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Topic: Quilting machines - what's yours?  (Read 2455 times)
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« on: April 16, 2012 10:47:07 AM »

 So I've been seriously considering upgrading my machine, and soon I hope to have the space to properly quilt (potential new home!). I have a Singer Talent 3323 which is a beaut but as I hope to start a business selling quilts, I need a machine that'll be able to handle the volume of work I'll put into it.
 So I've been looking around and came across a few that seem like they'd do the job, like a Bernina 350 PE, or a Pfaff Grand Quilter but I know nothing of these brands. I'd appreciate if anyone could tell me a little about their machines, maybe with pros and cons. I'm thinking of spending about 1000-1500 but don't let that put you off, I'd still love to hear about your machines!

 For me, embroidery features would be nice, but not as essential as having a larger throat/harp and can handle bulky seams. An extension table would also be nice, but I reckon I'll get one of those nifty sewing tables in my new craft room.

 Thank you!

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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012 02:51:50 PM »

I'm just lurking to see what people say! I've got a regular old Janome that I love but I do see that as I get more into quilting I may want a machine more quilting oriented!

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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012 07:36:16 PM »

My singer is older than 50 years old (but is built like a tank!), so I'm the wrong person to ask. But I've heard people who are seriously into quilting and high production talk about Juki (but now that I think about it, are those long arms?). I've also heard some swear by certain Janome and Bernina models.

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012 10:08:47 AM »

I'm a Viking girl. I use my Quilt Designer 2 almost exclusively. I bought an embroidery machine too but I don't use it to piece with. The more machines, the merrier, right? Smiley

« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012 05:55:52 PM »

Mine are... not inexpensive.

For piecing and small quilting (less than 20"x20"), I have a bernina 440 QE - I'm thrilled with it, even if it is out of time right now with a 6 week wait for a repair. It was about $3500, and had been used at a trade show.  Had I to do it over, I'd get it again - it's been fantastic.

For large quilting, and because I'm a spoiled brat, I have an APQS Millenium. If you're intending to do quilting as a business, I'd go for that - the thing is built like a tank. That being said, unless you are also a spoiled brat, you will likely have to take out some kind of a business loan to get it.
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012 04:24:25 AM »

anaximander, I've been gawping at the APQS Millenium for the last day, it looks incredible! But for $17,400, I'd have to put that on my "if/when I ever win the Lotto" list! I originally wanted the Bernina 440 QE, but the guy in the shop said that's now called the Bernina 550 QE (and costs almost 2,000) so I'm now looking at the 350 instead. How often would you need to oil your Bernina 440?

 KyTriplets, I've never actually seen a Viking machine in person, but they do seem like tanks that sew!

 playswithneedles, I've often heard that Juki do some magnificent machines, especially the industrial ones. I think they do make long arms as well, but I haven't seen many.

"You can have whirlpools in the fabric of existence, because it is a very strange fabric." - Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites)
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012 04:52:23 PM »

I have a Bernina and I love it is the easiest thing to thread and you dont have to worry about it at all. I had a Pfaff before that and I had so many problems with that one. I wanted to throw it out the window some days.
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012 09:00:39 PM »

The best advice is to test drive as many machines as you can before purchase. It's a personal thing like buying a car. Make a list of features that you are looking for in order of preference and bring it with you when you shop.

That being said...I have a Babylock Jane. It's an industrial straight stitch machine. It only does straight stitch and does it well. Great for free motion quilting too. Here's a review I wrote a while back.

If you plan to machine quilt large quantities for other folks I'd look into a long arm machine like anaximander stated so you can get professional results.

« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2012 04:54:17 PM »

I have a Bernina 440QE also, and I'm in love. I just had to oil it, having purchased it last July.
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