A place for embroidery people to meet
Anyone that lives in Canada probably already knows that it is almost the most wonderful time of the year again - The Creativ Festival!
Singer will be at the festival again on 15th and 16th April and they will be demonstrating and selling the brand new Singer Futura XL-400.
Of course I couldn't wait and had scoured the internet with no joy, then decided to call round all the Singer dealers until I found one who already had the machine, and luck for me there was one only about 20 minutes drive from home.
So I went straight from the train on Wednesday last week so see the 'new baby' XL-400.
- The machine itself is much bigger than the CE250 and CE350 and is very sleek looking.
- It sounds nicer, I mean it sort of purrs rather than clunks it's way around
- They have reduced the number of preset stitches down to what you can see on the front panel, but honestly, I have never used hardly any of the 99 available, so as I already have another 'regular' machine (Singer Ingenuity) which has all the same stitches available.
- The hoops are now a slide & click style - yay! I hated those screws and was on my third set!
- Continuous hooping, full needle positioning (up, down, left, right) to get you back into the right spot for the next 'repeat'.
- The hoop is now much bigger, 6" x 10", there was also a 4" x 4" there but I forgot to ask if the 5 x 7 was also included or not.
- The hoop tightening screw is now on the corner (another yay!) and appears much easier to tighten than the one at the bottom middle point like on the CE350.
The price in Canada is list $1695 but the guy in Brampton had it at $1295 - wow! that is only $50 more than I paid for my CE350.
I don't know yet whether my Hyperfonts, Autopunch and (useless) PhotoStich will install on top of the new software, but I've already emailed to ask these questions. I sincerely hope the answer is "yes" otherwise what do I do with the $750 worth of software I only recently bought for the CE350?
I will most definitely be getting this new baby, but probably not until after the Creativ Festival as I want to see what price they are offering. But then I'll maybe get the local dealer to match it - if he wants the sale, which I guess he will!!
I'll let you know more when I find out.
Hi Maargarette, I am in the Kentucky (USA) and I purchased my new Singer Futura Quartet last November! I LOVE IT!!! I only paid 800.00 for mine brand new as a promotion on HSN (Home shopping network) and i understand they are doing this promotion again soon. There are so many options on this machine that I'm still don't know how to use them all. One thing I can say is that as NOVICE embroiderer (but proficient seamstress) I have enjoyed the challenge and think it is good that I am learning on a machine with so much potential. It has opened so many interesting doors for my sewing. I have used the embroidery part and although I found it broke a few needles in the beginning I did notice that for some reason if u put the stitch speed in the middle it does much better (only 1 needle broken during that project) and in all honesty It is probably something I, as a novice, am doing wrong! lol... I don't know if your software will install on top of theirs but I do know you can add to the templates.... It accepts almost any format!! And I love their auto-punch, except I always have to correct the colors. The top-stitches are amazing beautiful on fabric and embellish everything from necklines to seam over-sews etc. I am still learning on mine and I still havent' tried to do the multihoop or the large area work (where you use the large hoop 4 times!!! But when you get yours I would love to swap information with you especially the embroidery part, I am sure I can learn much from you!!
excited for you
Margaret, my blues eyes have turned green....with jealousy! Let us knoe how things develop for you!
So - I got it!!!
Compared to the CE350 this is a machine that now looks professional and will sit between any of the competitors' machines and hold its own!
I tested the 'regular' sewing stuff, I like how smooth the machine operates compared to it's little brothers. I was a little supriosed to see the number of 'fancy' stitches greatley reduced. But as I also have the Singer Ingenuity aswell as my CE350 I can still use those two if there is a stitch style I really can't live without! .
Last night I stitched out my first embroidery design and here is my feedback.
1. No empty bobbin warning.
The bobbin ran out and it never told me. I just noticed it was dragging the top thread everywhere but not stitching. The bobbin was completely empty with no warning at all and it didn't stop! On the CE350 it beeps and stops just a little way before the end, this ia a basic feature that I was surprised not to see on the new software.
2. Needle Threader
I absolutely LOVE the new needle threader, much improved over the 350 one.
3. The horizontal threading
This is interesting! not sure if it is better or not as the other isn't hard to thread if you've ever used any sewing machine more than once.
4. Only having the horizontal or top spool is a pain. There is nowhere to put a larger spool, and no thread guide to hold it if I use a separate thread stand. On the CE350 the back thread holder was great, and the multi position metal guide was perfect. What I found was that the thread got caught under the handle a couple of times and caused nastiness like breaking the needle into 3 pieces. I found the eye and the top was still in but I can't find the middle bit. I took off the needle plate and looked all down inside with my little flashlight but I see nothing. I am hoping that it either pinged right out of the back and is lost in the carpet (first choice) or it fell right down to the bottom of the casing and is safely out of the way of anything that moves! Either way, I started again carefully turning by hand then restarted on slow speed. So far so good. Still sounds smooth.
5. The bobbin cover catch is weak.
I've only done 2 designs so far and it has vibrated open. What my very helpful Singer support friend told me is that the catch is not spring loaded. So that means I have to make sure I push it closed.
6. Firmware failure
when I first installed the software it said there was a machine firmware update so I said yes. It downloaded stuff, did a wizard thing then told me it had failed due to a corrupt download file. Then I couldn`t figure out where to go to try it again. It did tell me that the machine would continue to function normally on the old version so I have just left it as it is. Seems to work fine so I don't know what the upgrade would do.
I wish I had more time to play but until I can afford to retire, or win the lottery, I will have to squeeze in what I can when I can!
Margaret, what a great review! Thank you! Makes me content to stay with my CE200 for now.
Jan - good for you girl. I am so jealoous that you gals in the USA get all the software and we don't :-(
Julie - how are you getting on? I also broke a needle first time out but I figured out it is when I don't have a support holding the thread up high enough. It manages to sneak itself under the handle then all hell breaks loose!
Yes, you can back up stitches using the reverse button, and to forward through stitches, you use the needle up/down button.
I bought the Futura Quartet at Hancock Fabrics earlier this month. They sell it with the model no. SEQS-6000. I'm wondering if the FQ-4 is any different.
So far I've only stitched out two embroidery designs. One of them was a sample from the software, the other was a design I had on my computer. I'm starting to look for designs larger than a 5 x 7 hoop since now I have a 6 x 10 hoop.
I haven't yet experimented with Photo Stitch, Hyperfont or Autopunch yet.
Oh how cool! you got the big brother Futie!
If you got photostitch, hyperfonts and autopunch included then WOW! Up here we have to buy them separately and at about $249 (plus tax) each I certainly won't be buying them again. It turns out that the set I already have from my CE350 won't work with the XL400. How maddening is that?
The autopunch I use infrequently. It works well with bold simple designs, e.g. clipart. Anything more detailed - hmm not so good.
Hyperfonts - awesome software. As soon as I figured out how to use it I went and bought a CD of 2000 truetype fonts to give me more choice still.
Photostitch - IMHO not worth the plastic the CD is made from. Tried it so many times and no matter what settings I try everything still turns out like a blob. Believe me, I tried and tried. In the end I gave up and bought the 5D Family Tree software which does a half decent job of digitizing photos.
It is the Creativ Festival again in 3 weeks so I am excited to see what other new goodies I can find.
Take care Pat.
It's been 4 months since I got the machine and still haven't done much with the embroidery yet. I've been quilting recently, and haven't had a need for embroidery. Eventually I'll want to try using embroidery in my quilts, but I'm having too much fun piecing with it. It's also a hassle to have to change the machine from sewing to embroidery mode.
I do still have my other embroidery machine, but it's stored in its carry case until I have place to set it up.
I love my XL400 for embroidery and don't like to take the embroidery unit off.
So for Christmas I just got the Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q. It has amazing features and also has a wide throat for quilting.
I start my classes next week so until then I won't really do much.
Check out the Singer Futura XL550/SEQS6700. Discovered it yesterday. Looks like an XL400/SEQS6000 with several additional features. Definitely on my dream list.