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 Thoughts on a new machine

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jrquilter

jrquilter

Number of posts : 266
Age : 45
Location : Moreno Valley, California
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyMon Nov 23, 2020 7:49 pm

It looks like it has been two years since this topic has been enjoyed, so I'll ask. I am looking to get a new machine and want your opinions (I mean come on, how often does someone really want your opinion?)

My best machine right now is the antique dressmaker that only does straight stitch and has a lever for stitch length/backstitch. It has a 5" space, so quilting is a no go, as is applique or anything but sewing a seam.

My Brother had some bells and whistles I learned to love: needle threader, 1/4" foot, applique stitches, drop the feed dogs, a light. Yes a lamp and a magnet on the machine fix a few of those, but I do want to spoil myself a bit. Personally, I think I deserve it and there is no one who is going to do that for me! But I am reasonable enough to be hesitant about buying things I won't ever use. That is why I need your input.

What bells and whistles do you find awesome, can't do without and which are not worth it?

Is there any brand near and dear to your heart? I have two well-stocked machine stores within a 45 minute drive, plus some other stores with machine displays, so I won't have a problem locating a particular machine. I just need to do a lot of research and then make sure I don't cross a threshold of one of those stores with a weak will.
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Anita M.

Anita M.

Number of posts : 8241
Age : 63
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Nov 24, 2020 8:35 am

I have two Janomes. My good machine is a Skyline 5S. This machine has a binger throat I think it's 11". I love the thread cutter. The lights are very bright, a must for me, although I think most newer ones have good lighting. The needle up/down switch is a must have. It has a few different alphabets and many other fancy stitches. The alphabets are nice for labels. There are later models of this machine much more $$$ and more frills., but this model has lots of bang for the buck, Janomes are easy to navigate also.

http://www.janome.com/en/machines/sewing/skyline--s5/#:~:text=The%20Skyline%20S5%20includes%20the%20features%20to%20take,save%20you%20time%20and%20make%20your%20sewing%20easier.
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jrquilter

jrquilter

Number of posts : 266
Age : 45
Location : Moreno Valley, California
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Nov 24, 2020 1:43 pm

I see that one has a knee lifter and I saw that on another machine. Does anyone find that useful? Since I do free motion quilting I though it would a good feature. I was reading some of the older discussions on applique and some of you were describing how you get more accurate results with your stitches. I wonder if the knee lifter would be a good idea for that too.
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Anita M.

Anita M.

Number of posts : 8241
Age : 63
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Nov 24, 2020 3:38 pm

I have never tried it.
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TxMaryQuilts
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TxMaryQuilts

Number of posts : 14003
Age : 62
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Nov 24, 2020 4:24 pm

The knee lifter for me is like trying to pat my head and rub my tummy. I never could do it in coordination with sewing. I always had to stop and think about what I am doing. So knee lifter is a no go for me. Blanket stitch for applique is a must for me. Thread cutter I can take or leave. Needle down is a must and if I ever get another machine it is going to have a larger throat area. The struggle is real when trying to free motion quilt.

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TxMaryQuilts  

Always in a Texas state of mind.
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redmadder

redmadder

Number of posts : 4208
Age : 67
Location : North Georgia
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyWed Nov 25, 2020 2:29 am

I would look at the sit down quilting machines.

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If you can't be a hero, be an inspiration.
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FiberBabble
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FiberBabble

Number of posts : 2667
Age : 59
Location : SW WA
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyThu Nov 26, 2020 11:14 am

jrquilter wrote:
I see that one has a knee lifter and I saw that on another machine.  Does anyone find that useful?  Since I do free motion quilting I though it would a good feature.  I was reading some of the older discussions on applique and some of you were describing how you get more accurate results with your stitches.  I wonder if the knee lifter would be a good idea for that too.

The knee lifter is pretty much a must-have for me. Between that and the needle-down function, my applique and machine quilting goes sooooo much more smoothly. Too many things to be doing with my hands to have to let go and find a handle to lift the presser foot. Also, the knee lift allows me to just lift the foot a hair so I can reposition my project with both hands.

One thing is a push-in bobbin, not a drop-in. Partly because it's what I've had since my first machine. Maybe also because it's easier to get in there and clean the machine because I have more access to the innards.

An automatic thread cutter might be nice, but I've also noticed that for a lot of people, their machines tend to cut too short and the thread pulls out of the needle often. I'm sure it's different from machine to machine, and of course I only really notice someone's thread cutter when they're swearing about having to re-thread.

If you use any fancy threads, you'll want both upright and horizontal spool pins.

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Perfection is the enemy of progress
Thoughts on a new machine 17CBC032AC6DFBA839502A8EF7636F00
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texasmusicmom

texasmusicmom

Number of posts : 8242
Age : 63
Location : Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Registration date : 2008-09-05

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyFri Nov 27, 2020 3:45 pm

Yes I agree with Tracey.....needle down feature is a must to keep your place on the quilt when you stop. I also have the knee lifter and LOVE LOVE it. My foot pedal also operates the needle down feature...press the heel and it goes down or up. I can set my machine to stop with the needle down all the time and I do that. I have a Bernina quilters edition...it is 15plus years old and still runs beautifully.
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FiberBabble
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FiberBabble

Number of posts : 2667
Age : 59
Location : SW WA
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyMon Nov 30, 2020 8:47 am

texasmusicmom wrote:
Yes I agree with Tracey.....needle down feature is a must to keep your place on the quilt when you stop.  I also have the knee lifter and LOVE LOVE it.  My foot pedal also operates the needle down feature...press the heel and it goes down or up.  I can set my machine to stop with the needle down all the time and I do that.  I have a Bernina quilters edition...it is 15plus years old and still runs beautifully.

Hah! I have the same machine, about the same age!

_________________
Perfection is the enemy of progress
Thoughts on a new machine 17CBC032AC6DFBA839502A8EF7636F00
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Linda 2B

Linda 2B

Number of posts : 5280
Age : 62
Location : Greenville South Carolina
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Dec 01, 2020 9:48 am

Yes needle down is a must and I find the knee lift helpful at times, especially when I'm appliqueing. I have the Bernina 430 limited edition very similar to the quilters edition. I've had it forever! Very reliable.
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texasmusicmom

texasmusicmom

Number of posts : 8242
Age : 63
Location : Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Registration date : 2008-09-05

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyThu Dec 03, 2020 12:31 pm

Yes....mine is the Quilter's Edition 440. I think they are up in the 800s now.
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Linda 2B

Linda 2B

Number of posts : 5280
Age : 62
Location : Greenville South Carolina
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyThu Dec 03, 2020 2:19 pm

TMM Is that $800 or do you mean $8000? The limited 20 years ago cost $2000.
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Anita M.

Anita M.

Number of posts : 8241
Age : 63
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyThu Dec 03, 2020 3:04 pm

I think TMM meant the model number.
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Linda 2B

Linda 2B

Number of posts : 5280
Age : 62
Location : Greenville South Carolina
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyThu Dec 03, 2020 6:32 pm

Oops! Got it! Duh!
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jrquilter

jrquilter

Number of posts : 266
Age : 45
Location : Moreno Valley, California
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyFri Dec 04, 2020 7:10 pm

lol! It was still a valid question, though Linda! They don't put the prices online for a reason lol!

Last Saturday I went to the store that is a half hour away. They were closed for COVID testing. So I stood at the window and looked in for a very long time! I was like the kid at the candy store who doesn't have any money to buy with.

There was a Baby Lock Jazz11 right by the window which is one I was looking at online because of the 12" bed. I now have a deeper appreciation for how big that bed is! I was itching to sit down and admire it.

Oh man, just thinking about it makes me want one!
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texasmusicmom

texasmusicmom

Number of posts : 8242
Age : 63
Location : Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Registration date : 2008-09-05

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptySat Dec 05, 2020 1:05 pm

Haha yes I did mean the model number!
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TxMaryQuilts
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TxMaryQuilts

Number of posts : 14003
Age : 62
Location : Heart of Texas
Registration date : 2008-09-03

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptySat Dec 05, 2020 3:30 pm

I think the Jazz is what helen has. I know she has a really big quilting area on hers!

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TxMaryQuilts  

Always in a Texas state of mind.
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iambuzzysma

iambuzzysma

Number of posts : 2780
Age : 72
Location : Rhinelander, WI
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptySun Dec 06, 2020 10:39 am

Yes, Helen has a Jazz. So did I. I bought a JazzI barely used floor model from our only local quilt shop for $700, 2 yrs ago specifically for the 12 inch throat. I really, really tried to like it. I hated it.

First, it didn't have needle up/down which is a MUST for me. My bad! WHY didn't I realize that before I bought it? What really pissed me off, was that 3 months after I bought it, the local shop introduced the JAZZ II & guess what? The ONLY difference from JAZZ I was needle up/down.
Second, the lever for reverse was way at the far right of the machine. I knew this & thought I could get used to it - NOT! I had to look each time I wanted to use it or else I missed grabbing it.
Third, I just could not control the speed with the foot pedal. Every time I'd start sewing it just took off! I just couldn't get a smooth start or consistent stitches. I knew this was a mechanical machine, not computerized, and I think that was most of my problem. It just wasn't smooth like I was used to.
Fourth,I had to buy new thread for some of my projects. I've always used Gutterman's on my Berninas with no problem. Asked at the quilt store & they said, yes, that's been a problem; had to buy thinner weight threads at $8-10 a spool in a colors I'd probably never use again.
Lastly, the 12 " throat was not a big deal. The height of the throat was the same as most machines so you still had a lot of bunching up to do.
SEW, after a year of frustration, I sold it for $500.

I returned to Bernina & bought a B475 Quilters Edition new on E-Bay for $1200. It is the lowest model that comes with a Stitch Regulator. Not many bells & whistles - it has needle up/down and a knee operated foot up/down, an easy to reach thread cutter button that does 2 securing stitches before it cuts, and a button to secure 2 stitches when you start quilting. I don't use the needle threader (yet) or the manual thread cutter. Took some getting used to using the touch screen but I'm learning.

Now, this is just my experience with the JAZZ & my opinion; could just be ME! I don't know anyone else who has one except Helen.
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jrquilter

jrquilter

Number of posts : 266
Age : 45
Location : Moreno Valley, California
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyMon Dec 14, 2020 9:52 pm

Was the pedal extra sensitive? On my old Brother it had the speed control lever and I got really used to that. It was nice to have a low maximum speed so I didn't have to think too much about my foot pressure.

Why was the Gutterman's a problem? I use that all the time too and don't want to have to buy a ton of new thread if I just bought a bunch.

I appreciate the insight so I can check on these things before I buy!
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iambuzzysma

iambuzzysma

Number of posts : 2780
Age : 72
Location : Rhinelander, WI
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Dec 15, 2020 2:27 pm

Maybe that was the pedal's problem - no control lever. Had a friend try it - did same thing for her.

With Gutterman's the tension was impossible to get right. Lady at the shop said a few other people had problems too. Sold me a spool of Superior thread - it's thinner than Gutermans & it worked fine.
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Gimpy Cat
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Gimpy Cat

Number of posts : 27936
Age : 52
Location : Edge of The World - Tasmania, Australia
Registration date : 2008-09-02

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyFri Dec 18, 2020 12:57 am

Sorry Ive not seen this post before, no idea why, maybe just head spinning and not with it? azn azn

Yes, I have the jazz, Im pretty happy with it. I have never had or used a knee lift so I can't comment on them. The needle down doesnt bother me, actually Im happy not to have it, Ive spent my life with an old Elna that didnt have it, I briefly had a newer Brother and it did and I was forever going to slide stuff out to find it stuck, it drove me nuts so Im the opposite to everyone. Im trained to put the needle down myself and dont think about it. The reverse lever doesnt bother me where it is either. I do love how brightly lit it is, the large deck area and room to move. I guess the throat could be higher, Ive never thought about it.  I find the foot pedal fine, I have it leant against a box under my table so it doesnt slide away but I have no problem with speed adjustment - again, I only had a very old Elna for years so Im not experienced in fancier ones

Thoughts on it -

*The wheel to turn to various stitches is stiff and clunky, takes a bit to get used to but im fine with it
*The needle threader broke very early on, not even sure how or why
* My top thread breaks a lot, I fiddle tension but after reading was Buzzysma said, perhaps it the thread, it does seem to burr up the thread. Ive changed needles often thinking I had a rough needle eye but maybe its not that at all? I will look into it
*I didnt want a computerised fancy machine, I just wanted a simple, mechanical machine. As long as it does a straight stitch & zig zag Im happy. This machine has some simple but pretty stitch designs and does a good blanket stitch

Ive quilted a couple of projects on it and been very happy with how it performed and Ive sewed cotton and jersey fabrics happily too. Ive also done extensive applique work using that clear monofiliment thread. I just wish I had more time to use it - currently its mostly used by Doodlebug the cat who likes to perch laying down on top while keeping me company in here when Im doing other stuff. I cut a hole in my table and sunk mine into it and when working on something bigger I let the ironing board or a folding table beside it to take the extra quilt etc

Thoughts on a new machine IMG-8124quilts

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"My will is mine.....I shall not make it soft for you"  Aeschylus, Agamemnon
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jrquilter

jrquilter

Number of posts : 266
Age : 45
Location : Moreno Valley, California
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptySat Dec 19, 2020 11:15 pm

Thank you for the info, Gimpy. The zigzag and blanket stitches are really the only non-straight ones I need. I've had other types and just don't use them enough. I always felt the needle threader was a cool option, but not necessary. This past year my eyes have changed quite a bit (a fact I resent!) and all of a sudden I can't see the needle hole anymore.

Ditty will be happy to know that it is a cat-approved perch. We were concerned that perhaps it lacked that all important characteristic.
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Gimpy Cat
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Gimpy Cat

Number of posts : 27936
Age : 52
Location : Edge of The World - Tasmania, Australia
Registration date : 2008-09-02

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyMon Dec 21, 2020 2:58 am

I use a black sharpie to mark the needle eyes, I do the same thing with the holes in bobbins so easier to see winking

The machine is a great cat perch, they can even sit on top while you sew like mine do!!

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"My will is mine.....I shall not make it soft for you"  Aeschylus, Agamemnon
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jrquilter

jrquilter

Number of posts : 266
Age : 45
Location : Moreno Valley, California
Registration date : 2008-09-04

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyTue Dec 22, 2020 11:29 pm

Thanks for the tip on the needle eyes. I'll have to try that!
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Jill

Jill

Number of posts : 5816
Age : 72
Location : SE Ohio
Registration date : 2010-11-15

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on a new machine   Thoughts on a new machine EmptyMon Dec 28, 2020 8:48 am

I found a website this morning I thought might be helpful: www.maryjanesandgaloshes.com/best-sewing-machine

I have a Janome 6500 which I've had for about 18 years. It is a workhorse and I love it. It has the knee-lifter which I use all the time.

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