I put a sewing machine on layaway ~

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.

Baby Lock Melody - Quilting Sewing Machine

Baby Lock Melody – Quilting Sewing Machine

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.

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

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.

Pfaff Expression 3.0

Pfaff Expression 3.0

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.

Janome 3160-QDC

Janome 3160-QDC

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!

Necchi EX30

Necchi EX30

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.

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

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.

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 7.01.01 AM

Can’t wait to pay off my layaway bill and bring her home.

16 thoughts on “I put a sewing machine on layaway ~

  1. Oh oh oh… I can’t wait either!!!!!! She is a beauty, and I predict many happy hours together! I think you made a most excellent buy. P.S. I’ll bring champagne to the homecoming party. ;-p

      • I’m surprised at how much I love the auto thread cutter (and other features) on my machine. And she was under 1,000. I use the knee lift ALL the time. I think if I had the same experience you did when you went to look at Babylocks, I wouldn’t have my machine! I went in to a Babylock, Janome, and Brother dealer (all three makes it easier to shop with children in tow!) and told them I mostly garment sew and I want a mid-level machine and she steered me to Elizabeth. I tried a few others too, but loved the first machine she put me on.

  2. Congratulations on your new machine Michelle! I’m excited to see what you make!! I have a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1 that I’ve had for about 9 years. There are times when I wish I would have bought something else, but most of the time I’m happy with it. I have the embroidery attachment, which I love, and so many decorative stitches that I love to play with when I’m quilting. Someday I hope to own a Pfaff, but I need someone to leave lots of money in their will so I can afford one! LOL I also have a Janome for basic quilt piecing but generally just use my Viking since it’s the one that’s always set up in my happy room.

  3. I’m so happy for you; yet that was not the machine I expected you to get. I thought you were smitten by the Pfaff and thought you were going to sell a kidney to raise the money for it! Awesome review of machines. I haven’t had a new machine since 1982. I’m way overdue and may use your blog to guide me to a new one.

  4. If I had a bucket of money I’d get a Pfaff, too. My Singer cost me $300 and it’ll do, apart from a couple of annoying things (poor control when reversing and thread breakages if you speed up too quickly.) Haven’t tried FMQing on it yet though – no time!!!

    Hope you’re bringing your lunches from home to get your new baby home quicker.

  5. I am glad that you got a new machine that will help you make more beautiful quilts. 🙂 In the past, I have been more of a garment sewer, but in the past several months, I have gotten more and more into quilting and it is fun! Your experience with the first dealer reminded me that I had the same experience when looking for a serger a few years ago. Needless to say, that dealer did not get my business! The dealer where I live now is much nicer and customer friendly.

    I still have my Janome and love it, but some of the newer Babylock and Brother machines are intriguing.

      • I know that you will be so happy when you get your new sewing machine home! 🙂 No, I haven’t posted pictures of my quilts yet. I am still practicing. 😉 One of these days, I will feel confident enough to post pics. One thing that I have discovered is that I prefer hand quilting. Of course, I can’t get too many quilt tops done that way, so I am going to have to machine quilt. I do pretty well with the walking foot, but feem motion is just about making me lose my religion and I am just trying to practice! 😉 Any tips?

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