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Sewing Machines?

Cymone | Posted in The Archives on

I want to buy a sewing machine but I know absolutely nothing about them. I always see quilt patterns I like but never in the bright colors I like so instead of searching forever I decided to learn how to quilt and make my own. It would be nice to get a machine with computerized embroidery capabilities but it seems that those machine are extremely expensive. I have absolutely no sewing expeirence so I need a machine that is not only easy to operate but easy to learn on.


  1. Gwen_Frazier | | #1


    1. lin_hendrix | | #2

      *Hello Cymone, You should try searching the Gatherings archives on sewing machines. There are many, many posts on this topic.--lin

      1. heather_blair | | #3

        *Come on Gwen Frazier, we all know it is true, but give Cymone some more information like, visiting machine dealers, trying out every machine Cymone can get her/his hands on, etc. Most importantly, give yourself TIME to look and search for THE machine. Even for a beginner, it is important to get the best machine (Bernina) you can afford. They will give you pure sewing pleasure, plus they are easy to operate and most of all reliability is almost certain which is so important so as not to become frustrated even before the pleasure begins.Saying that I have an Elna SU which is a joy to use, so quiet and powerful. I also have a couple of Pfaffs. But the Berninas have features which like needle up/down, built into later models as well as in the foot control and the knee lift which is important especially for quilting. Sooooo, my suggestion. Get a used Bernina, probably a previous Top of the Line (TOL) model, anything like a Bernina 1030, 1090, 1130,1230 or the covetious 1260 should suit your need well. Buy an embroidery machine later or separately, after you have mastered the basics. Have fun searching and trying and I hope you will enjoy your machine whichever you chose.Heather

        1. Chris_B | | #4

          *I have another opinion...Pfaff,Pfaff,Pfaff! Believe it or not,NOT all quilter's use a Bernina.Pfaff has a built-in walking foot that is wonderful!!I have a 7570 that has everything you want,at a not so bad $$.Right now,they are offering software,blank card and embroidery unit with the purchase.Average price on the 7570 right now seems to be around $3000,new!With the anticipation of the soon to be released NEW Pfaff TOL,you might also find a good price on a gently used 7570! Good-luck! Test everything you think you might be interested in and then make up your own mind!

          1. Lee_Knott | | #5

            *Reality check here people.Cymone mentioned that the machines she researched were EXPENSIVE. She only wants to quilt, she doesn't want to pay enormous amounts of money, it's a new hobby for her and she wants something uncomplicated.In a word, stay away from top of the line machines. Too many bells and whistles for you.All you need is a quality straight stitch.I'd suggest going with an older Singer cast-iron model, like the 99.If you want new, the Kenmores aren't too bad. They are made by Janome and are pretty simple. They come with a video to get you started.

          2. D_Hall | | #6

            *My suggestion ==>> Learn how to sew 1st BEFORE you shell out ANY money for a machine! You may find you don't like sewing/quilting after all and we'll then find your expensive machine on eBay or something.Try your local community school or college for basic sewing classes. Offer to help the sewing teacher out at a local high school while you yourself learn.Do you have any local ASG (American Sewing Guild) groups? Check the local fabric stores for info on local quilting groups.I dropped my machine (a very basic Kenmore) off for a tune-up recently and found the dealer teaching some woman how to sew a straight seam.... and she'd just bought some top-of-the-line (translated, several thousand $$$) sewing/embroidery machine. Criminal!Don't get me wrong... there's nothing wrong with spending that kind of money AFTER you've learned how to sew the basics and you want all the bells n' whistles. But make sure you'll enjoy this hobby FIRST.Just one woman's opinion...

          3. Jan_Kerr | | #7

            *You can also inquire at the local fabric shops. Our little store offers beginner quilting classes, and the hours & rates are very reasonable. They also have machines at the store for the students to use. You could be making your basic 9-patch in no time!!

          4. Paula_Strafuss | | #8

            *Since you asked, ELNA ELNA ELNA Heirloom 6005. I have never seen chris b say anything but Pfaff! :)As you can tell, we love our machines. They all fit or fill our needs, and that is what you really need to find...your fit.Paula :D

          5. heather_blair | | #9

            *Yes, poor Cymone! All these opinions!!!But, Lee is partly right....noticed I said only "partly" Lee. Get a good basic machine, but I still maintain that the 2 Bernina features needle up/down in the foot pedal and the knee-control for the presser foot are invaluable for quilting, and these can be had on an older Bernina.Chris, the 7570 is definitely "overkill" here, although I love the dual transport of the Pfaffs, I think for machine quilting (top,batting,bottom) layers the Bernina walking foot does a better job. So Cymone, this is only to confuse you some more!

          6. Paula_Strafuss | | #10

            *Okay, I have a second opinion that will not cost you a fortune. I bought a Janome Jem "Gold" at my Elna/Janome dealer at the first of the week. I am going to be taking a quilting class and did NOT want to haul my Elna. (I am a clutz!)The machine is very basic and good for quilting, has a full size motor. My dealer gave me the machine, the quilter's kit (attachments), AND a carrying case all for $245 (+tax). What a deal! I am also showing my daughter, 6, how to use the machine. Visit the Janome website and look at it or email me if you have any questions.For a first-time sewer, you are not out big bucks and have a traveling machine as well.Paula :D

          7. barb_c | | #11

            *I think a first time sewer needs a good machine too. I remember trying to pick up sewing as a kid on a machine that wasn't worth much. I didn't go back until I was in college and that was because my friend loaned me her Kenmore for the summer.I think the best thing a prospective sewer can do is to buy a good machine -used. That means less money committment and a good machine to stitch on. My first machine was a Bernina Nova which served me well and would continue to serve me, but I recently bought a Bernina 1630 which I also love.I guess people get pretty brand specific (as I am with Bernina) but you can honestly get a very nice machine for little money if you shop around and stick to name brands. I wouldn't pick up a machine in Walmart, nor any of the discount stores but I would check the ads in the paper and even perhaps online or a local shop. Getting a good machine that will straight stitch and zig zag(althought the second is negotiable) is what a starting out sewer needs. You can do this for anywhere from $20 to $400 depending on what you want.Good luck!

          8. heather_blair | | #12

            *Barb I agree with you on getting a good used brand name machine. It does lessen the level of frustration of having to deal firstly, with learning to sew and then with a machine that gives you the "beans". I believe the enthusiasm level goes straight up when your machine performs flawlessly. Paula, I think the portability factor also a good idea.... so here is my idea.....Barb, offer to sell your Nova to Cymone!!! ( just ducked under the desk).Where is Cymone by the way?

          9. barb_c | | #13

            *Heather you are So funny!!!!!!!Seriously I did see a Nova for sale locally (for $225) and tried to talk two friends into buying it to replace their frustrating machines. Well neither friend went for it......... I just hope it found a very nice home because I KNOW it is a wonderful machine. I think people want an inexpensive answer when buying sewing machines and they believe buying a new cheap machine is better than buying a well made machine used. The fact is some of the best Singer sewing machines are 50 plus years old.

          10. Debbie_Kielty | | #14

            *Wanted Kneelift and Extension Table for Bernina Record 930 Sewing Machine. Dealer can get - but quite expensive. Thanks....Debbie

          11. sandra_Bingham | | #15

            *Hi there ---- can anyone help ? Have a Husqvarna Orchidea..... and wondering if I can use other makers' digitizing software - i.e. Bernina's Artista V2. (Have been offered this brand new SW package - but reluctant to load same for fear of crashing my PC)Perhaps I would need a conversion bit of SW ??Be very pleased to hear any info. available.Thanks. e-mail me or post message Sandra B [email protected]

          12. Kevin_Wicker | | #16

            *I was just recently given a somewhat older sewing machine. The brass emblem on side says "De Luxe" with Japan appearing below. The only sign of the manufacter is on the foot-peddle which says "TENNGLAD IND. INC.". If anyone can help me identify this machine, please help. Feel free to email at [email protected]

          13. Karen_Vesk | | #17

            *I have to agree with Ms. Hall... I always say, "it's not the CAR it's the DRIVER." I used to have a rather old, very basic Singer, and did some pretty fine dressmaking on it (with all due modesty). See if you even LIKE sewing before investing - I know a few people who purchased top-of-line machines, and they just sit around gathering dust (the machines, not the owners)... (ok, the owners too ;-)! ).

          14. sandra_Bingham | | #18

            *Another plea for help ----- already have a request posted re Orchidea / Bernina software - BUT whenever I try to 'subscribe' to check for replies I get on screen a Java Script error.Can anyone advise please what I should be doing to read any replies Thanks Sandra B e-mail [email protected]

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