Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bernina vs Janome vs Pfaff

For a little while I have thought about getting a bigger machine - mine is a Bernina virtuosa 150 I have bought second hand some years ago. It pieces ok, I can make it fmq, but the zigzag is dodgy, it keeps on missing stitches at regular intervals, and my often very large quilts gets squeezed through by brutal force lol. I can't really afford buying a new machine, doesn't stop me from looking though :-) The local sewing shop is starting to offer Pfaff besides Janome, and Jane, the owner, is very happy with her Pfaff quilt expression 3.0. I first started sewing on Mum's Pfaff, and I seem to remember we also had Pfaffs at Grammar School, so I have long been drawn to them. I bought the Bernina machine in Whangarei around 2006/7 and it has served me well though I don't get to that shop much anymore. A lot of local quilters seem to like Janome, I understand there is excellent service from the Dargaville sewing shop. I have done a bit of research online, seems all machines have the one issue or the other, often to do with thick seams. I tend to the Pfaff quilt expression 4.0 over both the janome horizon 770 and the bernina 440qe - which I can't find anymore on their website. Main features I am interested in are big throat space, integrated walking foot, knee lift / automatic foot lift, needle threader and cutter (that's just a luxury lol) and last but not least good piecing and fmq.

I mentioned this to my mum in Germany who has done some research of her own there, and with a round birthday coming up as well as considerably lower prices over there we are tossing up if she should buy me a machine in Germany. She could either have it sent straight to me or she could have it sent to her address in Germany and send me a birthday parcel:-) I did some emailing to find out if any of the vendors would ship to New Zealand, only had one and very comprehensive reply yet which recommended to instead go for the Janome Horizon (at about €350 more than the Pfaff) which apparently includes worldwide transfer of warranty. When I had another look online I was horrified of stories of Janome (and other brands') warranties being tied to the store you purchased from.

My questions:
Which big machine do you like best and can recommend?
Have you got any advice about purchasing machines overseas?
Does anyone know about customs duties etc. if you receive a pricey gift from overseas?
What would you do??

Your first question to me will probably be if I have tried the machines in question - no, I have not because I thought I can't get one anyway. Now that Mum might get one for me, I don't want to go to the "local"shops and try them if I know I won't buy them from them anyway.
Thanks heaps for all advice in advance!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Have you thought about Juki--I have a Juki 98Q which has been replaced by Juki2010Q. It is straight stitch only....but boy, is it ever wonderful. I have heard great things about the Juki Exceed f600...which has fancy stitches.

    The 98Q has a bigger harp area and is wonderful for free motion quilting...I have had mine for probably 7 years...and it is the best purchase I ever made.

    That being said I had a Pfaff I bought in 1992...just a middleof the road one. I did love that thing...I let my daughter take it home with her just cause it never messes up.

    I have a Viking #1...one of the older top of the line machines...not the #1+...I bought it used and I like it.

    I just used it to make a dress for my granddaughter and I so missed the knee lift of my Juki.

    I sound like a salesman for JUki but I am not at all...and there is a Juki group on Yahoo groups...as well as there are groups for other machines. You might go and join some of them and read and see what you think.

    I had not even sewn a stitch on my Juki...I just joined the group and read and read and read...though some people had problems, it was almost always operator error. Which is probably true with most of the better machines.

    Well this is long...my blog with some of my sewing and quilts is the Pics & Pieces one.

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