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 :)