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Help! The only thing I asked for for the holidays was funding for an embroidery machine, so now I need to decide what I want for a machine and I'll hopefully be getting it some time after the hoildays. So I need some suggestions. What brands, models, places to buy, etc. are good? Thanks!!
 

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Ah--this is a slippery slope--you will soon become obsessed. Your cheapest option is one of the small stand-alone machines by Brother or Simplicity. They run from $500-700. You then have to buy some sort of converter box to download designs and transfer them to the machine which I believe runs about $150. The largest area they will embroider is 4" x 4", so if you want to do something bigger, you need software to "split" the design and do it in stages. There are one or two stand-alones which do bigger fields (Janome and Bernina, I believe), but the vast majority of machines are sewing/embroidery combo machines and the sky's the limit in terms of price with these. In my opinion, the best three brands to look for are Viking, Pfaff, and Babylock, and you can find used ones in decent condition at sewing machine dealers (you can also find them on Ebay, but they will likely be more expensive and there's no guarantee what condition they'll be in). My advice would be to figure out what SM dealers are in your area, decide who is the friendliest, and see what used machines they have to offer--they will likely guarantee the work for a decent amount of time. Good luck!
 

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What are your perimeters? How much are you willing to spend?

Your least expensive option are the stand alone type-Embroidery Only. Then you can spend oodles of money.

The other posters are giving very good advice. I have the Husqvarna Designer 1. I figured I would get the best the first time around and not trade up later. My advice would be to buy it from a Sewing Center because they will include lessons, much needed lessons. They can also help you with your needs.

I shopped around and probably tried them all. Personally, if I did not get the Husqvarna Designer I would have gotten a Bernina, Babylock, Pffaf. In that order.

HTH

Nancy
 
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