Buying a sewing / quilting machine
Many shops will tell you that to get a computerized machine, it will cost over $1,000, not true. Just keep looking and you can stay within your budget. I have three Husqvarna/Viking machines and love them all. That said, I just helped my mother in law find just the right machine in her budget. It turned out to be a Brother NX200, computerized, self threading, etc. First price quote was over $800.00, the best was under $500.00, with as much support and free classtime as she needs to learn her machine. She’s thrilled. She almost settled for a machine she really didn’t want, but I encouraged her that it would be worth looking some more.
Be sure to check the harp size so it is large enough for quilting. Have you gone online to the big companies websites? www.husqvarnavikingusa.com, www.brother.com, babylock, bernina, pfaff all are good namebrands. Some dealers will let you trade up within a year, giving you full purchase back on your trade in, but this is getting more rare. There are great reconditioned trade ins with warranties available as many people trade up quickly for the latest top of the line. (Such as Viking Designer 1 for the new Husq/Viking Designer SELimited Edition.) They are great machines, my first embroidery machine had been a “demo” at a shop, it is still excellent at 10 years old, I saved a few thousand dollars and it was just like a new machine.
Check www.patternreview.com as many owners have reported machine reviews/evaluations.
Local repair and cleaning by an “authorized dealer” are much nicer than having to send your machine out of town. Free classes and being able to troubleshoot on the phone are great assets too.
Are there any sewing or quilting expos or shows in your area? Often prices are lower there or at dealers in the area during the time the shows are in town.
Another thought, is there an American Sewing Guild in your area?
Another thought, most of the major companies have machines not really made by them but with thier name on them. They are made in different countries, to thier specs, but possibly less quality, often these models are discontinued quickly and replaced by something else at a different plant. (more plastic, etc.) Be sure to test drive, just as you would a car.
Good luck on your quest, be patient, stay close to your price range, stick to your guns about what you want, you will find it! Mary