So you’ve decided to get a new/used machine that you want to last the test of time, hopefully I can provide you with some tips on what to look out for and avoid any bad buys!

Firstly, avoid the plastic chassis and plastic framed machines usually “pile em high, sell em cheap” ones often found in supermarkets or online. There’s a short video to show you what they’re like inside!

Quilting is demanding on the mechanical & electronic components of your machines.

Try to go to a shop that sells more than just “the box”. Take some scraps of material with you to try out and ask as many questions as you need i.e extra feet either with the machine or can be bought at a later date.

Don’t feel pressured into buying it if you’re not sure or don’t feel comfortable with the machine.

Read your warranty terms, items like bobbin cases & shuttles are not usually covered.

If you buy online, always keep the original box, wrappings, free gifts etc as they don’t accept returns without all original parts. Make a note for yourself and the company of any faults so that there are no mistakes either end.

Be wary of companies promising 5, 10, 20, 30 years’ service plans, read once, twice & three times all of the small print!

Don’t be put off by used machines, sometimes you can get a good deal, although if buying from a selling site like Ebay, I would advise getting it fully serviced before use, the extra cost of a service could save you money in the long run.

Key points to look for:

– What you should be looking for is a SFS (superior feed system) which means it is made up with either a 5 or 7-piece feed system.

7 Piece feed system

– Check foot lift height and go for an adjustable foot.

– Pressure adjustments & drop feed devices, should you be thinking of doing free-motion embroidery at a later date.