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Thread: Sewing machine - buyers remorse?

  1. #51
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I can not stress enough what others have written.... Know the features you want!! If you won't do embroidery don't buy a machine that does that. Over 20 years ago I bought my Bernina 150QE and it was head over heels love from day one. Not only the machine, but I bought the whole package which included the special table the machine sets down into. At the time Bernina was offering interest free financing for a year so I made sure to pay that baby off in the one year time. My dealer is fantabulous! Part of the deal was 5 years, yes I said FIVE years of service maintenance free! Also included free training to learn all the bells and whistles. I feel a great dealer is just as important as the machine and you would be amazed at how much you can do with the correct work station as well. I would sacrifice features so I could get the correct work station (table) for the machine. I love my Bernina.

  2. #52
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I had similar fears. I'd struggled for 7 years with a Janome that was a bit of a lemon - great for piecing but rubbish for quilting - and eventually decided I'd have to replace it or find a new hobby. It became obvious that I was going to have to make a major purchase - very scary when you're on a pension. I started off by saying "anything but a Janome", but several months of reading reviews and forums and trying out other machines brought me to the conclusion that it might be the best choice. I assumed I'd go for a 6600 - the 7700 just looked so big and scary, and was beyond my budget. But continued reading seemed to suggest that it was currently the best machine out there for quilting and the large harp space certainly appealed. A good offer on the price in January of this year clinched it. I had several sleepless nights - it seemed such a lot of money to spend, even with the offer, and I was so scared that I'd not be able to cope with it or would still have problems with quilting (both Janome and my old dealer insisted they were my fault, not the machine's). But when I went and tried it out, I was thrilled: being used to a Janome, it seemed very familiar, in spite of being so much more sophisticated, and guess what - suddenly I could quilt! 2 months later I'm still very, very happy. Even if I never used any of its other features (which I will with time), it would be worth every penny for me, because I can just sit down and quilt, and not spend all my time and energy fighting the machine.
    So I would say above all take your time, join forums for the machines you're interested in and ask questions, ask everyone you know what they think of their machines, try different ones, make sure you find a helpful dealer who will let you spend a lot of time on the machines you're considering. Maybe consider the cheaper alternatives - I looked at vintage machines and cheaper models to see if they would do what I was looking for and only moved back to looking at the high-end machines when I was pretty sure they wouldn't. Hopefully you'll gradually find it becomes clearer what you need and what you'd be comfortable with.

  3. #53
    Member SuzyQ2's Avatar
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    sad to say my answer is yes....not once but twice!!!! Do your homework before you buy and TEST the machine before buying. Good luck

  4. #54
    Super Member gramquilter2's Avatar
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    I bought the high end Bernina embroidery machine and LOVE it. I use it everyday and am always in the process of making something fantastic. Since then I have also bought a Bernina quilting edition 440 which I really like. I have never been sorry for either purchase. Buy what you really want and can afford.

  5. #55
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    If you can afford it don't fret over if. Buy from a reputable dealer, not the dealer with the best deal.
    Got fabric?

  6. #56
    Super Member tutt's Avatar
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    I bought a Bernina 820 about a year ago and did have remorse at spending so much when I had a perfectly good Pfaff, but after sewing on it for a few days, didn't give it another thought. Love it!

  7. #57
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    I like my Viking (10 years old) but I LOVE my Singer 401A (55 years old). It does, albeit manually, most of what the high end machines do today. We paid a fortune for it in 1957 (1 salary, newlywed, etc.,) but I wouldn't trade it for anything on the market.

  8. #58
    Senior Member vickimc's Avatar
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    It is according to what you want to do. If just for quilting, you can find a model for quilting that doesnt cost so much. but if you want the combo sewing and embroidery you will pay big bucks. I have done both. I learned that I wish I had bought a seperate stand alone embroidery machine. I dont like taking the embroidery unit on and off, so I bought a sewing machine for piecing and use the other for embroidery mostly. I find I am not embroidering much in the last few years. so, decide what you really want and go for it.
    Vicki Mc in SC
    www.jacksonpatchquilt.blogspot.com

  9. #59
    Senior Member bobquilt3's Avatar
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    IMHO, I think it depends on the person. Many times you buy the expensive machine, are thrilled to death, bring it home and the then say to it, "Do something wonderful." and it just sits there and does the same old things your old one did. . . and you wonder why you spent so much money.
    If you are willing to explore, make mistakes and maybe swear at it a little, you can learn the wonderful things this new machine will do. You can take lessons. . . why reinvent the wheel. Sure you can eventually figure it out but a lesson will show you how to do what you wanted and a whole lot more that you never thought of.
    Do you have the patience to do all this? It will make a lot of techniques easier and more professional looking but do you want or need new techniques? Lets face it I like my toys. I like puzzles. I like learning. So, yes the high end machine makes sense to me. Figuring it out is half the fun. I went for it and love my Bernina 820 (I'm not into embroidery) but I'm not you.
    Hope this helps but I'm afraid that in the end it is all up to you. What you like, want and need.
    Good luck with your decision. Let us know how it worked out.
    Last edited by bobquilt3; 03-31-2012 at 06:44 AM.

  10. #60
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    A few yeras ago I wanted one of the higher end machines, but it wasn't in the budget. I checked around and found a used Viking quilt designer with lots of extras for $700. I love it. Dealers will often have used machines for sale that customers have traded in.

  11. #61
    Junior Member judord's Avatar
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    Before I retired, I decided I would just "go for it" and buy my "dream machine" and got a $6k Babylock. Best idea I ever had! I have never regretted it for one minute; except for when I have to sit and wait while it is in the shop for maintenance, which kills me. I love it. Thank you, thank you very much.
    Judy
    Friendship is the fabric of our lives!

  12. #62
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    Never a regret, I pd 9000K and I have driven it that many miles. The last couple of times that I have taken it in to have it cleaned the service man said I had put another 300,000 stitches on it. I do a lot of machine embroidery on it.
    Billy Jean

  13. #63
    Super Member nursie76's Avatar
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    I have had my Bernina 830 LE for a year now and have never regretted it for one moment. In fact almost every time I sit down to sew on Ruby, I say a little word of thanks for the wonderful man in my life that got it for my birthday despite my protesting that it was an insane amount of money to spend on a sewing machine..lol...guess I must be insane, cause I love it to pieces!!!
    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams...live the life you have imagined. Thoreau

  14. #64
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    Please do your research on the last few years' high end machines and watch carefully how you use your sewing machine. Notice what features you really value and use a lot. Think about the times you thought how nice it would be if your machine only did "so and so." Asking other serious sewers questions as you did here was really savvy.

    I bought an Elna Super in 1972 (top of the line then) and used it until it absolutely wore out (2010) and the company no longer supported it. My daughter gave me hers and it's ready to go in my sewing room. That machine has features I haven't seen in any machine - ever. During the year a wonderful dealer and I tried to get the Elna fixed, I bought a Bernina 1630 - high end some 18 or so years ago (I think. Anyway, I am the 3rd owner.) It's a wonderful machine and allows me to do some branching out. I like it a great deal and do use it about half my sewing time.

    I've attended a get together at the Bernina dealer, showing off the newest, greatest Bernina. Interestingly, the features on that most current, high end Bernina machine had the same features the 1630 had: the screen on the machine looked different; the newer machine had more stitches; there were other differences but not, for me, substantial. Compare and contrast a few years ago's machines with the current ones. What you really want could be substantially cheaper on a lovingly used, older machine.

    Before you get to the buying point, double check what's for sale used. Someone else's "used" and my "used" are not the same thing and there are wonderful buys out there - my Bernina for example. Please make sure before you invest in a used machine that it is still being supported by the company that made it. I just about spit acid when Elna America told me that there wasn't even a repair manual in the US for my Super, forget parts.

    Enjoy the hunt and please let us know how it turns out.

    Pat

  15. #65
    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    I had a Viking D1 that turned out to be more than I needed. I sold it and bought a Pfaff.

  16. #66
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    I bought a Bernina 750 that sews and does embroidery. Got it for less than a thousand! I am happy with it!

  17. #67
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    Well. again I will say it....look, try them out. I went looking in 1994 just for a serger. I loved my Singer of 30 years but it did not like the knits very well so I had heard about sergers. (My daughter was 4 at the time, I think) I made all our clothes and and curtains...if it could be made cheaper; it was.
    I aslo worked full-time as a teacher so I knew I could buy it on time. Well, the dealers saw me coming. I did not know machines had gone up so much and had so many features. I ended up buying a new Bernina 1100 (I think) and a serger with tensions knobs 4-- something maybe. I really like them. The dealership was fantastic (1 and 1/2 hours from home) cleaned and serviced it once a year free. Great classes to learn how to use them. Took the samples and notes and glued them into users manual.
    Well, 14 months later they came out with the newest lastest and greatest. Both computerized. I made a good deal with the dealers. The sewing machine is Bernina Inspiration 1530 and the serger is I think an 1100DE but not sure. I did not have room to bring both with me to daddys. I spent $5000 and got a great deal on the large 72 x 36 cutting table with mat. I love all of them and never regret trading them up for the 1530 and computerized serger.
    They have been part of the family and remain that way. I sometimes think I want an embroidery machine; but would not want a combination. I could not part with this one so I would rather have a separate unit. But I still love hand embroidery so I have been pondering for ten years and have yet to decide and now that I am back to quilting I am looking at the Juki and or Bailley 13 so...I understand the dilema on selecting a new machine. But I recommend Bernina and a reputable dealer. That said good luck. Teresa

  18. #68
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    In the fall when the new machines come out, many people trade in thier older models. I suggest you let the dealer know you are in the market and see what happens. There are machine snobs out there that always have to have the newest on the market, and you can find some great deals this way. Also let the local guild know you are looking too. I hate to say this, but, when a member passes away, the machines are often offered at a cut rate cost to the members. Both of these ways are how I got my berninas at a fraction of the original price.

    Oh make sure the machine has been serviced by a reputable serviceman recently. And plan on having it serviced and checked over immediatly after buying it. There is nothing like peace of mind knowing your machine is top shape.

    Note... I typed this before reading any other posts. So if I stepped on anyones toes.. My appologies.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 03-31-2012 at 09:11 AM.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  19. #69
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    I bought a Janome 1600 for about $2000 and have had nothing but trouble with it knotting up and making thread nests on the bottom of my fabric. The dealer tells me it's the thread, but I have always used Gutermann thread and had no issues whatsoever. It's an excellent thread. Another Janome dealer that I spoke with at the TN Quiltfest says I should NOT be having trouble with Gutermann thread. So, who do you believe??? For me, that was a lot of money and I feel like it was wasted. I wish we had another dealer in town. About ready to take this one back and ask for my money back. Wish now I had just bought a used Bernina off ebay!
    Karen in Kentucky

  20. #70
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KyKaren1949 View Post
    I bought a Janome 1600 for about $2000 and have had nothing but trouble with it knotting up and making thread nests on the bottom of my fabric. The dealer tells me it's the thread, but I have always used Gutermann thread and had no issues whatsoever. It's an excellent thread. Another Janome dealer that I spoke with at the TN Quiltfest says I should NOT be having trouble with Gutermann thread.
    Sounds familiar. I had a troublesome Janome 4800 which wouldn't do free motion quilting - it was impossible to get the tension right. I too was told by the dealer it was the threads (Superior King Tut) that I was using - when he wasn't telling me it was my incompetence causing the problems. I now have a new dealer and a new machine (Janome 7700), and, miraculously, I'm suddenly quite good at quilting and the thread are fine. Some machines are just lemons, and Janome and some of their dealers are NOT good when it happens.

  21. #71
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    Oh yes. My DH bought me a Janome 6500P over a year ago.$2199.00. Used it one time. Now trying to sale it for
    1500$. Please never tell your DH that you need or want a new machine.At least not mine.I love him BUT!!! This is how I feel about sewing machines. It's like a bra,if it don't fit you don't buy it.

  22. #72
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    A year ago I bought a Viking Ruby--I knew I didn't want to pay the extra for the Diamond and I'd never use the huge hoop. Until lately kept going back to the Viking Designer 1 as I was so comfortable with it but had to get out of my box. Years ago I had a TOL Elna that used cams but thought I wanted a newer machine and I traded that in for an Elna Quilter's Dream which I could not get the needle threader to work for me and I sold it. I am happy with Viking machines but not the price of attachments or software. I'm still using the 3DStudio program which suits my needs. As others have suggested--try out the various brands and makes of the machines.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hockeyrabbit View Post
    Hi-

    Has anyone here ever regretted buying one of the higher end sewing machines out there? Like a Bernina or Viking that is $5k or more? I am just curious because I am thinking about buying a high end machine, but ya know, part of me is saying, why?? Thanks, JC

  23. #73
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    I've purchased two in the past 15 years - last one a Pfaff for 5K and I love it. Don't use all of the features and probably never will, but the stitch is amazing and some of the features I use a lot wouldn't have been on a less expensive machine. Try them out and ask questions to see what each machine offers. Maybe you can find what you want on a less expensive one.
    Nana Jan
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  24. #74
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    Yes, I've been sorry

    I looked and looked and made a list and checked it twice!!I really wanted a Bernina as my old one is a Bernina. Well, the salesman was rude so I went right over to the Janome. It's an OK machine but I'm still miffed that I didn't get a Bernina. And the fault is all mine.

  25. #75
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    I have a Bernina series 8 820 I bought almost a year ago and have never regretted it.

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