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Will more throat space really make a difference??

Will more throat space really make a difference??

Old 11-16-2019, 11:48 AM
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Default Will more throat space really make a difference??

I am thinking of purchasing a second machine. I have a Bernina Activa (ten years old or so) with 6 1/4 inches to the right of the needle. I like this machine - my only complaint is that it is small. So I am considering a Juki 2010 to use for the quilting part of quilting, and keep the Bernina for piecing and regular sewing. The Juki seems popular, but I have heard that tension can be tricky to get just right with this type of semi-industrial and that a bigger Bernina or Janome might be a better way to go. But then $$ comes into play. The Juki is 9 inches of throat space (plus a taller throat) and $1000, and I can get a Janome (8200/8900) with 11 inches of throat space for about $3500 - $4000. I love Bernina but to get 10 inches of space (the 790) the price is $6500.

My questions for you wonderful quilters are: Will more throat space really make a difference? Will it make the process more enjoyable? How much throat space do I really need? Do you use one machine for piecing and another for quilting??

Thanks for sharing you insights and experience!
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:53 AM
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My machine has a larger throat space and I love it. Quilting is so much easier. I have a single stitch machine. It sews 1600 stitches a minute. With the bigger throat space I can piece and quilt with ease.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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I was given a modern Bernina 820 which has a not only huge but well lit throat/work space. I have gotten spoiled because I had access to a long-arm for several years and now I don't. Although I know I could, I don't want to do anything larger than a twin right now. I know I have a simple queen or two in the future as well but I'm going to ignore that for now.

I can't go back to my old vintage work horse that had a perfect quilt stitch that I used for machine quilting for more than a decade. Just don't want to deal with shoving all that fabric under the needle again. I'm not as young as I once was and man, I can feel a day of wrestling fabric. To be honest I can feel a day of standing at the long-arm too, but at least I can still walk at the end of the day!

There were a number of problems with the 820 and it was quickly discontinued. Mine was given to me almost exactly a year ago and I've had it in heavy use with no real problems until last week and I just can't clear this message. My stitch is fine, my thread is fine, my bobbin is fine. It was one of those things were everything was just fine the night before and the next day everything is the same but it is not working.

Anyway, I'd consider a traded-in 820 that has been factory reconditioned and comes with a service warranty. Think your cost is going to be more around 2.5-3k.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I have the Juki2010 and I love it. I , personally, think the larger throat space makes a huge difference. I don't even do large quilts. Although, I only meander around or use a walking foot.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:00 PM
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I have a Juki F600 that I use to piece and quilt. The throat is about 9". I tried a much more expensive Janome when shopping for a machine but the Juki just spoke to me. The throat space and the difference in price closed the deal for me. So, yes, throat space does make a difference and I typically make lap size quilts.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:15 PM
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Some Janomes have larger throat space than the Bernina you mentioned
and they are not as expensive. My 9400 has 11" throat space.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:17 PM
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I also own a Bernina Activa and ungraded to a Bernina 440 some years ago. I didn’t think the slightly larger throat space would be noticeable but it is. My Bernina 440 also has great lighting.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:23 PM
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I just bought a Janome 6650 for the 10 inches of throat space. It definitely helps for everything. Even when I piece, using my Pfaff with 7 inches feels a little cramped. (Now, if only I can find a decent quarter inch foot for the Janome.)

It definitely makes a lot of difference to me.

Last edited by TeresaA; 11-16-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:33 PM
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Two years ago I bought a Juki TL 2010 Q for machine quilting and I love it. This year I bought a new Bernina 770 QE and love that one too. It has the BSR and I'm finding it helpful.
I noticed something though: while the Juki has a nice harp space (as does the Bernina), the Juki is taller because there aren't any electronics ( screen etc) that the Bernina has. But let me tell you the new Bernina is amazing!!!!!! I've been sewing with a Bernina 150 for almost 20 years and the new one is a fabulous machine.

I haven't had tension problems with the Juki but I can't get the threader to work. The Bernina threader works great.

Had I known I was going to get a new Bernina I'd probably not have bought the Juki but I love it and now I can sew on one and quilt on the other without changing anything. The Juki is very affordable.

So in my opinion, yes, a larger harp helps a lot. My skills are improving much more than when I was trying with my older Bernina.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:55 PM
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I went from a DSM with a decent sized throat to a Juki 2010 and the difference has been incredible, within weeks the Juki became my primary machine. I just completed a 90x110 on her doing FMQ and while it took some manuvering I really enjoyed the process.
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