Every once in a while, I wonder if I might be interested in a new (and probably pricier) sewing machine. This usually happens when I have taken a class where a fancier machine than mine is provided for my use or my current machine is acting crappy. (In the case of the latter reason, I actually did succumb about 3 years ago & bought my current machine.)
The first time I experienced this was when taking a class at Paducah in 2011. The provided machine for that class was a Janome Horizon (6600, I think). There were features on that machine that I found quite intriguing (most notably the stop/start button) and the show special really had me tempted. I did not succumb then, but did use that experience with those features when I needed a new machine six months later.
The most recent experience was at the AQS Grand Rapids show. Over the course of my four days there, I took four classes on three different types of machines. Two were Janomes. One was a Bernina. I don’t remember the model number of the first, a smaller Janome, but I wasn’t really thrilled with it. It allowed me to sew with no warning when I had forgotten to put the presser foot down. My Brother would never let me do that!
The second was another Janome Horizon (7700, maybe?). The show special was amazing and tempting. The machine sewed very nicely. I sewed on this machine for two classes and had no problems except… Brother’s needle threader is so much easier to use! I am so spoiled! If I were a sewing machine manufacturer, I’d pay the money to purchase my needle threaders from Brother. Seriously! And that feature was enough of a deal breaker to bring me back to earth.
Now for the Bernina. I will admit that I have pretty much decided I will never own a Bernina. I kind of feel like they are overpriced or maybe more machine than I will never need or use. However, this picture illustrates a feature that I strongly believe all quilting machines should have – lines on the machine bed to help guide fabric for no mark HST sewing or binding joining. (I came to this belief when I did a tool review here.) I’m not a fast quilter, nor do I aspire to be one, but I’d be a little faster with these on my machine.
A brief note about my love affair with my start/stop button
One thing you need to know about me – I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. When I took my first free motion quilting class, it was on a machine with a start/stop button. I realized quickly that I will always do better at free motion quilting with this button than using my machine foot pedal. I can’t focus on controlling machine speed and my speed, so… Another plus about my start/stop button, when I had tendinitis in my right ankle I was still able to sew because I had that lovely little button.
And, to wrap this up, I think I’m quite happy with my current machine even though it doesn’t have lines on the machine bed, so I get to save a boatload of money instead of spending it on a new machine.