After a lot of brain-storming with my friend APRIL, I visited three local quilt/sewing stores, in Reno, over the last few days. My last two machines have been Janomes and I really loved them…but thought about a Baby Lock and a Necchi.
The first quilt shop I stopped off at sort of pissed me off. I went in asking to see her line of Baby Locks, specifically the Melody.
When I asked how much, and received an $1,800 answer, I about spewed. I paled and may have let slipped that I can buy a Janome 6500 for that price and have enough left-over for another sewing machine. Or as April stated…LOTS OF FABRIC. I don’t think she was impressed that I wanted to stay under $1,000. Told me to go look at the other machines on my list and come back to her afterwards. Wouldn’t even let me test drive the machine.
The next day I went to the second quilt/sewing center and had a very pleasant hour or so test driving four machines. She spent time asking what level I was at, what I wanted to do with my machine, and how much I was comfortable to spend.
I really was impressed with the Baby lock Melody…nice stitches, easy to use, very very quiet motor. It was $300 cheaper than the first shop and she would knock off even $200 more on top of that.
Next we moved onto the Pfaff Ambition 1.0.
All I can say is WOW…those Germans sure are great engineers! Just WOW! LOL! $999 was the price she would give me on that machine. No auto thread cutter, and it scared the crap out of me on the first stitch (growled)…I thought I broke it, but very very very nice handling. Loved the stitches on that one too. It has a built-in walking foot that is to die for!
Scooted down a few machines to the Pfaff Expression 3.0 after I told her my goal is to be pretty dang good at FMQ’ing. The asking price was $2079 but would come down to $1,699, with 25% down and 4 months to pay it off.
I sighed when sewing with it. I actually FMQ’ed…AND IT LOOKED GREAT! But I knew full well I couldn’t afford that fine piece of German machinery, even with the discount and layaway plan. I would need more time than 4 months. I still asked for the quote and told her I’d get back to her by the 2/29 deadline. If I had the money, I would buy that machine in a heart beat…should I ever fall into money, after paying off all debt…that baby is coming home with me. :)
Onto my last stop where I wanted to test drive the Janome 3160 QDC, Necchi EX30, and the Brother NX-800. I was eyeing the Janome 3160 as it’s a popular quilting machine.
The Janome had a $1000 price tag on it, but with new pricing I think it was $200 off. I wanted to try the Necchi EX30 as it’s the same machine as the Janome 3160 (built by Janome with a Necchi body and name) and at $700 it’s less money. And let’s face it…I love the buttons. LOL!
April suggested looking at the Laura Ashley Brother machine…so I googled and came up with the NX-800, but she meant the NX-2000 (another machine that I can’t afford). When I saw the Brother NX-800 I did a double take as it was the EXACT SAME MACHINE as the Baby Lock Melody! EXACTLY! I was told at the shop that Brother makes the Baby Lock, just as Janome makes Elna and now Necchi.
The Necchi was a great machine. Easy to use, good basic 30 stitches, light weight…would make a great machine to haul to classes (12 pounds), and stayed put when sewing.
Ultimately I picked the Brother NX-800. While I love everything about Janome…I enjoyed sewing with the NX-800. Nice stitches, quiet, you can do lateral stitching, auto-thread cutter, ease of bobbin winding, great accessories. If I had the money I would have gone with the Pfaff, I like the large quilting throat.
Can’t wait to pay off my layaway bill and bring her home.