Monday, June 25, 2007

Help, Please

Most of you who have read this blog for a while know that I am primarily a hand sewing and hand quilter. I do own a Singer Featherweight, and for the past year or so I have been using it more often for piecing. But for some time I have been looking for a machine that I could use for quilting as well. (The pile of finished tops in my sewing room is currently at about a dozen and growing fast. )

This afternoon I looked at the Bernina Aurora 440 QE. It was all I could do to walk out of the store without whipping out my credit card and buying it on the spot. This is the one with the stitch regulator that is supposed to help you create consistent stitch lengths when free motion quilting. I tried it out and it really seems to work--the stitches weren't all exactly the same length, but they were pretty close, especially considering that I have never done free motion quilting on anything before.

The main reason I would be buying it is for the stitch regulator, but it has loads of other features that just seem fantastic to me.

* 379 different stitches
* 32 quilting stitches
* 11 needle positions
* knee operated thingamajig that lowers the feed dogs and raises the presser foot
* separate bobbin winder

etc., etc. etc.

It certainly comes with enough bells and whistles to keep me occupied for a long time to come.

Does anyone out there own this machine? Or know anyone who does? Do you like it? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Have you had any problems with it?



Cathi said...

I can't help you because I am probably going to get this machine in the near future too, with the embroidery attachment! I test drove it in Oregon when I was home visiting family at Christmas...I loved it, just like you.

Will be looking forward to hearing what others say!

Ms. Jan said...

I have a Bernina 440QE and I bought it primarily for the stitch regulator and have been a bit disappointed in it (felt like it was too "jumpy"), but I understand that there is a software update that fixes that. I just haven't taken her in for it.

That said, this is my second Bernina and I absolutely love it. It sews like a dream and does everything I ask of it. I would buy it again in a heartbeat! If you have questions, join the Bernina 440 QE Yahoo group.

bettsy said...

I have had this machine for about a year but sadly I haven't really tried all the bells and whistles out. I bought it for the BSR which I have used but seem to have used the walking foot more.That's not because of anything wrong with the machine - but because that's what I needed to do quilting wise. I have absolutely no complaints and do love it - I just wish it came with nice bundles of time to play with it. My last bernina only had 5 stitches so that is something I want to experiment with.I am very lucky to have a great local bernina dealer which is another thing to consider. I do know that California Girl in Oz has one which she has written on her blog that she loves. If it is in your price range I don't think you will be sorry.If you have any specific questions I may be able to help. There is also a yahoo group.

Guðrún said...

Sorry don´t know how these are.

Belém said...

I have one and I LOVE it. I bought it for the BSR foot but this machine is so complete that all its skills are very usefull. The button holes are made beautifully. I stop to make them by hand. I couldn't describe in a few line how glad I am to have bought it.

Shelina said...

Sorry Diana. I don't know anything about the machine. I've heard people rave about machines with a knee lift though. Google it. Its a great idea to find out before you buy than afterwards the way I bought mine. Besides knowing about others opinions, I would ask myself which of these features I would really use. I have features o my 20 year old simple Kenmore I've necer used!

Jane Ann said...

I can't tell you about the BSR, but I have owned two Berninas and they are fabulous machines. You will love, love, love every feature on the 440. You probably will never use all those "quilting" stitches, but the needle-down, knee-lift, needle positions, and the fabulous feet are the greatest features on earth. Those who like to embroider have preferred the 630, but if that is not on your agenda I don't think you could go wrong with the 440.

Helen Conway said...

I haven't actually tried the 440QE yet - I hope to test drive it soon but I have seen someone else use it. However I will say that I have a Janome Memorycraft 6600 which doesn't have a stitch regulator but it does have a 50% larger throat space which the Aurora doesn't which is great for larger quilts. I also have a feature which I suspect doesn't appear on Berninas ( becuase I have seen Ricky Tims cutting his threads with scissors!) which is a button that tells the machine to cut the threads itself. I'd hate to lose either of these. My machine is too new to justify a new one but I was toying with the 440 just for the BSR anyway but then thought that i'd probably get irritated with it because of the absence of my two functions. I am betting that the BSR will be technology copied by a later edition of Janome which already does not need a walking foot. I would recommend my machine for anyne thinking of a new one generally.

atet said...

You might try looking at Kristin La Flamme's blog THINK she's got a 440) as well as Nadine Ruggles Nadine just bought a 440 a month or two ago and blogged about getting the new machine, some of the things she likes/dislikes, etc. I know she doesn't use the stitch regulator -- but she does have some other information you might want to check out.

As for me -- oh my, I can dream.

Morah said...

I have one question for you. DO you plan on using the stitch regulator to do large or small projects. I looked for a machine last year and rejected the Bernina because I want to do full sized quilts. You just don't have the room to smoosh all of the fabric in the opening. I opted for the Janome 6600 and haven't been disappointed. My friends that own the 4400 have a love/not so much love relationship with the machine.

meggie said...

Confusing for you!!
Lots of hugs, & crossed fingers.
Which may be useless, but are meant well, are sincere hugs, & best wishes for you!!

Feather on a Wire said...

I have 2 Auroras, one at full price and one bought from someone who won one. I love this machine as much as my old 1260. I run a Yahoo group for people who either have one or are thinking of buying one.
It's quite a quiet group, only getting mail when people need a question answered BerninaAQ. It has no affiliation with Bernina.
I love the machine and I don't used the BSR as I learnt the 'hard' way (grin).

Wendy said...

Maybe I am doing something wrong, but I have never had even stitches using the stitch regulator. I have the Aurora 440 QE, and I feel I wasted my money on the regulator. Maybe someone can give me an idea of what I might be doing wrong.