continues to serve me very well and I have seen I really don't need to upgrade and just want some luxury features. It makes beautiful stitches and gives me no trouble, so I can't complain. More harp/throat space would be nice, but it's not available at this price point.

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                      #11
                      Re: New basic/beginner machine

                      your machine is bouncing because you don't have a heavy duty table to sit it on. Try and upgrade your table 1st and see how it goes.

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                        #12
                        Re: New basic/beginner machine

                        I have the Brother CS6000i that Sylvia described and find it all that I need at this time in my quilting life. It has several feet attachments, mine didn't have a 1/4 inch, but they are easy to find, has lots of stiches and easy to learn to use. It has a small area tho if you are intending to free motion on large quilts it will be difficult. I think I paid around 150.0 at Walmart for mine a couple years ago.

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                          #13
                          Re: New basic/beginner machine

                          Check with any local dealers first and see if they have any trade-ins that you might like. You could get a really nice machine that way.
                          Vonnie

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                            #14
                            Re: New basic/beginner machine

                            I'm not sure if you want to buy a machine online, but I just saw the Brother XL2600i for $129 at sewingmachinesplus dot com. And they have a coupon code for 10% off on the website.

                            Liz

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                              #15
                              Re: New basic/beginner machine

                              I purchased the Laura Ashley CX155LA, made by Brother, in April of this year, as a gift for my adult daughter. I watched the price of this machine for months after reading positive reviews on it. I debated this machine with the CS6000i and a Brother Project Runway off Amazon. The Laura Ashley was running $212.00 for months. Amazon dropped it to $180 for one day.....So did Jet.com. Jet.com had a 15% coupon available online for my first purchase. Bottom line was around $150.00. I was unsure how much my daughter would use a sewing machine, so I didn't want to spend over $200. I used this machine, and really liked it. My sewing machine is a Bernina 1008. (not computerized). I appreciate the Laura Ashley's computerized ability when doing machine applique. It has alot of beautiful decorative stitches. The walking foot that is included worked well...even on "minky"...It may have even worked better than my Bernina walking foot on minky. It seems like a solid machine the sews well. A computerized machine is quite nice too! I do not regret buying this machine, and I have even recommended it to other people that sew.

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