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What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

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    What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

    Right now I do all my quilting on a cheapo $100 Singer I got at Walmart!! I did buy a walking foot and a darning foot for free motion. But now, I want to look around and see what's out there for a new "really good" machine. Since I have absolutely no wonderful features on my present machine, I'd like to know what would make me be a blissfully happy quilter.
    Thanks,
    Patti

    #2
    Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

    I don't think anyone can decide that for you. What I did was go to a local sewing machine store that carries lots of different brands. There are lots of really good brands - Janome, Husqvarna Viking, Babylock, Bernina, Pfaff to name a few. I have a Viking sewing machine, a Viking serger, a Janome Gem Gold Quilting/sewing machine (12 lbs.) I use it for travel and when my other machines are being serviced. I also have a Janome Memorycraft 11000 that I use for sewing and machine embroidery, I have a coverlock machine and I think that's Janome as well. I'm happy with both brands. I've sewn on some really old Bernina's at the costume shop where I work sometimes and it is a wonderful workhorse even though it's a very old machine. Take the time to check out the different machines. Believe me. The sales people are very willing to demonstrate and let you try them. Don't pay retail. Ask them for the best deal they can give you. Price is usually a consideration when making these choices. You'll see very quickly what you get for your money. Ask to see the top of the line, mid-range, and the basic so you can compare.
    Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

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      #3
      Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

      One more thing - tell them what kind of sewing you do the most. If you do nothing but quilt there are machines that are geared more to that craft than others.
      Goodbye Europe! Hello California! Home sweet home.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

        I have a babylock and love it. all those brands rebecca talked about are all good. when I went to get something nice i did a lot of research on line and looked at reviews and decided on the babylock. As far as what is on my machine I must have would be the automatic needle threader since I can hardly see that hole anymore..lol.. I also like the free motion foot, walking foot and 1/4 inch foot. I also like that it will automatically set the tension and the stitch size for whatever stitch I choose. I did get the top of the line at the time which I will not do again but I did want to embroidery as well and I love that. Good luck on your search.
        Patrice

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          #5
          Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

          Hi Patti.....

          I spent the past month looking for a new sewing machine. I did my research online and talked with friends and some of the MSQC quilters.........then I went store to store for a 'sit and sew.' I agree that no one can choose your machine for you but you sure can get a wealth of information from your sister quilters...I know I did.

          You need to decide whether you want an embroidery machine and/or what other features are important to you.

          First of all.....if you've not purchased one of the upgraded machines.... don't faint when the dealers tell you their prices run all the way up to $10,000. I was so shocked.... wow! I didn't realize you had to go to a dealer in order to get a price quote or that buying a sewing machine was akin to purchasing a new car. The machine has a MSRP (just like a car) and you make the best deal you can ... and then go to another dealer and do it all again.

          I wanted an electronic machine with as many bells and whistles as I could afford. I looked at Bernina and Babylock and Husqvarna Viking and Janome and decided I liked the Babylock. The reason I said what I did about dealing and MSRPs is (just like with a car) you don't want to pay the MSRP. My babylock's MSRP was $3500.00 and I paid $1900.00 plus tax, so you can see there is lots of room for dealing.

          I am in love with my new Babylock. Not only does it have a beautiful stitch.... lots of decorative stitches...... walker foot..... quarter inch foot.....stitch in a ditch foot..... stippling and free form quilting feet.... it also has a touch screen to make your stitch selections and it recommends a foot change when necessary. It has a knee lift.... which raises the presser foot with your knee so you don't have to take your hands off your quilt to turn corners. It also has a stop/start button... so you can sew with our without using the foot pedal.... along with an auto thread cutter, needle threader. Oh and I forgot..... it came with an extension table..... which adds about 20 inches of surface space.

          I really do hope I haven't bored you with all of this....... but I hope it helps some. I know there are many awesome machines.... and I wish you good luck with your search and your final choice.

          Hugs
          Mia
          ~~ Hugs and Blessings,
          Mia

          ...quilters come with strings attached
          (boy aint that the darn truth !!)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

            I would go along with what patrice said, only my "new" machine is a Brother Ult 2002D. ( bought right before the 2003 model came out) I definately like the auto threader!
            Honestly, this was a onetime purchase for me, too. when I bought it i knew this would be the last fancy machine I would buy. Considering that the previous one, a kenmore, has lasted me nearly 25 years and is still in use by my one DD I think I'll be happy for a long time.
            “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: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

              I love my automatic thread cutter on my Janome QDC 3160 (I named him Quentin lol) One push of the button and the thread is cut, no more searching for scissors or trying to find the thread cutter on the side of the machine (that I can never find on the first try) The needle threader is a must for me, too. I also love that if I change from one stitch to another stitch, Quentin will tell me if I'm using the right foot. I wish my machine would tell me when my bobbin thread was getting low or out, my Singer tells me, but not the Janome.
              ~Mary
              As ye sew, so shall ye rip.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                I think one of the most important things to consider is the dealer. Most of the machines will have similar features and likely have models that are similar in price, but the dealer can make all the difference. They should be willing to give you lessons on the new machine, and I don't mean an hour or maybe two "quickie" lesson. What about service for the machine? Do they service the machine or have to send it off somewhere? Not that you expect it, but what about repairs?

                I had a Brother, that had been doing okay for me. When I went to shop for a better machine I considered a Babylock. It had lots of nice features I didn't have on the Brother, but I finally went with a Pfaff because of the dealer.

                Nancy
                Nancy

                Psalm 126:3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                  I just bought a Brother sq9000. This is my second brother machine.... I didn't buy the new one out of necessity but just wanted an electronic machine with more stitches on it ! I'm keeping my old one for backup ! I love my new machine ! Like everyone said, you have to go with what you like...

                  Kelley

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                    #10
                    Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                    Thanks for all the great replies. Wonderful advice on features Mia. I didn't know there was a knee lift to raise the pressure foot! I think it will be a lot of fun trying out different machines. I;m not on a time limit, so I will spend time before I spend money LOL! What I really need is a deeper neck(is that what it's called?...doesn't sound right)! I'm making a list of features I want to check out, so feel free to add to my list.
                    Patti

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                      Patti I think it's called the "throat" but you are sure in the right part of the body lol. You're welcome. I know my post was a bit long but I wanted to share my recent experience. Best of luck with your new machine.

                      Mia
                      ~~ Hugs and Blessings,
                      Mia

                      ...quilters come with strings attached
                      (boy aint that the darn truth !!)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                        Originally posted by Mia View Post
                        Patti I think it's called the "throat" but you are sure in the right part of the body lol. You're welcome. I know my post was a bit long but I wanted to share my recent experience. Best of luck with your new machine.

                        Mia
                        I'm sitting here laughing because when I read deeper neck the first thing that popped into my mind was deeper pockets. And, if she's like me, she'll need some deeper pockets!!
                        Sometimes, when there's a raging fire,
                        it's best not to try to put it out with gasoline.

                        "...pal carajo con la negatividad..."

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                          Mia -- your post was most informative and I appreciate that. I am also in the market for a new machine. I currently have a Babylock "Maria" which I absolutely love, but it is a straight mechanical machine with no bells and whistles and only 10 decorative stitches. I bought it about a year ago when I decided to learn to sew and only spent $250. I was looking at more sophisticated models, but at the time didn't want to invest that much money until I was sure I was going to like sewing. Well, needless to say here we are a year later and I am an official quilt-aholic. What model Babylock do you have? It sounds like the one I've been looking at. Again, I appreciated your very informative post.

                          Teresa

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                            #14
                            Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                            Hi Mia
                            I just read your post about your recent Babylock purchase. If you don't mind me asking, what model did you end up buying? I've looking for awhile and I like the Babylocks the most but I get confused about what would be best for me. The features you mentioned are just what Im looking for. Thanks for your help. Sewsumi

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: What are your "must have's" on your sewing machine for quilting?

                              I'm pretty new to quilting, but I did buy a Viking Sapphire 855. It is a very nice machine...probably too much for a beginner, but I won't be a beginner forever. I like all the features and stitches it has, plus all the feet you can buy for it!

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