Saturday, January 28, 2012

R.I.P Bernie!

How do you explain away the utmost sadness that you can feel over the need to retire a well loved much used machine --- to back-up only status?

I bought my first and only-to-date Bernina machine, my 1080, in 1994. It cost me what I thought was an arm and a leg at the time—it was about $1,300. and I thought there would be a divorce involved as well.

But something happened the moment I started sewing on that machine and discovered things like needle up/down –heel tap feature on the foot pedal that has become indispensible -- a walking food that put on bindings straight and true, and a feed dog system that I have never found on any other machine out there, and I’ve owned quite a few. My piecing is NEVER as good on any machine as it is on that Bernina.

Over the years I’ve been pulled and persuaded that this Pfaff with it’s “always connected” walking foot would give me more accurate piecing. That machine and I did not bond well.

I had a Viking 500 that was “okay” as a back up machine…..my friend had it and loved it and said it could do ANYTHING. It was okay, but it wasn’t a Bernina. That machine now lives with my mom, who loves it and uses it.

I found myself talked into a Janome 6500p because of the larger throat space and the knee lift and the thread cutter, but that machine has been relegated to be my paper piecing and string piecing machine….no matter what I try, I just can’t get that machine to sew like the Bernina does.

I have more vintage machines than I care to count --- the only rooms that don’t have a machine nearby in this house would be the kitchen, Jeff’s bedroom, the master bedroom and the bathrooms –there are THREE machines set up in the guest room!

Each machine I love for its quirks and character and history. And yes, I posted about my Blue Wizard machine this morning and the great job it does ----

But still. This Bernina has been my best friend and my confidant over 16 years and has the hard worn scars to prove it!

So --- I have a choice. I can upgrade. But then I have to replace all the feet, and get ANOTHER plexiglass table to fit a newer Bernina. Or I can wait and see if I can find another one just like this 1080 on ebay, that won’t come with a warranty ---and older machines that have been run as hard as mine has may end up with the same demise – a motor blowing carbon, and the places where the motor is attached to the machine being worn away by use and vibration over the years making it impossible to secure a new motor to this machine….her screws have eroded away the screw holes ((I don’t know how to say this technically)) She still makes a beautiful stitch……but without advance notice, she is on the brink of just going kerplunk, never to sew again.

Once something starts to go on her circuit boards….it will be all over!

And then I start thinking about maybe wanting a mechanical Bernina machine – NOT a computerized one….I’ve poked around on ebay, but again you never know what condition the machine is REALLY in if you buy it from someone out of your area without a store front.

All I know is…NOTHING sews like a Bernina. NOTHING. And if you haven’t spent 16 years on one, you probably won’t understand what that means……

My mind is really thinking of finding an older Bernina that is just “mechanical” and not computerized at all ----If you sew on a Bernina 1008, or another "mechanical" Bernina will you leave a comment about your likes/dislikes please?

107 comments:

Willa said...

Bonnie,
Check out SewItsforSale on Yahoo groups.

I have a 1530 that I love and wanted another for back up. I got a 1630 instead and am learning to love it. Daughter has 12?? and sister has 11?? and all the feet work --well except a few coded feet for the 1630.

They are out there!

DianeY said...

Not a 1008, but I sew on a Bernina 930, which I believe was one of the last few before the computerized came out. I actually bought it used in 1990, but it was only 6 mos old-the owner wanted a new computerized one! I wouldn't trade it for the world! I have only had it serviced 3 times in the 22 years-I clean & oil it often. Yes-not a lot of space for FMQ, but I've managed a few Queen-sized. It has a knee-lifter, but no needle down stop. Quite frankly, my quick turn of the hand wheel is so automatic, I completely forget about it!
My DIL was on the search for one for about 6 mos & recently found one on Craig's List that she was able to try out & she purchased it for $650 with all the feet, manual, case, etc. She had it seviced & the tech told her it should last just about forever with good care.
I've also heard the old 830 is very good, too

Becky said...

I sew on a 1090, nearly the same as yours. I bought an 1130 on ebay about 5 years ago as a back-up, it lives in a roller bag and goes to class, retreat with me. It uses the same feet. I did look at the mechanical one 1008, and I have an even older school model mechanical. You would have to give up needle up/down, heel tap, all the special things that the computer gives you. I don't want to go back to doing that, especially when I'm sewing Y seams and the like. Keep to the computer Berninas. Keep watch on ebay and estate sales. One 1130 went for $350 at an estate sale here in KCMO. They are out there, you just need to find them. Good luck. Just remember, nothing sews like a Bernina, Nothing!

By Hoki Quilts said...

I have a Pfaff, it's not a flash fancy one but it's the best for me and she's an absolute honey of a machine. The only time things go wrong is when I have made errors and every day I thank her for the years and years of loyal service she has given me.

Jody said...

My sympathy for your loss. I understand completely! I sew on a Pfaff 1222 and I LOVE her. She was a Mothers Day gift to my mom in 1970 and was gifted to me, by Mom, about 10 years ago. It has been a love affair ever since. I call her Sassypfaff....TMI??? I recently had a scare with her but a little luck finding a part and a great machine guy and we are back up and sewing, hopefully for 42 more years.
Good luck in your search!

Lynn Dykstra said...

Oh, Bonnie, I have been in mourning and denial for a year now since my Bernina 1530, purchased new in 1993, was declared to be beyond repair.
I have an old Bernina Record 830 that I got for $25 at a thrift store about 5 years ago that I have been using since the bad news.
Last week for the first time I went to look at new machines. It felt too soon and I walked out.

Leeanne said...

I own 3 Bernina's, 440, 830 & 801 and I hear what you are saying, they are great machines! I love all of mine. My 801 my parents bought that for me when I was ten years old and it is still going strong....Ok I'm not 90. I use it for all my piecing, it has no knee lift, or needle up/down, but a lovely stitch. My 830 I bought second hand, it has a knee lift, no needle up/down, but once again it sews lovely. My 440 I have had for about 4 years and I love that, it has all the bells and whistles. I use it for my quilting business.
Good luck with your search.

Leeann said...

You can buy 1008 berninas (mechanical) new. Maybe this is the way to go.

Laura said...

Poor Bonnie, we feel your pain. I went into the Bernina store about the same time you bought your machine, intending to get a 1090 and left with a 1530. LOVED that machine, but when DH lost his job a few years ago I had to sell it. Now I am sewing on a 1010 I bought off of ebay a couple of years ago for $50 and it just feels and sounds so familiar. I didn't even know if it would work, but except for paying $100 for a foot pedal, it's been great. No knee lift, foot tap, etc. but it sews like a champ. I'm finishing up Orca Bay and did RRCB last year. I think I've done my best piecing with this machine, and was able to use my extra feet and bobbins.
With that said however, why not check out a new computerized bernina if you can afford it? Couldn't you deduct the expense as a business item? Just a thought and I don't mean to get personal about $$. Besides, shopping for sewing machines is SO MUCH FUN, and with a Bernina, you don't need to do it very often, haha.

Tonya Ricucci said...

I bought a new bottom-of-the-line mechanical Bernina 1008 a few years ago (which you probably remember since you were here with me!) and I don't like it nearly as well as my older workhorse mechical Bernina which is something like a 1230(or 1030 or ????). Whatever you get, sew on it first to really make sure you love it. I wonder what the Industrial 950 is like? That would be the one to try...

Anonymous said...

I have a 930 cheep!!! given to me by a friend in payment for a tshirt quilt. Joaniegirl rebel332@gate.net

Impera_Magna said...

I just picked up my Bernina 1230 from the repair shop in Raleigh this morning.... purchased in 1993, she's seen a lot of use. She's been out of commission since just before Christmas... seems I wore out the gears, which needed replacing. The ladies in the shop suggested a new machine... but I love this one so much... up until the holidays, she sewed like a dream with nary a problem. I hope to spend many more years with her.

My condolences on the loss of your Bernina... so very sad!

Colleen said...

Hey I bought a Baby Lock Sofia last spring, my first NEW machine, to machine quilt and embroider. But I piece daily on my 1950's Singer Featherweight. You can't beat a well made mechanical machine for being a workhorse. Whenever I post pictures showing me piecing on it, I always get "use that a lot?" comments. Heck I do have a 1950's White in a cabinet in my kitchen-my first sewing machine that was my dad's mom's! I would be sewing on that too if I had a space big enough in this home to open the cabinet...I miss the knee bar. I say Go mechanical! BTW my second machine was a 1970's Kenmore-another grandmother hand-me-down.

mtquilter said...

I'm so sorry your beloved Bernina is dying. I have a 1090QE that I bought in 1994 and I love it. I also bought a 153QE from a friend intending to use it as a class machine but I went back to the 1090. I just feel more comfortable with it and don't have to think about what buttons to push etc. Also like you said the feet aren't interchangable which is a bummer. You might check with your local Bernina dealer. I know our shop gets trade in's quite often and I'm sure I've seen the 1080/1090 model there as recently as a year ago. Most people probably aren't power sewers like you are, so you might find one with quite a bit of life left in it. Your Bernina dealer would be able to tell you how many hours a used machine has on it. There is some kind of gauge inside that keeps track of that. Good luck on your search!

Michelle said...

Any chance of buying a rebuilt one from a dealer -- one that someone bought and didn't use much?

Paula said...

I have a Bernina 1020 and 1230. I bought the 1020 in 1991, and it still runs like a charm. i bought the 1230 off of Ebay for $1000 a number of years ago, and love that just as well. If you're buying off Ebay, just be careful and make sure it's a legitimate seller. I ran into one that wasn't, but was suspicious when it came to the payment of where to send it.

Erica said...

I have a mechanical Bernina 830 which I spent $600 on in 1995 (that was an absolute fortune) when I bought it second-hand. No warranty, no clue about the history but I love that machine and I will part with it when somebody pries it out of my cold, dead hand. It is a circa 1978 machine, best I can tell, and so little to go wrong with it. There are a lot of people out there still using this machine. I have a newer Viking with lots of bells and whistles, but it does not compare. I would feel as you do if something happened to my 830.

Anonymous said...

I have a 15 year old Bernina 1031 and love it to pieces. I upgraded last year because I wanted the stitch regulator. No bells or whistles, but it's a workhorse.
BTW, I just finished putting my Orca Bay rows together, borders to follow. That quilt is amazing Bonnie, my all time favorite. Thanks!!

KathieB said...

I have a Bernina 1530 and will DIE when it bites the dust. I love it so much--it's like an extension of my hands. That said, when it does die, I hope to replace it with a high-end mechanical Bernina, preferably a 1030 0r 1031. That machine came with the electronic foot pedal and a great selection of feet. My 1530 feet would all work on that machine too. I don't think I could live without either the needle-up-needle-down feature or the knee-lift. That machine had both.

Shifra G said...

I have a Bernina 1031 that I love. It's mechanical with the knee thing and the heel tap. I love it and have been told by a Bernina dealer that it is the best one they made with a work horse motor. He even said he's sorry they stopped making them.

Debbie said...

I feel your pain...and your absolute love for Berninas. I had an 1130 that became damaged beyond repair over 10 years ago...I was so totally upset...I cried! I bought a 153 that I never bonded with and I went back to my Bernina dealer and did some whining...she said she wanted me to be happy so we came to a deal and I brought home a 440. The 440 is my primary machine and I love it! But I still really missed my 1130. Last year I relented and bought a 1260 on Ebay...it obviously had seen more use than the seller let on to but it is working great so I'm happy...I got it for $1,200 which was much less than most I had seen on the market. I live in Alaska so there is very little opportunity to look for older models and try them ahead of time. Now I can use all those specialty feet I collect for my 1130 for when I do clothing construction. One thing I did look for when I bought mine on Ebay was a seller that had a return policy. Good luck!

SubeeSews said...

I am so sorry that Bernie has almost reached her limit. I am sure you drove her like a racehorse too. Yet you treated her with respect and regard. You always used a seatbelt on her when she was riding "shotgun"!
I did a test drive of a Bernia many eons ago. I was making my Mother a jean jacket with deer suede. It was a great machine but I could not afford to buy it.
I wish you luck in finding another one to your liking. In your travels I bet you find one that has been in a closet for years and has "0" hours of sewing. You are just lucky like that girl!
XOXOXO Subee

Anonymous said...

I did not know a Bernina could die. I am having heart palpitations. I sew on a 1030--not computerized, knee lift, needle down feature on the foot pedal--purchased about the same time as yours, maybe a few years earlier. And, yes, the cost back then. I saved for 2 years to buy my machine. Surely you will come across a used machine (or 2) that will serve you for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

I have a computerized model 730E and LOVE it, I bought it "used" from a local dealer almost 2 years ago. Because it was "used" in a demo I got it for 1/2 price. Significant savings. I had been sewing on a Singer Athena 2000 which was Singers first attempt at a computerized machine- that one lasted me over 30 years. And my spares include another old singer, my mom's Featherweight, and my husbands grandmothers Featherweight. The Bernina is wonderful to piece on- and the thread cutting feature is the best! I don't know that I will ever go back to anything else. *I went in to buy a 440QE but the 730E was cheaper since it was "used". * Did I mention that it had less than 30 minutes sewing time on it???? Good luck in finding a new machine! And may Bernie RIP!! Joy in AK

Tracey in CT said...

I can feel your pain, Bonnie. For almost 15 years I had a Bernina 1630, and it was fabulous. I never had a problem finding a 1/4 seam allowance and it sewed like a dream. Until the circuit board went about 4 years ago :-( I tried so many machines, and I finally ended up with a Janome 6600, which everyone else raved about. I like it, but I don't love it, and still, 4 years later I struggle to get a good 1/4 on it (even after I ripped the seam guide off the side of the foot with your encouragement during the class I took!) Its just not the same. First love, I guess LOL>

KQ Sue said...

I have had my 7570 Pfaff since 1997, love it. I have to be sedated when she goes in for cleaning. I have 8 or 12 other machines, but none of them sew like she does.Of course for classes my Featherweight is my favorite and buttonholes have to be done on my Singer 2010. Ok, I have 3 favorites.

Anne Cowan said...

I am also one of those 1530 Bernina owners who will absolutely die when it dies! I LOVE that machine and have used it since 1994 when my husband gave it to me for our 20th anniversary. It is so awesome. I don't even want to THINK about getting a new machine. I love the way it stitches, the feet, and just the, well, familiarity I have with it. I talk nicely to it daily so here is hoping I can find another for that terrible day, when it comes.

Jenni said...

I inherited my mother's Bernina 830 - it is all mechanical. I am comfortable sewing on it but not my Brother PC8200 that my sister gave me (I use it for embroidery). My daughter can't stand to sew on the 830, she is used to all of the needle up/down and not having to hold the thread when beginning to sew but I love it and it is a work horse! On the rare occasion, I have taken it out to a class I have been told that I have gold - I know this - to me more for sentimenal reasons but I also know that they don't make them like they did once upon a time. If you are lucky enough to find a good mechanical machine I would do it. I recently bought a featherweight I can use for classes as I don't like to haual my Bernina around for multiple reasons and I also don't like to take out my Brother. I have to inexpensive machines that I have around for the grandkids. One thing you are right about... there is nothing like a Bernina!

qltmom9 said...

Dh says an automotive machine shop might be able to drill for a Helicoil, if there is enough metal there.
I love my $$$ Bernina too.

Lucy~

qltmom9 said...

Dh says an automotive machine shop might be able to drill for a Helicoil, if there is enough metal there.
I love my $$$ Bernina too.

Lucy~

Janet O. said...

The Bernina I inherited from my Mom , the one on which I learned to sew, is so old I don't know if it has a number. Dad & Mom purchased it 60 years ago. Still runs. I'm trying to make room for it in my sewing room along with my 34-year-old Viking and & 7 year-old Pfaff. All of my machines are mechanical and I like it that way.

Michele said...

OK. I know that you said that the screw holes were worn out but as a machine tech for Viking I would give you an option. Securing a new motor by putting E 6000 adhesive into the screw holes, attaching the new motor, inserting the screws and letting it set up for a few days. I have used this adhesive for pottery, reattaching a snap to a purse, tile, re-gluing the soles of shoes and so many other things. It would a final fix but it would give you some more time with it. This stuff is amazing. Hope I helped. BTW I am in no way affiliated with E 6000 I just love it.

Anonymous said...

I have a Bernina 1020 that I bought around 1992 or so. I was debating mechanical or computerized, and decided to go slightly closer to the top of the line mechanical than the computerized one that was near the same price. I love this machine! Foot tap, knee lift, beautiful stitches. Only needed service a couple of times. It replaced a Singer Genie that my daughter still uses.

Anonymous said...

My Bernie is a 1260 bought in 1994 or 5 I think, love her. Piece on her regularly, haul her to work shops. Was going to trade her up a few years ago when I wanted a 440qe. Couldn't get what I wanted for her so I kept her and bought the machine out right. She sews and quilts as well, won't get rid of either of them. I would hate to have to replace either one of them.

Ramona said...

I bought my first Bernina when I was 19. A mechanical 930. It weight a ton but it sews beautifully and I have all the wonderful feet for it. Then I got a 180 so I could do some machine embroidery. It also sews nice. I have a Bernina serger too; but the Bernina shop keeps enticing me with the 830. Seriously expensive but OMG!!! So what does your husband spend on his hobbies? And he can't say you don't use your machines! You seem like a non-stop marathon quilter. I wish I had a fraction of your energy. I think a good Bernina shop should be able to hook you up with a decent machine and as much quilting as you do, I think you could convince Bernina to donate one to you. You could become a spokesperson for them. Look how many quilters you just reached out to and gave a great plug for Bernina.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, I also have a bernina 1080 and I just love my machine. I tried explaining to my husband Why I like my Bernina but he doesn't quite get it. Some day I'll probably buy a new one but as long as mine keeps working, I'll keep it. sandi1100@yahoo.com

Laura said...

I have a Bernina 930 that I inherited from my Mom when she got a new (computerized) Bernina about ten years ago. Although she loves her new machine, she missed her 930 so much she went on Ebay and found another one second hand and bought it for herself! We both love our machines and are Bernina girls through and through!

Dorothy Matheson said...

I sew at my Mom's on her 920 new a year ago Bernina. I actually do love the feet and the even feed. However as a top of the line computerized machine it is a pain to keep the feed dogs and bobbin area clean enough. It does not like any lint.
You saw my bright blue feather weight in a class in Austin Tx. I sew a lot on that machine at bee's. My old Elna bought top of the line in the 80's started going out last year and I had to replace her so I know your pain. I loved that machine and I had done so much sewing on her. I was able to replace with a newer Elna which does not have nearly the number of built in stitches. However the new (used) machine is sewing a lovely seam and I like it a lot.

NeverBored said...

Add me to the list of Bernina 1530 lovers who will be heart broken when/if my machine dies. I have seriously thought about buying a used 1530 for back-up "just in case". Even though I have a Featherweight, and a little computerized Janome to take to workshops, my Bernina is my favorite, go-to machine. It works so perfectly for me and I don't want to learn a new model machine; I love this one. I absolutely agree, Nothing sews like a Bernina.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie, I bought a new Bernina 1200QE in 1996. Loved it. Sold it in 2005 for USD 500 because we went to Europe. I bought a Bernina 200 Artista. Great but not for workshops, too vulnerable. So i bought a 1008. Great machine, sturdy, for holidays and workshops. However I could not get used to the machine-handling: it simply costs more time. I missed the computer-features and, above all, I missed the cute red lights on the machine that indicate stitches, length etc. So I traded it in for a Bernina 1230 in 2008. A used one, from a dealer, and it cost me 600 Euro. And I love it. Love the computer features, and most of all, love the indicator lights talking to me. I made RRCB, Christmas Lights and Orca Bay on it. The Artista is in my sewing room. The 1230 is permanently set up in the dining room. That's the one I use most. If you consider buying a 1008, ask the dealer for a week of trial sewing. Going back can be hard.... take care. Laetitia

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Oh, Bonnie, I feel your pain! My beloved 1090 (very similar to your 1080), crashed to the floor when the cord became tangled around my foot and I had leaped up to answer the phone. Since then I've been using a 1530 which I had bought years before right when they were discontinuing it. (I thought I might someday want fancy stitches.) It's a nice machine but I still mourn my 1090.

I used a 1008 during a semester long sewing class and I can testify that it is a very good machine and that it can use the feet from your 1080. However, it does not have the knee-lift. And you can't set it to always stop with the needle down. (I don't remember if it will do the needle down when you tap the back of the foot pedal.) If it had a knee-lift, I would buy one in a heart beat.

C.B.

Megan said...

I have a Bernina 1000 Plus, which my husband bought me in Australia in 1991. I have never had it serviced and I don't recall ever oiling it either. All I do by way of maintenance is clean the fluff out of the bobbin area. It doesn't have needle up/down or foot tap (I don't even know what that is!). I asked my husband for the absolute bottom of the range Bernina - all I use it for is patchwork, so I just wanted straight stitch, nothing fancy, but I wanted it to be top quality, so I wanted a Bernina.
I hear about the trouble that other people have with their sewing machines and it makes me very glad that I went with the Bernina. I have no desire for a computerised machine. I know that I wouldn't use most of the functions. I don't even use leaders/enders because I've never experienced problems with the feed dogs chewing the beginning of small pieces of fabric or the like.
I'm hopeful, Bonnie, that by publishing this post you may find someone who has a spare mechanical Bernina who is willing to sell it to you. Fingers crossed.

Sandi said...

I have a 1080 and a 1230. I bought the 1080 new in 1995 and the 1230 for a song ($200) from a friend a few years ago. The 1230 is the travel/backup machine. I just can't bond with it like I have with the 1080. Sorry you're having to semi-retire the 1080. I agree, nothing sews like a Bernina!

Ila said...

I noticed a 1230 on the used-machine shelf at my nearly-local shop. I hemmed and hawed for approximately 3 minutes before I whipped out the plastic. Now I have 2! Put the word out, and a beloved Bernie will find you.

I had purchased an 801 that used all my feet, and that one's now moving on to another home... I like the needle up-down and the knee lift too much!

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, I'm so sorry to hear about your Bernina. :( :( I have a 1090 and absolutely LOVE it! As old as it is, the hours on a machine this old are low. I hope it lasts me forever. If not, I will put a 2nd mortgage on the house so that I can buy another Bernina. Nothing else will do. I used the Janome on the cruise. I couldn't wait to get home to my machine. :) :) I hope you can find another machine that you love.

Debby in CT

bethstrand said...

Bonnie, I totally understand. My mom brought home our first Bernina (an 830) when I was 13 and I've had Berninas ever since. I now have two in my sewing room, my 25 year-old 1130 and my newer QE. Even though I have two, my 1130 and I are the real team. We've been together longer than anything else in my life and if I found out it was terminal, I'd be in the same boat. Hoping you find a nice replacement...maybe one that an old lady from Pasadena only drove on Sundays?

Ann-Maree said...

I went to a lecture once by a sewing machine mechanic in 2004 and he stated "Have you bought a sewing machine or a computer?" We didn't know what he was on about at the time, not long after that my beloved Janome 8000 became teminally ill.....suddenly it became clear that I had indeed bought a computer.,,,I then purchased a Brother 1500PQ...all metal, no computer......and haven't missed a beat since...she's not fancy no bells and whistle but she'll sew forever!

Sybil said...

I love my Berninas. I have a 1260 and a 165. I have a Viking SE but it doesn't compare to my Berninas.

Julierose said...

How about going to any Local Quilt Shops that are Bernina Dealers and finding out if anyone has traded in? I know at my local quilt shop they always have machines that are practically new that someone didn't like and traded in or up from.....I always had a Pfaff which died last year and got talked into a new, computerized Viking --which is OK, but I don't feel that it holds the fabric when feeding through anything like my Old-uncomputerized Pfaff--am really not sold on computerized machines....may have to trade...still evaluating....Julierose

Shelia said...

Sorry about your Bernina. In March 2010 I got my Bernina. I bought it used off ebay. I paid $550 for it and to me that was almost 2 fortunes. I bought a Virtuosa 150. I was VERY uneasy about buying sight unseen and from someone I did not know. I asked LOTS of questions and emailed Kristen several times. I would recommend her VERY highly to anyone. I believe she is an honest person. If I can afford it I will always own a Bernina, because nothing sews like a Bernina, nothing. I checked ebay a bit ago and she has no items right now but she might have something you are interested in soon. Her username is lovintosew . Good luck with your search. BTW I love your patterns and am starting to use your scrap user system.

Anonymous said...

I have a 1030 that I bought over 20 years ago. I think it is the last mechanical machine. I love it. It doesn't do anything really fancy, just has a few built-in stitches, a button-hole maker, and a knee-lift (which I love-love-love). It doesn't have an automatic needle down setting; you have to pop the foot peddle. I don't know what I would do if it stopped working.

Anonymous said...

studio@bibntucker.com

I have an OLD 830 bought in 1975 for around $600 (remember cashing in a $500 savings bond to get it). It's had a new motor. She and I together do the best satin stitch. I knew I would cry buckets when she died so when I saw one for sale in our guild newsletter I thought - PARTS for my baby. They both get gently used - I have a Brother PQ 1300 and 1500 for my straight sewing at home and at my shop.

Gail
Victoria BC

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, the minute I read your dilemma, having been married to an engineer for 40 years, my brain said: if there is enough wiggle room in the case, have a metal fabricator make a new plate with screw holes and weld/glue it in place, and then buy a new motor. A sewing machine repair person will automatically think: worn out, can't be fixed. An engineer thinks: how can I fix this so I don't have to buy a new one. Good luck :)

Suze said...

Sorry to hear about your Bernina, I love mine. I have an 801 that I would not trade in for anything. I use the Bernina 1008s at school and I don't like them very much. I just got a Janome 6600 because of the bigger throat space. I haven't been able to set it up yet for lack of space...please don't tell me that I made a mistake. I couldn't afford a new Bernina and I wasn't about trade in my 801.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie. I sew on a Bernina 1001 which i bought in 1996. I think i bought one of the last ones; they retired them and replaced them with the 1008; don't know why, they look pretty much the same! This machine is a workhorse! I have machine quilted queensize quilts on it with no trouble, and it never gives me any trouble. I do get it serviced every year but there is never anything wrong with it! I hope you can find one.
Marianne in Woodbridge, VA (CBQ) mhgravely@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Bonnie

I can feel your pain. I have a Bernina 1080 that I love, also, but I wore it out machine quilting. I have a new Bernina Quilters Edition that I love but not as much as the 1080. And you're right, the feet are different. But the bobbin which holds so much thread is still there and the walking foot is the same. I would recommend the QE. Happy searching!

Lorraine

Tricia said...

I have a 730 Bernina. My parents bought it used for me when I graduated from HS. (I am your age.) I sewed on it for about 20 years. I then purchased a pfaff 7570. Now hands down that Bernina has the nicest, prettiest stitch I have ever seen. It is always true and tension perfect. Even now (My daughter in law uses it). I did love my 7570 love, nice stitch and I live the integrated walking foot for piecing. I burned the brushes out in my 730 about 24 years ago...the repair guy said, my motor wouldn't last the year. Haha we are still sewing with said machine.
Good luck Bonnie. Sorry to hear about your Bernie...it is hard to lose an old friend!

quiltkeemosabe said...

I have a Bernina 640 with bells and whistles and computerization, it has the 9mm stitch, it does embroidery which I am really getting into and it sews like a dream!!!! No problems whatsoever. It is the machine I go to even though I have 3 Featherweights and a Janome. I refuse to be left behind while the rest of the world goes high tech. We are all reading Bonnie's blog on a computer so why not let a computer help us sew??? There is no reason for quilters to stay in the dark ages. Welcome to the 21st century!

Laura said...

I know what you mean about Berninas. I am a sewing machine snob. My mom got an 830 in 1974 when I was twelve. When I graduated from college, my parents gave me a second-hand 830. I replaced it about 1994 with a 1260 and passed my 830 to my sister.

In hindsight, I wish I had kept the 830 to have as a backup machine, but I knew my sister would never get a bernina for herself, and her old machine (a White)was awful. My 1260 has a wider zig-zag than the 830. It also has the automatic button-holer instead of the four step. A year and a half ago, I bought my son an old 830. I use this one as my back up machine. I think the 830 is slower than my 1260. The 830 is also much quieter than my 1260.

I think the 830 is a great machine, but I really like my 1260 and hope it lasts a long time. If I were to replace my 1260, I'd get the best Bernina I could afford.

Amy said...

I have the Bernina Aurora 440qe. It has a perfect stitch. It has the cb hook system for the bobbin. I've had dealers tell me those are best for perfect stitches. The max stitch width is 5.5mm as compared to the rotary hook machines which can be 9mm. I love this machine. I'll keep it for as long as it will see. I had a Husqvarna which drove me crazy with its tension problems. The Bernina is such a joy to sew on.

Salem Stitcher said...

Okay, Bonnie, like I told you, Bernie is not dead. He still has a beautiful straight stitch. But... For the amount of sewing you do, he probably needs to retire to your backup. Go for a new warhorse. It'll be a dream come true. And work with a local dealer to insure you get a true machine backed by Bernina International. Buying from a non-dealer (ie Ebay), parts are no longer warrantied. Plus you lose all perks like discounts on feet, any free services and any other special offers the dealer may have for their machine customers.

Salem Stitcher said...

Okay, Bonnie, like I told you, Bernie is not dead. He still has a beautiful straight stitch. But... For the amount of sewing you do, he probably needs to retire to your backup. Go for a new warhorse. It'll be a dream come true. And work with a local dealer to insure you get a true machine backed by Bernina International. Buying from a non-dealer (ie Ebay), parts are no longer warrantied. Plus you lose all perks like discounts on feet, any free services and any other special offers the dealer may have for their machine customers.

angelsister1951 said...

same here i love my 830 she sews like a dream.. but i do have a back up for parts since they are not making anything for this baby anymore..

JoAnne said...

Bonnie, as a fellow owner of a 1080 I really feel for you. I got a Janome Jem for a travel machine, but it just doesn't sew the same. I just took my Bernie in for a foot pedal repair. I started watching on ebay for other 1080s, too, but feel like you that you don't know the history. I love mine so much! (If I didn't I would offer it to you.) So sorry!

Genie said...

Oh Bonnie, my heart cries for you. I have a Bernina 1230 that I bought in 1993...she's been rode hard but well maintained.I love her so much and have always thought we would grow old together, never replacing her. The thought that I might lose Erie Mae (she is named after my dear grandmother, who loved to piece), is a terrible thought. Maybe your dealer gets one once in a while and could tell you what kind of condition it's in. You have time because yours still runs. PS, you used Erie Mae in a class at Rd2CA to do the class demos because she is very much like yours.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,

just a little food for your thoughts: Your "old" Bernina was probably "Made in Switzerland" whereas the newer ones - except the very high-end of the range - are all produced in Thailand by a 'daughter company' as they call it and whatever that means.

Rena

WIPPYSPLACE said...

I own a Pfaff--from a dear friend who had this for 16 years before I bought it! I LOVE IT--I have never sewn on a Bernina, so I couldnt say one way or another--I was a SINGER gal till I got this machine...I also have a light weight JANOME that goes to classes only :-)

LornaO said...

I love Berninas! My mom had an 830 that I learned on. Then almost 30 years ago I bought a 910. It still works wonderful and if I want to do any heavy sewing on it I use it. Or if someone else is here and wants to use a sewing machine I always have them use it. It is soo simple..only 7 stitches. But I wanted a bit more (needle up/down and more stitches)so about 8 years ago I bought a 190. I love it and do all my piecing on it (along with almost everything else too).

herewego said...

My 2 cents...beware of the new Berninas!!!! I had a 1630 for 12 years and loved it to death, literally. Bought a new 440qe four years ago and had nothing but trouble. Broken parts not covered by warranty, etc. I will never make a mistake that expensive again. I do love my new Janome Horizon with all my heart!

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, I successfully purchased an 1130S on eBay in November after searching for almost 6 months for the right one so I know you will find one if you want to go that route. I lost several bids on other machines when I didn't act quickly enough. I did spend almost 900. for it but I got an excellant machine. I had it checked out at my local service center and he said the machine was clean and did not appear to have much wear. Just be sure that the seller has it professional packed. I've also had some bad experiences with breakage and poor shipping and it took almost two months and arbitration through eBay to get my money returned, so heads up on that front too. gauen at mbc dot edu

Anonymous said...

I own 4 Berninas, a Singer Featherweight and a Juki and love, love them all for different reasons, but I have to tell you a huge drawback of the new Berninas that embroider and have a 9 mm stitch width. The further apart your feed dogs are, the less accurate your piecing becomes. They're great machines for embroidering and fancy stitches, but I'm a piecer and accuracy is critical to me. My 1090 Bernina (very much like your machine) is always my go-to machine for accuracy and convenience. I own 2 mechanical Berninas but just can't seem to love piecing on them because I miss the needle-down function, the pedal tap needle up and the knee-lift hands-free system too much to spend much time on them. I use the mechanical ones for mending and heavy-duty Levi sewing, etc. but I will truly mourn when my 1090 dies. I'm beginning to look for a gently used 1080 or 1090 myself. If you find a good outlet, I'd be interested. nena@bnads.com

Jean said...

My first machine when we got married was a Nova 801. I used it until daughter #2 went to college and I started quilting in 2003. I tried to have it tuned up, but I had worn it out. We got a 155QE on Ebay, and I liked it fine, but then decided to upgrade to a 440QE last year. I love my new machine as much as my first, and now my daughter #2 has the 155. I did not look at another brand. I see the other adds and have wondered...but I am a Bernina lover through and through. My husband keeps saying maybe I need an 800 series, but that seems over the top and unnecessary to me. (I beleive that it is the low end Berninas that are not made in Switzerland, like the Bernettes.)

Loris said...

I'm so sorry to hear of you losing your Bernina. I am of the same mind. I thought I was not able to repair a part on my 1090 last year and freaked out! Bought a used 1090 for $1000 on Ebay. It was in great shape though it got bruised a bit by really poor packing supposedly by the UPS box store. Still good working order though.
I bought a 180E in 1998 and have been so grateful that the salesman talked me out of trading in the 1090. You absolutely cannot beat a Bernina mechanical. I love mine. I have also heard that the 830's are the best workhorses. I hope you can repair yours or find another one you can love as much.

Char said...

Oh no I have a 1080 just like yousrs and I'm not ready for hher to go! Wish you luck with your next Bernina purchase!

Karen said...

I live in santa cruz, ca. We have a guy in scotts valley that is the czar of sewing machines. If you want an older machine in VERY good condition contact Jim @ http://sewingmachinerepair.com/contact_us_form_8.html
Not only does he get quite a variety of machines, he services bernina, my lovely featherweight, pfaff and many others and makes them run better than when they were brand new.
Our quilt guild keeps him very busy. Not only will I buy my next machine from him, he services the three I currently have.

Call or email him tell him what you are looking for and he will contact you when the machine comes in. He even tells you the general price range, so that you are not surprised.

Best of happiness to you and your next Bernina purchase....Karencg

Claudia said...

Lucy and Bonnie, this is exactly what I was thinking. Don't give up on the old girl yet!
Claudia

Stephanie Newman said...

Vintage wise I have sewn on or owned a 1010 (Mum's), a Nova 900 and recently rescued a minimatic 807 to the herd. The Nova 900 was rehomed with a friend in need, and I miss it! All piece well but the 900 and 807 have narrower stitch plate and feed dogs, only 4mm wide, which makes it super easy to piece, and the foot rides well over the feed dogs. On wider stitch machines, it is slightly to one side on the right hand side- unavoidable. Neither the 900 or 807 have needle up/ down though. If you want that you would have to hunt for newer vintage girls.

I do most of my work on modern machines because of the bells and whistles that make it more comfortable and faster to create. FHS, needle up/ down, divine stitch quality, and the lighting is amazing.
I LOVE my 440QE, 380 (travel machine for teaching) and at Christmas added an 820 for quilting (squeal!!). The 380 is a compact machine and GREAT for classes because it is functional but much lighter. Probably though, you want a full size motor to hammer? I keep mine entirely for travel sewing and at home work incredibly hard the Aurora 440. It is tough as boots, trouble free, and totally reliable. It has recently been discontinued and reborn in a new way by the 5 series. If you want to find an Aurora, be quick as they are discontinued, but you may still find a used demo model around for a good deal with full warranty. My Swiss made huge and wonderful 820 has the 9mm plate and I bought a straight stitch plate for it for piecing. It makes a big difference to ease and accuracy of piecing small bits and pieces.
If you don't want so much machine in terms of size, weight and computerisation and decide to go new, and want to travel but also use the machine at home a 430, 440 or 5 series with the 5.5mm stitch plate might be your best bet unless you have a smaller travel machine and a workhorse at home. You can always add a straight stitch plate if you want for tiny bits, but I find I have not needed it on the 5.5mm machines.

If you go electronic vintage you are buying a machine with older technology and possibly more difficulty in repairing things like boards in the long term, plus some parts are in very short supply or being now replaced with after market parts to continue to keep these old machines working. Compare that to if you bought a new electronic girl, where parts will be available for 20 years after the very last machine in a range is produced...
How important are some bells and whistles to you? Could you strip right down or would you want more?
I satisfy my desire for vintage Bernina by my very basic 807 baby along side main modern work horses- replete with modern technological wonders and amazing features I would not want to be without. I like to have my cake and eat it too.
Whatever you decide, at least you know that truly, nothing sews like a Bernina!

Anonymous said...

Go buy a NEW machine that you want. I miss my dad so much. When I wanted something as a child and was pleading my case he'd always make me say "because I'm worth it" and then off we'd go to get the whatever I thought I had to have.

You're worth it. And no mechanical...go test drive and BUY. A machine is very important to all you do.

QuiltAcademy2012 said...

There are features your Bernina has that are not on my mechanical 830 has, but I could not give it up except to the grave.

When I talk to the Bernina REPAIR man, I always ask, "if you were buying a new machine what would you get . . ."

He tells me that parts on the older B's are sometimes no longer available.

Get their advice as well!

sewprimitive karen said...

I hope you find somebody who can do the repair; seems like there should be a way to do it. I've bought three vintage Berninas on eBay, had them serviced and they are all excellent. Two are very early; I got a 930 that I wanted very much even though my darling Pfaff is my main machine. The 930 is in our LQS workshop and it is wonderful, one of the last of the mechanicals. It does a fabulous free motion quilting stitch, which is how I use it. Beautiful machine. It has the needle down; some 930s have it some don't they tell me.

QuiltAcademy2012 said...

Another thot - there is a bernina yahoo group. Sew its for sale as well. I say go used, same model. Get her twin. You might think you want to upgrade, but with so many comments about missing their first love it seems to be a theme. My gues is that you would not like going with a machine that doesn't at least have the same features yours has.

Patchwork Penguin said...

I'm so sorry.... it's amazing how attached we are to our machines. I know replacing everything will be a pain... could you put the feet in a shadow box?? Use the plexiglass as the cover?? Always have her with you??? Just a thought... I'll go back to drinking my coffee now :o)

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

My sympathy accompanied by a message of hope. Four years ago, I upgraded to the 440QE from my beloved 1090. I intended to leave the440 set up for quilting and continue to use my 1090 for piecing. I loved the440 so much that I almost never used the 1090 again. Yes, i had to buy new feet but I actually didn't need all that many beyond what came with the QE model. The440 is the best piecing machine i have ever used. For Christmas this year, I bought myself an 820QE and discovered love all over again. It is the best quilting machine ever but it is not as good a piecing machine as the 440. My advice to you is to buy the new machine that is the replacement for the 440 and within a matter of days, you'll be smitten. It was incredibly easy to make the switch from a 1090 to the 440.

Laura said...

I have a Bernina that was a Christmas gift from my husband ---1975---and that baby still runs like a charm! It's an 830 Record and it has sewn everything from diapers and baby clothes to drapes to quilts to wedding dresses --even saddle bags for the motorcycle! I've had it serviced once (note-serviced, not repaired) in all those years and nothing, nothing sews like a Bernina. Those Swiss know how to make an excellent sewing machine.

knittingtheblues said...

HI, I found this post through a google search, so I don't know you nor have I read your blog, but are you on the BerninaThirtySomethings list on yahoo groups? There are a few Bernina Techs that read and reply very often and will take shipments of machines for repair and from all accounts are wonderful. You should try that first of all. I'm thinking you might be able to find parts or get another machine for parts and get it fixed.

I loved reading the comments here. My first machine that I purchased for myself is an 801S. I had sewn on my mom's 830 and will inherit that one if she goes before it does. I think that race is neck in neck. I have a 930 that I purchased for cheap money at an estate sale and a 170. I love every single one of those machines.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Since you love your 1080 so much, I would suggest that you try to find another used one. All your feet and your pexiglass table will fit. Many people who own machines do not use them as much as you have, so there is a good chance you could find one with much less wear on it. You mentioned ebay, but I would also check out your local machine dealers and especially craigslist. It might take awhile to find one, but I think it would be worth the wait to get another 1080. I recently purchased a machine off of Craigslist after watching for over a year. I was able to sew with the machine and check it over, plus talk with the owner before I bought it. I'm glad I took my time and waited till the machine that I really wanted became available. I think you might miss the features that you said you really like on your machine if you went with an older model. I hope you will be able to find something that you enjoy.
Valerie

passingdowncrazy said...

I have an 1130 and a 1230. They were the only machines I could stand to quilt with for the last 20 years. However, about 5 years ago I bought a Pfaff Hobby Grand Quilter (Viking and Janome market the same machine with different names.) The price was right and it sews twice as fast, which I'd think you'd love!!! Just think how many more quilts you could pound out! Now I can hardly stand to sew on my treasured Berninas. They're just soooooooo slow!

Yvette Ness said...

I have a 20 year old 1230. Gears have been replaced. Bought a 440 Aurora to upgrade to a modern machine. Not a patch on the old one. I have put the Aurora into the shop for classes and sew at home on my old 1230- so much smoother. Have now bought 2 1130s to use in classes for the shop- got them on e-bay cash on collection. All this here in the UK.

Sandy said...

It's so hard to give up a machine you've used and loved for ages! My Bernina 1230, purchased over 20 years ago, required over $400 in repairs last year because the local dealer couldn't fix it and had to send it to "Chicago" (meaning Bernina's factory repair site). I looked at a new 440QE while it was gone, but don't have those $$$$ to spend. The 1230 came home and so far is sewing fine. I hope it lasts another 20+ years!

Nane said...

Love my Moms old 830 but if I made my living as you do with it I would consider it a backup and get a new one for sure. Needle up and needle down would save me a lot of extra motion

quiltfool said...

Hi, Bonnie. First, my condolences. Second, you know how I feel about my Bernina. If it was me, I'd be looking for another. I don't know the computerized machines, but I can speak very highly about the 930. It is a workhorse...but it weighs as much as a workhorse, too. Good luck! Lane

Diane said...

I know excatly what you mean. I have a couple of different machines, but none of them sew like my Berninas. I have a 1001 and love it! It is completely mechanical and sews a perfect 1/4" everytime. About 5 years ago I found a 1230 for a great deal and now use it mostly just because of the needle up/down.
When I bought my 1001 I was told by the dealer I would not get a knee lift because that model didn't come with it. I was surprised when it arrived because it did come with one. If it wasn't for the needle up/down I would use the 1001 daily, but right now it is the back-up machine.
I have a Brother QC-1000 that my husband bought me a couple of years ago and it's stored under the cutting table. I just can't get used to it. I feel bad, because he spent so much, but I just don't like the machine. I may sell it to buy me a new used Bernina if my 1230 ever dies.

Saska said...

I missed this post and I'm in tears for you! To lose a Bernina 1080 is so dreadfull! NO..NO..NO...NO..you CANNOT have mine either! I'm going to go home and pet her and tell her how wonderful she is so she won't run off to Bonnie!

Anonymous said...

I feel for you. NOTHING SEWS LIKE A BERNINA! I have a 1630 and when I had problems with it, I just happen to be in a store, and they had one for trade, and zip bam boom, I bought it just for back up, now I have two identical machines, and low and behold, I went and bought an Artista 200, which uses the same bobbins and some of the same feet, but use it only for embroidery. You can never have too many berninas. I travel a lot, so I bought a smaller bernina, it sews great, but not as good as my 1630's, it is good just to sew a few seams, maybe some strips for a quilt. I still have my first bernina, a 930, which is mechanical. I also have a brother, just for quilting and straight stitching, and saw the new Bernina one, and wonder if I can afford that. Right now, I am happy with what I got. Check out Bernina Sewing Machine Stores, across the USA, (thank god for internet) and see if someone has traded one in, that is how I got mine. Good Luck

HatboxRose said...

Same here, I have also have a Bernina 1031 that I love. I had it serviced through a quilt shop, since the original dealer had closed. When I returned to pick it up, they told me that if I ever wanted to sell it, to please let them know.

Aunt Bee said...

I will first start out by saying that I have never sewn on a Bernina. But.....I am in love with my Singer 301's! I would give up just about anything but my 301's. Really though....there is a Bernina shop in Berlin, Ohio called Chestnut Ridge. The repair guys are run by 2 Amish men. They fix just about anything! You might want to email them and see if they could help you out. They are a certified Bernina Dealer. I hope that you get the help for her you need! Good luck....and if it is the end may she rest in "piece"!


Sue "Aunt Bee"

Anonymous said...

My favorite Bernina is the 140. New about 12 years ago, this machine was a no frills machine, but had needle up/down, and sewed like a dream. The newer Berninas are SO expensive; overpriced in my opinion. I'd rather sew on an old Bernina and spend my money on fabric!

mom23 said...

Hi, I have your machine! I bought it used from a retired Bernina technician who buys them, takes them completely apart and resells them. I love the 1080 special, but find that maybe it's too much machine for me. I'm more than a beginner sewer but not by much. I like sewing simple things for my 2 daughters (5 & 10). I wish I had bought something (a bernina) more on the lines of a 930 or 1020/1030. If you are interested in purchasing my machine, just let me know. My name is Julie and I'll leave my info on your guestbook. It sure is a nice machine, though!

Diane said...

So, what did you do about your Bernie situation? I have an 830 bought new in the early 80s and she's still going strong. Serviced once in all these years. I also have an Artista 180 and didn't do my research beforehand not realizing the feet were different. That machine lives under the table because the flimsy plastic table broke relatively early and it is most annoying to use. I also tried to upgrade from Win98 to XP and it was gonna be nearly a thousand bucks! So, for around $500 I got a Singer CE-250 that has a nice embroidery interface and also has many of the stitches the 180 has. The Singer isn't nearly as elegant as the Bernie but it gets the job done. The current plan is to trade the 180 for a 1230 so I'll still have the stitches and just use the Singer for embroidery. Then all the feet I've accumulated over the years for the 830 will interchange. I had to laugh about all the machines you have. I also have a collection of oldies similar to the featherweight (except much heavier!) that only do a straight stitch (and very well) and when I had more room, had one set up strictly for piecing. Most of them were bought at estate sales for $20 - $40 and they are really hard to kill.

If I do the Artista swap then the 1230 would be my primary machine and I'd give the 830 a rest. I'd look into the machine shop solution so you could mount a new motor and with that she'll most likely be set for another generation.

nancy hutchison said...

NOTHING sews like a Bernina. I have almost used up my 1090, looked at new machines while at a sewing show to get an idea of what I will have to pay when my machine dies(not to mention all the new expensive feet I wil have to buy since Bernina makes their money redesigning the feet so you can't use your older ones. I have replaced the circuit board once. I haul a featherweight or a singer 301 to classes. maybe I should look for a backup Bernina.

Dianne Mitzel said...

I am reading all these comments and feeling your pain.I have a 1230, love it, and have a Viking Designer I. A close friend is offering me her Bernina 153QE she never uses it. What do you think a fair price would be, and does anyone have one to tell me if it's a good free-motion machine. She has the feet, plus the walking foot, never used it. Thanks for any help
diannemitzel1@hotmail.com

Gail Joseph said...

I've found this thread really interesting! I bought my Bernina 1080 as sort of a back up machine in the mid-90's, and also have a Viking Designer 1 that's about 20 years old. I have to move, and went to my local sewing machine shop to day to see what they would recommend if I don't sew very much, but want options. My plan was to trade in the Viking and try to sell the Bernina, but after reading all of this, I'm now thinking I should keep it (or force my 26 yr old daughter to finally learn how to use it).

Thank you for giving me perspective on what a treasure I have right here!

Goldogmom said...

I am looking for an online source for a pdf of the Bernina 1130 User manual/guide. I have an 1130 that belonged to my friend's mother. The original manual is not there but there is a photo copy that is hard to read. I would like a pdf that I can keep on my iPad. I see some sites selling them but am hoping I can find the pdf online somewhere, or if someone has it in pdf format, they would share.

Thank you! I am enjoying sewing on my first Bernina.

Michelle

lscgroomer said...

I bought my 1230 in 1992 for a small fortune, and 2 months later took it, my 2 dogs and 9 yr old son into the bathroom with me to wait out Hurricane Andrew! Made QNM for that….
I have replaced all 7 circuit boards, at least two of them twice. Another one went last night, and the tech (who now lives in NM) wrote back that Bernina is no longer making them. IF another local tech has the right one, great. If not, it's on to Chicago for repairs. A knitting friend asked why I don't just buy a cheaper machine; Hello, this one has lasted 22 years! Economy is tough, I don't have $4K for a new machine, and I just love this old lady.

Mmy said...

I've been with my 1080 for over 16 years... I think her circuit boards are finally starting to go.

I may actually weep.

My "Grands" call me "Grandma" said...

I bought an 817, 40 years ago with insurance money from my husband who died a year earlier (yesterday is his ann.). It's in a cabinet so can't take it to workshops, etc. It's made lots of children's clothes, my clothes, blankets for grand babies, great nieces & nephews and now quilt piecing. Clean and oil regularly and still sews just like it did new 40 years ago. I'm giving some thought to purchasing a newer Bernina with BSR and a walking foot so I can learn quilting now that I'm "retired". That is if you can call a full time babysitting granny retired. My younger sister bought a used 807 years ago and it's a workhorse. She makes probably a half dozen quilt tops for her church yearly as well as bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses for several weddings. You won't go wrong with Bernina. If you're buying off of ebay, there are several sewing centers with listings that sound trustworthy. Also I check out feedback for similar items they have sold.

Anonymous said...

I have a Bernina Record 830. During the massive wildfire that went through our area a few years ago, I had 20 minutes to pack up and leave... and my machine was the 2nd thing out of the house. I always swore it would be the first if the sky ever fell but the computer with pictures on it won out. I still feel slightly guilty about that transgression. (And yes, our house was destroyed - all the more reason to take her out with me!)

My mom bought my 830 off of a call in radio show 15 years ago for $50 and had it fixed for another $100. It is my favorite physical thing in the world and probably the best birthday gift I will ever receive.

Someday, I might upgrade to a newer Bernina but I will never let my love go... She is durable and never argues about anything except button holes.

If it were me, I'd go back to one of these old school machines. There is a reason so many of us wax poetic about a piece of moving metal...