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Katy27/05/2009 08:59:10
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I've been thinking about sewing machines recently, mine is OK, but the cost of getting a better one is too high. The next step up to a better machine is lots more money for more of the same. What do you think are the important factors in choosing a new machine? Mine is quite clever, but it is described as a quilting edition, and I think I would rather have less general sewing stitches and better quilting options. I've got about 500 buttonhole options, and I'm really not fussed about them! I wonder what everyone else thinks about this?
 
My wish list is
 
1)Quality mechanics for the important bits, tension, feed and bobbin 
2)Should include a good quarter inch foot (mine is rubbish), a walking foot and a good free motion foot as standard, extension table is a plus
3)Get rid of most of the utility stitches and give me a better alphabet!
 
What do you think?
Janet M27/05/2009 10:06:43
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I would be happy with -
 
Straight stitch -
ZIG ZAG -
A few fancy stitches -
Ability to drop feed dogs easily -
Easily changed feet - and plenty of free ones -
Extension table -
Ability to over ride the 'chip' -
Bigger spaced bed -
Bobbin that 'pinged'  when its nearly empty and magically fills again - hoho -
GOOD and I mean good lights -
Decent carrying case, possibly with wheels -
Make them lighter, the machines, without losing any quality -
 
Hmm I have almost described my machine I have bar the few odd bits and bobs.
Must be happy with it.
 
I don't like the machines with a screen, never have, is that just me? I like the manual type as I like to be able to over ride the stitches as I use them.
Janet
Marian T27/05/2009 10:10:36
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Hi Katy
 
I agree with all your points and this was what guided me to get my Husqvarna Sapphire. It is a long arm...more room for quilt...and has alphabet but came with lots of different feet AND I bargained with the shop in Cornwall and got a free Walking foot too as part of the deal, which can retail up to £50. 
 
I have to say that this is my first 'Quilting' machine though and I love it...money well spent but lots of saving up to get it. And as a bonus - which wasn't my priority - I got masses of embroidery stitches too.
 
Marian
 
 
Katy27/05/2009 10:21:23
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HI Janet
Dropping the feed dogs easily is a good point, its quite hard to drop mine. Just an awkward place to reach without half picking the machine up with one hand (Janome). And the lights are rubbish, I have to have an extra one next to the machine, in the way. And a pinging bobbin would be great!
 
Do you all put your machines away after use? Mine is out permanently, which is why I prefer having a hard dust case. The more expensive ones seem to have soft carry cases, but i would have thought they were too heavy to carry. I don't really go to workshops, but if I did, I'd take my £40 Lidl sewing machine anyway.
 
Katy
Jacqueline Doyle27/05/2009 10:38:35
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Hi Katy
My requirements are:
 
Dropping the feed dogs easily, bigger throat plate, an extension table, good quarter inch foot, good lighting, needle up needle down, lighter, so easier to carry and of course the pinging bobbin would be great!  I bought the Janome 720 to use at workshops and I have to say it has been a great investment. It is light to carry, and I can do FMQ on it just as good as my main machine.
 
Has anyone tried the new Bernina 830?
 
Way out of my price range but I would like to try it so see what I am missing, or would I?!!
 
Jackie
Marian T27/05/2009 10:41:16
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Hi Katy
Dropable feed dogs is very handy as I never had this option on my older 'bog standard' machine so that is a good point. I do have a hard case and like you mine is out permanently...on my table. I have a problem as I live in a one-bedroom flat so I have to use my lounge as a sewing room too... but we can all manage when we need to.
 
Marian
Fiona27/05/2009 10:43:48
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Katy,
I have a Janome Jem as I have to set up every time I sew and this is light enough to make that easy. The light is an LED so bright but I do still have the overhead light directly above me and 2 wall lights opposite! The drop-dog switch is behind the free arm and quite easy to reach. It came with an extension table, walking foot and free motion foot but I had to buy a zipper foot, which was a pain. There are 20 stitches, more than adequate for most of my patchwork and quilting needs but no alphabets. The best bit is that there is a speed control and I don't need to use the foot pedal as there is a stop/start button! The drawbacks are that there isn't much arm space and I need to unthread to fill a bobbin.
 
I use my big Husqvarna #1 if I want fancy stitches or am quilting something big. I bought it second hand years ago so it is rather old and needed the bobbin winder fixed recently but I love it! The best bit is that it tells me when the bobbin is getting low and as it's a front-loader I don't need to remove my sewing. I can also fill the spool from the needle.
 
My ideal machine would be a combination of these two. I have another 2 basic machines (Husqvarna and Riccar) and my girls will be getting these. I also have a treadle machine which is soon to be serviced so that I can have a play. It belonged to my dad's great aunt and was the top model of it day (1930's) so has some fancy attachments for dressmaking.
Margaret S27/05/2009 11:25:49
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Katy
 
After years of having Husqvarnas, two years ago I bought a Pfaff Expression 2048. I love it. I think it is now discontinued but there is an equivalent.
 
As part of the deal it came with a quilters pack of extension table and quarter inch foot plus other goodies and a trolley bag. So shop around there are some bargains!
 
It has an integrated dual feed, so no need for a separate walking foot. Front loading bobbin and bobbin low indicator. Speed control. Needle up or down. A wider throat so that I can do wider embroidery or quilt stitches. It will also warn you if you have selected a stitch that is too wide for a twin needle. It has a hard case so I don't have to put it away.
 
Two slight gripes. The lighting could be better and the arm is a bit short.
 
For workshops I take my shopping channel purchase - a Toyota. Basic but goes in the trolley bag from the Pfaff!
 
Margaret
 
P.S. Katy, what have I done? When I post I have lost  'message member' and 'ignore member' on the bottom tool bar. Was it when I changed my name or when I deleted tracking cookies?
Katy27/05/2009 11:43:33
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Thanks Margaret
I don't know why lighting seems to be a problem. The Pfaff does sound nice though!
As for the "Message Member" bits at the bottom, do you mean just from your own post? Can you see it on my post for instance? 
Katy
Margaret S27/05/2009 12:08:10
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Katy
 
As for the message member bits at the bottom - yes it is just mine, everyon else is fine.
 
One thing I forgot on the Pfaff - is that you can sew in reverse. With the feed dogs up for normal quilting you can press the reverse button and it will keep going backwards! If you are clever with this there is no need to move the quilt around as much. As long as you remember to press the button again when you want to go forward! (I cannot do this but I know someone who can!)
 
Margaret

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