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I am about to do some classes in Quilting and Applique...not sure which I will prefer yet. I am toying with the idea of buying a new sewing machine and may switch brands....quelle horreur!! Mum bought me a Husqvarna 6370 for my 21st but it needs to be repaired...and the cost of repairs equate to perhaps considering buying a new machine altogether. Janome is very popular in Australia and there are some good deals at the moment. Does anyone have any suggestions, recommendations, observations to make about purchases...e.g what features to look for? I've heard a walking foot and a 1/4" seam foot are de rigeuer. Anything else? I still have Mum's old Husqvarna C1 21 but wonder if it's up to the task of quilting....over to you...
As far as the feet go, I'm a heretic. I use an open toe for almost everything - including quilting. But my main interest is free maching embroidery, and only the open toe gives me the control I need for that. The walking foot makes me panic because I can't see what I'm doing.
My main recommendation is that you shop first for the dealer, then for the machine. Try to find a shop that both sells and repairs; that really know their machines; that is willing to sit down with you and let you try several machines; and listens to what you think now that you want to do and tries to extrapilate what you might be doing a few years down the road. Listen to your body as you try the various machines, listen to the advice of the shop people. Then buy the best machine you can afford, but that you are comfortable with now.
Any normal sewing machine will have problems with quilting large pieces. If you want to be able to machine quilt you need a special machine for that. The main problem is the space (or rather lack thereof) between the needle and the verticle part of the machine. Proper quilting machines are very large. There is one woman in or near Vienna who finally bought one and advertises her services at the quilting shop. Quilting small pieces - pillow covers, baby quilts, and piecing are actually fairly simple jobs and don't require anything special.
One thing I forgot above: You need to be able to sink or cover the feed dogs. This lets you do free stiching, like meander quilting. It is not as hard as it sounds (after a bit of practice on scrap materials) but you need to be able to move the material yourself. What my machine doesn't have that I miss isa way to change the bobbin tension.
I was at Costume Con 28 this weekend and the best advice that I got there about getting a new sewing machine is find a good sewing machine repair place and buy a good used one. You can get a much better machine for less this way.
(Bruce's evil twin :-))
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