Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

sewing machine choices

njpw | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

I am trying to decide which sewing machine is best for me. I sew clothing and am a quilter. I would like to be able to machine quilt, although mainly I see myself continuing to do mostly hand quilting. I don’t ever see myself wanting all the embroidery options now available. I have been stuck on the idea that I want a Bernina, but am checking out all posibilties. I’ve looked at Pfaff and Janome and see features that are attractive like
extra room on the right side of the sewing needle for extra space for quilting.
the knee thing that allows pulling up the presser foot without hands.
the walking foot that comes standard (not on Bernina)
Any suggestions or advice appreciated


  1. sueb | | #1

    I have a juki tl98e which I love and is super for quilting and garment making which I do a lot of.  It only is a straight stitch machine though.  To supplement it, I just bought myself a Juki HZL-T100  http://allbrands.com/products/abp02489-0101.html from allbrands where I bought my first juki from.  I can tell you that I love the juki products, they're very well made and they have a higher stitch speed which isn't a big deal until you stitch on one that sitches at 900 spm and then sew on one that sews half that fast ! (they also make some of the bernina's and the singers as well).  I'm like you in that I wasnt looking for embroidery features but I did want some pre-programmed special stitches.  I had an embroidery sewing machine (a viking rose) and I ended up selling it because I never used it.

    1. Oceana | | #2

      I have several machines: my mothers 1940's Singer, a Bernina 930 and a Pfaff top of the line, plus a Pfaff serger. For all around sewing, including upholstery and garments, I use the Bernina the most.  It is the last metal made one with some built in stitches, has the knee lift option and is easy to clean and oil and extremely dependable.  The Singer is also very relliable and only goes forward and backwards  but it needs tension repair just now.  The Pfaff does everything but is a little delicate.  The embroidery features are superb but directions can get lengthy for doing complicated patterns.  You need a computer touse all the features.  The Integrated Dual feed is quite wonderful and there really is no fabric slippage adn invaluable for quilting and sewing delicate things.

       I also have an early New Home with embroidery features, not at all intuitive and I really should try to sell it.  Try looking at eBay for some old reliables, where I got my Bernina.

      1. sueb | | #3

        you probably wanted to reply to the original poster of this thread.

    2. Oceana | | #4

      Sorry but I'm just starting and don't have the hang of it yet.


      1. sueb | | #5

        no problem !  just wanted to let you know in case you wanted to re-do it to make sure the thread originator got the message.

  2. Beader | | #6

    I am very pleased with my Janome and so is everyone else that I know owning one. The knee lift is indespensible and the extra feet are reasonably priced. If you find the dealer convenient and like the his approach, do check the machine out with your fabrics. Check out their website along with the rest.

    1. njpw | | #7

      thanks. I have always thought I wanted a Bernina and am trying to be open minded. One of my quilting teachers works at a place where they sell Janome. I have thought I would want the knee lift thing and also the extra room for machine quilting. I have been told I definitely need a walking foot and with Bernina it costs extra. With such a big expenditure I want to be sure I get something that will be dependable and a pleasure to work on for a long time.

      I did try to check out their website and was not successful. I don't know if they were having temporary problems or if it typically doesn't work well

      Thanks for your response

      1. Beader | | #8

        Try Janome.com and go to machines and accessories in the left column. The extra room on the right for quilting is great but I don't know how it compares with the Bernina. I teach sewing and I tell my students your buying a dealer as well as a machine. Good luck!

      2. FitnessNut | | #9

        You are right, a new sewing machine is a big investment these days. I do not quilt, but I own a Bernina. It is the best machine I have ever used, and it is the third one I have personally bought. I have been sewing for almost 40 years (yikes!) and have done it professionally for 15. I have noticed over the years that the bulk of quilters I have come into contact with sew on a Bernina, for a variety of reasons. You won't see many used Berninas around and when you do, it is usually because the owner purchased a new Bernina model.Do consider testing out some of the new quilters' models....I understand they are a joy to work on and come with many of the quilting feet that you would otherwise purchase separately. And remember that although some of these feet are pricey, Bernina feet are made of metal and built to last.

  3. acj818 | | #10

    I, too, have a Bernina (1230) and LOVE it.  However, I am also looking at the new Bernina quilting machine; it has the regulated stitch control programed into it.  It also comes with the walking foot, etc.  There are NOT 1001 stitches built in, but there are all the stitches any of us would need to make clothing, buttonholes, etc. 

    The thing that impressed me the most was the standard Bernina features PLUS the attention they gave to all the needs of us that also quilt.

    1. njpw | | #11

      What is the model of the new Bernina quilting machine you are talking about? The last store I was at the person said none of the models currently come with the walking foot, but she did say that when a quilting edition comes out sometimes it comes with it. I am also trying to figure out from the web site which of the machines have the extra room for quilting. I think it may be time for me to visit the Bernina store again, armed with more questions.

      1. acj818 | | #12

        I just checked at http://www.berninausa.com and I believe the correct number is 440QE.  Anyway, I was very, very impressed with the machine.

        Good luck in your search.

  4. User avater
    clairezbo | | #13

    I also have the Bernina 1130, it is a great machine. I have had it for properly 15 yrs, and have never had a problem. I hesitate to look at a new machine because I have had such great luck with this one. I don't think you will go wrong with the Bernina. It would be great if there was a Bernina dealer in your area. I find it always best to deal directly with only authorized dealers . Good luck.

  5. coloradocooking | | #14

    I LOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE my Pfaff and woud never get anything but the pfaff...mostly becasue of the IDT feature. Except now that I started quilting I realize the difficulty of even stiches when you machine quilt and apparently Bernina has one with a stich regulator...the only reason I would ever look at anything but Pfaff...did I mention I love my pfaff?!?!?!

    1. tipdee | | #15

      Iam with you have three pfaff 2020 332 which is fifty years old built like a truck runs great . use it for everything pfaffs are  the best.

      1. Kiley | | #16

        I love my Pfaff too. I love the IDT. I also have a computerized Janome made Kenmore that I love equally but I use my machines for different projects. I'm not a quilter but if I was I would probably go with a machine larger in size like the Janome 6600 that has the built in Acufeed similar to the Pfaff's IDT. I feel the 6600 is both of my machines wrapped into one because besides having the Acufeed simlar to my Pfaff's IDT it also has many of the computerized features and lovely stitches of my Kenmore. The Janome 6600 also has a very large flat bed and knee lift to raise the pressure foot, fast speed and other nice things required by quilters. Another large quilter and a dream of a machine to free motion on is the Janome made Pfaff Grand Quilter. Even if not in the market for a machine the Pfaff GQ is worth the test drive. It is a flatbed straight stitch only machine and the Viking Mega Quilter is supposed to be identical but the Viking demo model I tried was not up to par (possibly out of adjustment) and I preferred the Pfaff GQ. I have no Janome dealer where I live so I have never test driven the 6600 to test the Acufeed. I do follow the posts by owners about it and lurk at the Yahoo site for the machine. I do love the machines I have but I also love the size of these big quilters.


        1. tipdee | | #17

          Thanks for the info on the grand quilter and the janome. I will have to take a test drive on the GQ . I never have even thought to look into a janome  i am so happy with the pfaffs thanks again

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All