So I’ve decided to say “goodbye” to this machine and trade her in!
I bought this machine (Viking Sapphire 875Q) a few years ago when I was looking to upgrade to larger throat space and more functionality. It has been a great machine but I’m ready to upgrade again. This machine can be a little persnickety about my thread choices and I feel like that is very limiting especially when I’m enjoying creating art quilts more and more. The thought to trade the machine in came to mind and I realized that it was entirely possible for me to do just that…trade it in and get something newer.
I spent hours online researching machines that fit my “requirements” and found out that there aren’t that many machines out there that fit the bill. I still need a large throat space, a machine that is for sewing/quilting but without the embroidery function. I have a stand alone embroidery machine and I don’t use it all that much, truthfully. When my kids were small I would make all kinds of embroidered pillow cases for them but now they aren’t too interested in that. I also really like the ability to pivot while appliqueing as well as good lighting on the machine, the automatic thread cutting and bobbin sensor…and it had to be within my budget. So obviously, a Bernina was out! The lack of throat space on any model I could afford was a deterrent for sure.
I narrowed it down to two choices to go test drive at the sewing center…A Baby Lock Symphony and a Janome Horizon 7700. When I got the store, they didn’t have the Janome 7700 but they did have the next one up (Janome 8900). I spent an hour and twenty minutes at the store with a wonderful woman who didn’t balk once at my wanting to try all sorts of functions on each one and then do it again! LOL. She assured me playing with the machines was her job and no worries. I really loved the look and feel of the Symphony. It has everything I want but the throat space is a smidge smaller (8.5″)than my current machine (which has 10″) and the Janome (11″). However, the space near the needle threader is taller than what I have currently and also taller than that space on the Janome. I’m willing to give up a little throat space in order to have more room to maneuver my big old hands while changing out presser feet and needles. My knuckles will thank me!! I did some free motion quilting on the machine and I like the way the stitches look and that it comes with several free motion feet. I also love the large extension table that it comes with. This machine is around $2,000.
The Janome 8900 was very impressive as well. It had a wealth of stitches, a large extension table and seemed to be the sweet heart of the store.
Right away I didn’t care for the jog dial on the front of the machine. It wasn’t quite as computerized as the Symphony. I tried out lots of stitches and the free motion and I don’t know if it was the lighting or the machine or my imagination but I didn’t love the way the stitches looked. They just didn’t appear as smooth as the other machine. This machine does have the dual feed action though which I could feel and would be very nice to have. I wanted to love this machine but I didn’t. I couldn’t find enough things about it that were different from the Symphony to justify the $2,900 price tag.
I decided to go for the Symphony and I’m headed back to the store tomorrow to either purchase or order it depending on if they have it in stock. I packed up my Viking Sapphire 875Q this morning. It will be a little sad to see her go but I think I’m going to really love this new one. I should mention that online I did also look at Brother machines (basically the same company as Baby Lock) and I did poke around the Bernina website but I would have to pay about $7,000 to get everything I like in a machine. For that amount, I’d just as soon get a sit down quilting machine.
I have to thank the Twilters for all of their advice yesterday via tweets! It’s way more fun choosing a machine with friends helping every step of the way. Lucky for me, Diane has a Symphony and has been so helpful with my questions!
Ok, on to the art quilt…I finished the stitching on the black part of the t-shirt and I stitched the arms, legs, face, etc. So basically the hard part is done. Now all that remains is the background. Any suggestions on quilting this? I am thinking straight lines across with different colors of green depending on which green section I’m working on…so light green on the light green parts, dark on the dark green parts. I don’t want anymore stippling because that is what the majority of the skin and shirt etc were.
Amanda mentioned leaves but I’m not sold on that even though she is the ‘star’ of the quilt! LOL.
Here are the pics of my progress this week…
Have a great night!