I am having major Analysis Paralysis when it comes to a new sewing machine. A guildmate Mari and I are headed to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo this coming Saturday down in Fredericksburg, VA to look at (and hopefully buy) new sewing machines. I’ve been quilting for a year and I still have lots of ideas so I think it’s safe for me to buy a “big girl” sewing machine. I’m really excited, but at the same time I am so totally overwhelmed!
There is so much information out there on different machines – reviews, specification charts, comparisons – except concrete price information. And reviews for the same machine range from “It’s the best thing ever” to “I hate it and all it has are problems.” I know the internet amplifies negative reviews because those tend to be the folks motivated to write said reviews, but it can be hard to discern whether the issues they raise are serious problems with a machine’s design.
I know what I want in a machine:
- Large harp space – 9″ or more
- Built in dual feed (I think this limits me to high-end Bernina, Pfaff, Janome, and I think high end Babylock)
- Thread cutter
- Knee Lift
- Needle up/down
- Drop in bobbin
- At least one alphabet stitch
I have in my head a $2500 limit. I know it isn’t much for high end machines, but I’m hoping that since we’re going on the last day of the show and there are some sponsored classrooms I might be able to snag a floor model or demo machine at a marked-down price.
The machines I have on my “to test drive” list include:
- Bernina 750 (probably way out of my price range unless there’s a floor model)
- Janome 8900
- Janome 7700
- Pfaff 4.2
- Viking Saphire (just because I tried one at JoAnns a while back and kind of liked it – it was a good price too. I don’t think it has dual feed though.)
- Babylock Crescendo (probably out of my price range as well)
The things I’d like to do with the machine are:
- Piece quilts
- Straight line quilt
- Learn to FMQ
- Make some garments – both woven and knits
Do you have any tips on buying a sewing machine? Have you bought one of the machines on my list? How much did you pay for it? Are you happy with it? Are there any machines I should add?
I’d appreciate any words of wisdom over the next week!