Bernina? Sewing machine help!

Remember when I got my Babylock and was so in love with it? I’m sorry to say but I FREAKING HATE THAT MACHINE. I had so many issues with it, that after taking it in SEVEN times the dealer finally admitted they couldn’t fix it and gave me a new (but same model) one about three months ago. I’m sorry to say the new one isn’t much better. It’s not that this one is faulty, like I believe the other one was, but just that it does not sew to my liking. The stitches are not straight, the tension is always an issue, and basically I’m so over this machine. Insert major sad face here because I was sure this was going to be my lifetime machine. I remember my mom’s Kenmore, she had it for 20 years. I told the dealer that is what I wanted, a machine I could have for years. That is NOT what I got. To confirm my suspicions I sat with a repair person at another shop and had them watch me sew for over an hour. I was hoping I did something crazy that made my machine act they way it did. Sadly no, I do not have any bad sewing habits. I mean that’s good, but it would have been one thing for me to fix some way I sew, and another for me to get a “new” machine, which is what I’m looking into now.
The staff at the new place I went basically said I’ve outgrown my machine and they suggested a Bernina if I wanted something really solid. I’ve been hearing this from my quilt guild members too. My mom’s friend has a couple of Berninas and was sweet enough to lend me this 20 year old beauty to try out:

I do NOT want to give this machine back!!! The thing sews like a dream! It is so smooth, and the tension is dreamy.

People I had white thread in that bobbin, WHITE. Let me tell you this is not possible with my machine at all.
So I have a few questions. Do you have a machine that you love? What is it? If it’s a Bernina what the heck is the difference between all the models? I’m almost ready to get a used one of these, but I would love more room to quilt. I’m not going to get one right away. I’m a little unsure what to do with/about my Babylock. I still have a year to go on the service contract, and hate to waste that. But the frustration I feel with the thing just escalates! I’d love any advice or input about it. I’m going to see how much time I have to sew after baby comes, I’m guessing not as much as now! So I might wait a while if that’s the case, but I’d love to know what my options are and be on the lookout for good used models.
Thank you, thank you!

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  1. I had a lovely visit today with a friend and did a bit of bragging about all the quilting you do:)! I also pointed out the dilemma you were having with your machine… She said you need a “Bernina”! She also has two of them! So I’m thinking the Bernina has got to be the machine you need! Or you just need to get some of these ladies to share;)! It makes me want to exchange my machine for one!

  2. I have a Bernina. I think it’s the Artista. It’s no longer made, though there are similar machines. It’s just a basic machine. It doesn’t have an embroidery function, because that was more money than I wanted to spend, though it does have a bunch of fancy stitches in addition to the basic stitches.
    I love it. LOVE IT. Prior to this, I owned several machines, including a Kenmore, a Singer and a Brother. Neither come close to performing as well. It has even, tight tension. It is fairly quiet, for a sewing machine, and needs minimal maintenance, unlike my other machines.
    I bought it while I was stationed in Germany, so I think it was a bit cheaper than here in the States, but I don’t know for sure. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth every penny. My mother has the much fancier embroidery machine, and she loves hers, too. I have never heard anyone regret buying a Bernina.

  3. Hey there! I have Janomes…horizon and for travel 3160. I looked at the berninas and I just couldn’t spend that much $$$ – I know shocking! But when I found out that I had to purchase the feet separate I went with the Janome. both machines were purchased from Montavilla on a two year no interst deal during the quilt show special.
    I had the same problems you were having with my Viking. Finally I got so frustrated I just traded it in for the above machines.
    I do have a Bernina serger from modern domestic- it was one of their floor models and a great deal. I think that is a good way of buying a

  4. I just picked up a 20yr old bernina serger on craigslist. My mom has a 5yr old janome serger which I was had been borrowing. The bernina tension is dreamy in comparison. When I outgrow my mom’s 35yr old kenmore (which I am also borrowing), I am so going bernina on the sewing machine too.

  5. I sew on a Bernina Record 830 (
    It’s the same machine my mother got in about 1976ish for $500. You can see by it’s price on eBay, that it’s kept its value! I was lucky, and found one at a garage sale for $30! Poor thing, it was badly abused; the bits of thread and such under the needle plate actually felted! Still, I took it for servicing, and have never had an issue with it. I really like it.
    I can’t say what makes Bernina better than others, but I can say that I loooove this machine, and feel a sweet kinship to my mother (and the machine I originally learned to sew on) every time I use it.
    Good luck!

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