Hello all, new to this forum and have a question

Conroe, TX

Hello, I've posted many times on the poultry forum, but not on the sewing forum, so I am new to this forum.

I've sewn for many many years and love sewing and creating new things. My machine is in the shop right now and I feel a bit lost without it. I'm not sure if it can even be repaired so I am finding myself "looking" at machines in case I need to replace mine.
I have a Viking Huskystar 224 that I've had for 7 years. I do a LOT of sewing and it has held up very well until now. Looking at the machines available I find there are a lot of computerized versions out there now. I can't afford anything fancy and really need a workhorse. I've never used a computerized machine and I'm not sure how they will hold up under hours of sewing. I'm kind of partial to a more mechanical machine simply because I'm afraid a computerized one will not be able to handle the amount of sewing I do.

Any input or experience with mechanical vs computerized would be appreciated. My Huskystar did have the option to have the needle stop in the up or down position and I really like that. Other than that I need a machine that can sew through thick fabrics without hanging up (something my Huskystar didn't do well) and I basically need a workhorse. Any input in my search would be appreciated. I'm hoping they can fix my machine, but if not, I want to be prepared.

By the way, the picture is a T-shirt quilt I made for a friend.

Thumbnail by smedgekles
(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I love the quilt! VERY nice! I have a Viking Victoria, I don't remember how many years I bought it. It does a decent job of going thru thick stuff. When I was machine hunting I told the sales clerk that I needed a basic machine that could handle jean quilts since at the time that was the only sewing I was still doing. I KNOW it's been over 10 years ago... I bought it a few years before the divorce in 2004....

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I have a few machines. I use my Viking Lilly for most of my sewing. I've had is for 12 years now. It was a demo model so got it at a good price when the newer model came out. I've worn out a set of feed plates it's been used so much. It's pretty good at bulkier seams.
I also have a Kenmore that is over 30 y/o and has sewn everything imaginable.

Brother also makes some very good machines.

I always look for a HEAVY machine - I don't want plastic parts. And a machine that someone local to you is qualified to work on.

Many dealers have a good selection of used machines. Usually as good as new.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

I got my Bernina 930 in 1985. I've never been able to justify replacing it with a computerized machine. It's a real workhorse, all metal inside, and has nothing but minor fixes and routine care. They are still available on Ebay if you're careful of who you buy from, 100% on feedback, and make sure all accessories are included. Oh yeah, stops with the needle up. This may not be the way you are comfortable with going but I had to toss my 2 cents in.

Welcome by the way, love your quilt, t-shirts are my specialty,I have a thread on them.

Conroe, TX

Thanks for the thoughts. I must admit, I do like the machines with all metal parts and no plastic stuff that can deteriorate and break. I'm partial to Viking though I've read that Janome makes some of the Viking machines now as well as Kenmores. I've always heard good things about Bernina, but have never had one. I used to have a Necchi that was all metal. I wore that baby out after having it for many many years. Then I picked up an old Montgomery Ward machine at an estate sale for $50. It wasn't real heavy duty, but did an excellent job and held up under lots of sewing for many years until it finally bit the dust. It was fairly new when I got it and the lady had only sewn with it a couple of times.

I liked how the Janome at the sewing/repair shop worked but my major concern is that it is computerized. I guess when I think of a computerized sewing machine I think of it as not being as durable as a more mechanical one. If I had the money I'd get a mechanical one and a computerized one with lots of neat stiches. But, short on money so I have to get something that will last and hold up under lots of sewing, that is if they can't fix mine.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

May I ask what you do that involves so much sewing?

Conroe, TX

I used to sew for a lady that restored old dolls and if they needed clothing I made it. That kept me very busy till she passed away from cancer. Now I just do a lot of alterations for people and weddings, the T-shirt quilts for my friend and sewing for my family. Some months I am very busy and some are slow. Luckily right now while my machine is down, I have very little, just a couple of alterations. I had just gotten through with a wedding and a bunch of alterations and decided to start working on some things for my daughter when my machine decided it had enough.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

I'll bet you are grateful that your machine was so "considerate" and picked a slow time!

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

You were good to it so it was good to you!!! Good luck in your search.....

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

I have a viking 1+( had it since 1996) I do all my alterations on it and it has held up very well. My Designer one is also very good.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

Questions about which machine to buy come up fairly often. Really choice of machine is such a personal decision. We each love ours and for entirely different reasons. We each have our own way of sewing and our priorities are also different. All you can really do is keep trying until you find your perfect fit.

Conroe, TX

I have to agree, it is a personal choice and what one loves another may hate. Basically I just wanted input on how one likes a computerized machine vs a mechanical or if they break down or give errors often or tend to sew for hours with no problems. Someone who sells machines can tell you one is great over the other, but people who actually sew on them daily or weekly can tell you the quirks, the good and the bad, the pluses and the minuses.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Mine is computerized and I like it a LOT BUT.... I don't give it the work out you do!

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

No computer and I've upholstered outdoor furniture & boats with mine.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I can use my Lily all day. Go through a couple spools of thread. She doesn't even need oiled. I have a computer attachment for a vacuuum clenaer that I use to sick the lint out from around the bobbin area occassionally.

The Bernina QE is a bit more finicky & has a reminder that comes on to let me know it needs serviced. She starts getting very noisy & I know it's time to take her in to get cleaned & oiled.

(Karen) Traverse Cit, MI(Zone 5a)

My aunt sold Berninas and her son in law went to school for the servicing. I was shown how to do the basic servicing on mine so unless it quits or something breaks, I can handle it. Which is not to say I could handle another model, but mine I know.

Conroe, TX

Qwilter, I have one of those vacuum attachments too, they are great, I've even used it to clean out my computer.

(Cheryl) Wilmington, MA

I have 2 computerized one is a Kennmore and the other is a Babylock I lovethem both and I use them for everything. I have a 1935 singer and that is beautiful for any real heavy stuff but I mostly quilt now so not much need for heavy duty.

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