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Thread: Janome Horizon 7700 vs. Bernina 550QE vs. used Bernina 440QE

  1. #11
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    I have a Bernina 640 and a White Pearl. I was raised on Vikings but now days the Bernina beats it hands down. If you are sewing for family the B will walk over jeans hems for shortening pants. I do some alterations as well as having a long arm quilting business. The B switches to a single hole by changing the plate. It just pops in and out. I have BSR for it but haven't used it because of the long arm. I would suggest learning to machine quilt without it before making a purchase. It appears many don't feel the need for it. The walking foot is a good investment if you are going to attach binding. It works great. I would not buy a bunch of extra feet other than that and possibly a quarter inch foot, they have several types of them. Good luck on making your decision. Try them several times and go home and think about them before making a choice. It's almost as difficult and important as buying a car.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  2. #12
    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    My two cents worth....I have a Bernina 430, which is pretty much the same machine as the 440. It's my only machine. It has done everything I've asked of it....thick seams, heavy fabrics, multiple layers, sheer fabrics, quilting, home dec sewing, you name it. It handles everything easily and has a beautiful straight stitch which can be even better my adding the straight stitch throat plate. I "upgraded" by buying a second-hand, hardly-used BSR for half of what a new one costs. It works wonderfully....I just need more practice at making pretty designs with it!

    I did buy several extra feet that I now realize I won't use very often and could have done without them just fine. The walking foot is an essential for quilting and I've heard reports that it is more reliable and easier (therefore cheaper) to repair or adjust, if necessary. To me, the more bells and whistles that are included on the machine itself, the more things there are to go wrong someday...sort of like a car!

    It all comes down to how the machines feel to you...keep test-driving and pushing them to do the things you want them to do.

    AnitaSt

  3. #13
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    I have a Bernina 430 (just like the 450 w/o the embroidery or BSR) and I also had a Janome 7700. I did not like the 7700 and sold it and got the 6600 instead. The stitch quality on the Janome vs the Bernina was comparable. The Bernina felt better made than the 7700, but the 6600 feels better than the 7700 did. I also had a 450 with BSR which I did not like so I sold that one as well. The BSR was pretty useless to be as it required me to go too slow and with the small throat space on the Bernina, it was not practicle for FMQ fo me anyway. If I had to choose between the Bernina and 7700, I would choose the Bernina.

  4. #14
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
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    I would go try them at a dealer before you decide. And don't believe everything they say....but try all the things you want to know about....take fabric/batting and try FMQ and use the 1/4" piecing foot and see if it works like they say it does. Then go home and think about what you thought.

  5. #15
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    I have a bernina. I have to agree with others on here that suggested you bring your own fabric, your own quilt sandwiches etc.

    Some things to consider is your harp size. I bought the 440QE before I really started FMQ and I kick myself every day for not knowing more about harp size.

    Good luck!
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Like AnitaSt and Solomae, I bought the 430 instead of the 440. I have had it for a few years. I do agree that the harp size is not fun to do fmq with. I recently bought a Pfaff QE4 because of the harp size and it does have the 9mm stitch instead of the 5, so even though I have no interest in embroidery, it does make the decorative stitches more useful, to me at least. I have no experience with Janomes, but it seems everyone loves them. I do enjoy the larger harp size and the auto thread cutter which my bernina does not have.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Jamiestitcher62's Avatar
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    I have the Horizon 7700 and have had it since it came out. Yes there was an issue with the design of the 1/4" foot, but they sent everyone who registered their machine a new one. It has a little notch on the bottom. It has definitely made a world of difference. I haven't had a problem with it since, sewing over the bumps, but sewing over bumps seems to be a little tricky no matter what machine you use.

    My best friend works for a sewing machine dealer/repair shop and said by far, Bernina sewing machines are in the shop more than any other brand on the market.

    I had the Janome 6600 which also had problems going over bumps, and I agree, the lack of a freearm was a bummer, I traded it in for the 7700 and I also have the Janome 11000SE and I just picked up the new Janome 4120QDC for taking to classes (it weighs 13 pounds).

    If quilting is your thing, Bernina machines are notoriously short in the throat area, almost comical when looking at them, the feet are expensive. The 7700's extra throat space has been a godsend to me anyway.

    It's a shame that Bernina has a BSR for a machine with such a small throat area. Seems like a waste.

    Try them all, but I'm a Janome girl, so take it with a grain of salt.
    Laura

  8. #18
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    It's almost as difficult and important as buying a car.
    I had a harder time buying a sewing machine than choosing my last new car!

  9. #19
    Super Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silver Needle View Post
    I have a Bernina 640 and a White Pearl. I was raised on Vikings but now days the Bernina beats it hands down. If you are sewing for family the B will walk over jeans hems for shortening pants. I do some alterations as well as having a long arm quilting business. The B switches to a single hole by changing the plate. It just pops in and out. I have BSR for it but haven't used it because of the long arm. I would suggest learning to machine quilt without it before making a purchase. It appears many don't feel the need for it. The walking foot is a good investment if you are going to attach binding. It works great. I would not buy a bunch of extra feet other than that and possibly a quarter inch foot, they have several types of them. Good luck on making your decision. Try them several times and go home and think about them before making a choice. It's almost as difficult and important as buying a car.
    I have the Bernina 730 and love it but am considering a newer machine so I will have this one for embroidery and the other one just for quilting. I have the BSR but prefer the Leah Day method for free motion which does not require the BSR. With either you have to practice to keep your stitches even and navigate so learn without as silver needle suggests. Then the BSR will make it easier if you go that route. I do not have any other machine brands so try them all. Write down what features are most important like mirror image, a favorites button or knee lift, etc, then compare them. Good luck with your choice. You will never regret a Bernina.
    Linda

  10. #20
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    I have read over all the replays. As is my nature I must add my own 2 cents.
    You have to test and test some more. Bring all the fabrics that you sew with and some others that you may or may not sew with that are difficult for a machine to handle. When testing be sure you are using the right foot for the job that you are testing, as it makes a difference.
    I have both the 630Bernina, big sister for the 430/40/ 530/50
    I love this machine, it is precise, goes through everything. FM really well. I have no complaints.
    It does not have a big harp space as compared to the 7700. But I feel for an all around machine I much prefer a Bernina. Better buttonhole, feed is perfect, love the many feet and that the feet are stable never worry about getting through a think seam, Maneuvers really well.
    But then I also have just purchased the Janome 6600, looked very carefully at the 7700 and opted for the 6600. One thing that weighted on me were some bad reviews, though some say that is taken care of. The other lack of power over multiple seams. But then after my dealer had it looked at the feed dogs adjusted it sewed fine. So if you decide you want the 7700, be certain this is done, or looked at.
    As for the 6600 it is sewing over all kinds of seams so far no problems. I have had it for a week. First off I don't need a free arm, as I have the Bernina. I like this machine its, tried and true. It is rock solid, quiet, and easy to use. The Accufeed is a little cumbersome, but works great, once you get use to taking it on and off its super easy. I purchased the FMQuilting foot that comes with the Horizon, and also a blue dot bobbin case. Really if I were to pick between the Horizon and the 6600, and this was my only machine, then I think I would go for the Horizon.
    So you see its not an easy answer. lol
    Also all of the Accufeed feet except for the ruffler, pleater. And there is also a very cool and inventive foot that is a roller/tractor foot and comes with a set of different gizmos, for all kinds of jobs.
    I love both of my machines. But if I could have only one I would go with the Bernina.
    Only You can decide!

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