Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I have Brother Cs 6000i that is computerized, has 60 decorative stitches, sews great and is very lightweight. I bought it at wal-mart for less than $200.00. I use it all the time at home and on occasion at quilt classes. Highly recommend it for that purpose alone.
My first gut reaction is to let her choose it. I'm so picky about my sewing equipment and its very hard for me to explain exactly what I'm looking for. Take her to the sewing machine store on her birthday and let her try to lift them and check out the various options to make sure it does everything she needs it too. Also, get a rolling sewing machine tote, that will really help with the transport.
Your wife is really lucky to have you for a husband. Make it a fantstic surprise by graciously taking her shopping for her new machine, with NO complaining about how long it takes. One silly little gizmo that she either wants on a machine, or finds out she hates, can spoil a great surprise. By the way, she probably would never let you know if she hates it.
The Janome 3160 is also 12 pounds and has the thread cutter and needle up/down that I have on my 7700. I have had both the Jem Gold and Jem Platinum as well -- I like the 3160 better but it is a bit more pricey. The 3160 has been discontinued, but you may be able to find it. I believe the Jems have also been discontinued.
Are you sure the price of $50 was for the walking foot alone or for the quilting kit (1/4" foot, walking foot, darning foot and the darning plate)? The kit runs between $50 and $60 on line.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
First off... what a very loving and thoughtful husband you are!!!! Since she already has a Janome I agree go with the Janome!! I say, SUPRISE HER!!!...when you purchase simply ask if she it isn't what she wants can it be returned for another machine... What a fabulous surprise it will be for her! Go for it!!! I too am looking at the Janome Jem for classes and RVing! The price, size, functions and lightweight should all work for her beautifully!! Good luck! Hope you post again to let us know how she likes her new machine!
I have the Janome Platinum, which is just an upgraded jem 660.....I would go for the Janome Jem...I have 5 sewing machines & this is the one that travels with me...light weight, yet feels and sews like a much larger machine...think
she would love it, especially since she already owns a Janome
I love the Brothers machines that have been suggested above. I have two Brothers and I really like them. I am not a fan of Janomes. I own one. I agree that you might want to see what your wife has in mind. It is so sweet of you to ask around, but you know that sometimes we have our mind made up about something and we don't like to be disappointed.
Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!
I might be a 60 year old grandma, but that doesn't stop me from driving my brand new Mustang (with racing stripes and 6 speed manual). My grandchildren's friends think I'm a cool gramma! I dropped my 12 yo DGS off at a party. The kids wanted to know who that was in the cool car. When he told him it was his Mimi's car, they were amazed. They said their grandparents were dull. They only drove Caddies and Mercedes. I got a good laugh off of that one.
I have carefully read all the posts here, and agree with each one in one way or another. However, there was one that caught my eye, and I thought, WoW, that is so true. As a wife, I love my dear hubby as I am sure your wife loves you. The last thing I would want to do would be to say I did not like something, that I knew he had put so much time and thought into. I would honestly just sit there and tell my hubby how much I loved it, even if I did not. So while some have suggested a "hand made gift card" with a shopping trip with you to your local dealers, I think that is probably a reallly good idea. You don't even have to tell her where your going shopping, you can just say a "shopping day" and then surprise her by going to the dealer. However, or what ever you decide, let us know how it went ... we always like to hear the end of the great stories !!! FYI...and you are a great hubby !