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  1. #1
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    I'm asking for advice from all of you, a bit of guidance if you will. I really wanted a sit-down long arm machine but unless I hit the lottery, a jackpot, hit it lucky with a best selling manuscript or rob a bank (lol) that's just not in my budget. The one I want, that I've tried & love is about $2000-$4000 out of my reach. Ugh, the budget is such a pesky pain. So I am looking for the next best thing for quilting. My budget will be $1000 or less. I might be able to squeak out a little more if it's for something really special. I already have a Singer Futura xl 400 which has been a great machine for piece work & embroidery. I have made many quilts on it, from piecing to quilting to binding however I've come to the conclusion this machine is not quilting friendly. The machine never gives me an ounce of trouble when I sew or embroidery. When I start quilting, Suzie Singer has a hissy fit. It starts out with jumping bobbin & ends with shredded thread or broken needle. Honestly, one day, 8 needles equaled really frustrated quilter! I've had it serviced & was told this wasn't the best quilting machine. I didn't think too much of it because he was trying to sell me something. That's what salesmen do, poo-pooh the equipment you have, sell you something supposedly better. But I trust the quality of work done on the machine & I've since been told by someone who has been sewing for over 50 years & has a dozen machines. She told me the same thing. I didn't even tell her the brand I have & she said, "is it a newer Singer" (OH Man, I'm thinking that's not a good sign). I have had the machine serviced. I clean it frequently, often times with every bobbin change & oil it according to directions. Sewing clothing, quilt pieces, etc... are no problems until I get to the quilt sandwiches.

    So I am looking for a workhorse for quilting in my price range. So far I like the look of some of the Juki, Janomes, & Brothers. I do not want a Viking or another Singer. I do want a machine that will handle big thick, fluffy quilts with their seams & binding & the whole thing. I do not have access to a store (so far) with Babylock or Pfaff (though I'm told those machines generally are way out of my price range). I don't know if mechanical vs computerized is better. I do a lot of free motion quilting. For those making suggestions, I'd love to know what you love or hate about various machines, bring it, the good, the bad, the ugly. I can't afford to make another buying goof.

    Thanks in advance for your time & suggestions.

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    I'm a big fan of my Juki TL2010q. It is a semi-industrial lockstitch machine that sews through anything and produces a great stitch. It has a large enough harp that I can manage all but king size quilts easily, and enough room for rulers if you want them on the harp side (I'm left handed so I use them that way) unless you are quilting a really big quilt. It has a needle up/needle down function, an automatic thread trimmer and a knee lifter. It comes with a fair number of OEM feet, but there are many others available as generics on the market because it is a high shank machine. I use mine set into a sewing table, but there are feet to quilt from the side, and it can be mounted on a frame. I'm sure others will chime in about their experience. You can get it under $1K.

  3. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    Midge do you know if it was the Juki 2010q that could also come with a Grace frame and could be place on a carriage they include (or can include) so it can also be used as a quilter you can also stand up with?

    Women are Angels.
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    we will continue to
    fly...usually on a
    broomstick.
    We're flexible like that.
    - embroitique

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    I'm not Midge, but generally those straight stitch semi industrials work well on Grace frames. The limitation, of course, is the 9" throat. Models that fit this category are Juki 2010, Janome 1600p ( and it's much less expensive clone the Singer S16, which many of us have), Brother 1500, Baby Lock Jane/ or Quilter Something, or Pfaff Grandquilter. Baby Lock has the new Jazz which has a 12" throat, and my dealer quoted it at about $900. So there are options out there within your budget. None will be as easy to use as a true longarm (14-up" throat) but they can get you the results you are seeking within your budget. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    Why not look into a Baby Lock Jazz ? That's what Jenny Doan here at MSQC has......and she has made comments that she loves the Jazz by Baby Lock....I live in Michigan and there's several sewing machine shops that that have offered a HUGE TRADE IN ALLOWANCE for some machines. One of the gals at the Jo-Ann Fabrics sewing shop inside Jo-Ann's told me when I was looking at another machine last year when they had a sales event that I could TRADE any machine in ....for the $6000.00 trade in allowance. She even told me a lot of gals were going out to Wal-Mart and purchasing a straight stitch machine to trade it ! I told her I had an old Kenmore and she said that she would take that in trade.......But they don't sell Baby Lock machines. A store called Country Stitches is the closest store to me that would have a great sale and trade in allowance.
    Well, I didn't do it. I have a Viking /Husqvarna Designer SE that's 10 yrs old, and I love it.....although it is hard to quilt on, I will admit that.
    So, what I would do due to the fact that it's close to Christmas, I would wait to see what kind of SALES some of these sewing shops have.....don't purchase a machine without getting classes with it.

    I did try to find out what the cost of a BL JAZZ is but I couldn't find any info online with prices !

    IF I were to purchase a Machine to do my own quilting, I probably would purchase the BL Jazz.......

    Jacqueline ( Sugar ) Dorer-Russell
    http:\\www.sugarssmilinpapercrafts.BlogSpot.com


    "I miss the me I was when you were here"

  6. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    Quote Originally Posted by Carlie Wolf View Post
    Midge do you know if it was the Juki 2010q that could also come with a Grace frame and could be place on a carriage they include (or can include) so it can also be used as a quilter you can also stand up with?
    As Jean wrote, yes the Juki can be attached to a Grace frame, and there are packages I've seen from time to time with sale prices for the package. And with the alternate orientation free motion foot, it can work. I don't have room for that at my house, so I make do with my table set up, and for my goals, it's terrific! Of course, others have different goals, so maybe nothing but a real long arm will do.

    The other similar machines that Jean notes are very close in all respects to the Juki, and in fact, if you purchase some of the Janome brand high shank feet, the packaging clearly states it is for the models Jean mentions.

    The Babylock Jazz is a different type of machine. It has a longer harp distance, but much lower height. I had a chance to sew on one recently, and I had a hard time seeing the needle area. But that's me and my arthritis. The Juki has better visibility and a bigger total harp area when consider height X length. Also the Jazz has built in stitches - it is a zig zag machine, where the Juki and it's cousins are straight stitch only, lockstitch machines. Finally, if I remember correctly from sewing on my friend's machine, it does not have a needle up/down function. For me that is a deal breaker if you want to use it for free motion quilting. You really need that function.

  7. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    I've posted before but I love my brother 1500. It's fast and sews through multiple layers with ease. It has thread cutter, knee lift, table extension, needle down and lots more. It's cheaper than the Juki and that's why I chose it. I don't do any fancy fmq, mostly meander or loops, but I have done several large king size quilts start to finish on this machine. I keep my singer for zig zag or other stitches. It does a great straight stitch, does not seem to be finicky about thread and has not given me any problems. The only thing it does not have is speed control but I'm okay with that. You can usually find it for $600, sometimes less.
    Vernona

  8. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    Don't forget Craig's List. Sometimes you can get a great deal. Just don't go to somebody's house by yourself. If you get a mechanical machine it would be cheaper to service it. I vote for Juki.
    Vonnie

  9. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    I have the BabyLock Jazz....and what a workhorse! I love it!

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    Here's some of the projects I have quilted on my Jazz.....
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    Last edited by shermur; October 10th, 2017 at 08:15 PM.
    Sherri

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

  10. Thanks Claire Hallman, PrettyCurious thanked for this post
  11. #10
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Re: Sewing Machine Suggestions Please

    Shemur, beautiful work.

    Any of the folks who sew with the Baby Lock Jazz. Have any of you found the machine has trouble with big thick seams? I read a review of a woman who had an awful time with hers but it was some time ago. And also tension issues?

    Right now my list is:

    Baby Lock Jazz
    Juki 2010
    Brother 1500

    It will come down to locating one's I can sit at. I'm worried about the height on the Jazz. Got to drive a few hours to find a dealer for baby lock.

    Redcaboose, if I could find a shop that's doing a trade in like that. That would be awesome.

    Thanks to everyone for your input. I am glad to have your help. I have so much fun making things but it's better with the right tools
    Last edited by dogsavvy; October 13th, 2017 at 12:42 AM.

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