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Totally Confused !!
Embroidery Machines
Gemi619
Gemi619
Intermediate
Member since 5/17/06
Posts: 5
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Date: 5/26/06 1:51 PM

I know everyone has their favorite brand but does anyone know of a unbiased reporting source on the latest embroidery machines ?

History: I am a beginning quilter and purchased a Singer 9940 in December 2005, and it is wonderful. Since then I have realized that maybe I should have waited and purchased a Embroidery/Sewing machine. Nevertheless, I have test drove Bernina Artista 200e, 165e, and 440QE, Pfaff 2144, got literature on the Janome MemoryCraft 10001 and 9700 because the dealer didn't have either test models on the floor, and a Singer xl-6000. I haven't got by the Viking dealer yet.
My problem is I don't want to get too much machine and also I want a machine that will be able to keep up with the latest and greatest. I also have been looking at the prices (my budget: $3,000 to $5,500 and want to purchase something that will last throughout the rest of my life, I'm 42 (kidding, smile).
I have read some of the reviews on this site and am thoroughly confused now. There are pros and cons to every single one. Please help.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 4802
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Date: 5/26/06 3:44 PM

Another machine that does beautiful embroidery is the Babylock and it's cousin Brother.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

AliceM
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AliceM
Advanced
Illinois USA
Member since 4/30/05
Posts: 1565
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Date: 5/26/06 3:48 PM

Just relax and have fun test driving them all. Not to add to your stress or anything, but you also need to be looking at the software for each of these machines as well. Embroider y is fun , but it also has a learning curve that lasts awhile.

If you have have a nice sewing machine, consider an embroidery only machine. They are usually much cheaper.

alison
alison
Intermediate
Wisconsin USA
Member since 11/22/04
Posts: 30
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Date: 5/26/06 7:58 PM

there are so many. I have heard complaints about the berninas and the pfaffs. I have heard great things about the Janome's and you get alot for your $

I personally have a viking designer one and love it for its sewing especially

Babylock does make a nice embroidery machine. I just got the BMP6 a 6 needle semi industrial baby

jr
jr  Friend of PR
Intermediate
North Carolina USA
Member since 8/11/03
Posts: 260
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Date: 5/26/06 10:25 PM

I think that all of the TOL machines are probably great...including the older TOL's! The most important thing (besides your personal needs/ preferences) would be to buy from a dealer that offers lessons and classes, or buy the same one that a friend who is really knowledgeable (and willing to teach!) has.

Judy

pfafffanatic

pfafffanatic  Friend of PR
Advanced
California USA
Member since 7/14/05
Posts: 2
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In reply to Gemi619


Date: 5/26/06 11:14 PM

Your dealer is everything. If you buy from a dealer who is too far away from you, you don't have the support you need or the minor adjustments that your machine may need to perform at its utmost.

Generally, the European machines are wonderful for sewing and embroidery, while the Japanese machines give you more bang for your buck when it comes to embroidery.

Babylock and Brother essentially make the same machine, although Babylock offers much better customer service. Brother does offer the famous rodent, if that is important to you, but if not, I would go for the Babylock version.

Each has its own unique features and, as a sewing teacher who works for a dealer, I can tell you that I have many customers that have more than one top of the line machine and they use certain machines for certain functions.

Here is my never to be humble opinion about the machines out there that I am familiar with.

Brother/Babylock

Awesome embroidery, big hoops, easy to use and learn embroidery functions. TOL cuts the jump threads and threads itself. Down the food chain, does not cut the jump threads but they have big hoops, built in designs, easy to use lettering functions and customizing options on screen. Needle threader is wonderful. Our TOL is a lemon and I cannot embroider a single pattern without broken threads. Our customers do not complain about this however so I think we just got a bad one in the store. My boss usually only demonstrates embroidering a letter or two. If it were my machine, I would be asking for a new one.

Viking

I have personally a Designer 1 but do not have much experience with the Designer SE. My customer, who owns an SE, a Pfaff 2144, and a Brother Innovis, uses it primarily for the Mega hoop. She does most of her serious embroidery on the other machines. I love my designer 1 and find I can do a lot of decorative stitches and heirloom work without stabilizer, which I cannot say I can do with any other machine in my arsenal.

Pfaff

2170 is a great machine, although the emboidery hoop is smaller than Brother and Viking. Advantage is that it is not so bulky and you can sew with the embroidery frame on.

Nothing compares to the Pfaff for sewing precision, in my opion with the built in walking foot. Janome has now a built in walking foot but it is a clunky thing where the Pfaff is truly integrated and you can use it with all of the feet. The thread cutter is a nightmare and constantly needs adjustment.

Precision placement is great with the Pfaff. This is important when you are combining designs. Also, Pfaff has the pressure foot that goes down automatically when you start to sew, which was a Viking exclusive and you can get spoiled very easily to the automatic pressure foot lifter. I can embroider and sew on heavier materials with the Pfaff, for example jeans with a welt seam. A 9 mm stitch plate makes for gorgeous decorative stitches, which you can also incorporate in your embroidery designs.

Bernina

I have limited experience with Bernina. I am sure they are wonderful but the feet are so expensive and I believe the software is very exclusive and does not play with others (i.e you cannot operate the machine without expensive software.) Lots of Bernina devotees but my boss, thinks the basic stitches are not that great, and he repairs all models.

Janome

I hear great things about Janome and if you have a good dealer, check them out.

Singer

I haven't heard anyone praise their Singer sewing machines. They come in to our shop after their warranty periods and are nothing but problems, lots of plastic parts, etc. They have now purchased the parent company for Pfaff and Husqvarna Viking so who knows what is in the future for this company.


Bottom line is, buy your dealer as much as your machine. You will need the dealer support more often than you might think.

bevaau
bevaau
Advanced Beginner
AUSTRALIA
Member since 11/5/02
Posts: 286
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Date: 5/26/06 11:15 PM

As you have a nice sewing machine, do go and test drive the Janome 300E. It is embroidery only - which means, among other things, you can have the embroiderer going while you sew on the other. Great! It uses standard compact flash cards to 'feed' designs to the machine - no fancy proprietary hardware - and is very user friendly. It also is great at embroidery!! NAYY BevA

------
Nambucca Heads, Australia
I'm not mad! I have just been in a bad mood for 40 years!

Gemi619
Gemi619
Intermediate
Member since 5/17/06
Posts: 5
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In reply to Gemi619


Date: 5/28/06 3:52 PM

Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I have narrowed it down to Pfaff and Bernina. The Pfaff 1244 has beautiful stitch quality, but limited dealer support. The Bernina 200E has good stitch quality and extensive dealer support.

It really is a scary thing to purchase one of these machines. I don't know about all of you but this is considered a major purchase in my household. I break out in a cold sweat everytime I think about spending thousands of dollars on one. And to purchase one and it not perform to its full potential. I would be enraged.



Member since 12/31/69
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In reply to Gemi619


Date: 5/28/06 9:38 PM

Gemi,

buy the dealer. Seriously, unless you have lots of experience with these machines and feel really comfortable without much support, the dealer will make the biggest difference. In your price range, all machines will be of great quality with lots of features, bells and whistles.

I have a Bernina Artista 180E, love the machine, love the dealer - all those classes I take to see just how much my machine can do (90% of the time, I just use the straight stitch - typical in garment sewing).

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