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Another sewing machine question but with a twist...

(19 Posts)
justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 18-Jun-11 23:08:57

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Tangle Sat 18-Jun-11 23:32:27

What do you want the machine to do?

Do you have any idea whereabouts in New Zealand you might wind up?

A quick google turned up these people in Wellington, who sell a fair range and claim to service all brands, and I'm sure there must be others. You might want to join here as they seem to be friendly, knowledgeable and have users across the globe (with a section for regional communities and a thread for those in New Zealand smile) That site also has a page where you can compare machines by putting in your priorities and looking at the machines it has listed as meeting them.

I've got a Janome that I inherited when my mum upgraded (to another Janome - before that she had a Frister & Rossman). It's been pretty reliable for me so far, although I haven't done a huge amount with it.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 07:36:57

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shelscrape Sun 19-Jun-11 07:47:30

Ok, I live in NZ. One of the local quilting shops sells Bernina machines if that helps you! Also, I have seen shops selling Janome and Husqvarna.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 07:51:55

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shelscrape Sun 19-Jun-11 07:59:23

You will find in NZ that sewing is well and truly alive. Far more people sew here than in the UK. I live in a large town that has two very huge fabric shops - one being a shop of the large Spotlight chain - at least 3 patchwork shops that I know about (only been here 5 months) and a number of sewing machine sales/repair businesses.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 08:00:18

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HipHopOpotomus Sun 19-Jun-11 08:06:48

<< SIGHS oh to have Spotlight in the UK >>

ALl the major brands will be well represented on nz. Growing up there every high St had a fabric shop - not quite like that today but still very popular.

I'd just add buy the best quality TOP LOADING machine you can afford in major brand: mum has an elna - still going strong 40 years on.

Blottedcopybook Sun 19-Jun-11 08:28:14

I own a shop which does a lot of sewing classes - we use Elna 2800 machines which are essentially the top of the manual range. They're fantastic and have tolerated 18 months of being abused by beginners! I also sell Elna machines so I know them well.

My advice is always to avoid own brand (like JL) because it ties you to them for servicing & repair and might work out expensive over the long run. If you're going to be doing quilting, the top brands you want to look at are Elna (who are owned by Janome), Bernina (and their budget range Bernette) & Husqvarna Viking. Bernina machines are SOLID but they're £££. Avoid Singer & Brother like the plague.

If I can help you with anything, give me a shout smile

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 09:17:48

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justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 09:19:15

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justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 09:30:26

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Tangle Sun 19-Jun-11 14:34:59

The shop I linked to in Wellington sell Elna machines and are factory trained agents for Elna repairs. I suspect JL are the only distributor in the UK - but in other parts of the world you'll be able to buy machines and parts from other shops.

You might want to ask quilter's for their opinions. I'm not one - but from what I can see for someone starting out in quilting the most important feature on a sewing machine is likely to be an "even feed foot", so that all the layers get fed under the needle at the same rate - something that is probably supplied as standard with a "quilting" machine, but available as an accessory for your bog-standard one. Quilting machines do have other features that I can see would make life easier, especially if you're doing big fancy quilts - things like a larger integral work surface (for managing large pieces of fabric), high stitch rate (for long straight seams), programmes to do quilting patterns and stitches and longer arms (again, to make it easier to cope with big bits of fabric). So it depends, really, what your planning on starting with, what you forsee yourself doing and how much you're prepared to invest up-front. Just to re-iterate, though, I'm not a quilter so I might have underestimated the importance of some of those features...

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 16:12:17

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Blottedcopybook Sun 19-Jun-11 19:08:27

No, JL don't retail Elna at all anymore (and I could be wrong, but I believe they're phasing out Janome too) - I'm not a John Lewis shop and I have an Elna agency agreement.

You can - and we do! - do basic quilting with a standard sewing machine, the only difference is that you won't have the big bed area that a quilting machine will have which to be honest is really only a benefit if you're sewing massive double bed-sized quilts. We do a baby quilt class and the only change we make on the 2800 is to put on a free embroidery foot (which allows you to move the fabric around whilst sewing) for the actual quilting part.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 20:04:07

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moominthecorner Sun 19-Jun-11 20:12:45

Quilters managed just fine before the quilting editions were released. All you need to make sure is that you can drop the feed dogs to allow you to free motion quilt. I have a Bernina which is brilliant and a little Janome which is basic but ace and easy to carry around. The Bernina weighs a ton.

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sun 19-Jun-11 20:13:19

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bran Sun 19-Jun-11 20:26:41

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