?

Log in

Jul. 10th, 2006 @ 01:23 pm Embroidery machine questions
I've recently moved countries and am without a sewing machine. I was thinking of just getting a good basic model, and then a friend of mine told me about the Quantum Futura (made by Singer)... I am now captivated by the idea of getting an embroidery machine. The one I am interested in is the CE-200, because the CE-100 just doesn't seem to come with enough stuff.

I have done some machine sewing and consider myself fairly competent; I've never owned an embroidery machine before.

Question 1: Is the Futura my only option below $1000? (I've looked at reviews on patternreview.com, and most of the others seem to be MUCH more expensive.) I know I'm going to be spending gazillions on supplies anyway, and my bonus wasn't THAT big, so I don't want to go completely nuts spending on the machine. (Also because knowing me and hobbies, there is a nonzero chance that I'll embroider like 3 things with it and then never use it for embroidery again. In which case I would prefer to minimize my guilt.)

Question 2: Has anyone used the Futura (or any other low-cost option, if there is one) and liked it? Hated it? How much of a pain in the butt is the software to use?

Question 3: Is it any good as a sewing machine? I do need a machine to sew with too, and I'd prefer one machine to do it all.

Obviously, I'd ideally like to go to a sewing machine store and play with one of these before deciding whether to buy it or not. But I've already failed my shopping roll a couple of times, so I'm resigning myself to the possibility of playing with Singers in general and then ordering off the web. (Shopping suggestions for the LA area would also not go amiss.)

Thanks in advance for any clues! (Cross-posting to advanced_sewing and machinembroider.)
About this Entry
Diane Flipper
dianec42:
[User Picture Icon]
From:sillygoosegirl
Date:July 10th, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I have the BabyLock Ellure. It was $949 because I got the floor model--normally it is $999. The other models I seriously considered were the Quantum Futura, and the Viking Scandanavia 300. I heard some really bad things about the Futura not being very reliable (from a dealer no less!), and in the end chose against the Scandanavia 300 because it only has a 4x4 embroidery area.

I like just about everything about my Ellure: it has a 5x7 embroidery area, maximum speed adjustment (good for beginners--which I am not, but my kids will be), needle threader, lots of stitches, great button holer, etc, etc, etc. My only complaint about it is that the maximum speed isn't all that fast, which gets pretty annoying when it comes to things like, say, hemming a blanket.

Other than that, I kind of wish I'd gotten separate machines for embroidery and sewing. Having one machine that does both sounds great until you start up an embroidery design that's going to take an hour and a half (with no input from you except to change the thread a few times), and then want to do some sewing on another aspect of the project in the mean time!
[User Picture Icon]
From:selkie_b
Date:July 11th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I have a Quantum Futura. Other than not wanting to do button holes on anything but fairly thin fabric it's a fantastic machine for the price. The software is touchy, but play with it (and make sure you have an excellent image program like Corel Photo-Paint, or Photoshop) and you can do some fantastic stuff. I'm just enough of a geek that I have gotten really good at adjusting images to work well with the software. It does regular sewing just great - I do a lot of clothing and costuming and as I said buttonholes are the only problem I've found. Luckily, I have another old machine I can do the heavy ones on.

Best value for money really, because it's all inclusive and you can take most embroidery from any of the major sites (free or purchased) and the software will translate it (avoid .sew though, that doesn't come in cleanly) though often in the wrong colors - who cares, if the stitch order is correct and you have a color chart that doesn't matter.
[User Picture Icon]
From:selkie_b
Date:July 11th, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I also read comments on the other LJ comms - The Futura comes with digitizing software (autopunch) so I'm not sure where that comment came from - and two hoop sizes. No you can't do anything larger than 4"X6" in embroidery and that is a small complaint I suppose - but I wanted it for it's sewing even more than the embroidery, and I love it for that - very very smooth. If you do decide to go for it, and you have ANY questions on translating images for the autopunch program post it here and we'll help out! I just did 4 images yesterday for a shirt for my mom, and the selkie icon above is the patch off the back of a coat I made entirely (bar the buttonholes *rolls eyes*) on the machine!
[User Picture Icon]
From:dianec42
Date:July 11th, 2006 09:42 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Thank you so much for the info! I should have said at the outset, this will be my FIRST embroidery machine and I have no idea if I will like it at all or if I'll just get bored with it. (It would be a shame to drop $6000 on a nice machine and then not use it...) Plus I have no expectations, and I'm not necessarily going to care if I can't do huge elaborate projects right away.

It sounds like this is a good starter machine. (And I am just that geeky too! It sounds like a blast!!)
[User Picture Icon]
From:dianec42
Date:July 13th, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Where the heck did you buy yours? None of the stores seem to have them, and Singer seems to have done zero marketing. I finally snapped and ordered the CE-100 from Amazon; I'll play with it for a bit and then order the Auto Punch software if I like it.
[User Picture Icon]
From:selkie_b
Date:July 13th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
Creative Sewing Centers, and Hancock Fabrics is carrying them too. I have the Futura C200 which is the one that comes with the Autopunch and lots of silly extra stitches that I love to use to embellish skirts and shirts.
[User Picture Icon]
From:geekmom
Date:July 11th, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I have a Simplicity SE300. You can buy it for $500 or less. I like it, but I had to buy more software. The White 4400 and Marie Osmond EM1 both come with software to convert your files and they both can connect to laptops from USB.

Brother has the Disney machines starting at $500, and those do both sew and embroider, too.
[User Picture Icon]
From:dianec42
Date:July 11th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
On the Simplicity, can you give a ballpark amount for the total you've spent on the machine and software, so I can compare?

I've heard the White machines are extremely unforgiving. And the Marie Osmond concept just boggles my mind, but I'll give it a google when I'm less busy...

Will the Brother ones let you make up your own designs? To me, that is the biggest appeal. I think I'd get sick of pre-made designs pretty quickly.

Thanks for the info!
[User Picture Icon]
From:geekmom
Date:July 12th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
I bought the the SE3 for $300 used, and then I spent another $400 in software and a card reader, which puts it pretty close to the same price, but I bought slightly fancier software than I really needed to. I could have gone with about $250 in software for a package that doesn't let you just scan in artwork but does do a better job making the stitches.

There are actually tons of free designs out there, and you can combine those, add letters, frames, etc, so even without software, you have a lot of options already.

The brother machines don't let you design your own stuff out of the box, but they have software upgrades that are supposed to be better than what comes with the Futura, but I haven't compared the two.

Yeah, Marie Osmond, heh. It's actually the same machine as the White with slightly different options, from what I understand. The SE3 and the Brother are both made at the same factory, and the interface is practically identical. I just wanted the three hoops and didn't have any use for Disney crap.