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Forum > Sewing Machines > Brother QC1000 vs Babylock Espire ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Brother QC1000 vs Babylock Espire
tailormaid

tailormaid  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/14/07 2:59 AM

Does anyone have any experience sewing on the Brother Quilt Club 1000 and/or the Babylock Espire? I saw both at a sewing show this weekend, and am wanting to purchase one of these 2 machines for the features. The two machines look almost identical, although I noticed that the buttons on the front of the Babylock (start/stop, scissors cut, presser foot button) were rectangular in shape, with the words "Start/Stop" written on that button. The same buttons on the Brother were oval in shape, and the Start/Stop button didn't have the words printed on it. Also, I thought maybe the Brother vibrated slightly, but that may be my imagination. The Babylock dealer says that the "tolerances" may be different in the 2 machines, and that Brother doesn't give as good attention to its dealers as Babylock does. The Babylock is manufactured in Taiwan, and the Brother is manufactured in China. The Brother dealer says that the 2 machines are the same, with minor differences in the number of stitches. I liked the Brother dealer better, but thought I was enjoying sewing on the Babylock a little more. Couldn't quite tell, though, power of suggestion? The Brother is $400 cheaper. Any thoughts and/or experiences with the 2 machines would be much appreciated. Thanks!

sewfrequent

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Date: 10/14/07 8:07 AM

Tough question here that has come up before but I think both dealers are right. There are some stitch differences and a few minor cosmetic differences between the 2 machines and based on my experience, BabyLock tends to be a little quieter and smoother than their Brother counter-parts with the reputation of having excellent customer service through the distributor, Tacony. I'm not sure if Tacony is still distributor. The thing that makes this a tough call is the significant price difference and the fact that you like the Brother dealer better because the differences really are slight and probably do not effect the outcome at all. Why not demo the Brother again in another setting and see if you notice the vibration and/or have other complaints. I think that will help you decide.

tailormaid

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Date: 10/14/07 10:03 AM

Thanks for the reply. I may also try driving farther to a different Babylock dealer. How is the repair record for each machine? Also, I mainly do garment sewing, and want an excellent straight stitch and buttonhole. Are there any differences? Thanks again.

Betakin
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Betakin
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In reply to tailormaid


Date: 10/14/07 3:25 PM

Sorry.. removed this because of a double post
-- Edited on 10/14/07 3:28 PM --

Betakin
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In reply to tailormaid


Date: 10/14/07 3:27 PM

My newest machine is a different Brother Quilt club model and it does have a stop/start button. This button is round above the needle (does not say stop/start as you know) it lights up however in different colors depending and the other buttons for thread cutter, reverse and needle up/down are oval. My machine was made in Taiwan.
I have used this machine constantly since I purchased it a few months ago and my other brand machines have been sitting during that time. I have been making flannel pj's for the Dgk's, deco trimmed some towels and now on my 2nd fleece patched dog bed. It is very smooth (no vibration) and very quiet and feeds as well as any machine I have ever used. The straight stitch is better than some of the newer Babylock models that I recently tried out at the dealers.
I love the extra sized bed and have yet to use the extension table that came with it. The knee lift also works well and the many feet and quilter's pkg.
I love this machine but it was made in Taiwan and not in China. I cannot say what the differences might be in a machine made elsewhere.



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Date: 10/14/07 6:00 PM

I can only speak to Baby Lock quality and reliability as I have never owned the Espire. I have owned the following Baby Lock machines: (1) the Espree` stand-alone embroidery machine, (2) the Esante ESe2 combo machine, and currently the New Esante combo machine, and the Imagine serger. I have loved and do love every one of them. I just checked out the Espire on the Baby Lock web site and it looks great. I have some quilting stitches on my machine and the walking foot and the free motion foot. The Espire appears to have more functions for quilting which is understandable since mine is a sewing/embroidery machine. I have owned Baby Locks for a total of 10 years now as I bought the Espree` in 1997. I have never had a problem with any of them and I take them in regularly for cleaning and maintenance by the dealer. I am also meticulous about cleaning them myself insofar as I am able. I don't take the casings off of any of them. That's the dealer's area of expertise. I think that Brother makes fine machines too but Tacony, as the distributor of Baby Lock machines enjoys a higher reputation for good customer service. I think you will very much like whichever one you decide to buy.

tailormaid

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Date: 10/14/07 6:13 PM

The Brother representative at the sewing show said the QC 1000 was made in China. I did not look on the back of their machine, however. The back of the Babylock Espire at the show did say Taiwan. Maybe the Brother representative meant Taiwan when she said China? My husband thought so. Also, I noticed when I was starting a seam in my test sewing that when I used the presser foot button, I would get close to where I wanted to start the seam, but would need to fine tune it. The people demonstrating both machines used the presser foot lift, which was very stiff. Do you use the knee lift, or the presser foot button, or the actual presser foot lift to start the seam in the exact right location? Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate the help.

Betakin
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In reply to tailormaid


Date: 10/14/07 10:53 PM

My different model machine does not have a button for the pressure foot to lift, it only has a button for the needle to lift or put down. I have used the knee lift bar for raising the foot and it is handy for keeping your hands free. I seem to be more in the habit of doing it by hand however.
I also forgot to mention that I like the speed of my machine. It is nice and fast. It does have the speed control lever on the head but I like to keep it fast. The needle threader is the best I have used. It does it so quickly by just pressing down the lever on the nose of the machine. The auto thread cutter button also works very well. I think these mentioned features probably work the same on both the Brother and Babylock models. Both brands have different models with these features. I do know that Brother has several Innovis models like mine with identical features that are rather standard to their machines. The machines you are considering are higher up and have even more features like the sensor system, touch screen and more stitches. You will love your machine I think. I wish you the best in making your decision.

tailormaid

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Date: 10/14/07 11:41 PM

Thanks for all the help. I am thinking tonight that I will go to a Babylock dealer that is farther away, but that I really like. I plan to keep the machine for a long time, and am hoping that I will be able to get the machine tuned up during vacation time when it will be convenient for me to take the machine in.



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In reply to tailormaid


Date: 10/15/07 10:30 AM

I didn't think to advise this on my post last night but, have you done a comparison of the features on the two machines you are considering? You can go to both the Brother and the Baby Lock sites and look up those models and read the list of specifications for each one. I suspect that you will find that they are nearly identical in what they offer. There will be some differences because, even though Brother makes the Baby Lock machines, they do not make them exactly the same as the Brother machines. The Baby Locks are made to Tacony's specs and there are slight differences between the two brands. If you feel that the two machines offer what you want, then $400 cheaper for the Brother might be the deciding factor. Good luck with your choice and please come back and let us know which one you get and how you like it.

Joanne

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