Saturday, June 2, 2012

Did I really earn it....?

Last September I dived into the world of sewing and quilting armed with my $50 purchase from eBay - a low end sewing machine. To my surprise it turned out to be a great buy. It had everything you could possibly want in a sewing machine. I read up the manual and learnt how to operate it. I tried every little function the machine had from creating a button hole to free-motion quilting. I tried on all the presser feet that came with it and read the entire manual cover to cover. I even ordered the optional presser feet as they were $0.99 on Amazon. I paid more for shipping. It was a great little machine but as soon as I delved into quilting I began to feel I needed something more sturdy. This machine would choke and splutter occasionally but it never quit on me. I would give it a break and then continue. It was the Brother XR-4040. It is a great little machine for a beginner. I made 3 quilts on this machine.

Then in my true geek style I scoured the internet for my next machine. I looked incessantly. I read reviews by the hundreds and decided that I needed to try out some of the machines I had read about. For months I would just glance at sewing machines on my visits to Joann Fabrics or Fabricland but I never did try one. I felt quite intimidated. These machines seemed so fancy and according to the reviews could work wonders. Besides they cost $$$$ a lot more than my $50 wonder. My current machine was fine except when it came to quilting. That's when I felt the need for a better machine.

Then one day I accidentally walked into a Sew & Vac shop in Stroudsburg, PA while visiting a friend and was surprised that they stocked almost every machine I had heard of, read about or wanted to try. I spent about 6 hours there, where the kind lady walked me through every machine I mentioned. I even looked at some long arm quilters that I had never seen before in person. After trying about 15 machines I narrowed it down to the Bernina 440QE or the Janome 1600P. Both were way more expensive than my little Brother machine and I agonized for a few weeks if I should invest that kind of money into a hobby I had pursued for less than a year. They were some rough days of decision making. I made lists of features that the new machine would provide me, how it would vastly improve my sewing skills, how I would appreciate a new machine....etc. etc. I even reiterated the saying a bad carpenter blames his tools.

Finally decided to pull the plug and get a new sewing machine after two weeks. I called up the Sew & Vac and asked them if they still had the two machines in stock and they said yes. I drove over and bought the Bernina 440 QE. I needed a portable sewing machine, the Janome 1600P was not as portable as I would have liked. I just wanted something that would merely replace the Brother machine I had become attached to. I did not want anything too big. So for the past month I have been sewing with my Bernina 440QE and it's interesting how quickly I have forgotten the Brother.

This machine sews like a dream. A few things I love about this machine:
  • Never had any tension problems.
  • Very easy to replace the presser feet.
  • Ability to fill and replace the bobbin without removing the quilt from the machine.
  • The FHM system is very handy.
  • The ability to program the needle position.
  • The ability to fine tune the needle position.
  • I can sew for hours and the machine just purrs on.
  • Ability to set the sewing speed.
I have a hardly explored all the features but this machine is catered towards quilters. Some might complain about the throat space but considering what I am upgrading from this is plenty for me. I haven't really spent much time with the BSR but certainly planning my next quilt doing some free-motion quilting. High time. I have stopped doing the cost analysis in my head for the time being, hopefully the ROI (return on investment) will be more in kind than money :)


  1. You'll never regret paying extra for a good machine. Congrats and have fun!

  2. This is the machine I would love to have. Just wondering, if you want to share, what did you pay for it?

  3. It was the last piece in their shop and the floor model, yet it was $$$$๐Ÿ˜Šit cost me $2500 + tax. Almost twice the cost of the Janome 1600. Like I said there is no dollar sense here.

  4. Thanks for linking up with our blog hop! I agree - for a good quality machine, it's worth the money - and it will last you for 25 years!

  5. Berninas are an investment, but I agree, worth every penny! Congrats on your new machine!

  6. That's so awesome! I bought a Bernina last year and it was a scary investment...but so far, so good! =) You picked an even nicer model than my 350PE...that BSR sounds fun too. =) Thanks for sharing...I'm seeing a lot of Bernina's and that makes me smile.

  7. Fantastic post!
    I have yet to meet a Bernina owner that didn't love their machine, honestly!
    Stacey and I really appreciate you linking up with our hop - I had a tonne of fun reading your post, I hope you had as much fun writing it!


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