I was able to spend yesterday afternoon at a “Sewing Celebration” hosted by Bernina Northwest. Oh boy, do I wish I had a disposable $10K!
Part party, part class, this was a chance for the curious to test drive the Bernina 830. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this sewing machine could also knit or scramble eggs; we used decorative stitches, did some machine embroidery, and came home with something the instructor called a “jewelery clutch” (Heaven knows what I’ll do with it, not really be the jewelery or the clutch type). The machine has a touch screen, it does “infinite embroidery” (so you can cover a large area with a continuous design), it can customize buttonhole sizes by length and width (very cool if you’ve every wrestled with odd-sized buttons), it comes with lots of designs and specialty stitches, and it has a USB port so you can add more. There’s probably tons of other things it does that we didn’t cover – I kind of got the feeling we were just scratching at the surface.
The part I’m probably most excited about, though, is its large throat area (the space to the right of the needle). As a quilter, I often have huge amounts of fabric to wrestle through a small space; the 830 has about three times more space (I’m totally eyeballing this) than my current machine. And the 830 could potentially sit on my sewing table in a way that a long-arm quilting machine wouldn’t be able to, since those are free-standing and are roughly the size of a small car. All that space and the embroidery capabilities would really open up the quilting possibilities!
Alas, even with the “class special” pricing and the financing, I can’t justify the price tag. Ten grand or more is a lot to drop all at once for a hobby. I guess I’ll have to just carry on with my current sewing machine and hope the price comes down or figure out how to convert my hobbies into something that merit that kind of investment.
Thanks to all the folks at Bernina Northwest for a grand afternoon, especially to Glorianne and Caitlyn (not my Caitlyn) for answering all of my questions. I wish I could; I really, really do.