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I just bought a new Janome Jem 720 to carry to classes. It is light weight, small and packed with lots of options. It was under $500.00 including some extra feet. I really like it.

I have a bernina 153 that is a work horse and I use all the time. I also have a pfaff 2144 which is nice too. I have a little featherweight 221 that I like to use too.

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I'm a Pfaff lover from WAY back! It's the built in even feed foot that I wouldn't be without. I have a 1475 CD (at least 20 years old) and have bought several on E-Bay for my granddaughters. Even the little ones have been successful because of the even feed feature.

BTW, I very rarely need to use pins when piecing because of that foot.

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I have a Bernina 1090, and while I like it and have never had a problem in the 15 years that I've owned it, I DO have to pin a lot, like Darlene mentioned. I have heard some say that Pfaff is best for piecing. That could very well be true. I also have a good friend who swears by piecing with her Juki. I am the kind of person that will be happy with whatever I have, so I'm happy with the Bernina.....however, I would like to try a Pfaff some day.

Jess

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That was the same question I took to our local quilt shop except I was looking for a better DS machine for the quilting process and I now own a millenium ,a longarm had never even crossed my brain but I am happy I did it but I also have an old singer ,201 ,great feed plus quilts fantastic ,and also a feather weight to travel with ,I love the fact that I can sew heavy fabric and then switch to light weight without no hassles of stitch adjustment on both old solid metal singers,I have newer ones with plastic parts and hate em,,I just keep them around for zig-zagging batting together .

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I have two Baby Lock machines and I love them both. They are both 10+ years old and look and run like brand new! I also have an ancient Singer Touch 'n Sew from the 70's that is heavy and a pain in the toosh, but I can't bring myself to get rid of her...she's family! She's dependable and she was my first machine, I've had her longer than my kids, so she stays!

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Bernina hands down. I have a Pfaff and it's a door stop. I collect vintage Berninas and my bro-in law is using my 830 to recover furniture. I have a featherweight (Mom gave it to me) and my Millie, of course. If you are just looking for a basic machine, Bernina's new 300 series are wonderful. You may be able to get a used Activa, I have a 240 and would love to upgrade.

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Gotta say, I love my Pfaff with its dual feed. I rarely pin - only at seams.

My cousin, who pieces up a storm, swears by her Bernina.

Try them all! Use lots of different weight fabrics. What sole me was sewing through 6 different weights of fabric on the Pfaff with the dual feed without a hitch, top and bottom of seam matched every time.

Have fun!

Joanne Flamand

Artistic Quilt Design

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The machine that I use for piecing is the Brother 1500S that I bought during the transition from quilting on a DSM to quilting on my George. It has a 10 inch throat but it ONLY MAKES A STRAIGHT STITCH so it is not a good choice to be your only DSM. What makes it so terrific for piecing is it's pin feed feature. You can choose to use the feed dogs up, down or assisted by a small pin mounted down there below the sewing bed with the feed dogs. It does a fabulous job of pulling fabrics under the needle evenly...even when sewing little triangle tips or when paper piecing. The machine is available for under $700 and is so simple that it is very reliable. Nancy in Tucson

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I wish that the sewing machine companies who have added both the dual feed in some form and the "fabric thickness sensor" would not just offer that two technologies ONLY with the embroidery. That really makes the price jump from around $3000 (or less) to $9000-$12000. I would love to have both technologies without the embroidery. I can see where both are really useful for accurate piecing :fabric thickness sensor for cathedral windows, folded fabric blocks; dual feed for accurate pints etc.

I wonder how many quilters are also embroiderers?

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Carol, I'm not buying a machine right now for exactly the reason you state. I want a SEWING machine without the embroidery but with the new technology. I'm willing to pay for that, but not for the embroidery. I'm actually waiting for Bernina University (June?) where they announce new products. I'm hoping that Bernina will have that SEWING machine w/o the embroidery but with great technology. wait for it ...

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I love, love, my Pfaff's. I have the 2027 & Expressions 4. You can't beat the built in even feed and the special 1/4 foot. Years ago I started out with a Viking which I still love, went to Bernina, and then the 2 Pfaff's. I sew every so often on the Singer Featherweight I also have. I do use all the machines as they all do something different that the other won't do. My cousin bought a Bernina Bernette for class and it was terrible so she took it back and got the Pfaff for classes.

Diana

Mountain Quilter

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