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    Good novice sewing machine

    I'm taking a break from working on my quilt top because I swear I have THE most temperamental machine on this earth. It's a Kenmore; it was never meant for anything other than basic sewing but I've always had trouble with it. Yes, I've had it services, 4 months ago, I'm putting the bobbin correctly below, etc etc. Time to bite the bullet. What's a good novice quilter's machine? I will not be machine quilting, I will quilt by hand as it has a,ways been done at home. I'm looking to work harmoniously with myself, my machine, and my quilt top. Any suggestions? I also need something available in Canada. Shipping costs for a machine would be crazy. Thanks!

    #2
    Re: Good novice sewing machine

    From personal experience, go to your newest machine and "test" drive what is in price range. I personally like Brother and Baby Lock...
    Sherri

    "Don't let someone else's ugly spoil your beautiful. " Thanks, Bubby!!!!!!

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      #3
      Re: Good novice sewing machine

      My 2 sisters have purchased Janomes, There are decorative stitches, buttonholer, extra feet and bobbins. Easy to use, get the quarter inch foot. That foot really makes life easy. I would think you could find this brand in Canada. Hopefully someone from Canada can help you out.

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        #4
        Re: Good novice sewing machine

        I do love my Janome. It does everything. And it's 14 years old

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          #5
          Re: Good novice sewing machine

          I am on my forth machine. I started out with a 1960's Capital (a Singer clone built in Japan). I've had it since the early 1980's.

          I decided to take a class and the Capital was much too heavy to carry for me any longer. I went to the only sewing machine dealer I knew of, almost 45 miles from home in the heart of Mennonite country. The owner took the time to talk with me about what I would be using the machine for, and what I could afford. I ended up buying a "Used" Pfaff that he gave me a year warranty on parts/labor. I used the machine for about six months and found there were features I really wanted to have. I traded in the Pfaff and got a Janome QC3260 and loved it. I used it for about six months and Jean Sewing Machine went to a workshop at this store and told me they had a Janome 6600 Professional and she had had one and loved it. I went and traded again and now I'm very happy with the Janome 6600 P. My dealer has been more than fair with me, he has always given me the price I paid for the machine on trade-in.

          So I've bought three domestic sewing machines from him, then I wanted an embroidery machine to make labels, so I went to see him and he had a great used machine I could afford. The one time I had trouble with a machine I had bought I called and told him what it was doing and that I was going to be close to him the next day. He asked me to bring it with me and he called me and told me he had it repaired within an hour, so I picked it up on the way home.

          He is a Bernina dealer and has about a 3,000 sq ft showroom. I would suggest that you find a dealer that you are comfortable with and look at some of the used machines. I have a much nicer machine since I was willing to go used than if I purchased a new machine.

          I have taken classes at his shop and have been extremely pleased. I don't know that I will ever buy a new machine, but as long as Timothy is open at Top-Stitch I'm sure I'll be buying from him. He or one of his daughters have sat down with me and demonstrated the features of the machines each time I've purchased from him, and then allowed me to use the machine to make sure I had the features down pat.

          Good luck with your search.

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            #6
            Re: Good novice sewing machine

            I'm happy with my Brother SE400. It's reasonably priced and I find it a little workhorse. It does have some decorative stitches, needle threader, speed can be adjusted by hand or foot pedal and has an automatic thread cutter. It also does embroidery which I've found fun to play with. You can only do the smaller designs on it i.e. 4x4. I found mine on sale through Amazon during the Christmas season. I got it for $400. That was I think three years ago and I haven't had to have it serviced yet. I put it in my Wish List at $425 or 450, forget which, and then within two days they sent a notice it was marked down to $400 which I thought was pretty neat.
            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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              #7
              Re: Good novice sewing machine

              If you are only going to be straight stitching, I would strongly suggest a vintage machine. I have a Featherweight but my "newest" machine is a Singer 301 and I am in love! No belts, all metal gears, is easy to maintain yourself and quiet. It sews a beautiful stitch. I have a Husqvarna Sapphire and an inexpensive Brother, too. I've never been happy with the Sapphire but do use it when I need anything other than a straight stitch.
              Rescued is my favorite breed.

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                #8
                Re: Good novice sewing machine

                It depends on your budget and what you want the machine to do. If you really just want a workhorse straightstitch, I have heard great things about Juki though I have never used one. I started off with a Brother I bought in a big box store - it included several feet including quarter inch and walking foot, and it had a few (basic) decorative stitches that I didn't really use much. When I decided that quilting was my 'thing' I invested in fancy-schmancy Brother that I got at a quilt show (it was technically 'used' because it had been sitting in a classroom, but I think the stitch counter was less than 100. ) I also really liked the dealer. I still pull out my big box Brother for retreats. My friends who have featherweights LOVE them - and I have to say they have produced some of the most even, straight stitches that I have ever seen. And perfect for taking to retreats & classes.
                Slainte!

                Liz


                :icon_pcnoob:

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                  #9
                  Re: Good novice sewing machine

                  You just can't beat a vintage machine - 1950's or older.
                  Donna

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                    #10
                    Re: Good novice sewing machine

                    I have to chime in about the featherweight, I love mine and use it for all my piecing.
                    Claire from Pelham, Alabama

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                      #11
                      Re: Good novice sewing machine

                      I've had Bernina machines since 1998, they are a great quality
                      machine. Never have any problems and always dependable.
                      Look for a used machine, my QE 150/Bernina Virtuosa was
                      Purchased a few years ago to piece my quilts.
                      My Bernina 180E I've been embroidering with
                      since 1998. I have replaced some parts because it was
                      worn out. I will never own anything but Bernina.
                      These machines are made to last a lifetime .
                      Good luck on your search, Sew on several brands.
                      I'm sure once you Sew on a Bernina you will be sold.

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                        #12
                        Re: Good novice sewing machine

                        First establish a budget. Then go and test drive machines. Take your thread and fabric and see how the various machines work with that. Test drive more than once if you need to. Best of luck.

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                          #13
                          Re: Good novice sewing machine

                          Love my featherweight given to me by my MIL; it works when all else fails!

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                            #14
                            Re: Good novice sewing machine

                            I have a Babylock machine that I just love! I never have issues with it. I have also seen on a friend's Janine and it is quite nice to use. I agree with previous posts, take arear drive on machines in your price range. A lot of folks like Brother machines, but my experience with them wasn't great. The ones I used sounded a little clunky and they came unthreaded easily or just didn't stitch quite as well as the Babylocks or Janomes. If you sit down and sew on one you will know if you like how it performs.

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                              #15
                              Re: Good novice sewing machine

                              I have a 20 yo Janome I bought used for $125 and I love everything about it. It replaced my Brother low end Pacesetter which was a real clunker by comparison so don't buy that one! The bobbins didn't fill all the way up, annoying! And it came unthreaded constantly, also annoying. It was light weight lots of plastic parts so it moved around on my sewing table a lot. I am a big fan of saving money on a used machine so I would encourage you to at least look at them at your dealer. I helped my sister shop for a machine for her daughter recently and she bought a floor model Babylock Hello Kitty so cute and basic and I think it was only $150. There are so many choices out there, have fun trying them all out. I am a hq also so only needed a basic machine for piecing. You want something simple and easy to use.

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