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  • hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

    So, I am new to quilting and am already addicted!! DH rarely gets me out of the sewing room anymore. LOL!

    Anyway, I currently have a small Bernette that is NOT a quilting machine. Fortunately, DH has decided to gift me with a new quilting machine for Mother's Day! YAY!

    So, now I want to make a wise decision as to which brand and model to choose. I am considering Bernina and Janome. Does anyone have a recommendation for a problem free (especially with no thread and tension problems).

    My budget is preferably under $3500.00, but anything up to $4000 would be considered. Quality of the machine and ease of use is more important than speed or number of fancy stitches.

    Thank you so much for any help/advice!!!

  • #2
    Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

    I own a variety of machines, and my favorite for piecing is the Juki TL2010. It is a very solid, straight stitch only machine. It's also great for fmqing. You can find them for just under $1000.
    pat.

    No rain....no rainbows!


    sigpic

    If you can't be nice.....BE QUIET!

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    • #3
      Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

      Hello and welcome to the forum. While I don't own a "quilting" machine, my little home janome wants to be a juki when she grows up. I am saving and hopefully this time next year I will be in the market for a new one too. I am sure others here with quilting machines will be along to offer guidance/information. As in buying any brand, the closer your dealer/repair store the better. My local shop closed down and now come spa time (annual cleaning) I will have to do a longer road trip. But at least I will get to look at some new machines then too!.

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      • #4
        Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

        Welcome to the forum, Babsy! You say you are looking for a "quilting machine" -- are you looking for something to piece quilt tops, or a machine with a large enough throat space so you can do machine quilting? Or perhaps both?

        When I brought my Bernina 790 in for her annual maintenance last month, the dealer tried to interest me in a more portable model. I don't remember exactly which model it was, but the cost was $1,000 - $1,100 and it included the Bernina walking foot, which normally costs $200 all by itself.

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        • #5
          Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

          I do piecing on a Viking Opal 670 DSM. I do quilting on a Baby Lock Tiara II table model LA. But it will cost more than $4,000. I've had it 3.5 yrs. & have been very satisfied with it. My biggest challenge to using it was learning to adjust the tension to get a satisfactory stitch.

          If you're new to quilting, you might want to wait a while to purchase a quilting machine. Learn to piece, etc. first. You can do FMQ on most DSMs, but you need to have the right type of presser foot & be able to drop the feed dogs.

          Welcome to the Forum from Colorado.

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          • #6
            Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

            I have the Juki qi200TL. Great machine.
            “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal.”

            ― Albert Pine

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            • #7
              Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

              I have a Janome MC6600 that cost me $1,500 on sale about 10 years ago and she is going strong as ever. I have machine quilted queen size quilts on her but went to Road to California in 2014 and bought one of the HandiQuilter Sweet 16 machines that were used for the classes. They are new machine that are only used once and the shop does not want to haul them back so they put them on sale. price $5,500 with $900 discount but cost me $600 to ship it to Hawaii. It is a sit down quilting machine with a 16" throat. I use it all the time, it does have a learning curve to get the tension right as a previous post spoke of. If you can get to one of the big quilt shows that have dealers that supply there machines for the classes you could probably purchase one at a discount.

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              • #8
                Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                What I'm hearing you say is that you'd like to upgrade your current machine to one more suitable for making quilts and you're just getting started. You'll get lots of good advice on this Forum.
                My advice would be to take your time. Your Bernette is perfect for where you are now, just beginning, and will be fine to use while you try to figure out what features are important to you. If you're basically happy with your current machine, maybe you'd want to upgrade to a larger Bernina model. So don't rush into it, do your research, listen to advice but after you narrow your search, you still need to spend time sewing on the models you're interested in. One last piece of advice: keep you Bernette because the new machine will need a day at the spa (they all do from time to time). Having a back-up machine is smart planning. As you start your search, come on back with specific questions about features and we'll help you through it. It's exciting and overwhelming! Keep us posted.

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                • #9
                  Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                  I would suggest you go and "test drive" several brands and models of quilting machines before you make a decision. I did that very thing in the spring of 2017. I found the Babylock Jazz suited my needs both piecing and quilting. Although, I wish now I had waited to get the Babylock Jazz II?
                  Sherri

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

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                  • #10
                    Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                    Thank you all for the replies! It is so helpful to be able to hear all your opinions/advice and experiences.

                    Some clarification:
                    Yes, I am thinking of getting a machine that will allow both piecing the tops as well as machine quilting. I am new to the correct terminology, I'm afraid. Please forgive me as I endeavour to learn the correct quilting lingo. I have looked at Angela Walters and would like a machine that will allow me to use those. My current Bernette has a very small 'throat' so it could be cumbersome to manage a larger quilt. (I'll be finding out in the next few days when I sandwich my quilt together for quilting - the top is almost all pieced and sewn together now.)

                    I would also like something a bit wider in the area from the needle to the side. Finally, my machine doesn't have a walking foot or a 1/4 inch foot. So, there are a number of issues with my current machine that are giving me some headaches. I would rather purchase a more suitable machine than start buying a lot of extras for my current model. It was a gift, so I will keep it to use for other smaller sewing projects and as a 'travelling' machine to take to classes, etc.

                    I am currently looking at a Janome Memory Craft 6700 or a Janome Horizon 8200. I can get either for under $2000 and they seem to be good machines suited to piecing/quilting. I have been to the local stores in my area and the brands available to me locally seem to be Brother, Bernina, Janome, Singer and Bernette.

                    Thank you again for your helpful replies. Any further thoughts/advcie are greatly appreciated!

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                    • #11
                      Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                      Originally posted by JCY View Post
                      I do piecing on a Viking Opal 670 DSM. I do quilting on a Baby Lock Tiara II table model LA. But it will cost more than $4,000. I've had it 3.5 yrs. & have been very satisfied with it. My biggest challenge to using it was learning to adjust the tension to get a satisfactory stitch.

                      If you're new to quilting, you might want to wait a while to purchase a quilting machine. Learn to piece, etc. first. You can do FMQ on most DSMs, but you need to have the right type of presser foot & be able to drop the feed dogs.

                      Welcome to the Forum from Colorado.
                      Thank you! Yes, I will focus on piecing first. A serious quilting machine is down the road for me, I think! I was thinking of piecing as quilting, in that it is making a quilt top. Sorry!

                      I will need to sew the layers together to from a quilt which I am guessing is what FMQ means? free motion quilting perhaps? I am not sure what you mean by DSM, but I assume that this is the type of machine that I am looking for.

                      tension issues scare me, I confess. I would like a machine that is easy to use and adjusts tension automatically if possible.

                      Thank you for your helpful reply!

                      (I love Colorado! Visited Colorado Springs a few times years ago - just beautiful and the nicest people!)

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                      • #12
                        Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                        I have a Janome MC6600 P. I love it! It has been a workhorse. I originally bought it just for FMQ. At the time I was still piecing on a Bernina but wanted more throat space for quilting. I love this machine. I think you gets lots more bang for your buck with a Janome than a Bernina and I like how it stitched so well that I got rid of my Bernina. I like that it has the accufeed. And I have never had any issue with tension on this machine. Have fun with your new machine.

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                        • #13
                          Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                          Hi, and Welcome! Even if you find a good machine with a larger throat, you may find that there is not much room to the left of the needle. When you are doing the quilting itself, you will be happier with a large flat area on the left, so you can better control the bulk of the quilt. You might want to get a "Sew Steady" table. It is an acrylic table specially cut to fit your machine. They are kind of pricy, but you will thank yourself if you get the biggest one you have room for. I bought the biggest one (I think) and I leave it in place all the time. When not actively engaged in sewing, it makes a great table to use your rotary cutter and mat on.
                          I have no interest in the company, I'm just a satisfied customer.

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                          • #14
                            Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                            Babsy ~ DSM = Domestic Sewing Machine. It takes a while to learn all the abbrev. & lingo. (Smile) A Sew Steady Extension Table -- an absolute must need. Once you buy a machine, or when you do, have the shop order you a table; they are custom made to fit each machine model. I think I paid ~$100. for mine, but that was several yrs. ago. I haven't priced them lately.

                            Another suggestion re: your shopping. Read the reviews on the internet. If you're interested in a specific model, go to YouTube to see if there is a video about that machine. Before I bought my Viking, I watched a 40 min. video on YT that explained all its functions & features. I was sold before I ever walked in the store to "test drive" one in my LQS (Local Quilt Store).
                            Last edited by JCY; April 17th, 2019, 10:40 PM. Reason: additional info.

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                            • #15
                              Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

                              Originally posted by quiltingaway View Post
                              I think you gets lots more bang for your buck with a Janome than a Bernina and I like how it stitched so well that I got rid of my Bernina.
                              I was at a demo day at our local Sewing Super Store where we got to try out lots of different features on lots of different machines. A store employee would demo each feature/machine/foot and then would let you try it. At one Bernina station, they ended the demo by telling the price of the foot for the Bernina—which was well over $100. I had the Janome version of that foot, and it had only cost me $30. This was the day I promised myself I would never buy a Bernina! (P.S. I do love my two Janome machines!)
                              Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

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