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

  1. #26
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    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

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  2. #27
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    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.

  3. #28
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    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.

  4. #29
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    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.

  5. #30
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
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    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)

  6. #31
    Junior Member ArlaJo's Avatar
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    I love my Viking Mega Quilter. It's 6 years old and it only has straight stitch but its my workhorse. I also have the Viking Platinum 955E that is great for embroidery but I don't like it for sewing. My DH is buying me a Viking Tribute tomorrow.
    I have wanted it since it came out and its now on sale. If anyone has one I would like to know what you like or don't like.I cannot wait for morning.

  7. #32
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    I have 3 Berninas and love them all. all I had a Kenmore before these and did not know how great a machine could be. Well worth it if u can afford it.
    Linda

  8. #33
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    YES YES and YES. I am pretty thrifty and always chose the lower end of products for my own use. Finally decided I was worth it and yes, I could afford it so I bought a high end machine. I never once regretted that decision. I sewed a lot on that machine which was a real workhorse. After 5 years, I bought another real high end machine. Felt like I'd outgrown my previous machine. Again, no regrets. I sew every single day. I would certainly spend the money again.

  9. #34
    Senior Member bobquilt3's Avatar
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    I've had them all. Started with aSinger 60years ago. Went to a Kenmoore that was a real work-horse. Then it was on to Janome, Viking, bernina and I think there may have been a baby lock surger in the mix. Most were high-end machines. I now have a Bernina 720. (Have a Janome 300E for labels and stuff.) I traded in 3 machines, got a good price and it was still more than I ever paid for a machine. Is it worth the money? I doubt it. Why did I buy it? I am a gadget person and this Bernina dealer is close, honest, fair and extremely helpful. Of course you can sit right down and sew and do wonderful things But there is a huge learning curve if you want to get the very most out of them. I continue to take classes on the different feet and ways of using the 720. They are informative and stimulating and as a widow of 81, I can use these things. I make only quilts now and for piecing and quilting, I loved my old Viking Saphire but wasn't thrilled with the dealer. IMHO, think of the features you want, find a dealer you like, test drive all that you can and go with the best you can afford.
    Last edited by bobquilt3; 03-29-2013 at 03:22 AM.

  10. #35
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    When I finished college ever so many years ago I purchased a Singer 401 with a desk cabinet. I have used it for 50 years. I inherited a Featherweight from my MIL and use it in our camper or to take to classes. I also have a Bernina 1130 that I have used for 30 years-I got it the first year they came out. All that being said I like top of the line machines and feel that they are worth their weight in gold because of reliability. I love my machines and use them a lot-like daily. Some days I think it would be nice to have a new machine-just to have a new machine. If I did do that I would certainly go for one far enough the line to be good to do quilting wonderfully well. My daughter-in-law has one of the inexpensive Singers (made for the Walmart crowd) and it is nothing but a headache. I taught a grandson to sew on my machines and he loves to sew-but he hates his mom's machine because of the problems. That being said, go for the best you can afford. You may not use all the bells and whistles but you could if you had the desire.

  11. #36
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    Congratulations on your retirement! Can you tell me more about your 8900, have you done any FMQ with it yet?

  12. #37
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    I think it depends on what you want to do. Some years back I got a Pfaff (higher-end than anything I'd had). I like the dual feed and use that a lot but I've not had occasion to use any of the special stitches, buttonholes, etc. on it. My workhorse is an old Singer 301A -- we have two in this house and you can't beat 'em for straight stitching and ease of use.

  13. #38
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    My diamond was expensive. It is my favorite one to quilt on. Plus I like to do machine embroidery. Viking has come out with the Diamond Deluxe. If I could afford it I would trade up. ( I can't!!!). I did embroidery on it during a class to introduce it. I could not tell which side was the front. That said....mine is still wonderful.

  14. #39
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I've never owned an expensive machine until I got my longarm. Still have my old Brother for pieceing and binding. I did upgrade the old Brother and I absolutely hate the computized model. I have more trouble out of it than I ever did the cheapo one.
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  15. #40
    Super Member pumpkinpatchquilter's Avatar
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    I want to just add to this - I do a lot of free motion quilting on my sewing machines and it IS worth it to get something industrial like a Juki if that is you goal. I am just burning my machines out and at this point, because I long arm quilt too, they don't keep up with me! Juki's actually stitch more stitches per minute than my long arm, so for projects I want to free motion I do want a higher end machine. But all high end machines are not made equally, so again, much of this has to do on what you want your machine to perform.
    Valerie Smith - pumpkinpatchquilter
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  16. #41
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    Generally only the high end machines have the most desirable features. I LOVE the built in walking foot and use it a LOT. I love the thread cutter. It saves so much thread and time and you don't get hairy thread covered projects and clothing. I actually use my embroidery stitches, so the more the merrier. I have an older Pfaff and a newer Babylock sewing and embroidery machine and I don't realize how much I appreciate some of these features till I take a smaller machine to class with none of these features and I'm glad to get home to my good ones! However, you can save a lot by buying a used machine so you don't have to take a second mortgage on your house to pay for it.

  17. #42
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    My sister bought a higher priced Janome about ayear and a half ago and gave me her tired Singer. Now she asked if I use it much and if she could borrow or have it back because her Janome already died (she needs to use Singer as a backup). That Athena 2000 has been through a lot (and was well worth the $$ spend in the 70's).

  18. #43
    Senior Member SandySews's Avatar
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    I don't know about all brands of machines, but I've owned Singer machines and a Janome.... And then I bought my first Bernina..a 153 QE.....that did it for me. I still have it and won't part with it. Since then I've bought a Bernina 440 QEE and a 530 as well as a Bernina Serger. I love these machines and believe me they area workhorses. They never cause any problems for me. My advice would be to go to a Bernina Store and try some of their machines out. I think you'll find that they are worth the money.... at least they are to me.
    sandysews

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  19. #44
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    My first machine was a Wissard from Western auto loved it then upgraded to a Singer with zigzag thought I was in Heaven sewed on it for years then another Singer wasn't too pleased .whenI retired I bought a active 230Brnina Love it it sews smothe love the way you change feet will stay with Bernina

  20. #45
    Junior Member salisaquilter's Avatar
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    I have a Singer Quantum XL 1000 that I paid $2600 some 15 years ago..... I LOVE this machine. Has 3 hoops for embroidery, finger touch go ( no foot pedal) I use this machine EVERY day.....I don't know what I would do if something happened to this machine. needle threader, many patterns for embroidery. I could go on and on......
    SAlly A MacDonald

  21. #46
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    It's sort of like buying a car. The more expensive ones are quieter, smoother and may require less maintenance. Can you get from point A to point B in a beater? Sure. Can you make a quilt with a machine that sounds like tank and rattles the table? Sure. But, decide what you want, test drive some machines, and I'm sure you'll find the right one for you .

  22. #47
    Senior Member mhollifiel's Avatar
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    Know thyself is the best place to start as has been pointed out. I only piece tops for Project Linus and I don't have close access to classes on all the new bells and whistles that newer machines have. Your location relevant to a good dealer or service person is a major issue, IMHO. So, first question, what features will you use? Then, keep it simple.
    Even though I love my 20 year old Bernina, I will never purchase another electronic machine, especially Bernina. Because the Bernina company is proprietary and (I have been told) has changed hands, I have to have an "authorized" dealer and even then some electronic boards/parts cannot be replaced. We have to travel out of the swamp for two hours just to find such an authorized person and, even then, some parts for my Bernina can no longer be found. So your location relevant to your dealer is a consideration. So, I am very happy and very familiar with my Bernina that has a circuit board that is failing! I am old enough that I don't want to buy a "new" machine to learn as this one does what I want it to do but those days are numbered. I am moving backward to the old mechanical machines and have been thrilled with using them as backup. I have my MIL's old Singer clone which is heavy as lead but the stitch can not be matched. I also just bought a "rose case" Kenmore to travel with and it is amazing. BUT these are simple machines and do only basic things. Still, they do all I need and more. And, I have the satisfaction of sewing green on these older machines. So when my Bernina finally dies, I am still able to do what I need/want to do. My money will go to fabric.
    Holli
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  23. #48
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    I only paid $200.00 for my machine since I haven't used it that much (and just getting back into sewing) BUT and that's a big one, make sure they can repair or deal with locally. Even though mine was under warranty they had to send it away (6 weeks and another $250. later) I had my neighbor who sews occasionally look at it. She took it apart and found a piece of thread tiny 1/16" caught way down under the feed dog control. Took it out and works great. The operator not so much. LOL!

  24. #49
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    First decide what you want the machine to do. Zigzag? dec. stitches? Thread cutter. Make a list. Then find a machine that will fit the bill. What will you do most? Piece? sew on knits? If you will only piece quilts and want to do FMQ then i suggest a Juki 980. Love my machine. No computer to go bad. Only straight stitch at 1500 rpms. Has a bigger throat. Only you can decide the features you NEED.

  25. #50
    Junior Member scarlet14's Avatar
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    I think the dealer is the most important part of your decision ---one with a good repair department---[hopefully you won't need it much]--- and a sales staff that will help you and teach you how to use to use your new baby---I just bought a new Brother 450Q and I love it---$1500---third machine from this dealer ---- a Pfaff [that died]--- this one and a Brother serger

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