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Hi.  Anyone love their "regular" sewing machine?  I would love to hear your recommendations.  Obviously I don't need it for quilting...use the longarm for that....  but I am upgrading from my mechanical Bernina 1008 which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!  But I want some decorative stitches for applique, an automatic needle threader, knee lift etc.  Some of the fun stuff to make life just a tad easier.  I don't need embroidery functions but won't rule out a machine if it has that.  I have tested out some baby locks and Berninas and they are so much faster and the baby lock so much quieter than what I have.  Any suggestions?  Any brand?  I want to spend the next week or so shopping and testing these at the various dealers in my area.

Thanks so much for your help.

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I have 2 Berninas... 153 & 440.

Love them both.

The 440 has a small embroidery function...I never use it, tho.

I think having good service nearby is as important as the brand.

Whatever brand you choose, be sure there is a competent repairman you can use for tune ups or any problems.


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

http://theonewiththreadsonherclothes.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/megfazio

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I've had them all -- Brother, Baby Lock, Janome, Juki, Pfaff, and Viking.  I kept the Janome because I love that it is a heavy duty work horse of a machine.  The Pfaff was my first machine and it served me well for over 15 years, so I'm keeping that one to give to a niece or future daughter-in-law for sentimental reasons.  I have three Viking machines and I got hooked on them because of the feet and accessories.  Back in the day when not every machine had all the bells and whistles, I saw a Viking with a 1/4" foot with a guide on it.  That was it for me.  I didn't like the Brother or Baby Lock as much, so sold them.  Nothing wrong with either machine.  I just didn't like the automatic threader and a couple other features.  It's really what you get used to.  I hated the Juki, but for the life of me can't remember why now. 

 

My advice is to go to a few local machine dealers in your area and play with the line of machines you would consider buying.  Take your own fabric and your own thread.  The test fabric they use is heavily starched and meant to "sew out perfectly" every time.  It's not like any fabric you would ever run through your machine when you get it home.  If the store won't let  you sit there and sew for 15 - 20 minutes on your own fabric, pick a different store. 

 

Also, look for a store where they will give you lessons on how to use the machine as well as good customer service after the sale.  I teach sewing classes and am always surprised at how many stores are warm and friendly before the sale and drop the customer flat after the customer makes a purchase.  To me, it's worth paying a little more to get the after sale customer service and support. 


Lora.

Lora in California -  Ultimate I with IntelliStitch and IntelliQuilter.  The Thimble Bee http://www.thimblebee.com

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I will second Lem's advice to try out machines at your local dealer.  I thought I wanted a Bernina but at the time that I was buying a new machine, the local dealer was new and the sales people knew less than I did.  I ended up with a Brother because I liked the folks in the dealership.  Also, having convenient, competent repair and service really simplifies my life. I love my Brother but I could have been happy with other machines.

 

Brother and Baby Lock are "sister" machines.  Many models are similar.

 

FWIW, two women at a retreat this summer were having serious, anger-producing, work-reducing problems with the same model of high end Pfaff machine.

 

Finally, the Pattern Review website collects reviews from readers regarding their machines.  My only issue with these is that many are now getting dated since the 2008 (say) model of the machine being reviewed is not the same as the current one.

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And several of the top brands are doing fall specials with 50-60% off and 0% financing on this years models, because the new models are coming or have come out! Yep, I grabbed me a new Janome!   It's a whole lot different than my old Juki!  I couldn't agree more with Lora ... take your own material and thread ...what you would be doing at home and make sure the brand you choose will do everything you want it to. The salesman said 12 layers of denim .... so I brought my 12 layers and wooo-hooooo!  Those memory quilts with lots of blue jeans are a breeze now!


Blessed, Blissed and Gliding with Millie and QP!

www.NoThimbles.com

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Wow.  Really 12 layers of denim?  I am impressed.  I do lots of t shirt quilts which always end up with sweatshirts and jeans for some reason so that would be great.  There are 3 dealers in a convenient area for me... all of them sell Bernina, Janome and Baby Lok.  So, I guess I will decide among the 3.  Thanks for your help everyone.  Any more ideas/suggestions/reviews are greatly appreciated.  I plan on purchasing sometime in the next 2 weeks.

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hi,,,I have two Vikings...both high end but older (SE & D1)....I love both of them....but I use them mainly for embroidery as I have the embroidery arm for them...they do stitch fine however.....I use one of them also for applique as the vikings I have have the automatic lift on the foot....I use my Bernina 630 for most piecing...and my Pfaff passport 2.0 for classes and retreats as it only weighs 13 pounds....Lin

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Check around to see which brand has a great repair person in your area.  A repair guy who can tell you what to do to fix your machine over the phone just by listening to it on a Saturday afternoon when you are trying to finish a baby quilt for a shower on Sunday afternoon is priceless.  I'm a Pfaff gal because I have a guy that has saved my rear doing that more than once.  Pretty much how I chose my APQS too.


Lynne

Quilting in the tractor shop with Lenni and her QZ friend

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Stay away from the new Viking line. My last 2 embroidery machines have been lemons! The designer Diamonds have flaws in them that they can't or won't fix. I have had Vikings for more than 30 years. I would go Bernina or Janome if I didn't own so many Viking extra feet and gadgets!


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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Update:  I went in to dealer yesterday all set to buy a 500 series Bernina but wanted to sew on a few machines first.  Came out w/ a Babylock Melody.  Between that and my Millenium and my Bernina 1008 I feel like I can do all the things I want.  Thanks everyone for your help.

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I have a Babylock Ellageo, 2003 model I think. It has an embroidery attachment that is wonderful, but I also use it for 90% of my regular sewing and piecing. Great machine! Sews beautifully and has been very reliable and trouble free.


1F9DFE34D41A6016711E24CB5113250C.png

2008 Millennium

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