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SandraC

What's your favourite DSM?

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I would love to look into getting a new sewing machine sometime this year and am looking for suggestions. I don't really want a computerized one.

I would like certain things, though...

1/4" foot, open-toe foot, needle-up/needle-down.

I'm not interested in machine quilting with a DSM.

Just thought I'd get some great suggestions from everyone...maybe there is a feature I'm not even thinking of???

thanks in advance :)


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APQS Liberty

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Hi Sandra,

I love my Bernina Virtuoso 153 - it's the Alex Anderson model. Let me say first that it is a metal body so it is not a lightweight.

It has 23 or so stitches plus the ability to design your own.

It has needle up/down which I use every time I turn it on. the needle can be raised/lowered using the heel of the foot pedal. The foot pedal control is a separate cord and plugs in the front part of the machine. The cord winds up on the bottom for easy storage.

There is a kneelift arm that enables you to lift the foot without using your hands. Like a 3rd hand :D

It seems to have endless stitch length adjustments.

I can move the needle to the left or right for additional adjustment.

Mine came with the 1/4" foot (#37), a zigzag foot, a darning foot for freemotion (with feed dogs down) and a quilting foot for straight quilting.

It was pricey when it was new, about $2100. But they are so wonderful to see with, I would consider buying a used one.

I know several people that have Phaff, Elna and Janomes. They all adore their machines, too. One friend has a Juki 98Q and it goes like crazy, very fast but striaght ahead only. It won't even zigzag. You probably need to sit down and sew something, like a block, to see how it feels to you. I have large hands so I wanted something that would not feel cramped for me. he Bernina fit the bill for me.


Linda Card

APQS Chat Member since August 2005

Ramona Quilter Longarm Quilting Service (Retired Dec 2013)
Gammill Optimum Plus (sold to a friend Dec 2013)
Ramona, CA (Moved to Central Texas Sep 2014)

My webshots site: http://community.webshots.com/user/legcard (not active)
Blog site: http://ramona-quilter-big-dream.blogspot.com/ (not updated in months)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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By ruling out a computerized machine, you are really limiting the field the contenders. Not even sure you can get a needle-up/needle-down without computer.... Could of course be wrong, lol. I guess you just need to hit a few stores and see what options are available.

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When I got married nearly 24 years ago my dad owned a Bernina dealership. As a gift he gave me a used Bernina 930 so it's a least 25 years old now, still going strong and has never had any trouble. He services it for me every year or so. When anyone asks him what machine to buy these days, he tells them to find a used 930. It has a metal body and metal parts inside, the entire bobin hook is metal which isn't the case anymore on other machines, even Berninas. After 25 years, these machines are still worth about $600. There must be something said for a machine that can keep that kind of value for that long! I just love my 930...and my dad!

Polly

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Check out the Janome brand at your local dealer (not the fabric store!). They have some models that are priced right (under Bernina and Pfaff) but have some very nice features. I have an older model Gem that I bought for an extra class machine.

Having said that: my favorite machine - Pfaff! Mine is a 2056 and I LOVE IT! It is computerized but has many, many great features and pieces wonderfully. The best feature is the Integrated Dual Feed (built in walking foot).


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Lil' MnM (Millennium)
laurie@finishingtouchesquilts.com
http://www.finishingtouchesquilts.com
 

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I like Linda, too love my Berinia 153...mine isn't the Alex edition, mine is a couple of years older....but has all the things mentioned.

All good quality sewing machine made after 2003 come with needle up and needle down, and are computerized...all have what they call a 1/4 inch foot...some are more acturate than others, and all come with a open toe foot.

Also love my Janome 6500 A great piecer...the newest model of this machine is the 6600 it now has a extra foot that helps push the fabric evenly when piecing....Has tons of built in stitches and alphabets. Then I also have the Janome straight stitch only machine I'm sorry its downstairs and I don't recall the model number, but know its the one that they class as the industrial level not the domestic one this one uses round top needles the other one uses the regular sewing machine needles, but is great for piecing and a great shortarm quilter. Have quilted several baby quilts on it.

Depending on the make and model of a new machine, straight stitch, or one fancy with embroidery availablity, you are going to be looking at $1800 to $8000.

Brother and Babylock both have several great machines. Just remember that they are both made by the same company, they use the same parts and they use the same software if you get the embroidery machines. You won't find them in the same dealership so if you price these machines...just remember it doesn't make any difference which name is on it...look for the price. However if you decide to look at sergers down the road...go with Babylock (better machine), the Brother ones are not the same...the only machine that is made by a different company.


Bonnie Botts

APQS Sales Rep - Certified Service Technician

APQS Millennium 2006---MJ

APQS Millennium 2004---Lucy

405-533-1025 home

518-935-3832 cell

"Absolute rules are about as useless in making quilts as they are in raising children" Carter Houck---1992

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Hi Sandra,

I have Alex Andersons version of the Bernina 153. I couldn't resist buying that model several years ago. I'm told it's now a collectible (has her red signature/quilt blocks). It has some computerized parts, but it's also mechanical somewhat. I'm not sure the 153 series of machines are still available new.

The new Bernina Aurora 440 sort of took it's place in the Bernina series of this model of machines. But, contact your Bernina dealer and take a look at some of their machines, and they may still have some 153's to sell (cheaper too).

What do I love about Bernina machines? First, the "piercing" power they have. The awsome walking foot, and the way their feet are made and attach to the machines. No one does it better in comparison features.

I also have a Janome Gem Platinum 760, less than a year old, that I use for classes and sewing around the house if I feel like not staying in my sewing room. This is a small compact machine, but if I could be perfectly happy with this machine if I didn't already have my Bernina!(honestly, it's that good)

It has just good of "stitch appearance" as the Bernina, and the features Janome put in this "little machine" are unbelievable for the size and price. It does have a smaller arm area. But, it rocks!

Take a good look at both if you can.

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Hi Sandra -

Like Poly above, I love my older Berninas. I have two 830s. The thing I love most about them is they will sew through pretty much anything and mine don't seem to care what thread I use (or even what combination of thread.)

While they are a little on the heavy side as they are all metal, I tote mine everywhere. I doubt I would ever trade them.

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My choice is the Pfaff with the dual feed. I wore out my first machine and got talked into getting a Bernina instead. I bought top of the line with embroidery machine. After 6 months, I gave in and bought another Pfaff. I only use the Bernina for embroidery but when I piece or sew garments or funky fabric, I go back to the pfaff.


www.webshots.com/user/victoriasews

www.Fiberobsessive.blogspot.com

Innova and Intelliquilter

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My favorite machine is my Brother 1500. This is a mechanical machine with only a straight stitch. It does have needle up/down and came with a 1/4" foot, a walking foot, and something else (I don't use anything else so I can't remember - I'd have to go look). It has a larger throat area than most machines. It is a heavy and fast machine and does a beautiful stitch. I have other computerized Brother machines but this is my favorite machine for piecing. I also have a Janome Gem Platinum which I also really like. It is light weight and I take it to classes and when we go to our weekend house during the summer.


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Sue in Phoenix, AZ
Millennium with IntelliQuilter
http://www.flickr.co...aciouscreations

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I think over the last thirty years I've either owned or at least used every machine that is made except a Bernina. My favorites were probably my Pfaff and my Viking that I had in the '80s and '90s. I bought a Baby Lock Ellageo three years ago and gave my Pfaff and Viking to my daughters. Two years ago when I got interested in quilting I bought a Janome 6500 P because it has a longer arm to make it easier to quilt. Well, I quickly discovered that I didn't like quilting on a DSM so bought my Liberty. But, I love that Janome! Its always the Janome that I go to for piecing or for any sewing. Its fast and sews a nice straight seam. I can adjust the length and width of my stitches a millimeter at a time instead of five millimeters at a time. It is heavy so it doesn't vibrate all over the place. I can wind a bobbin without having to unthread the machine if I have a second spool of thread. I keep the Baby Lock for embroidery, but for everything else I use the Janome.

Phyllis Hughes

Oklahoma City

www.myheartlandquilts.com


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Oklahoma City, OK

Millenium

www.myheartlandquilts.com

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I have a brother innovis, babylock elageo and a babylock intrigue. I do some embroidery on the brother (disney designs) and the rest on the elageo. However.... I do all my piecing on the intrigue. It's small, sturdy and lightweight. It's been across the country with me and to Hawaii. It has needle up/needle down, thread cutter, separate bobbin winder (you don't have to unthread the machine, loads of stitches, comes with 7 or 8 feet including a 1/4" foot, and it does embroidery. All for a very low price. I cannot find any through the dealers but I have seen a couple through e-bay for less than $500. I'm looking to buy two for my nieces.

Good luck -- take some blocks with you when you go to test drive your new machine. And by all means, test it with what you most sew -- fabric, threads.


Donna,

Costa Mesa, CA

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I have a brother innovis, babylock elageo and a babylock intrigue. I do some embroidery on the brother (disney designs) and the rest on the elageo. However.... I do all my piecing on the intrigue. It's small, sturdy and lightweight. It's been across the country with me and to Hawaii. It has needle up/needle down, thread cutter, separate bobbin winder (you don't have to unthread the machine, loads of stitches, comes with 7 or 8 feet including a 1/4" foot, and it does embroidery. All for a very low price. I cannot find any through the dealers but I have seen a couple through e-bay for less than $500. I'm looking to buy two for my nieces.

Good luck -- take some blocks with you when you go to test drive your new machine. And by all means, test it with what you most sew -- fabric, threads.


Donna,

Costa Mesa, CA

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I love my Bernina 440. I had always heard that once you sew on a Bernina you can't stand to sew on anything else, so I would never try a Bernina. Than I went to a class and my machine (Singer) was acting up and the instructor let me use her Bernina and the saying was right. I couldn't stand that Singer after that sold it bought my Bernina and have sewn more than I ever have. It is therapy for me, I love the purr of the machine and it will sew anything I ask it to.


Sheryl

Sheryl Hardy

APQS Sales Representative

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Hi,

I have several machines. I love my Berninas. I love the support and training that comes with them as well. I have a 240 (light weight and I take it to classes) and it has what you are looking for in a less expensive model. I just traded my 440 in for a 630 because it has more features that I'm used to on my 200 (my primary embroidery machine). I have a Pfaff 7570 but it just collects dust. I must say, I am a great fan of the Bernina brand. I truly believe that with any (machine) purchase customer service and support has to be one of the top five of selling features. That's why I have my Millie. You can also look at the websites for each machine brand to review the features. Happy hunting.


Auntie Pami

www.auntiepami.com

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I've never owned a Pfaff, but I think they are great (beautiful) machines.

My general opinion on today's top five sewing machine models is that most of them (Pfaff, Bernina, Janome, etc.) are very very close/compatible with eachother in their technology. They've all got their +'s and-'s (as with anything). I can't discount one or the other.

My first machine was a cheapy Singer (basement model) and when I got bit by the quilt bug and started getting serious about quilting, my Singer basement model just wasn't cutting it! In 2001 tried the Bernina 153 Quilter's Ediition and bought it. Shortly after that, I gave that Bernina 153 as a gift to my dear Mother-in-Law, Ingrid, (the one that got me started quilting) and I bought the Bernina 165 so I could do some embroidery, too. I still have that machine and it is a workhorse. I've used it(but not abused it...too much anyway!) and it just keeps going and going like the energizer bunny without problems. I just checked the diagnostics screen and it shows it has over six million stitches on it. It gets the annual maintenance checkup and purrs like a kitten. Maybe some day I'll upgrade but I am super happy with it.


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

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Hay Sandra

I have a new Designer SE on the way as we speak!!! I am away until the end of March but you can come by the house when I get home and we can do coffee and you can try it out. I have no idea how to work it yet but will learn in Nashville next week. Give me a call I have new numbers... home is 519-587-5059 and my cell is 905-869-5059. My cell will not work while I am in Germany from the 14th till the 29th so leave a message with Virginia at the 519 number and I'll see ya when I get home.:):cool:


I Remain Crazy For Longarm Quilting... Or Maybe Just Plain Crazy ...Sue Patten

suepattenquilts@yahoo.ca

www.pattenthatquilt.com

905-869-5059 cell

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Hi Sandra

I'm with Shana she has picked the best of the best, I love my Pfaff 2034 its a great little work horse, I had a Janome 7000 which is a fantastic machine my son has it now for the running repairs he needs done.

I also have a Husqvarna Orchadia 1250 embroidery machine which is a great machine but I don't use it anymore since buying my longarm machine, I think the Bernina machines are the very best of the best, they really take some beating so when I need ;)another machine it will be a Bernina.


Lesley

Blue Lily Quilting

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