$2000 to Spend .. Bernina/Janome/WHAT??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 10-04-2006, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have $2000 to spend on a sewing machine and/or serger. I am a beginning quilter and LOVE it... I would also like to get into garment sewing. I have a very cheap serger that I have not figured out yet and my sewing machine is a singer school machine (not vintage - new). It does the job but I'd like to get something really nice.

I know Berninas and Janomes are good machines from what I've heard. But I have no clue as to what model I should look into. The quilt shop has a Bernina (used) sale this weekend that I wanted to go to. Any suggestions? Would you go and buy a cheaper machine and a serger (any suggestions on sergers?) or just a really nice quilting machine?

Any advice is truly appreciated.
I'm so excited.

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#2 of 17 Old 10-04-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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I have a Singer Quantam 9940 and I LOVE it. I have a quilt making business and this thing is a joy to work on - it has lots of different feet to make different jobs easier, special quilting stitches, many decorative stitches (great for crazy quilts!), an extended table for bearing the weight while machine quilting.......

Something I like about Singer is that it has been around for a long time and is very reliable. Other machines are good too, but I have heard that if your machine is 10 years old and you need a replacement part newer companies may no longer carry them as they are "old." Singer can still provide parts for our grandmother's machines - they are in it for the long-haul.

If you look around, I am sure you could buy a really nice quilting machine and a serger with $2000. Embroidery machines are very pricy, but there is a good selection of quilting machines out there.

Have fun and let us know what you get!
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#3 of 17 Old 10-04-2006, 03:47 PM
 
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I have a Janome 9000 & absolutely LOVE it! It is a great machine for sewing, quilting, & embroidery. it works great on thick fabrics. I've been told that Janome is like the "John Deere" of machines.
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#4 of 17 Old 10-04-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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Most of the serious quilters that I know own Berninas. The straight stitch quality with a Bernina is fantastic, and Bernina has identified the quilters as a group that they want to woo. Berninas last forever too, they are a very high quality company.

You can make good quilts and garments on most machines, however. Bernina, Husqvarna, Pfaff, Janome, are all good names with solid reputations. I think you need to take the time to test drive a lot of different brands and figure out what features you really want and what brands fit you best. And take your time if you can.

Do you want to be able to do embroidery? What about machine quilting - maybe consider a long arm. Or free motion quilting, one of the major brands, I forget which, came out with a machine that has features specifically to enhance free motion quilting. It looks really cool. Even the little things, like auto-threading, needle up/down, thread snips, multiple needle positions, or the size of the foot pedal can make a big difference in how much you like your machine.

For garment sewing, a serger is nice, no question. Again, I would test drive machines. See how easy they are to thread, to convert to a rolled hem, to adjust the tension. You can buy a nice serger for $500 or less IMO. More than that gets you auto-tensioning and/or auto-threading. If a machine that is more automated helps you sew more, better and faster, maybe it is a better buy for you.

There is a website on sewing, Pattern Review that has pages and pages of machine reviews posted by sewing machine owners. I think it is super helpful in figuring out what machines are popular and whether a particular model is likely to be a lemon.

Good luck! How lucky you are, to be shopping for a new machine!
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#5 of 17 Old 10-04-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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This spring I got a Bernina Artista 180E on ebay, and I LOVE it. I sew garments, quilts, diapers, slings, bags... It has many decorative stitches for quilting, can easily sew through denim and leather ( although I haven't tried leather) and it embroiders. I paid just under $1700.00 for it.
I have a White Superlock 200ATS serger that is my workhorse. I know some poeple don't have good luck with those, but mine's given me no problems.
Have fun finding your new machine(s)!
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#6 of 17 Old 10-05-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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I'm a Bernina lover through and through. I had a pfaff sewing machine that gave me nothing but fits, then I traded it in on my new to me bernina. it had been used for less than 6mos. by the previous owner when she traded it in to upgrade to a fancier bernina. I am head over heels in love with my new machine. It's the virtuosa 153. It's a solid workhorse machine. Great stitch quality and goes through anything. I've made heavily interfaced diaper bags, slings, diapers, garments etc. on it with nothing but beautiful results! The stitches are even, it's easy to use and is very solid. Our dealer is great too, offers classes and has a repair guy on site.

I do have a Pfaff serger though and it rocks my world. Very heavy duty workhorse machine that goes through layers and layers like butter. It has a lot more bells and whistles than I really need at this point, but I kind of like that I can grow into it as I sew more.

Have fun shopping!

Jesse, wife to DH , mama to DD 13, DS 11, DS 8, DD 6, DS 3 & bean EDD 12/18/13
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#7 of 17 Old 10-05-2006, 05:54 PM
 
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I have a Bernina Virtuosa 160 I bought in 1999. I love the thing! I own a costume business, and also make custom wedding gowns. I have yet to find something it won't sew. I love that I can download various stiches from the internet right on to it.

I agree with Kari_mom, test drive a bunch, then pick!

Kristina; wife to Max, Mom to Tristan (17) and Zackariah (7) and Lillian (5)
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#8 of 17 Old 10-05-2006, 06:03 PM
 
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Another Bernina lover here . I have the 180 E and my mil just gave her 180 E to one of her daughters and bought the 200E, wow it is cool, wish I could justify trading mine in one one . My mom bought a used 180 2 years ago and she really likes it too. My MIL's first Bernina (from the 80s is still going strong, she often lets dd#1 use it at her house. I have made many quilts, diapers, clothes, just about anything you can on my Bernina and never had a problem, it is a real workhorse.

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#9 of 17 Old 10-06-2006, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much Ladies - I went to our local shop last night and I'm going to buy the Bernina 880DL Serger and then I can choose from a used but great condition Virtuosa 153QE or a new Activa 240 - they are both the same price $1299 and from my understanding the only difference is that the Virtuosa is a big machine with more room for free motion quilting while the Activa is compact. Do any of you know which would be the best option? If I'm spending the 1299 I'm thinking its best to get a new maching but I have not yet begun free motion so don't want to regret not having more room...

HELP! SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!

xxoxoxo

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#10 of 17 Old 10-06-2006, 01:22 PM
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I have had a Bernina 910 (i know, not what you're getting) for over 15 years (my first sewing machine) and LOVE it! If the sad day ever comes that I'll have to replace it, I was considering the artista.

I did though want to say that I have the 880 DL serger, and while the serging works just fine, I don't like its "handle." Kind of like the difference between driving an luxury vs. cheap car. Also, I've found that I have to thread over and over until the machine finally, after some inexplicable signal, "remembers" then threads and "gets it." I'm so busy, that I haven't pursued trading up, but if I could do it over, I would have bought one with the automatic threader option.

Hopefully you'll love your local Bernina dealer. Mine has all kinds of classes, sewing/quilting bees, activities, Bernina club, etc.
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#11 of 17 Old 10-06-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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I know you're pretty set on the machines you mentioned, but I was wondering if you considered any others? I have a pfaff serger that is just awesome. It's heavy as sin, will sew through anything and has helped this serging novice serge like a pro! I also have a brother sewing machine that is the same as the Babylock espire/decorators choice machine. It's GREAT! It's way more machine that I'll probably ever need, but was a great value and I would recommend it to anyone. I'm a big fan of trying lots of stuff before you settle. I was sure I'd get a viking or a bernina when I was looking, but test driving changed my mind.

Sabrina , mom to 4 fab kids!

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#12 of 17 Old 10-07-2006, 03:58 PM
 
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If you're mostly going to be quilting, you might want to think about a longarm machine - makes it SO much easier to quilt bedside quilts.
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#13 of 17 Old 11-07-2006, 10:51 AM
 
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I have the Viking 1+ sewing /embroidery machineby Husqvarna I bought used online several years ago. It came with all the software for $1500. I didnt realize how good a bargain this was going to trun out to be. I soon learned to use the digitizing software and now have a home based business digitizing my own designs for embroidery machines.
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#14 of 17 Old 11-15-2006, 06:28 AM
 
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I have a Husquavarna (same as Viking) and I bought it about 30 years ago and it still works like a dream. They make great chainsaws too!
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#15 of 17 Old 11-15-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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I'd get the 153QE. My mom has that machine and it is very nice.
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#16 of 17 Old 11-16-2006, 09:29 PM
 
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I love janome!!!!! My fav!!!! Good luck.
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#17 of 17 Old 11-18-2006, 12:56 AM
 
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I have five machines...
Vikings(designer SE) are by far the best when spending more than your budget. I have two Janome's and I swear by them. I even got the man to sew his pants the other day and he loves it! He said, "if i knew a machine would be this easy I would have tried much soon"

If you really want to spend $2000 go ahead and get the top of the line Janome, but I personnaly LOVE the Janome Memory Craft machines. I'd go for the Janome Memory Craft 11000, but I'm not sure what the price is. I use the Janome MC9500 and have the 5 lbs portable one.

www.allbrands.com-they also have stores- is a very good source to buy from.
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