piecrust

Non-computerized, basic sewing machine advice

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The sewing machine I use for piecing has caught on fire, for the second time. It is a Bernina with all the embroidery software and cost way too much for what I use it for. Looking back, I shouldn't have made the purchase. Now I am out of commission for at least three weeks, if it can be repaired. My previous machine was a Kenmore and I used that one for over 20 years, until the plastic gears disintegrated and could not be repaired.

So, my question to you is........Has anyone recently purchased a non-computerized sewing machine? If so, what did you purchase and what features were you looking for?

Thanks-

Vickie

www.vickiequilts.blogspot.com

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Vickie:

 

I think you will be hard pressed to find a new machine that is not computerized.  I have an old Kenmore, my first machine some 40 years old, but after getting my Brother it only gets used for sewing very thick material such as seat covers and the like.  I went with the Brother purely because of the dealer in my area.  I knew I would need support, and the owners are great folks.  The other local dealers always seemed to want to sell me more than I wanted to buy at the time.  While the Brother dealer allowed me to use my old Kenmore for all the classes I took.  They even let me use their embroider attachments to their different machines when I wanted to do some embroidery for my quilts.  It took them time and patience, but when I finally came around to purchasing a new sewing/embroidery machine you can guess who I got it from.  I am more than happy with my Brother.  Mine was a floor model, so I got a great discount.  I am sure I do not use the machine to its full capabilities; I am still waiting for the statue to just come out of the stone, but I like what I do use.  Plus, I like to be able to embroider my quilts and quilt name tags.  

 

The local Bernina dealer almost nobody in my guild who ownes a Bernina goes to.  They all drive some 60 miles each way to go to the dealer that is more friendly, and helpful.  Even then, three ladies I know well all have a sheet of paper on their machines with their stitch counts.  They oil certain areas themselves every few thousand stitches, and at a certain higher stitch numbers, they all take their machines in for dealer service.  Seems like a lot of tracking to me.  I have enough issues keeping track of my tension settings for my Brother and George to get my stitches nice, without that headache.  Ducking now for the satisfied Bernina owners, and the ticked off Brother owners throwing shoes.

 

As you trust APQS, find someone in your area that you trust and get something from them.  Do not be afraid to ask to go in and use the machine.  Bring all your piecing, and put a quilt top together.  If they do not want you in the store, or will not let you sew your heart out, go somewhere else.  Your 20 to 30 thousand stitches should not hurt one of the new age machines in the least, nor void its "new" warranty.

 

Best of luck finding a machine you like.  

 

Cagey 


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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A few years ago I bought my young granddaughters a singer and a white. The they were both oknow machines just ok. I have two elna machines one non computerized and one embroidery combination. If I had to buy a non computerized machine email today I would look at three, Elna, Janome and Juki.Janome makes Elna now I believe. I bet someone has one you can borrow until you can decide. Where are you located in would certainly loan you one.


Judy Day

Love My Georgia  (aka George)

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Vickie

 

How in the world is your Bernina catching fire?  That could be so dangerous.  I've had my Bernina since 2001 with no problems but whether a Bernina or some other brand there has to be a reason for it to catch fire....especially since it's caught fire twice.  Something tells me it wasn't fixed correctly the first time...but I don't know the whole story so could be totally wrong with that conclusion but I'm just curious?

 

Hope you end up with a great machine.

 

David


David

 

 

 

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Vickie:

 

If it caught fire twice, I believe it needs to be reported to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission; http://www.cpsc.gov

 

On the right side of the page below "News Room" is the link to report an unsafe product.  I would immediately report the two fires.  After reporting it, I would print out a copy of the report.  I would then report to Bernina USA how you purchased the item, had it catch fire, had it repaired, and then had it catch fire a second time.  Be sure to include a copy of the CPSC report.  Then explain how disappointed you are with your Bernina sewing machine.  Ask them for a brand new replacement.  You may be surprised what Bernina can deliver.  They will probably want your machine.  For this reason, I would not take it back to the local dealer yet.  They may have screwed up the repair, and if they repair it a second time, Bernina USA cannot tell what is truly wrong with the machine.  It could be a major safety hazard for all those particular models, or it could be just with your machine.  If Bernina USA does not make it right, report it here, and on your other sewing/quilting websites.  Companies do not like bad publicity.

 

Heck tweet about it.  Not sure if Bernina has a person monitoring their tweets, but they probably do, and will more than likely jump on it quickly to repair the bad image of the company.  My company tells me for every single bad letter they get, they know that 10  dis-satisfied customers go unreported.  They try to fix the reports as best they can, because for every bad event they can turn good they know 20 to 30 people hear about it through the initial person who complained.  How many people have you influenced about Bernina just from this single post?  29 views have already been made of it.

 

Be truthful, firm, and tell Bernina exactly how you want them to rectify the situation.  

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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Some folks like to get one of the older vintage machines with just a straight stitch for piecing....like a Singer 301 or 404.  ....I am too used to my needle threader and up down settings to go that far back.   And my computerized Bernina 630 is doing just fine....but as a computerized machine, it is an old model now and no longer in production.....Lin

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Vickie, both Brother and Baby Lock make a non-computerized, non-embroidery sewing machine. Here is a link to one that is a Baby Lock … http://babylock.com/sewing/jane-bl510a/

 

Here is the link to the Brother machine … http://www.brother-usa.com/Homesewing/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=DZ1500F#.VjU9IUslvBI The Brother machine is a straight stitch only (and I believe the Baby Lock is the same).  I have a Brother that looks just like this but mine is about 15 years old. I love mine. It is extremely reliable, fast, makes great stitches, has lots of room in the throat area. 

 

Also, on the websites for both Brother and Baby Lock, they show several non-computerized sewing machines. Take a look and then look for a local dealer.


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

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A Singer Featherweight is a good backup machine. Simple and beautiful stitches (because it only straight stitches). I use mine all the time and really enjoy sewing on it.


Judy Day

Love My Georgia  (aka George)

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A Singer Featherweight is a good backup machine. Simple and beautiful stitches (because it only straight stitches). I use mine all the time and really enjoy sewing on it.

I have my mother's I love it as a backup and carry to many meetings excellent machine


Judy Day

Love My Georgia  (aka George)

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The first fire was associated with the LED lighting unit. While I was sewing, there was a "pop" and I watched the flame shoot out of the broken light housing. The dealer told me that happens when there is a crack in the glass ... $400 repair. I have yet to find out what the problem is this time, I'm still waiting for the phone call. I had never thought about reporting it to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Maybe I should send them a picture of the scorch mark on the housing above the lighting unit.

I'm considering a Janomi. One of the quilt shops a little out of my normal range is a dealer and I like the ladies that work there. I don't have to make a decision any time soon, I've confiscated a very old Kenmore from my sister.

Thanks for all the information.

Vickie 

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Piecrust:  If you're going to only use your machine for piecing (as opposed to garment fabrication) get a vintage Singer 301, have it serviced and never look back.  No electronics, no plastic gears, no belts.  Lots of harp room, an extended base, and great portability.  These machines are rotary bobbin system (just like all the long arms) machines, straight stitch only, powerful, lightweight and portable.  With an occasional drop of oil, they will certainly out live you.  Our quilting group use either the 301's or Featherweights exclusively.   Really well engineered and manufactured to specs you won't find anywhere today.  A real tribute to American manufacturing.  Jim  BTW, they are also quite inexpensive.

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Vickie:

 

Was the LED light that first caught fire factory equipment from Bernina?  If so, I find it hard to understand how a low voltage LED could catch fire unless it was manufactured wrong.  I would be contacting Bernina USA.  They need to know about this type of failure.  

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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I have a janome 3160QDC.  It is not a top of the line machine by any means, but it has more bells and whistles on it than I will ever use.  I quilt and sew and it is wonderful.  Still has more options than I would need.  My mother also has a Janome 6500P.  She purchased it before we purchased the long arm.  It really has more features than we could ever use (because no more pushing through a little sewing machine to quilt anymore).  I still have my grandmothers sewing machine that she bought at sears in 1971.  I use it sometimes when I am making a sentimental quilt because I made it off her machine.  It has a lifetime warranty.  I still have the reciept cause my grandfather and grandmother were pack rats.  I wonder when it dies if Sears will honor the lifetime warranty.  LOL  I don't think you could go wrong with a janome (but that is just my opinion).  I used to never sew off anything by my old Kenmore.....until I learned of needle up and down, tacking feature, and the wonderful thread cutting feature.  AMAZING time savings with these features.

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I am going to sell some more of my vintage Singers if anyone is interested. A 301A, 401A, two unrestored 1934 Featherweights and a 1956 Featherweight 222K (freearm!). All are good sewers. 2guyzquilting@gmail.com Jim

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A Singer Featherweight is a good backup machine. Simple and beautiful stitches (because it only straight stitches). I use mine all the time and really enjoy sewing on it.

You can't beat a featherweight for beautiful stitches! There is a reason people continue to buy them. I have 4. Gave one to each of my girls and my husband and I each have one. 


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I'd still be yelling bloody bills!  were that my machine, I'd not pay a cent to have it repaired.   Their faulty led light. connection does NOt EQUAL  $400.00 in my book were it any machine out there.

 

I'm sorry, it just wreaks of "get 'em to pay and slide the blame off onto someone else". 

Was the second fire  in the same general area?

 

This truly is the first time I've heard of a sewing machine catching fire, and I'm past the 3/4 century mark.

 

Yes, do report to everyone, Bernina, consumer goods, etc.

 

Good Luck!

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