Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Iv only gone and got a new sewing machine.... already!!!! and it all happened on Saturday!- My husband woke up saying that he was thinking about my sewing machine dilemma and wanted to offer me a deal.. If I let him go on a golf holiday with his friend for a week, the machine is mine!!!! (also that he was sick of me going on and on about it...the power of persuasion people!!!)
So, Saturday morning I went out and tried the Janome Horizon and sadly was left a bit deflated, The stitches seemed to be straight but then id get an odd jagged stitch and they would go back to being straight. It was like the machine foot wasnt grabby enough and the dealer didnt respond when I mentioned it. I cant stress the importance of feeling confident with your sewing machine dealer as Im sure the Horizon does some great things but on first impressions, I didnt like the dial and the man in the shop didnt really know much about the machine as he kept having to call his collegue on the phone, he also didnt have a Janome 6600 in to test, but did have the Elna equivilent which wasnt what I was after so I left a little unenthusiastic.
Unable to find a dealer selling a 6600 elsewhere, that afternoon, I went to another dealer and tried out both the Bernina 440QE and the Pfaff quilt expression 4. This was a much better experience, and a much busier shop! I explained my concerns about all the bad reviews I had read about the Quilt expression 4 and she completely put my mind at rest, she said that both the Bernina and the Pfaff machines were great in different ways and that it was really dependant on what features were more important to me and how well I got on with the machine. I was told to forget about what everyone else says and just see which one I got on with better. I asked what the biggest problem she encountered with the Quilt expression line were and she said that it was people using the wrong thread and most problems were down to user error. Both sewed beautifully, The Bernina was a little quieter, but both were smooth and there were a lot more features to show off on the Pfaff where as the only real selling point (for me) on the Bernina was the BSR, which, although very cool, would still produce jagged stitches if I didnt move the fabric smoothly - like any other machine, the only difference being that the stitches would just be consistant in length, and ofcourse not having a lot of throat space was a major turn off for me as I predominantly wanted a new machine for throat space.
The Pfaff however IS all that and a bag of chips!. It can be programmed so that not only does it automatically tie off at the end, it also snips your threads AND raises the presser foot...very cool! Plus, I dont have to fiddle about with a seperate walking foot because if the Intregrated dual feed. The machine was also down to £1129 but we managed to shave off another £29 by haggling. ( The Bernina was £1500 and you wont find a new one cheaper as there are never any offers on.)
A big plus point is that as well as a whole host of feet included with the machine, it came with a free quilting box which has a quilting table, quarter inch foot, straight stitch needle plate and spring free motion quilting foot.(and a hard cover and a big bag on wheels were also included in the price) All the problems I had read about the machine eating fabric and the supplied quarter inch foot causing problems were solved with the contents of this toolbox so I assume Pfaff had received word of this and have started to include the toolbox in the price.
The same dealer had both machines so she said it made no difference to her which one I bought so I felt like she was able to give me impartial advice without feeling like she was giving me the hard sell. She also told me she would give me a free lesson if I needed one.
I will definitely write a review on this machine in six months when I've used it for a while. Its so difficult to find genuine reviews in cyberspace..I tend to ignore reviews on sites that have very few posts on a forum and tend to go with bloggers who’ve given the machine enough chance.
So far, I have played with free motion- which have produced much better results then my old brother machine. It is so true that some machines are easier to free motion with then others. I did experience bearding at one point but worked out that its because the machine did not like sewing through old easycare bed sheets and much prefers 100% cotton. (Iv read that if you send a quilt off to be quilted professionally they wont accept backings made of this either, so this would make sence.) Another problem was thread breakage which I sort of expected as it was poor quality polyester thread I got free with my old machine. This was easily solved by switching threads, and I had success with both the polyester and cotton threads by coats.
The machine itself is easy to use, the only thing that they could change is to mark on the machine if my feed dogs are lowered or raised as there is no icon next to the switch- the manual just says move to the right- and you cant just tell by looking at the feed dogs as the difference is very slight, but Im sure Ill get the hang of that one....Oh and the lights they get quite hot when im threading the needle.
Right, well, Im off to play with the fancy stitches and order some fabric to celebrate :-)
***for my 6 month review on this machine please clear here.***