Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Suggestions for what features to look for?

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 22:14 #86731

  • kathyst2
  • kathyst2's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Posts: 871
  • Thank you received: 81
Jan, how fun to be able to go shop for a new machine!

I do a lot of FMQ, i also don't use the thread cutter. It leaves a tail about 3/8 inch long that I have to cut off later.
I don't use the knee lift when FMQ since I dont need to turn the fabric much. When doing a border, I will generally work with the border on the right, quilt down to the next side, then turn the quilt. Since the needle is is in the quilt, it's never a problem. Many people love their knee lift, I think they use it when doing machine applique or sewing seams, with the feed dogs up.

I like having a single hole stitch plate but my janome doesn't have one and it doesn't seem to make a difference for me.

I like having a speed control- I sew and quilt fairly slowly and it's nice to not have the machine take off like a rocket when I hit the pedal!
Also I like having an adjustable presser foot pressure. Sewing seams needs a higher presser foot pressure than FMQ or machine applique. (it's easier to move the fabric under the foot when you're quilting for example).

Check out the feet offered, at the very least the quarter inch foot, the open toe foot and the foot used for FMQ.

Others have said that trying out the machine is so important. Once you decide which features you need, go check out a few machines, really sew and FMQ with them to see how they work for you.

Kathy
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 16:45 #86721

  • drj2athome
  • drj2athome's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Posts: 640
  • Thank you received: 3
Well, I am looking for a machine to piece and quilt with. I like to piece with the machine I have now, but it doesn't quilt that well. I like the needle down. I think when I machine quilt I keep going until I can't control the cloth without repositioning my hands and then I want it to remain with the needle down. But I see when you pivot at a corner you need to lift the presser foot to pivot, so that would be handy to have the knee lift bar. If you were doing a quilting pattern that pivoted a lot the bar would be great. I guess I should look for my knee lift in the basement and get it out. I'll need it for the quilt I'm doing now.

What would a circa 1990 or earlier Bernina go for? I just want zigzag, straight, buttonhole, and applique stitches. I could see buying a new machine for quilting that would do these things. It's just that it seems I'd be paying at least $1000 for a machine. And I paid 900$ for my used Baby Lock Esante ESE2 machine in 2005. I was crazy. It's an embroidery machine and I don't do embroidery. I asked the saleslady if it would quilt and she said it would. It has a lot of fancy stitches and I don't use them. Last year I tried to find an old Bernina and they wanted about 1ooo$ for the ones they had I wasn't sure about what I was doing so I didn't buy one. Thanks Michelle, Norma and Jeanine
1Peter5:7
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 13:32 #86701

The features you may want depend on what you want in a machine.

Are you looking for primarily a machine to quilt on? Or mostly to piece on? Or one that does both well?

For piecing only, you can't beat an old Singer Featherweight. Not a new one, only an old one from prior to 1960 or so. They only do strait stitch, come with a single hole plate, are portable, and are all metal. They sew a perfect stitch and with simple oiling and greasing they will last forever. I have two: 1950 and 1951 and both are wonderful to piece on. You can find them on Ebay for around $400 - $800 or on some of the FW dedicated websites.

Many like Bernina's and Janome's too. They each have great features, including needle up/down and lots of stitches. You really have to test drive them... ergonomics are important too! Most machines come with (or you can buy) a single needle throat plate. It is not mandatory to use one for machine quilting, although if you are having trouble with your stitches or corners of the material being sucked down into the wider hole on a regular plate, it could help.

The knee lift is a wonderful accessory but not a must... but if you get used to using one, you'll swear by it. When you push out with your right knee, against the metal bar, it will lift the presser foot for you. If you are sewing and have your machine set for Needle Down, then when you back off the power pedal to stop the sewing, then push the knee lift, the presser foot goes up without you having to reach back there to lift it manually. It stays up as long as you are pushing the bar. So that makes it very easy to pivot when you are sewing and come to a corner. Esp good for machine applique.

As far as a thread cutter, I personally don't like them. They can leave a little tail that then needs to be hand cut off anyway. Double the work.

Take a look at lots of machines, test drive them, and then make a list of what you like and don't like about each. List the features they have and think about which you love, which are optional and which you do'nt need at all.
Michelle Wyman
Acworth, GA
A1 Elite Longarm with IQ
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 13:16 #86700

  • Zarah
  • Zarah's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Posts: 1526
  • Thank you received: 30
It doesn't. It lifts the presser foot, so you don't have to use your hand. I miss it on the 2 machines I have where it is not a feature. Some machines will hover the presser foot when you use the needle down position

living in Central Denmark
Charlie Brown: The secret is to look fantastic at a distance
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 12:40 #86697

  • drj2athome
  • drj2athome's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Posts: 640
  • Thank you received: 3
Is it true that you need a single stitch throat plate to stabilize your stitches in machine quilting? I have a knee lift but I don't use it. What exactly does it do? That may be a dumb question. I guess I could refer to my manual. My best guess is that it stops the motion.
1Peter5:7
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 12:33 #86696

  • magnus
  • magnus's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Posts: 269
  • Thank you received: 19
I like the half speed mode for some of my machine quilting machine quilting and love the knee lift which keeps my hands free at all times!
Jeanine
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Suggestions for what features to look for? 19 Aug 2012 08:43 #86691

  • drj2athome
  • drj2athome's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Posts: 640
  • Thank you received: 3
I am making a mental list of what I want in a machine. The reason is because it isn't easy to get a good stitch out of my embroidery machine. I am thinking of trading it in. It is old though and I don't know what I can get for it in trade in.

What features do you feel are best for a good quilting machine?

I'm thinking needle down, cutting threads at the end of sewing, single hole throat plate available, largest harp available, not too heavy,good number of stitches per a set amount of time, and I am running out of ideas.


Thanks, Jan
1Peter5:7
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.270 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum