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  1. #1
    Shiny Thimble

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    Default 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. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default 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!



  3. #3
    Binding Belle

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    Default Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

    Quote Originally Posted by bubba View Post
    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.
    This is the machine I have and I love it. Very easy to do fmqing on. I can only do meandering so it works for me.

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default 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!.

  5. #5
    Designer Diva

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    Default 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.

  6. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default 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.

  7. #7
    Shiny Thimble

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    Default Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

    Quote 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!)

  8. #8
    Binding Belle

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    Default Re: hello, newbie, looking for quilting machine purchase help

    Quote Originally Posted by Babsy View Post
    tension issues scare me, I confess. I would like a machine that is easy to use and adjusts tension automatically if possible.
    You need to conquer your fears of tension issues. LOL Sometimes easier said than done, but somewhere along the line you'll have a stitch problem that you want to blame on tension, when it may not actually be. For the most part once tension is set you don't need to touch it. Changing threads, or fabric type and thickness will sometimes require a very slight adjustment to the top tension, but it's rare. This is something to learn, and simple, and you'll be better off knowing. There's a whole lot of other things that happen within a machine that one might think- TENSION first. It's most often a housekeeping issue with the machine.

    So... Don't rely on "automatic" tensioning. Those manufacturers that push that as a feature don't tell you the whole story. Auto-tensioning happens only on the bobbin thread, and that's for top loading style bobbins only. Yes, it does a decent job of bobbin thread tension for a fairly wide range of threads, UNTIL- your bobbin area needs a good cleaning. There's lots of good info out there on setting tension, and once you pick up on it you'll wonder what all the hub-bub was about. Totally easy and simple.

    My thoughts on [which machine?] for piecing is keep it simple. While my computerized Janome does a good job, I always piece on vintage mechanical machines. First I don't need all the stitches, or the bells and whistles, and for the most part they can be a hindrance when piecing. On all the "fancy" machines there's a whole lotta bulk hanging out over the left of the needle. I find this reduces visibility and accessibility, especially when easing in curves, threading, changing needles or feet. I got man hands, and now are less than limber, so I need all the room I can get. Another thing I find important is the "bulk" of the free arm. Top loaders have a bulkier arm (front to back especially) and aren't as easy to use for garment construction or piecing tight radius curves.

    In a new machine that leaves the choice to a mechanical straight stitcher like the Juki mentioned in other posts. Once you get used to the bottom loading (side or front) bobbin, you'll find it no more difficult than a top loading drop in bobbin.
    No- I'm not the test dummy for your dog's behavioral training class.

  9. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default 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

  10. #10
    The Guild President

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    Default 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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