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TOPIC: First sewing machine

25 Mar 2008 01:43 #16098

Judy and Pat, your quilts will be wonderful--both in my favorite fabrics!!!
Last Edit: by Judymc.
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24 Mar 2008 22:23 #16088

Pat, I am doing a Drunkard's path using a variety of Civil War fabrics mostly reds, blues and tans. What is your design? I put mine up on the design wall and am playing with it. My intention was to give it to my son for his kingsized bed. I showed it to him on Easter and told him that some people don't like the drabness of the fabric but since I am a history buff, I chose to do it. He said ," Mom, it doesn't jump out at me." I said fine, I will make it for myself and then will choose a dark blue, a cream, and a burgundy and make him one out of those colors. I think all of the different fabrics turned him off. I am using the book Drunkard's Path, Stepping Beyond by Cheryl Phillips and Karla Schulz p. 56 if you have the book.

Judy in AZ
Last Edit: by jbtaz36.
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24 Mar 2008 21:10 #16087

Ann, I do hope you'll be stopping for a night in Rockport? I'm nibbling away at my stash--right now I'm doing my first ever Drunkard's Path quilt, using 30s repro fabrics. Every now and then I get on a very traditional kick.

Pat in Rockport, TX
Last Edit: by pknord.
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machine Basics 24 Mar 2008 20:52 #16086

what ever else you get --- these are the three things I would be sure to have if you are doing basic piecing and maybe some applique on the machine (it won't be long and you will need to do a little of it even if it is only to attach a label ) I would make sure I had a good adjustable straight stitch, a zig zag, and a buttonhole/blanket stitch. And then a quarter inch foot and if possible a plastic see through one with marks for turning corners.

I used a Kenmore(actually made by White) and sold by Sears which was a wedding gift forty seven years ago. It finally died about eight years ago (and I never had a lesson on it but it was so basic any sewing machine repair person in the world who was any good at all could do its adjustments and annual --lol--- cleaning.

I now have two Vikings and I love them but am having more trouble getting good service because we travel and I found out too late that the service person for the area where I bought the machine is very unreliable. doesn't return phone calls - attached a needle threader and did the adjustments etc but forgot to tighten down the screw so by the time we drove thirty five miles home from his store, it had fallen off. Tried for three weeks to reach him to set up a time to get it fixed AGAIN and no return calls and at the price of gas last summer I wasn't driving seventy miles to find out he wasn't keeping his posted hours.

Moral of the story find out about your service and even if you have to go to a different area to get the machine the warranty service is really important and some other dealers don't want to do warranty work when you have bought the machine some where else. (cant understand that in machines, cars or motorhomes but it seems to be a trend boo hoo )

Good luck on your search and enjoy. It won't be long until you want bigger and better but the workhorse is always good for piecing and if the "good " one has to go to the hospital so I wouldn't worry so much about trade in. ONE SEWING MACHINE GOOD. TWO SEWING MACHINES --BETTER, THREE THE START OF A COLLECTION AND THEN GO READ SOME OF pknord's posts. When you get that many you are obsessed. LOL (love you Pat and then people should see her stash but that is another topic LOL)

Ann who will travel this summer with two Vikings and one dh, (lets see who is the best behaved?)
Last Edit: by snowplow3840.
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24 Mar 2008 19:52 #16083

Thanks for everyones thoughts on this. I have tomorrow off so I am sure I will go and look at machines but will probably spend a little time researching before I pick one out.

Lisa
Last Edit: by ArkansasPT.
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24 Mar 2008 18:43 #16080

Welcome Lisa, you've come to the right place for advice. Everthing that has been said so far has merit and what you get is more than likely to be adequate. My suggestion is to invest in a machine that will include things like needle up and needle down, the ability to drop the feed dogs, speed control, etc. I have a Janome Quilter's Companion that came with a walking foot, a quarter inch foot and some other quilting goodies. This cost about $700 and I've been very happy with it. Gloria
Last Edit: by GloriaH.
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24 Mar 2008 18:30 #16079

Ok, I am opposet of you Nancy 8) I went to Sears to get both my first machine and the one I am using now. My first machine was a very basic model that was very easy to self teach - it served as my only machine for 6 years! When you are just starting out you really don't need a whole lot of bells and whistles, and a basic machine won't confuse you as much. I think that one cost me around $150. I liked Sears because I was able to purchase a service plan, so if anything happens to my machine I can take it back to the store and they will fix it. As my skills improved I decided to upgrade about a year ago to a computerized model - which I paid around $500, and eventually I will upgrade again - how soon depends on finances. I still have machine #1 though and still use it quite often, its portable so I can take it to classes and such and since it is simple I used it to teach my little sister and my girls.
Last Edit: by mandysilk.
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Re: First sewing machine 24 Mar 2008 16:09 #16068

ArkansasPT wrote:
Hi- I am new to quilting and am enjoying it so far. To this point I have hand peiced a top and will go to my LQS to quilt it on a long arm machine (I am in a hurry to see what it is like done- I will figure out hand quilting at some point). I am thinking about getting a sewing machine. I do no other sewing. Any suggestions on where to start? Am I best off with a basic machine until I know what I am doing or with a better machine? Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks

Lisa
Welcome Arkansas!!!!! You need a sewingmachine :wink: What you need to decide on is how much you want to pay for one and what you want it to do for you! The worse that can happen though is you buying a small machine and realize just after a few months that you needed it to be a bit bigger. Why not invest in a machine you can use as a secind machine if you upgrade??? I advise you to get a machine that sews Strait stitches, zigzag and blanket stitches!! I have a Janome MC 6600, but you do not need your first machine to be that big or expencive. I am going to buy Janome Jem Platinum as a second machine...It has all I need for a second and is not heavy so it is ideal to take to classes etc...and it has a 1/4" foot :wink: Its not good for free motion quilting though...but you may not start free motion right away..or you might just do that :shock:
If there is anything you want to ask..just ask..we are a lot of people on here that would be more than happy to help :lol:
Last Edit: by BrinkOfNorway.
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24 Mar 2008 15:52 #16067

Couple of suggestions: don't buy a machine from somewhere like Walmart or Sears where there is no one to help you learn how to use it or with problems. A good idea is to buy one that can be traded in on a better one later. I think Brother does this as does Viking. Be sure and buy from someone who gives you all the free lessons you need to learn all your machine can do.

You will probably be more comfortable with a simpler machine at first; it could be overwhelming to start sewing on one with too many functions and attachments. You do want some options, though, several "feet" including a walking foot and free-motion foot, although you might wait a while to tackle free-motion. Make sure and get a "surround". It's the plexiglass that extends your sewing area. It makes things so much easier.

You might also want to invest in a good chair. It need not cost a ton and you might find one 2nd hand. You'll want to sit with your chair high enough that your forearms are horizontal when sewing.

Good luck in your search and congratulations on taking this next step! You'll be sewing up a storm in no time!

Nancy in Sunny but still cold western NY
Last Edit: by NancyAnn1959.
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24 Mar 2008 15:32 #16063

  • sewengel
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Welcome to our sewing world! Really the first thing you need to decide is what your budget is for the sewing machine. You could fall over at some of the prices. Many, many years ago (35) my mom gave me a Viking for graduation and it lasted ten years, then I went through two Berninas and now I have a Janome 6500. but with my job I really put the peddle to the metal.

Basic is not a bad thing to get used to the process. You could find a very basic machine at reasonable prices, but I would recommend going to a dealer and not necessarily a fabric shop (i.e. Jo-Ann's) because if something goes wrong they just send it away. At a dealer at least he can fix it or give you lessons.

Good luck, let us know what you decide. Sound like you are doing fine with what you are using now.

Sharon in NE Colorado - beautiful blue sky day
Last Edit: by sewengel.
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First sewing machine 24 Mar 2008 13:28 #16062

Hi- I am new to quilting and am enjoying it so far. To this point I have hand peiced a top and will go to my LQS to quilt it on a long arm machine (I am in a hurry to see what it is like done- I will figure out hand quilting at some point). I am thinking about getting a sewing machine. I do no other sewing. Any suggestions on where to start? Am I best off with a basic machine until I know what I am doing or with a better machine? Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks

Lisa
Last Edit: by ArkansasPT.
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