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All I need it to do are straight lines and zigzags, nothing fancy.

AND automatic button hole AND stretch stitch AND some sort of overlock stitch AND blind hemming (which comes in handy). These are the bare minimum for a machine to be really useful. Also make sure they throw in as many "feet" as possible; as a minimum you need a zig-zag foot, a zipper foot, a button hole foot/attachment (each machine is different). If you want to quilt, get a quilting bar and walking foot now whilst the machine has a full range of accessories.

Also, make sure the machine is heavy enough so that it stays in one place when you sew fast. My mother's old machine used to "walk" due to the vibrations it generated....

- Pam (the quilting bar for my machine was really hard to track down because it isn't a current model)
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