Need help in choosing an Embroidery Machine!
After almost 30 years of using my Necchi 522 sewing machine, the opportunity has presented itself to buy a new machine. Cost is a definite hinderance. It looks like I can spend around $500. I've spent the last 2+ weeks almost glued to the computer in scouring the internet for info and insight on which brand and model would be the best for my price range. Every sewing place I've called, of course, say their machines are the best!
At first I was seriously considering the Brother SE270D for $350. But after reading so many comments/reviews, there seems to be a concensus that the hoop size is just not large enough. I've never used an embroidery machine and have no idea if that would be too small. But I hate to buy it if down the road I'll regret it. Next I looked at the Singer Futura CE-150 for $529. It has a larger hoop but has a lot less stitches available on the machine. I have not seen a lot of review done on this machine. Is there a better machine for the price I've got? Is this machine a better quality than the Brother SE270D? Is the hoop size even big enough?
After a ton of reading on this website I'm not so sure I should get a dual machine now? Last year my Necchi seemed to have bit the dust, but after checking it out last week it seems to be working again (skipping stitches, knocking noise when you sewed). So I'm nervous not knowing if I should get a combo or not. My husband is the one that instigated the embroidery machine. He'd like to see the kids with "skateboards on the boys stuff and ponies on the daughter's" as he put it. His demand: he wants to see a machine that I'm able to download (free, of course) thousands (is that possible?) of designs that are compatible with the machine.
I e-mailed Artistic Threads asking if they knew which would have access to better quality designs (is there a difference between machines or do all the designs come out the same quality no matter which machine?) and got a generic e-mail back to "check out their forums". Unfortunately you have to PAY for the membership in order to ACCESS ANY INFO! ARRGGGHHH! This was supposed to be my Christmas gift (only one at that) and I'm almost ready to forget the whole thing. Any suggestions would be most appreciative.
By the way, I do a variety of sewing: clothes, home decor, quilts, bags, etc.