Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#60 Bernina or Janome?? I need help....

So I jumped into quilting, 3 ish years ago, and didn't do a lot of research on sewing machines.

So I want to purchase a new work horse sewing machine that is built for quilting!! Or maybe I should use the term, piecing, may try FM on smaller projects, but really just a lot of sewing! I am looking for

  1. large throat area
  2. needle up/down
  3. dual feed
  4. pivoting (when you stop with needle down the foot raises slightly to be able to pivot)
  5. large sewing surface
  6. arm available
  7. good lighting
  8. auto needle threading would be great, but not necessary
I think that is my list. So here is the question, and please, please comment.......

Is the Bernina worth the extra money? Because it is a lot more!!  And why is it worth it, if you think it is??

I will be choosing slowly this time, I will be test driving, asking the dealers a lot of questions, and waiting for a great deal/sale!!! 

Right now I am looking at Bernina B750QE, and 820; and Janome Horizan

I really would like for you to weigh in, even if it is not on these models. If you are a fan of something else, let me know why and I may expand my research!!

What I've Been Up To:

Nested Churn Dash Sew Along, 2/4 sewn together (love this block!!!)

Moda Bake Shop Trifle Dish Sew Along; Sewing layers totally out of order

Completed all my Churn Dash block!! 48 ready to sew together!!

And as soon as the above two projects are together, this is what is next!!! Super excited to make a project from Amy Smarts new book, with RJR Fabrics!! Jinny Beyer Batiks and Cotton Supreme Solids!! This is going to be great!!


  1. You have beautiful projects in progress!
    I cannot say anything about Bernina or Janome, but I bought a Juki TL 98 P three weeks ago, and so far I just love it! If you'll come across a Juki at a dealer, try it. ;-)

  2. I love the Janome Horizon. I had a 7700, then got the New Home 7700. Very good machine. Has 11" throat and awesome stitches. I now have the Janome 11000 Special Edition that embroiders, sews and has a quilting hoop. It is pricey though. I would choose the Horizon/New Home for quilting. I don't have experience with Bernina. Babylock is also a good machine. No experience with it, but have a Brother and have friends who have the Babylock and wouldn't have anything else. Good Luck!

  3. I am partial to Bernina's I am on my second...wish I had kept my first! Quality...the only thing I ever replaced was on my rise Beenina and that was a foot pedal...I wore it out! I currently have the Aurora 440 with the stitch regulator. Great for FMQ. I also have a small Janome I use for retreats etc because I don't want to carry the built tough and heavy Bernina. Try to test out any machine you will invest your hard earned money into...no matter the brand.

  4. I retired my Bernina 830 that was my grandma's. I could not afford another Bernina, so I settled for a Pfaff which knock on wood has been great! I did test out the Janome's and was not impressed as the ones I looked at did not have as nice features as my 40 year old Bernina. I think I will eventually buy a used Bernina again. Be sure to go and sew on them, my local shop welcomed me and spent days and hours trying out all the Pfaffs and Vikings they had. I love your nested churn dash, so far I have not given in and made one yet, but my resolve is wavering! I am visiting from the Quilt Story ink up!

  5. I have the Bernina 830 mentioned by Tanya above and I've seen it pictured in the studio of many quilt bloggers. As Tanya says, it's about 40 years old and it is very heavy and very sturdy. It does not have a lot of the features you are mentioning, though. I bought mine second hand for $600 about 20 years ago - that was a million dollars to me back then. I also have a Husqvarna Quilt Designer II. I was looking at upgrading my Bernina and the dealer also sold Husqvarna-Viking machines. They talked me into trying the QD II and I am super pleased. It has the features you ask about although I would say the throat is average vs. large. I have never regretted buying it.

  6. I've got a Janome and a Bernina and like both of them. I think the Bernina is a sturdier machine and seems to be more of a workhorse.

    Your "rows" are looking great and I love the nested churn dash.

  7. I have the Janome Horizon and think it's the most fantastic machine ever. I mean EVER. Get the Janome. You will not regret it.

  8. I too have the Janome Horizon 7700. Wish mine had the auto foot up/down, but other than that, I've been happy with it. My daughter and I both quilt on it, and I've had few problems. I've heard Juki's are great for quilting...

  9. I too have the Janome Horizon 7700. Wish mine had the auto foot up/down, but other than that, I've been happy with it. My daughter and I both quilt on it, and I've had few problems. I've heard Juki's are great for quilting...

  10. I am interested to see the feedback - I am in the market for a new machine and my list of features I am after is very similar. Good luck!

  11. I just purchased a Babylock Crecendo. And, yes I'm in love with it. Sews beautifully. All I can say is o slow and go to many different dealers if your able to, believe me they will match price to anyone to get a sale. Make sure they let you test drive all the machines your interested in. If they don't offer you to test it out, be sure to ask. Good luck I'm sure you'll find a machine you love.

  12. On my Janome 8900 I like that the needle plate "lifts off" for easy bobbin area cleaning and changing from straight stitch plate to zigzag. I also find the opening door by the left side threading side very helpful.

  13. I have both a Janome and a Bernina, neither of which is used for quilting...but, the Janome is much more user-friendly! I really need to take a class to learn the Bernina. They both came with user manuals and Janome's is very easy to use...Bernina, I have to hunt and hunt to find what I'm looking for and frequently I can't find the solution to my question. I haven't had any problems with either of them, but I don't like that they both need to be cleaned by a professional yearly - could be that the service place is 80+ miles away from me! Especially if you choose the Bernina, make sure that lots of classes come free and that you can bring it back any time for more free lessons! I am shocked at the price of the Berninas - they cost as much or more than my longarm did!!! If I was really looking for a quilting machine, I would go with a longarm (love my Innova) over a Bernina! Same price or less and so much easier on the shoulders!

  14. I know 3 people who bought Bernina's, models 710 and 820QE. All 3 of these people are sorry they bought them because they have had nothing but trouble with them. They would take the machine in for service and they would be ok for a few weeks or so and then back to the repair shop they went. I don't own a Bernina ... I'm just passing on the info from my friends. Just like a lot of other things, Bernina's aren't made like they used to be made. Another consideration is Bernina's feet are expensive! Now if they still made the 440QE and I was in the market for a new machine I would purchase that machine. They have a fabulous reputation.

    Another important consideration is where you buy the machine. Make sure you're happy with their customer service and that they repair machines in house ... not sending them to an offsite repair person. Test drive all of the machines you are considering and choose the one you feel more comfortable with.

    I currently own a Viking #1 I bought new in the 1990's which I will not replace until it bites the dust. But if it did, I would get a Janome Horizon.

  15. I think a sewing machine becomes as personal as the kind of shoes you like. I have been sewing on a Bernina for the past 10 years and I love it!! Mine is the Virtuosa 155. It doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles but it has been a workhorse of a machine for piecing and quilting. I've never talked with anyone who owned a Bernina that was unhappy with their purchase. I do suggest that you go and try different machines. Maybe at a quilt show where there are lots to choose from. Don't let the sales person pressure you. Take some of your own fabric and give it a test run. My BFF and sis in law both have Janomes and love them too. In 10 years I have never had a need for repair or servicing. I clean my machine regularly and she purrs like a kitten. I'm not sure who said that Bernina is not made like it used to be, that can be said about every other machine and manufacturer as well. Just think, Singer used to be the top sewing machine, but now they are all made from plastic. Berninas are all metal parts, which is one reason they are more costly. The only part that ever broke on my old sewing machine was the plastic parts. Enjoy your hunt.

  16. I have a Bernina 440QE and I love it. It is 6 years old and I have not had any problems with it. I learned to FMQ on it and was able to quilt queen size quilts on it. I don't know much about the bigger machines, but I wouldn't trade my 440 for anything.

  17. Own the Janome Horizon and have been happy with it...mostly. My brother-in-law owns a sewing machine shop and told me the Bernina is the Rolls Roys of machines. He tried to convince me to trade in my Janome. If I had the money I might.
    I like the stitch regulator in the Bernina but I do not know if I would really use it for FMQ. If I had the money, I might as well get a mid arm or a sweet sixteen sit down machine.

  18. I own both a Pfaff and Bernina sewing machines. I absolutely love my Bernina 440 QE, I have had it four years and it never misses a beat. It has just had its first service which is needed after 1 million stitches. Now the Pfaff is another story, I have a lemon and it is nothing but a headache to be polite. My advise would be to go to different shops and test drive as many as you can. I did my homework with my Bernina and wouldn't trade it for the world. One thing to consider when looking is the weight of the machine especially if you plan to take it to classes or guild. Good luck and take your time!!!

  19. I have had four difference Janome machines and loved them all. I have also owned two Berninas. I would buy a Janome over a Bernina any day. You get more for your money with the Janome and they are very user friendly. Also everyone in my quilting group owns at lease one Janome.

  20. I am new to your blog and love your style! I had to comment because I just got a new Bernina 750QE and I love it. I had a much smaller Janome but I always had tension issues, even with using better thread. My mom has had her Bernina for over 15 years and it still sews beautifully. Looking forward to see what you get.


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