A new machine for me?

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A new machine for me?

New postby lendube on Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:56 pm

Hi gang, Last night laying there in bed with my mind just wandering here and there (luckily no particular worries at the moment ;) ) I had an idea. Why not buy a new very nice sewing only machine and try to preserve my embroidery machine as long as possible? My emb. machine is from about 1995 and saw no action at all until 2004 when it was "really rode hard" almost every day since but I am happy to say never "put away wet". :D It's life expectancy is dwindling and the mother board is what's very likely to go out before too long. They're hard to find and virtually impossible to repair. Now I have to say I never would have gotten an embroidery machine to begin with. It was a terrific deal (long story) and used maybe 3-5 times so I got it. I've invested incredible amounts of time in the very steep learning curve that went along with the very expensive program I got for it and I've become quite knowledgable in the world of embroidery but it's never really been a passion with me. I seldom embroider anything for myself or for gifts I give. I do lots of names for people, logos and lettering jobs but I'm in no way going to pay thousands to buy another embroidery machine when this one fails. And then if I still want to do embroidery for other folks I'll replace it with a competent embroidery machine but not one of the crazy expensive ones.

I've looked at the Viking site and still need to check out the details. After being used to the prices of emb. machines I'm amazed that Viking's top of the line sewing only machine is but a mere $1600.00 (model Sapphire 875) or so compared to the top of the line Viking Designer Diamond embroidery machine at an obscene almost $8000.00 (and that's without the software that you "need" for the total experience - add another cool $1000.00! :shock: ) It's incredible, isn't it?

Now the nicest sewing machine is a Quilting machine and I've yet to check to see what that entails aside from larger harp area and quilt specific stitches I'm guessing. The next one down is the Sapphire 835 and goes for around $900.00. That's a big difference and I'm curious to find out the differences. As everyone here knows ;) , I only dabble in quilting but I do expect that I'll do a bit from time to time. Is a quilt machine that specific that it overrides the needs of a regular sewist? I'll have to research and find some answers.

I'm thinking I'll stick with Viking in the hopes that there will be crossover accessories and notions. I suppose I can find that out too. So, I'll be doing a lot of research in the next coming days and weeks but any input at all is very, very welcome from my dear friends here on this wonderful board. TIA
Lennie

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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby MartySews2 on Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:00 pm

Lennie, I have 3 sewing only machines with different decorative stitches plus my sewing/embroidery machine. I say go for it. A good sewing machine is worth its weight in gold. Some of the newer machines have a larger harp space which makes quilting easier. A friend of mine has the Viking Sapphire & loves it. She's had it for about 6 or 7 years I think. It's a great machine with lots of nice features that makes sewing a joy.
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby Mule on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:02 pm

Why not check out some of the reviews on PR? They can give you some ideas regarding pros and cons, and some insight into what you might find important. You might want to look into some other brands as well. As we've discussed, Viking is very expensive.... I love my Viking serger, but I would look at several brands if I were to get a new sewing machine. You never know what you might find -- I absolutely love my sewing machine, yet I may not have looked at it had I been more into sewing at the time I bought it. I probably would have assumed I needed a Viking or some other expensive brand name.
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby bridesmom on Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:22 pm

I have a brother innovis 4000D which does sewing and embroidery. I have found that although it does both, it doesn't do the best job at either. I think if I did it again, I would buy an embroidery machine and a sewing machine. I talked to one of the Brother sales people and she even said that certain machines are better at one thing than the other. I"m happy I bought the other Brother that just does straight stitch for my quilting and piecing, I think I sew more on it than on any other. I can't wait until I get my old Pfaff back from my MIL. It was a great machine for just sewing, where I find the expensive Brother lacks, the Pfaff is much better.
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby HeyJudee on Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:52 am

If the Viking Sapphire has compatible feet and/or bobbins with your other machine, then that would be ideal. I have a Janome MC6500 which I use almost all the time whether I sew or quilt. But I bought a Kenmore (don't remember the model) which has approx. 50 stitches. The reason I bought it was to have a small machine to take to quilting classes. It's a regular sewing machine (small harp) but all my feet from the 6500 work on the Kenmore and they both use the same bobbins. So when i want to sew on either machine, I don't have to worry about winding a different bobbin, I can just switch from one to the other. I noticed that one of the Sapphires (or maybe both) had a thread cutter. That is a feature that I have on the 6500 and just love it...so I would recommend that feature as it is great for regular sewing as well. Another thought, I don't think a larger harp is just for quilting. I think that feature would be an advantage for regular sewing as you have more space when sewing regular stuff.
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby lendube on Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:54 pm

Thanks, ladies. Beth, you bring up a good point about not being fixated on a Viking and it's interesting that Judy's feet and bobbins are the same for both the Kenmore and Janome. There's actually a Sapphire between those two I mentioned and the price is right in the middle too, about $1000.00. (I'm getting these estimated prices off of Ebay/new machines, btw.) I looked for the Sapphire 875 on Patternreview but there was no review. I'll certainly look for other reviews maybe later today even.

That thread cutting feature sounded nice to me too, Judy. I was really surprised to see how many features this 875 has that I have on my old #1+ though. Shows me what a good machine this was for it's time and still. I like the larger harp for regular sewing. Works for any type of bulky sewing, not just quilts. I guess my big question is what makes a quilting machine a quilting machine??? When I look at the comparison chart on the Viking site it's not really clear. The machines all seem to have a similar amount of what they call quilting stitches. So aside from the harp, what's the diff?

Now another question, do I wait till next May when the big sewing/quilting show comes around with good deals or do I just dive in???? :shock: :think:
Lennie

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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby temom on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:22 pm

Lennie, i bought a viking platinum 770 just over 5 years ago. I think that was the top sewing machine, and more expensive than what you are looking at (i think). Anyway, the stitch quality is not nearly as nice as it used to be. My dd's $200.00 brother now sews better than my viking. And yes, i have a fortune invested in feet. When i need to replace this machine, which will probably be in the next few years, i will take my losses and buy a different brand.

I also have a stand alone brother 770ii embroidery machine with a 5 x7 embroidery field, and i like it. I haven't done a ton of embroidery on it, but it hasn 't given me any trouble.
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:46 pm

I am not familiar with Vikings at all, but I have a Janome Memory Craft 4000 that is almost 20 years old and still going strong.. I love it! ! only problem I ever had was user caused.. I used to wind my bobbins on high speed and then the stitches would pucker a little bit when I was sewing. One day someone on the SWN site mentioned that I probably wound the bobbin too fast and Voila! ! my problem was no more.. Now I wind them on the middle speed on my machine and I have the most beautiful even stitches any machine ever made.. Since 1972 or 3 , I have sewn with Kenmore (made by Janome) or my Janome.. My suggestion is always Janome ! ! !
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby sewingmom on Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:53 pm

I have the Janome 6600, very similar to Judy"s machine. I love it for any of he sewing I do, even if it is a quilting machine and a flatbed. Do you want a free arm. Perhaps that is what makes it a quilting machine besides the laeger harp. Mine has a walking foot. Perhaps that is inherent in a quilting machine.
Yep, Kennmore is a Janome product these days. I'm not sure if they have always been made by Janome,
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Re: A new machine for me?

New postby HeyJudee on Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:45 pm

My thoughts on the difference between a quilting machine and a sewing machine is the fact that often a sewing machine has the free arm. Quilting has a flat bed, and has the 1/4" foot, walking foot and darning foot as well as an extension table. Those are the basic differences in my opinion.
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