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Good second-hand models for quilting?

maryfm | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello All!

        This is my first posting — I’ve become too incensed with paying more to service my sewing machine than I paid for it initially (low-end Kenmore)  and was reading your letters for suggestions on machines.  A lot of you adore the Janome 10000 and the Pfaff 2140 and 7570,  but they’re out of my price range which is probably up to $1250, but not beyond.

 My real love is quilting,  and I have yet to have a machine that does free-style quilting (cf: the Kenmore!). The machine will also be used for the kids’ Halloween costumes, mending, and making the odd garment or two. So I don’t really need the embroidery aspects of the high end machines.  I’m tempted by a used Bernina (1550?) at a dealship,  but haven’t had the chance to get there to test-drive it. 

I’d be interested in hearing about people’s luck with Ebay and would love some suggestions in what to keep my eyes open for in a good model for quilters. 

TIA, MaryFM 


  1. ShelleeWA | | #1


    I started out looking at the brother computerized models -- PC6000...

    E-bay listing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3118&item=3104476049

    or something like the Viking Husqvarna Lily (555)...

    E-bay listing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3103626884&category=28167

    or the Viking Husqvarna 1+ (predecessor to the Designer series)... lots of built in stitches and small hoop embroidery (I think).


    or something like the Janome 8000 that has lots of built in stitches plus will do small hoop embroidery.


    Some people say I'm crazy -- but I bought my Pfaff 2140 on E-bay and have been very happy. I can still take classes from the local dealer -- at my expense... but I didn't feel that the extra multiple thousands of $$$ made it worthwhile to purchase from the dealer.

    Good luck in your search... :) I am...

    Happy that mine has ended! Happily sewing along...


  2. daynamay | | #2

    am not a quilter but in my travels many have said that an old basic featherweight is great for quilting and if i was seriously into quilting i think i would have bought the pfaff cuz of the dual feed--which all their machines have--no need for a walking foot---the less steps the better!!--good luck!

  3. sewred | | #3

    I hope this reply is in time to be of some help. I am a new member and thus did not respond earlier. There are some things to consider before buying on eBay. Many people have very good luck. However you need to realize that your local dealer is under no obligation to service the machine and those that do will have a fee. Many times a used machine bought at a reputable dealer will still have warranty coverage and those service fees and parts can often times add up quickly in a years time. Just be aware of potential ad-on costs and check out your local dealer as well. 

  4. joress | | #4

    I'm curious as to why you think your machine does not do free-style quilting. Any straight-stitch machine can do free-style quilting. If you can't drop the feed-dogs, cover them with an index card (your needle will punch an appropriate hole for stitching) or put the stitch length on zero. Then use a darning foot. Practice moving the project at an even pace as you run the machine on a medium speed. If what you need is a walking foot, there are generic walking feet to fit almost every machine made. If your issue with your machine is the throat space area, your situation is the same as so many of us. (I would love to be able to afford a short- or long-arm quilting machine!) On the other hand, I recently added a Janome MC4800 to my "family" in addition to my 30+-year-old White that works just great. The new machine sure makes a difference in enjoyment--especially those one-step, automatic buttonholes! I hope this helps.

    1. maryfm | | #5

      Hello! Thanks for your suggestions.  Believe it or not,  I never felt comfortable trying the card over the feeddogs  option.  That Kenmore was pretty feeble -- by the time it died it could only do 10 minutes (total!) of sewing between repairs.

      1. joress | | #6

        Ouch! Sounds like you needed a new machine. Not like some of us who just SAY we "need a new machine." It's so frustrating when a tool doesn't serve us well. I hate being stymied by inanimate objects!

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