thanks so much, Juanita for answering my question!! Now I need to go and see one and try it!
I'm a little late on this thread- I use a Janome 6600. I do everything from making kid clothes and sewing on patches to quilt constructiona and free motion quilting. It has enough fancy stitches to keep me happy. I don't do computerized embroderiy (? need spell check!) so I didn't need any thing more expencive.
What do you think is holding you up from bonding with your Quest? I was thinking of testing out the Quest Plus in the near future. I have had a Pfaff 1475 since 1992. It's great for just about everything I do - piecing and lots of free-motion quilting. I quilt quilts of all sizes on it and it's great. I was just looking for something that might have a bit of a larger harp opening. I tried a Viking from the Sapphire line a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't find any reason to replace my Pfaff with that machine though. Maybe I don't really NEED a new machine at all, ; )
I have an old Viking 650S. I rarely take the single needle plate off, as the 1/4 foot is on there 99% of time. I don't do free motion quiling; any machine quilting I bother to do by machine is with the walking foot. Baby and "couch cuddle" sized quilts go to a long arm quilter.
Marti in Houston, Texas
Since I use the longarm for quilting, I do mostly piecing and thread work with the Quest and I don't have a lot of time to do that. I wanted some additional feet but was told they're not available for the Quest. Now that the Plus has come out, all of a sudden there are 9 bonus feet!! If I can get some of them without having to purchase all 9, I'll be happy. I do like the larger opening and the extended table. I still have a lot to learn about it. Give the Plus a try. It may suit your needs.
When I decided quilting was fun I got a Bernina 1260. It is great. The opportunity to have a 1630 with its wider satin stitch and the option of designing some stitches and embroideries intrigued me so I added it and have not as yet explored all its potential. But they are heavy and so I found an old Minimatic for classes. All the feet are interchangeable. I luv to free motion quilt but I covet more area and I've decided my next splurge will be the HQ 16. I'm not sure where on earth I'll put it but I want that sit down model. At one time I was embarressed to admit to TWO sewing machines. Gosh, I've learned I'm only in the also ran category. I'm glad to be in such good company. I usally have two up and running. I could probably benefit if all three were always available.
I have to agree that the Berninas are a very heavy machine to be hauling around. I absolutely love my Bernina and would definfintely buy another. I still take mine to classes but am contemplating getting something lighter and smaller in the future.
Hi Aproachable Art, I guess it is ages since you posted this message about a Fab-U-Motion, I haope you have had a chance to play with it by now. I have had mine for about a year now which I use with my Pffaf machine for my thread painting. I love the way it is such a simple design but soooooo effective. I posted a reply to the another QA forum last week and now I've seen your message here, thought I would just spread the word about how usefull it Is. (sorry if I appear to be repeating myself) It certainly helps with that ache I get between my shoulder blades if I get too carried away with time and just not having to grip the fabric for moving it smoothly under the needle creates less stress on MIND and body!! I imagine it would be really good for free-motion quilting because there would be more bulk to have to handle. Happy sewing. Barb.
I use a Juki TL98Q for free motion quilting. I LOVE it! A few weeks ago our house alarm system went crazy blasting fire, fire, fire. I ran around the house to see if it was a false alarm, threw Toby, our aussie, on the patio for safety, and then decided the first thing to save is the Juki!
It does only a straight stitch, which makes the stitch super straight, and it flys- 1500 stitches per minute. It comes loaded, with a huge bed, and all feet for $850. I can't believe I actually was able to quilt on anything else.
I also have a 12 year old Pfaff 7570 that I bought from a friend. I use the Pfaff for anything that needs to be done that the Juki can't do- namely a zigzag stitch or other decorative stitches. It also has a great couching foot. I know the Pfaff is jealous of my adoration for the Juki, so last week I pieced a queen size batik top on it, to keep it purring too.
I LOVE my Bernina 1130 and 1260. For me, they are the best Bernina has ever manufactured. I bought a new one, but still go back to my "Oldies but Goodies".
Hi, I have a Janome New Home 8000 that I bought new many years ago. I love the machine. I don't use the embroidery as much as I used to because I am usually doing free motion stitching of my own designs. But it is nice when you want it. I buy old machines at yard sales, refurbish them, and give them to beginning quilters. When they say yeah but, I tell them and show them how much you can do on one of those machines also. I used to have a 1951 Singer that I used for piecing, Wow! what a stitch it had.
I have several machines that I use for different things...
My basic machine that sits on the bench most of the time is my 10 YO Husqvarna Lily 550. This is the one I use for most garment and quilt construction.
I also have a Bernina 1005 that I keep handy as a back-up machine and use when Lily is in for servicing. 'Nina is also my machine of choice for sewing eyelets in corsets and costumes, since I got the eyelet kit last Christmas. It was given to me to help me teach kids to sew, and is a perfect machine for this, as it's so easy to set up and control.
I usually take a smaller sewing machine away with me when I go on holiday, and I have a nice collection to choose from:
Elna Lotus ZZ, Elna Lotus TSP, Elna Lotus TSP Stella Air Electronic (do you see a pattern here?), two Frister & Rossman Cub 4's, a Singer Featherweight 221, and a Singer 100 'Featherweight' modern plastic thing that is almost a toy. The kids also love these little machines: less intimidating for smaller people than a fully fledged monster!
For teaching and as back-ups, I also have a Husqvarna Optima 190, a big solid New Home with lots of stitches, a Viscout 2000, and a Singer 367. When the lights go out or I need to sew somewhere there is no electrickery, I have a Singer 66 with lotus decals, a Singer 28 in a metal case, and a Jones Family CS with the Pricess Alexandria decals. This is just about the smoothest machine I own. So sweet to use... I also have a Singer 15-88 treadle, just for fun... Not tried free-motion quilting on this one yet, but the experts in People Powered sewing over at Treadle On are enthusiastic about its capabilities, so I shall certainly have a go.
Just for sentimental reasons I have the first sewing machine I used in anger: my mum's old Singer 99. Known as the FrankenSinger because it was rebuilt out of several machines after an accident involving a ship, a crane, and a long drop...
And I have my restoration project, the Adria Saxonia treadle dating from about 1897.
For tidying things up, stretch construction, and other stuff I have a pair of sergers: a Bernina 1150MDA, which is the main work machine, and the lighter Brother 1034D, my back-up and free-arm serger. I took the Brother to Germany last week, to make a wedding dress. It travels well...
Then there are two Bernina 707's, an 807 in need of an extension table, and a Toyota in need of an accessories box and some missing accessories that are here for TLC before being re-homed... But it's a bit like selling my children... Hard to let them go!
OK, I'm nuts! ;)
I was glad to see I was not the only sewing machine collector! I sew on my Bernina 1260 regularly, with my 1130 as a back-up. I love the Juki TL98. I also have a Bernina 830 (the old one, not the new one that costs a million dollars), an 160, 180 and an overlock. I have 2 babylocks, the quilters edition and designer as well as a babylock serger. I have 10 featherweights, 3 - 301's, and an old treadle. I have an Elna Lotus and the new Elna Mini Opal. I think that's all, but that's peanuts compared to what my girlfriend has. I'm not bragging. It's sick.
We're still just amateurs... I know folk on Treadle On who have a couple of hundred treadles, all in full working order!
See my reply to "Free-motion Frustration". I use a Janome 6500. It is 5 years old and the only thing that has gone wrong with it (other than the 2 feet I wore out) was the automatic thread-cutter stopped working after 4 years. I took it in to my dealer, he put in a new one and it's been fine since. I belong to a Quilting Club that has a retreat over Martin Luther King's Birthday week-end. Over the last few years I have noticed that, at first, there were a lot of Berninas. Now, it's Janome, Janome, Janome. I think my bragging about it, and the fact that many of the people in my Quilt Club have taken a class from me has influenced what people are buying. It is a workhorse and it does everything I want it to do without me ever having to do anything to the bobbin tension. I teach a class called "Thread Fun" where we do couching, bobbin drawing, satin stiching, perfect circles, twin needles, two or three threads in one needle, Libby Lehman's Ribbon Illusion, and how to use any kind of thread including metallic, and much more. It is a 6 hour class and the machines that have the most trouble are the ones that do not have a drop-in bobbin. I only re-set my top tension to do all that I teach. My machine is so easy to use and has no "hidden" buttons or anything that has to be looked up in a huge manual that I think it is why so many people are buying it. I have had people in my class with 40 year old machines that they have taken good care of (that means getting it professionally cleaned once a year, always) who do absolutely wonderful work without having any fancy stitches. I hate to say this, but the people in my classes that have the most trouble are the ones with the new Berninas! One of the quilt shop owners told me she has the same trouble in the classes she teaches. My theory is that having that bobbin underneath somehow screws up the bobbin tension. I have begun to tell my students with new Berninas just to buy a separate bobbin case for doing anything other than regular sewing and quilting. My helpers and I are constantly having to adjust the screw on the bobbin case on the new Berninas. Older machines of all types with bobbins underneath do not seem to have this problem. I have used the new Viking machines ( I used to sell them), but they are so much more expensive than my machine and I cannot get the tension low enough on them to use metallic thread with much success. When you use metallics, you need the top tension down below 2 and you must use polyester thread in the bobbin (I use Bottom Line) and a metallic needle (I use Sullivan's Metafil) or a topstitch needle. I have an older Brother machine that I bought in Libby Lehman's class in 2002 for $400.00 (when my Elna wasn't working). I used it for years until I decided I wanted a more substantial machine but I still use that as a back-up machine and take it to classes I take because it is so much lighter than my Janome and I hate taking the Janome out of its built-in desk that my husband made for me. I also have a 1952 Singer Upholstery machine that goes through 6 layers of leather like butter. It only sews straight stitches, but when I have a lot of layers to go through I go to that machine and I have absolutely no trouble. That's all I need. If my Janome ever breaks down, I will buy another one just like it. I do a lot of free-motion embroidery on all kinds of fabric and see no need to buy an embroidery machine or something that does even stitching for me. I can do that myself!