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lym95

embroidery machine

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I am looking for a user friendly embroidery machine, one that I can quickly make a quilt label, monogram towels, etc, and perhaps embroider grandkids name and such.

I have a Bernina Artista 165. (my wonderful hubby did research and spent a big chunk and bought as a surprise for me........I had no input......lovely idea, but he is not a sewer and had no clue!) It is not very user friendly (or else I am dumb as a rock). Every time I use it, I spend hours trying to get it to perform my task. (more frequent use might be a key here). A local store says that I should look at Baby lock. What are your favorites and why?


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Marjorie, My first machine was a little Brother that I bought off HSN--very user friendly, but to small, so after one project bought a slightly bigger one, also off HSN, Singer futura, not quite as user friendly, but sure had more options, Kept that one for a few years and now am on my 3rd machine, again a Singer Futura similar to the 2nd one, but many more options. Just found some real fun things I can do with it, like Hyperfont, cross stitch, photo stitch, monograms. Am having so much fun with it, I have a friend who has Brother Innovis, but she sure paid a whole lot more money for hers than I did miine. You can also go to youtube, and it has demos of some of the machines. I have learned alot by watching those videos. Embroidery is so much fun. the options are endless!!!

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I have a Janome 350E (embroidery only) and it works great for me. It's very user friendly which is good because I use it sporadically. I didn't want to have something so complex that each time I needed to use it I would have to start re-learn all over again. ;)

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Guest Linda S

Marjorie - I bought a Brother PE 780D a few years ago. Very, very user friendly, and the best part is, you can use it with a USB drive, so you can buy patterns just about anywhere and use them in the machine. I also have Embird software, which helps me edit designs and write words for labels. It's not real fancy, but it works very well.

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I am so glad you brought up this topic as I am also researching the machines. While I love the newest ones, they are out of my price range---so once I decide what I want--I will watch sales... and re-sales. Hope others continue to respond.


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I have a Brother Embroidery Machine and it works like a charm. Babylock works mostly the same way as they are basically the same company. I have never had a problem figuring it out with either my Brother or Babylock. You can find some really good deals on pre-owned machines but always ask the stitch count as some folks wear them out!!! Good luck.


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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I have a Bernina 180 and a 200. I love them both. They are really user friendly. I do a lot of embroidery. The embroidery is really nice on both. The 200 is a lot faster than the 180, but they both stitch out beautifully. I can do monogram, labels and names they both have a large choice of fonts, along with endless designs. I can buy designs on line, save them to a CD and load them right into my embroidery unit. These machines may be available used through a Bernina dealer. My dealer handles used machines and they are covered by a warranty.

I also have the a Disney and a Snoopy Brother machines, embroidery only. These both stitch out beautifully. They don't have quite the stitch quality as the Berninas, but are definately more affordable. They are in the 5 to 6 hundred dollar range. These are especially nice if you only need them to embroidery. They can be used for names and monograms, I am not sure they can be programed to do a full label. They both have really cute designs loaded in the machine and more design cards can be purched so you are not limited to Disney or Snoopy.


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Just a word of caution while looking at used machines...as a former embroidery instructor I found that the older embroidery machines worked great--until a person no longer has the older embroidery cards or older style computers. As technology advances these machines become obsolete. If you are looking at an older system that needs the "cards" rather than a cd or usb be careful. It may be hard to find new designs in the "card" format. Many that can connect directly to a computer may do so with the old pin-port cable that many new computers do not even have a port/jack for. Many of these older machines are now used exclusively for piecing as they are still awesome sewing machines!! (only the embroidery part becomes obsolete)

There are card reader/writer boxes available but again you need to make sure that the one that may come with your machine can be hooked to your current computer system. A new card writer can add a bit of $$ to the overall cost of the machine.

There are some fantastic used machines out there just waiting for someone to use them...just don't want to see anyone surprised/disappointed after purchasing one.


Lucy Drinkall

o2b Quilting, LLC
APQS sales/rental and custom quilting

1025 Industrial Drive, Suite A
Spring Valley, MN 55975
www.o2bquilting.com
lucy@acegroup.cc

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I agree with Lucy. I have a Bernina 180 and although I have many cards for this machine, I was frustrated that I could not get the newer designs. The Magic Box I have would no longer work with the newer computer formats, Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7. So, I purchased the Bernina Deco Embroidery machine. It will use the cards that I have and also will use the USB designs. Now I can get the newer designs, load them on USB and use them in my machine. This machine only embroiders and has a wonderful stitch plus it is quite user friendly.

I would recommend getting a machine that has USB or CD capabilities as you will not be limited in your designs.


Laura

my.doterra.com/naturespoweroils

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Great catch Lucy. You are correct about the older machines.

I have always been a fan of Brother for embroidery. The machines are easy to use and the PES formats are available.

I have an embroidery business, I have two 6 needle and one 10 needle machines. I worked my way up to these machines. I recommend that you get a machine that doesn't require the embroidery cards, they are very expensive and you usually get a lot of designs that you will never use. Get a machine that hooks up to a computer, there are tons of free designs on the net and good sites with reasonable designs. Try browsing through all the quilt labels www.emblibrary.com has! They also have lots of great sales. Most Brother machines also come with Disney designs and when a new cartoon comes out Brother has the license to develope others.


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


sewsweetgator@aol.com
http://www.yoursite.com
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I have an older Brother 2003D and it takes cards and the old 3.5 disk. What I do to combat that is that I bought a 3.5 drive and plug it into my computer. Then I transfer whatever I want from the disk or online to the 3.5 disk and off I go. The only drawback is my old make-your-own-stuff- software that cost out the yanger no longer works on my new computer!!!:mad::o:(:(:mad:


Just Sew Simple Sylvia Blissett APQS Freedom '09 "Stitch" Circle Lord 2010 “"Until one has loved an animal, Part of their soul remains unawakened.”

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Marci, I've been paying for a site for over a year but haven't gone live yet. Time just isn't on my side, especially since my full time day job is Emergeny Management. Did you have a question?


Connie
Port Huron, MI   48060
APQS Sales Rep and Educator
Millennium with Intelliquilter (IQ)

"Be a good listener, your ears will never get you in trouble" Frank Tygr


sewsweetgator@aol.com
http://www.yoursite.com
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Marjorie: I think that the Janome E350 is probably the best bet for what you want to do. It is a dedicated embroidery machine. It does not sew. as a result it is quite user friendly. It does not have a really large embroidery area, but it's size is probably just fine for what you want to do. I've had experience with a Viking Designer SE, a Brother ULT 2, and a Happy Voyager. Both the Viking and the Brother are combo sew/embroidery machines, and the Happy is a 12 needle single head commercial machine.

We virtually never use the Viking or the Brother to sew with. They are exclusively used for embroidery. In my opinion, they would be better if they were dedicated embroidery machines. They both embroider fine, but could be simpler and more compact if they were embroider only machines.

I'm not sure what a new Janome E350 sells for, but I don't think it is too much more than what I paid for the used Brother a year ago ($1000) The comments about the "cards" for the older machines is correct. The Brother uses a card, or a floppy. The cards are expensive. The Viking is a newer machine and has UBS capabilities, so it's not so much of a problem. The Janome has UBS capabilities as well. We are in an embroidery group, and several of the ladies in the group have Janome's and are very happy with them. Now if you want a fast machine with a large embroidery area the commercial machines fit the bill, but they're a whole different story.

You might be able to find a used Janome E350, and that's something to consider. You might consider the E350's for runner, the E300, but a lot of folks feel they are too slow. Unless you don't mind spending a lot of time learning the ins and outs of the machine, you're probably better off with the new one (it took us about 9 months to master the Brother which is by the way, a really good machine). With the new machine the dealer can teach you how to use it.

These are my thoughts after having considerable experience in this area. Good hunting. Jim

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