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TOPIC: Suggestions for what features to look for?

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 21 Aug 2012 01:30 #86786

  • beckyezra
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i have an old bernina, 1230 model. i love the walking foot. the up and down feet dogs (for sawing and quilting), honestly i dont use the embroidery stitches at all. it is little heavy, but i use it most of the time at home. love the knee lift foot, use it all the time. good luck
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 22:17 #86780

  • ajclapp
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Jan, go to Forum Questions and Suggestions - Signatures on The Forum. Margo tells you how to create a signature.
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 21:06 #86777

  • kathyst2
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drj2athome wrote:
Thanks, Kathy. What kind of Janome do you have? My machine has the speed control switch also, which I like as well.

I am quilting a quilt now and found that I didn't stretch the flannel enough on the back. It is all wrinkled. I probably didn't do enough pins. I am stitching in the ditch around square blocks. I am using an open toe applique foot and leaving the feed dogs up. it works better than a walking foot because I can see where I'm going. For straight line quilting I leave the feed dogs up. This is my second larger bed quilt.

Maybe my machine is OK and I just need to learn to FMQ better and just need practice. Should do some smaller projects. Jan

Jan, I have a 6600. It's a real workhorse!

i do agree that practice is no doubt a big part of your solution. I still remember the first quilt I layered and basted- it seemed like it took forever to pin! (I still pin my quilts, by the way). And I felt like the quilt had a life of its own- certainly i wasn't totally in control of it.
Now it feels easier to baste the quilts and to quilt them too. When I'm ditch quilting or straight line quilting, I always use the even feed (walking) foot. the Janome 6600 has an even feed system with an open toe foot which works for me.

sometimes your tools won't do the job and you need new tools- sometimes you can learn as much as you can with your current tools, so you can move up to better ones when you know what you need!

Kathy
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 19:53 #86773

  • drj2athome
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Lorchen, we do have Brother machines and I was told the same people who make Brother make Baby Lock. I don't know if that's true. It would be fun to blind test machines. There were a lot of Janome JEMs at a shop being used by the women in the class I went to recently. It's nice to have a light machine to cart around if you like to do that as I do.
1Peter5:7
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 19:08 #86770

  • drj2athome
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Betty Jo, I am taking out safety pins and have successfully ripped a start down two of the seams. So it looks like it's doable. Still wondering what it would turn out like if I sent it out to a professional to quilt it. Only it doesn't seem right to do that with my son's first quilt. I'm kind of proud I did my daughter's all by myself.
1Peter5:7
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 17:51 #86769

  • Lorchen
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Can you get Brother sewing machines in the US? I checked for a friend what they are like (long story) and I was very impressed.

I would love to be able to 'blind-test' sewing machines in order not to be influenced by brand name reputation.
From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 17:28 #86766

  • Sewdreamy
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drj2athome wrote:
Betty Jo, I may get the stitch ripper or "reverse sewer" out to take out the stitches and baste it all over again. There are 6 rows of stitching 6 feet long. I am afraid I might rip the layers if I try to get my stitches out; not sure what to do yet. Annis, that sounds like a good deal. PS where do you make those signatures?
If you need them, get your magnifier glasses out, put your feet up, turn on a favorite movie or music or audio book, and sit in your favorite chair. Now take Alex Anderson's 4-in-one if you have one, and spend some pleasant time "frogging" (rip-it, rip-it). You'll have a pleasant time and do it more carefully. I can't tell you how much I use my handy-dandy ripper. It's a quilter's best friend. :D :oops: :shock: :lol: Sometimes I have a whole day of frogging. :oops:

"Neglect not the gift that is within you..." -1 Timothy 4:14
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 16:52 #86764

  • drj2athome
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Betty Jo, I may get the stitch ripper or "reverse sewer" out to take out the stitches and baste it all over again. There are 6 rows of stitching 6 feet long. I am afraid I might rip the layers if I try to get my stitches out; not sure what to do yet. Annis, that sounds like a good deal. PS where do you make those signatures?
1Peter5:7
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 15:21 #86759

  • ajclapp
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I bought a Bernina years ago using their no payment, no interest for 2 years (I think) method. Then I made a payment every month and finished paying for it before the time was up. It came with a free serger. I gave the machine to my DD but it is still at my house. She doesn't have time to sew right now. I don't use the serger much but when I did it did a great job. I love Bernina's 1/4" foot. But I still prefer to piece on my Pfaff performance 2054 with dual feed. And I quilt with my Janome 6600. I will give the Bernina another look when I get moved and have a permanent space. Although I think a longarm quilting machine is first on my list.

You mentioned quilting with an open toe applique foot instead of a walking foot. There is an open toe walking foot available for most machines. That's what I use.
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 14:19 #86758

  • Sewdreamy
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Jan, try spray basting your quilt together for your next piece and see how that works for you. Spray the batting and not the fabric and very lightly. Then pin baste around the perimeter of the quilt for added security. This provides a really good basis for machine quilting in a small harp space. Sometimes, I even do BOTH the spray basting and then grid machine basting about three inches apart across the quilt if it's a larger quilt. Also, Bernina has some great sales periodically across the year.

"Neglect not the gift that is within you..." -1 Timothy 4:14
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 13:43 #86757

  • drj2athome
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Thanks, Betty Jo. I found a site online that sells old Berninas. I have a mechanic and I actually used another dealer (because he was backed up on work) to do a maintenance cleaning after some bad thread got stuck in it. I think the other dealer sells Berninas but I'm not sure. I think I'll check for Bernina dealers in my area. I am not sure I should even be thinking about this. If my machine does a good job on the quilts I am working on now, I probably should do nothing now. But you've given me good info on the Berninas that would be nice. Heartnsoulquilts I didn't use enough pins. I stretched the layers out with t pins. It's a shame. I messed up and it's a shame but a learning experience. I guess I got lucky on my last quilt. I have only done 2 before. This is the third. Jan
1Peter5:7
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 13:34 #86756

Jan, you comment that maybe your machine is ok and you just need more PPP... that could be the case! FMQ takes LOTS of practice!! How many quilts have you quilted on your machine? Have you done some tutorials, such as can be found from expert FM quilters like Diane Gaudynski? Her motto is to quilt every day, you will get better! And that is true!!

Basting the layers really well is a key to success too. Flannel esp is so stretchy... did you tape it down to a table or floor before layering and pinning it? Have you tried spray basting? That is another option although that takes some PPP too!

Perhaps as you are investigating machines, you can do more practicing and get more experience. Then after you feel you have FMQ more under your belt, then decide if you need a machine then or not.

FWIW
Michelle Wyman
Acworth, GA
A1 Elite Longarm with IQ
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 10:24 #86749

  • Sewdreamy
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I think the overall stitch quality is really important for any kind of sewing and especially for quilting. So the ability to adjust the bobbin and top tension is important, and whether it can use a walking foot, drop the feed dogs, and work with needle down. Of course, I'm a Bernina fan. I have three. Even their lower end machines seem to meet all these qualifications. I bought a Bernina 350 QE recently, because it is light enough to tote around, seems really solid, and sews like a dream. The only drawback is the throat space. Of course, that's the drawback of any machine that is light enough to tote around. My 830 LE weighs a LOT, but it does have the throat space and quilts like a sit-down mid-arm and it is an expensive machine, though I got a nice deal on mine. You might also consider the Bernina 550 QE, which is a beauty. The main thing is to have a dealer not too far away for whatever machine you buy. But I really recommend the 350 QE...it does everything you really need and does it very well.

"Neglect not the gift that is within you..." -1 Timothy 4:14
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Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 20 Aug 2012 07:51 #86740

  • drj2athome
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Thanks, Kathy. What kind of Janome do you have? My machine has the speed control switch also, which I like as well.

I am quilting a quilt now and found that I didn't stretch the flannel enough on the back. It is all wrinkled. I probably didn't do enough pins. I am stitching in the ditch around square blocks. I am using an open toe applique foot and leaving the feed dogs up. it works better than a walking foot because I can see where I'm going. For straight line quilting I leave the feed dogs up. This is my second larger bed quilt.

Maybe my machine is OK and I just need to learn to FMQ better and just need practice. Should do some smaller projects. Jan
1Peter5:7
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