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What sewing machine would you recommend to someone who plans to use it for only very simple, very occasional sewing (like sewing linings for the purses I plan to knit, maybe the occasional quilt)? All I need it to do are straight lines and zigzags, nothing fancy.

Even if you are not planning on sewing much, I would very strongly recommend AGAINST getting a cheap-o machine that only does straight and zig-zag stitches. Get one that will do a decent amount of stitches, I think most worthwhile machines do at least 17 stitches. No matter how little you think you will use it now, you will wind up using it a lot more than you think unless you get a crappy machine (in which case you will never use it).
I highly recommend eBay, but if you are uncomfortable with eBay, if there is a Sears near you, see if they have a last year's model of machine. I picked up my old Kenmore for about half of it's original price simply because I caught it at the model change-over. You should be able to get away with spending about $150 (give or take) for a machine that will do what you want it to do well.
If you decide to use eBay, I can give you the name of a seller that I've bought from and been very impressed with.
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