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Sewing machines

catvoke | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

I am looking for a machine that makes a nice buttonhole and a nice blanket stitch.  I have a Pfaff 6230 that I love, but it doesn’t make the blanket stitch so popular in fusible raw edge applique.  And I haven’t made enough buttonholes with it to know if this feature is difficult or if I am just not practiced enough.

I am also interested in the Bernina’s BSR feature, but I don’t know if its worth it.  I have a wonderful old Singer 201-2 with a fairly large opening to the right of the needle, and imagine that with the right set up and more practice I too could become an accomplished free motion quilter.

To date, however, my free motion attempts on my Pfaff remain unacceptable.

I am looking at a Viking Rose machine second hand, and wondered if anyone had an opinion about it.  The Dealer mentioned it as having an original sale value of $5000.00 and a blue book value of around $1000.00.  I liked the machine in general, and the blanket stitch looked nice but would pull up a thread every few stitches.  it hadn’t yet been cleaned or serviced and I thought maybe the needle wasn’t right either.  I am looking for any experiences other Viking Rose users might be willing to share.



  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    I own the Viking Rose sewing/embroidery machine.  I bought it at least ten years ago with the reader/writer box, emb. unit, Customizing Software for around $2200.00.  I have upgraded the software, but that's about it.  It is a wonderful machine, all the stitches are very balanced and beautiful, including the blanket stitch.  (I like to use a heavier cotton thread and loosen the needle tension, the topstitching needles do a nice job.)  It makes several buttonholes, very easy to do and nice results.  The embroidery results on it are just as beautiful as on my Designer 1, (which I bought many years later for the larger hoop and bells and whistles as a retirement gift).  Rose does the most beautiful heirloom stitches!  I very highly reccomend this machine!  Mary

    If I had learned to do free motion embroidery/ threadpainting/quilting earlier, I wouldn't have bought the D1.  The Rose does a better job of this than the D1 or my old Singer.  Most of the feet are interchangeable for these two which is a good thing since I have a "foot fetish" and own most of them! 

    It still runs like new, I spent about $100.00 on a new presserfoot mechanism this year after loaning it to someone.  My grandchildren have used it for sewing and embroidery for years with no problems.  I will never loan my machines again!

    Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.  Mary


    1. catvoke | | #2

      Thank you Mary!  I do think I will like this machine.  I can already see it in my quilting space getting cozy with the Singer and the Pfaff.  I'll plan on keeping you posted. 

      1. MaryinColorado | | #3

        Just make sure that you test drive her again after they have cleaned and serviced her!  I didn't trade mine in when I got the D1 because I couldn't part with her.  I've never regretted that decision.  (I do love the D1 too, they both are great machines.)_

        1. catvoke | | #4

          I have fabrics and machine needles already picked out and the store knows I want to come back and play awhile after the machine is serviced.  I can't stop thinking about it....:)

          1. MaryinColorado | | #5

            Are they going to call you when the machine is done?  It's so hard to be patient!  Mary

          2. catvoke | | #6

            Oh yes!  In fact I have already made a follow up call to the store and chatted with the gentleman (the store technician) who showed the Rose to me.  It must have been a very recent trade in because he had only gotten around to setting it up in the back room.  He let me play on it and even sat beside me to read directions out of the manual.  We were both having fun with buttonholes and even traded seats to "drive" it :).

            He told me the store manager had to leave town until this Wednesday (death in family) and that his own job servicing and repairing the machines was behind as a result.  He laughed and said he wouldn't let anyone else have it, especially since I had left my name, address, phone number and a message under the presser foot of the machine. 

            I had written my info in pen onto the the sample fabric we had been using and put in under the needle and presser foot.  I think it had lots of exclamation points.

            I don't know what year this particular Rose was manufactured, but I'm hoping to learn more about what things came with the machine originally so I can know if the price they start out with is fair or if I need to negotiate.  I hope so much that the glitch in the blanket stitch was nothing more than lint, or the wrong needle for the thread. 

              more later!  Catherine



          3. catvoke | | #7

            After a second test drive I decided against buying the Viking Rose.  It is way more embroidery machine than I want and not enough buttonhole/blanket stictch that I want.  I could tell it was a nice machine for what is what created for, but not for me.  We parted friends I am glad to say! 

          4. MaryinColorado | | #8

            This is a great example of why it is so important to test drive sewing machines just as you would if buying a new car.  I hope you will enjoy your search for that machine that is just right for you! Mary

          5. catvoke | | #9

            Thanks Mary!

            You have been very kind and generous with your knowledge and guidance.  This machine search has gotten me onto the computer and into sewing forums like nothing else since the we first got a computer!

            I have been reading so many reviews in so many places I can't even keep it straight anymore.  Whenever I update my quilting buddy in Toronto about my web travels she keeps asking me just one more pertinent question that makes realize I need to do the whole thing over again for all the machines.  Its been kinda fun stumbling around in Virutal Sewing Machine World, but now I have to get serious and keep records and everything!

            But mostly I have to get out there and use the machines.  Fortunately there is a very nice Sewing Center nearby that features both Bernina and Pfaff so I can go there with my goody bag of fabrics and do a side by side comparison.  I like that.

            Somewhere in my web "travels" I read that 51% of sewers who own sewing machines own three or more and only 15% of sewers who own sewing machines own one.  I can't remember the exact language of the quote so I can't be sure just what population the quote reffered to: sewers, or people who own sewing machines?  But the number still got me.  I have been told that pet owners aren't considered eccentric until they own 5 or more animals. (I am at a "safe" 3 cat limit.:)) 

            Do you think there is a similar critical number for sewing machine owners?  Do Sergers count in this number and what are the folks in this particular "eccentric" group called? Collectors?  Addicts?  Spoiled Rottens?

            I counted up my sewing machines and yep; I've got three!

            :)  Catherine


          6. Lilith1951 | | #10

            Ummmm.....I'm a collector.  I have 16 sewing machines.  Most of them are very old and two of them are treadles; one is a beautiful chain stitch machine and 3 are Featherweights.  The one I use for my daily work is 18 years old, but is computerized (Singer 6828).  I also own one serger (Singer Quantumlock), 10 years old, but I'm about to buy a new BabyLock Imagine with my inheritance from my dad who died last Dec. 

            I collect the older machines for their beauty and their history (some only cost us $15-25).  If I'm eccentric, so is my husband, as this is as much "his" collection as mine.  He helped me and encouraged this addiction.  It wasn't anything we set out to do; it just kind of snowballed. 

            When I retire, I plan to make at least one quilt on each of my collectables, just so I can say I did.  Have to actually learn how to use the treadles, but it will be great fun (those will be small quilts, methinks. ;-)


          7. damascusannie | | #12

            Hi I'm new to Gatherings and stumbled across your post about your sewing machine collection. I'm a collector, too, and would be interested to know what brands your treadles are. You can see some of my machines at:http://community.webshots.com/user/damascusannieI'd love to chat with you about old machines!Annie

          8. Ckbklady | | #13

            Hiya Annie,

            I was noodling around here and came across your mention to Lilith of the pics of your machines. A pink machine! Wow! Who is the manufacturer and how old is it?

            I'm wholly impressed by your collection. I think 70 machines isn't excessive for a vocation - I have hundreds of cookbooks, and hubby has a garage full of tools, so why not?. Not every sewing machine may do something unique within the group of 70, but each is surely a very different sewing experience, which makes them different enough. How lovely that everywhere you likely turn in your home you see a machine that makes you smile!

            :) Mary

          9. damascusannie | | #14

            The pink machine is a Japanese clone of the popular Singer 15 class machine. I sold it to a lady this fall at a quilt show. She had to have for two reasons, first, to use to teach her grandson to sew and second, because it matches the ceiling in her sewing room. 8^) The machines in my "official" National Sewing Machine Company collection have mostly been added because it's my goal to have one example of every model ever made by the company. Most of the 70 fall into this catagory. The "unofficial" machines were chosen for sentimental reasons, were purchased before I solidified my collection goals, or I got because they perform a specific sewing function like the zig zagger. Often I'm given machines by well-meaning friends and family. These are usually cleaned, repaired if needed, and then sold. I don't buy a lot of machines specifically for resale. The exceptions are machines like "Pinky"; nice heads that can be converted to hand crank for resale. I try to have two or three of these on hand at all times and almost always sell them to women who have small children or grand children that want to try sewing but are too young to handle an electric machine. A five-year-old can easily handle a hand crank without endangering either himself or the machine. Annie

          10. Ckbklady | | #15

            That's so nice to think that the pink machine went to a happy, well-coordinated home! Also neat that the buyer's grandson is interested in sewing. It's always struck me as odd that sewing is thought to be so "feminine" - nonsense. It's about making stuff with a machine, just like woodworking, or so hubby says. (Yes, he's worth his weight in gold.)

            I hadn't thought about hand-cranks being good for new, young sewers. What a great idea! When you consider that kids have better reflexes and hand-eye coordination, I bet they take to it like a video game (how ironic!)

            :) Mary

          11. catvoke | | #16

            Your note here has made me laugh more than once; Thanks!

             It would be fun to see a photo of your "collection".  If I had sixteen sewing machines I might just shoot for using each one to make it its own special dust cover. ....I'm laughing again!

            For my part I finally decided to spend the coming year playing on various machines and waiting to see what new hybrid comes out since Pfaff's IDT patent expires soon, maybe already has.  I am spending quality time with my Pfaff 6230 and my Singer 201-

            Happy New Year!



          12. Lilith1951 | | #17

            Catherine, I'd like to see that photo myself! But it would be kinda difficult since they're all over the place and some are even up in the attic of my husband's workshop!  Most of them are not usuable in the places where they are currently residing, which we just didn't think about when we bought them.

            I have a pink machine, too!  Mine is also a Japanese made machine and we only paid $15 for it, but it was so pretty I couldn't resist.  It isn't so much pink as it is a deeper rose color.  I have one that is pale aqua, too.  Another $15-20 bargain, but it is all metal (about the same time period as the rose one) and built like a tank.  It is gorgeous and runs like a top.


          13. MaryinColorado | | #11

            I keep Rose, the Designer 1, and Huskylock 936 serger set up all the time.  The Singer is in the garage, lonely & neglected, until my son decides to take it home "some day".  I know when I first buy a machine, I feel "spoiled rotten"!  It's such an exciting time, like looking through the toy catalogs as a child, trying to make a "Christmas list".  Enloy and savour the journey!  hugs, Mary

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