Tuesday, April 10, 2018


No person died, but my Pfaff Ambition 1.5 is worn out according to the repair shop. I bought it in July 2011 to replace the Bernina 830 Record I used for 15 years--I wore that one out too!

Now, I need to decide if I replace it with an equivalent machine in the $1200 range or go to the next level the $2500 range? Or do I really go all in with a $5000 Bernina?

I am a very practical and financially responsible person which is why I bought this model to start with! I chose between the $1200 model and the $2500 model last time and did not even look at Berninas. 

Here are my bare necessities in a machine:
a minimum 700 stitches per minute
a good buttonhole stitch for appliqué
a built in wavy stitch (one of my favorites for machine quilting)
dual feed
easy change feet
feed dogs that can lower for free motion quilting
speed adjustments
needle up/down
good throat space for machine quilting
local service in Grand Junction, CO

At this point, I am considering Janomes, Pfaffs, and Berninas. Brothers are not being considered because I do not care for the local retailer/repair.

My busy sewing season, summer,  is about six weeks away, but I hope to make a decision and purchase before that. 

PLEASE SHARE YOUR ADVICE! I am really struggling with this decision!



  1. I sew like the wind, too, and would heartily recommend a Bernina. Pricey, yes, but built like tanks. I’ve had bad sewing machine karma most of my life, but that all changed when I bought my Bernina 550QE about 5 years ago. I think they’re 570’s now. But you might want to go a step above that for more harp space.

  2. I am fond of Pfaff's the most of any machine I have ever had because of the integrated dual feed I have loved this so much!! Good luck and get what will make you happiest in the long run!! Happy Sewing from Iowa

  3. I teach quilting classes and as a teacher I have seen lots of different machines in class. The only brands that have not given my students problems have been Baby Lock and Bernina. I personally own a Bernina. You might look at trade ins and save yourself some money. A another machine to consider is the Juki. Straight stitch only though. Lisa Bonjean has a great review on her site about them.

  4. I am waiting on my new Janome 8200QCP. Great throat space, smooth stitching. I haven't used this model, but have used a Janome at a sew in. Needle up/down, thread cutter, even feed. Now to wait impatiently for that machine to arrive!!!

  5. I started with a smaller Bernina and have worked up to a 700 series one. It is a BEAST! I have loved everyone of my Berninas with all the features and available feet. I adore my BSR (stitch regulator). I originally had a Janome (decades ago) and when I went looking for a new machine, I set out to purchase a Pfaff. My local store carries all top brands and I looked at them all. If I remember correctly, Bernina is the only one that has all metal components (inside). My dealer promised that I was not going to be able to hurt this machine no matter what I did. I've never met a Bernina owner who didn't love their machine. And just as a side note, my serger and coverstitch machines are BabyLocks. I try to get what I consider the best in each area. Hope this helps! Good luck!!

  6. Tanya. I have an older Pffaf, an older Bernina, a semi industrial Brother, and love them all for different reasons. My friend also a Pfaff gal, just bought the Janome 6600 and loves it. It have the dual feed feet, a large throat space and nice stitches. The Elna 720 is almost the same machine, made by Janome, but does have a few different stitches and costs less. You can read reviews of the Janome 6600 on Amazon. If you have an Elna or Janome dealer and they have this machine to test, go test it. The Janome dealer here doesn't carry the 6600 because you can buy it on Amazon and ebay. But there is another dealer who has the Elna that I may go test out. They do sew fast too. Those are the machine I would go for when one of mine dies.

  7. I say- go big or go home!! You sew all the time, you deserve the best machine you can afford. Don’t skimp. Good luck!

  8. I have the Pfaff anniversary edition, probably about the same year as yours or maybe a year newer. My aunt has a Bernina and is always commenting on how much prettier my stitches are than hers. I love my Pfaff for the throat space and the dual feed. It was around $1,200 when I bought it. I have it professionally cleaned about once a year.

  9. I have a Pfaff QE 4.2. Pretty happy with it and it did not break the bank. I think about $2000. It has most of your needs, not sure about your service in Grand junction. Good luck on the search....I know it can be pretty hard to find a new machine.

  10. I found it interesting reading the different comments. It is so hard to decide which one is best for you. You really need to be able to test them first.

  11. Let us know what ya decide....can you believe summer is almost upon us!! I can't wait!!!

  12. Well I am in AWE lol because piecing is not my forte and I can screw up something at a very low speed so just contemplating the damage that I could do at 700 stitches per minute blows my mind

    Clearly I am no help LOL

  13. My advice? Get a 2nd opinion!! Just because one service tech says a machine is well and truly dead, that is not always the case.

  14. Love my Bernina, that I bought in 2000. I was considering a new machine to add a couple features, and almost jumped up to one of their very fancy 750s at half-price because a woman had used it for about 18 months and then decided she wanted an even nicer machine. If you have a reputable dealer for Bernina, you might be able to get a lot more machine for a reasonable price if you are willing to consider a used machine. They were also willing to guarantee parts and labor for a year for me. Just a thought.


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