What kind of Machine do you have and/or what brand do you recommend?
I have a Baby Lock Crafter's Choice that I bought about seven years ago. It was a display model and we got a pretty good deal on it. It's really been a good machine. It has just enough on it to be versatile, but not too much to be confusing and frustrating.
I grew up with Singer, so it wasn't easy changing brands!
I have a really old Montgomery Ward machine that my Mom gave me when she got a new one probably 20 years ago. So mine is way old. But it works and does the job. Pretty much just straight stitch and zig zag. We have an even older bullet proof one on the boat that we abuse with multiple layers of sail cloth, sunbrella and leather. It would be nice to have a newer machine where you can see how much thread is on the bobbin. I hate it when I am making a long seam only to find out that the bobbin was empty. Especially when I am sewing vinyl or something that I don't want the extra holes to weaken it.
I have a Singer 150th Anniversary edition that my inlaws bought me when we were first married. I've had it ten years and love it. My father-in-law researched machines and chose it because it has all metal parts. That's how my husband blew the Christmas surprise because he casually shoehorned his newly acquired knowledge of sewing machine parts into a conversation we were having. We still joke about that one.
I recently picked up a used Elna serger and can't wait to start playing with it. A puff quilt is on my list for a Christmas throw.
I am a Singer fan because they've been around for-e-ver.
I learned to sew on an Elna, they are great machines too.