I find it interesting that, no matter which Facebook quilting group it is, the same questions keep getting asked: Which sewing machine should I buy? Which iron should I buy? What do you all think?

And the same answers keep getting posted: I love my [Pfaff, Janome, Bernina, etc.], I’ve been using it for years. I have a cheaper machine from a big box store and it’s been a workhorse. I love my Rowenta iron, I wouldn’t trade it. I hated my Rowenta, I went out and bought a cheaper brand iron and love it.

The people posting the questions don’t know that the question has already been asked 10 times this year in this group. The groups are so prolific that it’s almost impossible to go back to view previous posts. 

It reminds me of doing any research on the internet before buying anything. “X worked really well for the first two weeks, then it stopped. Returned it, bought Y, and never looked back.” “X is amazing, much better than Y.” “Only newbies even think about buying X or Y; true users will go with Z.”

Conflicting answers, from so many unknown backgrounds that it seems we can hardly compare anything now. Perhaps the best advice I’ve seen (and have started giving) is, try them out if you can. What dealer is closer to you? Service is important, regardless of what you are buying. And remember, a company’s reputation from 10 years ago doesn’t always translate to rock solid manufactured items now.

So, what do I use? I have two sewing machines. The first, a Singer I bought from Hills when it was going out of business, worked great for many years. Until it started eating fabric in October 2011, when I was trying to make a quilt top for my brother-in-law’s upcoming wedding. Ack! It got stowed until I could take it for repair (the repair place is at least an hour away, I don’t get to that city very often), and I ran out to WallyWorld to buy a Brother sewing machine. I bought it because it was in my price range and it emphasized quilting on the box. And now I love that machine, even when my Singer was repaired, refreshed, and returned to me. The Singer is sitting sadly in the corner, waiting for the day the Brother gets hauled in for a tune up and it can come out to play again.

My Singer requires me to play with discs in order to change the stitches; my Brother lets me hit a button to do the same thing. The ease of use of my Brother machine has encouraged me to try applique (I’ve done it once, now, a dove for a flag for the “To Boston With Love” project) and machine quilting. 

And now I think I’m really happy with where I’m at, machine-wise. I have no Janome-lust (or Bernina-lust, etc.). I’m not planning on doing king-sized quilts on a machine, so there’s no need to look longingly at the long-arm or mid-arm machines out there. I’ll keep playing with my Brother sewing machine, which is easy enough for my 11 year old sewing student to use. 

And I’ll probably give the same answer next time someone asks, what machine should I buy?

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