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Thread: High end machines? Are they Worth the $$?

  1. #21
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I use my machines hard so I went for a Bernina 440 2 years ago. It was about $3000 then but many are becoming available for about $1500 due to trade ups. That might be an option for you but all of the major brands have good machines so it depends on your budget.

  2. #22
    Junior Member trennag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    I used a walmart brother for years and it did everything I needed... but as I found my self quilting more I wanted more throat space. I started researching and test driving. I ended up deciding on a baby lock symphony. It took me 2 years to save the money and when I got it in November I was so happy!!! Its not a $5k machine... but its has everything I wanted and more so that I can grow into it. I looked at the crescendo when I was in ready to buy the symphony and decided that I didn't need the extra bells and whistles that one had to offer at a higher price point. I love love the needle threader, the stadium lighting, auto foot lift, auto thread cutter, all things that I don't know what I did with out I tell my husband every night as I turn off my machine and clean up my sewing project that my symphony was worth every penny!!!
    Brother SQ9000, Baby Lock Crescendo

    Slowly but surely restoring these lovely machines...
    Singer 66 (1929) Singer 27 treadle (1909) Singer 99 (1925)

  3. #23
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Sparks, NV
    I bought a Bernina 440QE once my baby left for college and I took up quilting seriously. I don't remember the cost but it was a couple of thousand dollars 9 years ago - a lot of money for us. But, it had the features I knew I wanted; needle up/down, needle position, able to adjust pressure on presser foot, good free-motion tension, knee controller for presser foot up/down. I tried out all of the major high end brands and I just liked the "feel" and sound of the 440QE. It is a quite, precise, and reliable machine.

    Since that time, I now own 17 more machines (mostly treadles and vintage Singers). I like them and use them most of the time since they do a great job at what I usually do - sew a straight stitch. However, I just mentioned to my cousin this week that as much as I like my vintage machines, if I had to keep only one machine it would be my TOL 440QE. I think that it was well worth the cost since it can "do it all". I am still happy with it and have no desire to trade up.

  4. #24
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I bought my Creative Vision when I was still working. Yes, I have used it, but as I get older I tend to use it less because I have trouble lifting it to take to a friend's to sew together. I love it for the simplicity of the embroidery.

    I like to stay with the same machine throughout whatever process I am doing: quilting or sewing.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.

  5. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Deep South
    In 2003, I was in the market for a really good sewing machine. DH was with me and I had a Bernina in mind, although I had not seriously shopped for one yet. We stopped first at the Baby Lock dealership. I was told that it was every bit as good as the Bernina. Perhaps it is, I don't and may never know. BUT, the issue is that it will do everything except make my morning coffee. It is the Ellageo esg3. Around $5,ooo at the time. It has the knee lift and lots of great features. It has the floppy disc drive for embroidery. I have never, and may never use the embroidery feature. It soon became obsolete, because soon after, they came out with a flash drive instead of the floppy disc. I only do quilting and making dolls and clothes for the great-grands.
    Bottom line is, don't buy more machine than you intend to use.

  6. #26
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    was Upstate NY, now Winston-Salem NC
    I bought a TOL Bernina about 15 years ago. I had a cheap Singer and went to a class at a Bernina dealer, didn't have the right presser foot and used one of the store's machines. I came home that night and told my husband I NEEDED a Bernina. The difference in quality was like night and day. I didn't rest until I had my Bernina. I've done a lot of sewing on it and never had a single problem. I would cut off my right arm before I would give up my original machine but I kept worrying that I needed a back up machine, just in case. I bought a 440Q and love it just as much.

    I agree that you should consider the features, not the stitches. And be honest about how much machine you really need. I think you want to make sure you buy the best quality you can afford - it is a lot more fun to sew on a machine that never gives you problems.
    I'd rather be at the lake

    Do one thing every day that scares you... Eleanor Roosevelt

  7. #27
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Central NJ
    As others have said, it really depends on what features YOU want/need in a machine AND the type of sewing YOU do. Me, I piece quilts, do home dec and crafting and every once in a while think about garments again. I don't machine quilt, don't have a desire to - I like hand quilting. I'm a spreadsheet queen. When I was looking for a new machine about 10-12 years ago, I made a list of my 'needs'; 'wants'; 'must-haves' and let my fingers do the walking on the internet for machines with those features. Then went test driving and pricing. Came home with my Viking Platinum and am extremely happy with it. Got it for a great price at the time and the repair guy at the local dealer is awesome. I had experience with him before that so knew what I was getting there. Some of my dealer's employees can be annoying but the repair guy is great so it's worth some attitude on occasion.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I love my Bernina-all four of them-plus a Bernina serger and an old 540. My last purchase was a Bernina 820 for $6,000. The only problem with it, is I can't afford two, one for sewing, and one for my frame.

  9. #29
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Rapid City, SD
    I have the Bernina 830 - yes it also has the embroidery unit. I love my Bernina! Just bought a second machine, A Bernina 350 to take to classes and the quilt retreat. I would buy both of them again in a heartbeat. My big machine tells me when it runs out of thread, top or bottom, tells me when to oil and when to take in for service. I really like the way it sews.

  10. #30
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Margate, FL
    When I was in the market for the first time I was looking into quilting therefore I wanted the "waking foot" function. Back then Pfaff was the only brand that had the built in IDF which is the walking foot. This alone made me looking into Pfaff only, then it was about the budget. The one I bought had the needle up/down, some needle position and 60+ stitches. I loved it and still do. Some years ago I decided I wanted to embroidery and looked into Pfaff again because I love the features. I bought different models until now that I upgraded to the Creative Vision.
    I bought it when the Creative Sensation was put in the market so the CV dropped to 3K after being a 10K machine for 2 years. I love love the machine. I still cannot believe the difference when I am quilting in the free motion mode. The difference with the old machine as far as evenly stitches and easiness to free motion is amazing. I also love on this one the threader cutter and the automatic foot lift, which I cannot live without for applique which I love.
    I don't regret the money spent. I cannot afford a 10K machine but settle with the used one from my Dealer which gives us the clients the best support.
    Best advise, set up a budget, look into the features and how much support your will have from your Dealer.
    good luck and let us know what you buy.
    :-( I wish I was a full time quilter!
    Andrea (Margate, FL)

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