Edit: A few years ago, Sew Mama Sew had a Sewing machine month, and they asked for folks to review their machines on their blogs. They’re doing this again, and so I thought I’d re-review my workhorse (a Juki TL-98 Q), as the last time I wrote about it it was relatively new to me! (Here’s the post with everybody’s information about their particular machine on Sew Mama Sew). My Bernina hasn’t changed, so I’ll submit this post to them again. So, without further ado, here’s the info on Sewing Machine # 1, a Bernina 1530!
What brand and model do you have?
- A Bernina 1530
How long have you had it?
- 15 years, but I got it used
How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
- It was $1200 used when I bought it (but I got a $400 trade in!) I’m pretty sure it was ~ 1500-1800$ new. Edit: Amanda just commented that hers was $3500 brand new – Holy Moley I got a GREAT deal!
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
- Quilting, home dec, bags
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
- 2-20 hours a week, probably averages out to 4/5 hours each week…? But now that I’ve got my Juki TL-98 Q as well, she gets to rest on her laurels a lot!
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
- Love it! No, it’s just “My Bernina”
What features does your machine have that work well for you?
- GREAT stitch quality, love the easily switched feet.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
- Wish there were more room under the arm for large quilts.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
- I had a real entry level Bernina that was giving me fits with tension adjustment. I took it to the dealer 90 minutes away to get fixed, and went shopping for a couple of hours. When we came back and were waiting for the final bill, I of course was oohing and aahing at all the new Berninas, and noticing that there were some very nice used Berninas at very nice prices (Bernina had come out with a completely new line of machines that year, so they were getting lots of trade-ins). The repair was going to be price (?$200 or so), and dear hubby could see how much better all these other machines were, so we ended up trading the injured machine for my 1530! The trade-in allowance was just about what we had paid for it a couple of years previously! WooHoo! This was QUITE a lot of money for us back then…and the amazing thing was that it was such a spur of the moment thing. Usually when we’re going to buy a big ticket item we do all sorts of research and price comparing.
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
- Yes. Great stitch quality, very sturdy construction, I love the trackball instead of a lot of little buttons, knee lift, needle up/down, speed control.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
- Knee lift, needle up/down, speed (spm)
Do you have a dream machine?
- ?? Along with my Juki (see this post), I’ve got all my bases covered! Maybe if I had a huge studio and lots more money, I’d look into one of the mid-size machines that mount in a table with the body to the back so there’s room for hand controlled free motion quilting on both sides of the head. But it would be an addition to the 2 I love now!