So, I have been saving for several months and I just got an incredible Christmas bonus. So now I get to go shopping for a new sewing machine! Yay! But which one?
I looked at the Bernina 430. It was alright. The way it sewed felt a little 'heavy' for some reason. It just didn't seem to glide for me. But it had a lot of features, but all the 'quilting' features were extra - the extended table, walking foot, clear or open toed darning foot, etc. I did like this one because it was upgrade-able. If I wanted the stitch regulator at a later date, I could add to it. Or I could add the embroidery functions as well. But it seemed like it was one of the more expensive machines for the least amount of extras.
I looked at a Pfaff Quilt expression 4.0. I really didn't like the way this one sewed. So I have kind of thrown this one out the window. It had some nice features, but it just didn't feel right.... lol
I looked at a Janome 6600. This one is sold at the LQS, so of course that is the one I have heard about the most. Everyone seems to love it. But when I did FMQ, the back looked awful with the feathering (is that what it is called?) around the curves, where the top thread pulls around and makes the loops look funny. Hope that makes sense. When I had borrowed a friends Janome DC when my Brother was in the shop, I had the same issue throughout the entire FMQ. I had played with tensions and speeds, and just thought that it was because it wasn't a top machine. But then after I got my Brother back, I never had that problem again.... This machine had a LOT more features than any of the others I looked at, and all the feet were included, and there is a sale going on until Christmas eve that includes a sewing table cabinet for the machine. So the price and extras are right....
I then looked at a Viking Sapphire. I really liked this one. I liked the way it did free-motion and I liked the feel of the sewing. I liked the large throat. And I loved the hands free feature that you used with the peddle, not a knee press. I liked the feature that every time you stopped sewing, the needle went down and the foot came up automatically, so you could rotate the fabric without have to do a thing. It came with a great darning foot and an applique foot, but the walking foot was extra. The sales lady said she would even throw in the extended table. I also loved the automatic sensor that adjusted tension and foot pressure for you, but you could also manually adjust these tensions
So I guess my question to you all is, which ones do you prefer and why? The sales lady for the Viking thought that the Janome wasn't powerful enough. She didn't even think that a Janome was in the same playing field as the other three brands, because of the different type of motors. But then the LQS sales lady had NOTHING good to say about the Viking or Pfaff. She kept going on and on about the reliability of the Janome and how she knew that the Viking & Pfaff machines were always in the shop, 'every 3 to 4 months' she said.... So, is that true? have you Viking owners found that your machine is in the shop a lot? That you have issues with it? The Janome sales lady also said the she had less issues with specialty threads with the Janome than with any of the other machines she had owned. Have you found that to be true?
I really liked the Viking the best, but I don't want to purchase a machine that I will later regret. Also, all the classes are at the LQS and I kind of feel like a betrayer if I don't get a Janome. But the fact that the FMQ on the Janome could be a struggle is a HUGE drawback. I wonder if I would ever find the right combination and practice to not make the feathering happen? I have only been doing FMQ since this summer, but have loved it. And I have not had this problem on my Brother since the first week. But I was never able to cure it on the Janome that I had borrowed. Have any of you ever had this issue with a Janome and not with some other brand?
Thank you thank you for all your input!