Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sewing Machine Adultery: Bernina 750 QE Review

Sewing Machine Adultery 
I had the pleasure of trying the Bernina 750 QE a few months ago while at a workshop taught by Jacquie Gering and hosted by the Aurora Sewing Center.  As I do with all the machines I try, I wrote down my impressions immediately in anticipation of posting an honest review.  I am going to put my questions in pink, if you know the answer do tell!

First, as I've said in every review post, I am not paid to review machines nor do I have any affiliation with any sewing machine manufacturer or shop.  There is a reason why the first piece of advice anyone gives you when machine shopping is go try them yourself.  Because, no matter this is only my opinion, and please, what the hell do I know anyway?

Secondly, I began this series as I searched for a sewing machine that met my needs.  I have since purchased a dream machine and am very happy!  However, as many of you have demonstrated in the comments left about the Sewing Machine Adultery posts, everyone has an interest in learning about different machines so I've decided to continue the series.

Third, and most importantly, I am looking for information and insight that we can all use when sewing machine shopping.  It is not my intention to offend.  Please leave a comment if I mention something you disagree with, this is about education!  That is the whole purpose behind Sewing Machine Adultery.  Also, I encourage anyone reading this post later to peruse the comments and see what people add to my thoughts.
Bernina 750 QE
Luckily, because I used the 750 at an all day workshop I was really able to use it for the type of sewing I would use it for at home.  I highly recommend utilizing your local workshops to try out new machines!  Contact the sponsoring shop beforehand to see if you can coordinate the use of a machine you'd like to try.  It is such a treat...although it may be frustrating at first to familiarize yourself with a different machine it can really be a great opportunity to try something for a longer period.

As someone who owns a Bernina I was humming with anticipation to be able to try this machine! This baby has all the bells and whistles I could ever want in a machine...  I loved how familiar it felt to me as I recognized all of the Bernina buttons from my own machine and yet there was enough new stuff that it was definitely an upgrade from my Activa 130.

After using the Janome 8900 I have gotten over the shock of all the features available on a computerized machine (you can read about my initial surprise here!).  I had done research on this model before using it so I was more than prepared.  I had decided which features were important for me to try out and that is what I focused on when I was given a tutorial on the machine by Barbara from Aurora Sewing Center.

  • 9 HOOK BOBBIN!!!
    • The bobbin is huge.  It holds almost twice as much as a regular bobbin and I was warned not to fill it completely as I might not use a whole bobbin's worth that during the workshop.  Glad I was forewarned because, sure enough, I did not use all the thread even after piecing all day.
    • It was tricky at first how to load and unload the bobbin but once someone showed me it was very neat with a little metal button to push to pop it out.
    • Magnetic connection so that the bobbin cannot be placed incorrectly
  • Large throat space!  10" (not as big as the Janome 8900 with 11" but still very roomy...)
  • Nice big computer screen
    • Touchscreen and in color - loved how clearly it showed the stitch you were working with
    • Loved that when you lengthened a stitch it actually visually lengthened on the screen!  It was a really cool feature to see those changes as you implemented them.
    • I loved that there were dials instead of just a touch screen or just buttons to make changes.  The dials added speed which is key when scrolling through so many features!
    • This is by far my favorite screen on a computerized sewing machine.
  • Number of stitches
    • 250 decorative stitches.  This was a bit overwhelming but there were definitely stitches I'd like to use.
    • This model has the software ability to create mirror images of designs (not available on Bernina 710)
    • Here are photos of some I tried below:
Here is a closeup of the stitching, the software settings allow you to really tailor your stitch so that it can end up so close to the edge of the fabric.  You can barely see it in the picture below and would be awesome for applique!  Gorgeous!
  • Gorgeous sewing, and I wouldn't expect anything less from a Bernina
    • No thread nests 
    • Can't tell front from back stitching
  • Alphabets - 6 
  • Start/Stop Button
  • Auto Thread Cutter
    • Caveat: I have to say though that the auto thread cutter reminded me every time how computerized this machine was because whenever you cut a thread automatically the computer screen would "think" - you know that little circle demonstrating that the computer was occupied would come up as the thread was cut
    • No thread cutting ability via the foot pedal as available on Juki and Janome
  • Needle down by Foot Pedal.  
    • I have always loved this feature on my own Bernina
  • Sliding speed control
    • speed goes up to 1000 stitches per minute which is awesome
  • Free Hand System (i.e. Knee lift) I'm 5'2" and it worked well for my size 
  • 9mm width stitches
    • After all, there are so many decorative stitch options the 9mm width makes sense 
  • Embroidery can be added on
    • This isn't something I am interested in, but I was warned that I could very well change my mind in the future (it hasn't happened in over 15years of sewing but what do I know)
    • Options are always good right?
  • Bernina Dual Feed
    • For those of you familiar with Pfaff this was similar to that in the way it is built into the machine and can be put into use as needed
    • I had some problems figuring out how to disengage this feature but again, that is something that would be overcome with familiarity in the machines use
    • Because the Dual Feed can be engaged or disengaged right on the machine it can be moved out of the way.  I found it less cumbersome than the Janome AcuFeed, meaning I could see more on the plate of the machine and nothing was in the way.
  • Nice hum, not very noisy
    • Vibrated a bit but I was using it on a fold out table not a solid sewing table so definitely want to get a machine like this a proper table for stability
  • Threading was easy for me but I'm a Bernina owner
  • Place for storage of feet.
  • Needle threader
    • I couldn't get this to work every time, but it probably works once you are more familiar with it?
  • Ability to use on quilting frame
  • And, one more time, that awesome mega sized bobbin!
    These are not really cons so much as considerations.  Every machine has its flaws even if they are minor ones related to how you would prefer a machine to be set up.  I'd love feedback if you have opinions/advice!
    • Only 8 Feet Included
      • 8 feet isn't that much considering what other manufacturers offer at this price point (see Janome and Babylock)  
      • As a Bernina owner I can utilize all of my feet with this machine so it is a consideration if you already own a Bernina as you've put in the investment with feet you might have already bought; however it is also annoying because I already own almost all of the 8 feet offered with this model!
      • If you are trying to figure out Bernina feet and what works with what models, here is a great guide to use.
    • Bernina Stitch Regulator
      • An undecided for me.  I don't really want this...I think I prefer having control over the machine and as a Juki use I am happy without any sort of regulation.
      • I was able to negotiate a price with the Bernina dealer taking this out of the equation, so if it is something you aren't interested in it is worth asking to opt out of.
    • Computerized.  (The debate continues, I've mentioned this previously and received great comments on it.)
      • Fact/Myth?: There is the argument that a non-computerized machine lasts better and is less fussy.  
      • Fact/Myth?: Straight stitch industrial machine is better for free motion quilting.
      • Fact/Myth?: 9mm stitch variable can be problematic for long-term straight stitch performance?  
      • Fact/Myth?: If a high-end computerized machine breaks down then the cost of fixing it probably isn't going to be cheap - anyone had this problem?
        • Specifically with this Model I read that the first models on the market had considerable computer problems.   Has anyone come up against that?  Owners theorized that Bernina would have the kinks worked out by this time.  But worth asking your individual dealer whether they had issues with models they sold.
    • Eating fabric.
      • I think it had to do with the 9mm plate opening...but when I pieced I found that I had to purposely prevent the fabric from being eaten into the stitch plate!  It was pretty annoying when I was in the midst of piecing and at a high speed of 1000 Spm
      • I am sure this problem is rectified with the use of a straight stitch plate, does anyone know if it comes automatically with this Bernina Model?
      • My Bernina has a 5.5mm plate opening and I have never have this problem with it ever!
    • Extension Table.
      • The machine comes with a detachable extension table which I found flimsy.  I just don't know how it would solidly hold a full quilt.  Anyone have experience with using it?
      • You can purchase an additional plexiglass extension table which looks more solid or an even better would be to put this machine in a proper sewing table.  
    • Auto Thread Cutting via Button Only:  No thread cutting ability via the foot pedal as available on Juki and Janome.  I really like the ability to cut via foot pedal and wouldn't live without it now when quilting.
    • Automatic Presser Foot Down.
      • The presser foot down is automated by a button.  Meaning, the presser foot automatically comes down when you press the button and firmly sets down when you begin sewing.  You can't manually put it down via a lever (you can on other models but this series does it auto).
      • I hated it.  I suppose I could live with it eventually but it kind of annoyed me that I had to use this button.  I wanted the security of putting it down myself.  It felt like it wasn't fully down until you began stitching, it would lower itself but not be firmly in place until stitching began.
      • Anyone else have input on this?
    • Price tag.  
      • Approx $5000 machine without embroidery included (and slightly less if you can negotiate having no BSR)
    Bottom line?  This is my dream machine.  It is a brand I love and trust.  I would be thrilled owning a machine like long as I could get over the guilt of the price tag.  It has all of the features I want, throat space, speed, large stitch library, auto cutting, start/stop...   In fact, after trying it I had decided to put some of my savings towards this model machine.  However - soon after using the machine at the workshop I went vacation and the combo of enjoying my family and the time away from the sewing room made me realize I want to use my money on things other than fancy sewing machines, hahaha like Disney World!  I will always have a place in my heart for Bernina, just not always a place in my budget.  

    For me these questions remain, and in this order:
    1. Does this model still have computer problems?  Has Bernina resolved them.
    2. Does the cost of repairing a computerized machine rasie the cost of repairs considerably?
    3. Are the features and brand worth the $5000 for a sewing machine?
    4. What do I NEED?  i.e. Are these features necessary? (I know that is Sewing Machine 101 when you look for a sewing machine but my needs keep changing.  I don't just quilt, I don't just make clothes, I don't just do home dec - I do a little of everything!  So what, I need an everything machine?)
    Comments or questions on this review and the Bernina 750 are greatly encouraged.  If you are a Bernina owner insight, advice, criticism is greatly appreciated!

    Please check out the other installments of Sewing Machine Adultery.

    - rebecca lynne



    Lucy @ Charm About You said...

    I'm going to go and stroke my basic Janome because it feels incredibly inadequate. Great review!

    Erin @ Billy Button Design said...

    Ha ha Lucy. Me too. I know I wouldn't use the embroidery stitches.. Hell I don't even use the sixty that are on my sewing machine now. I think you have to be someone that is at the machine all day every day to be an investment... Or just know that you will use it 5000 times.. I think I would rather that lovely piece of furniture .. That lovely cupboard that you put on your wish list a year ago

    Quilter in the Gap said...

    I sew on a Juki F400 and I love it but it seems loud! Being as it sounds like you have used quite a few machines, do you find that the case with other machines? Jukis?

    Jess @ The Elven Garden said...

    Really great review. I have a Bernina (440QE) and I love, love my BSR having learnt to FMQ with it.

    Archie the wonder dog said...

    Another thorough review - even though I'm not looking for a new sewing machine I enjoy reading these posts. Still thinking of getting my mam's 'big' machine down from her loft, assessing the throat space and seeing if I can get a walking foot for it...just need to get round to doing it!

    Dora, the Quilter said...

    "Fact/Myth?: There is the argument that a non-computerized machine lasts better and is less fussy."
    I do think this is absolutely true. I routinely use machines manufactured between 1919 and the early 1970s. They have very, very few problems. The last couple of times the machines from the 70s had issues, the local Old Sewing Machine Guy had them fixed within a day or so. The advent of plastic machines and parts led to so many more problems, as did computers in machines, but the whole goal of the manufacturers is to keep customers upgrading to more and more expensive machines. Some of the features of the latest machines might be enticing, the idea that well functioning cars can be purchased for less just shocks me.

    K said...

    So timely that you posted this. I have a 13 year old janome 4800qc. It works fine except that it occasionally jams while piecing and I really can't quilt with it since there is only 5inches of space right of the needle. I've been eyeing the 780 and 750. The 780 is just too pricey but the 750 might be just right. But ive also heard horror stories about temperamental berninas and I've been so spoiled with such a good janome I'm afraid to plunk down so much money only to be beset with updates, problems and trips to the shop.

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you so much for posting this! I'm lusting over the new 750 BECAUSE it has the BSR! Since I've never sewn on a Bernina, I was unsure about all the "normal" features and how a Bernina stacks up to my Husqvarna Viking. I'm thinking the BSR will be placate me until I can afford a proper long arm :0} Your review was so in depth and thorough that it makes my decision to buy it (or wait) much easier. The last draw back for me now is that it doesn't come with a walking foot and that's an additional $180! Yikes!!

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you so much for posting this! I'm lusting over the new 750 BECAUSE it has the BSR! Since I've never sewn on a Bernina, I was unsure about all the "normal" features and how a Bernina stacks up to my Husqvarna Viking. I'm thinking the BSR will be placate me until I can afford a proper long arm :0} Your review was so in depth and thorough that it makes my decision to buy it (or wait) much easier. The last draw back for me now is that it doesn't come with a walking foot and that's an additional $180! Yikes!!

    Jennifer Sessions said...

    I'd never owned a Bernina until I bought the 750qe. Actually, the shop where I got the machine let me take a 550 home to sew on until the 750 came in. I LOVED the 550, but really wanted to upgrade to the larger throat space of the 750. I sewed on the 550 for about 2-3 months before getting the 750.
    I love my 750 now, but it certainly had/has it's quirks. I think any new (to you) machine will have it's quirks though. I did have some problems with the tension right out of the box. The tech at the shop where I bought it was able to fix it. I've been sewing on it since November 2012, and think it is time to take it back in for a small tune up (after all, I've sewn 700,000 stitches!), the tension once again is *not quite right*, but not terrible either, I just find that I have to do more adjusting manually.
    @ Tisha Copeland: I love the BSR feature, it really does a nice job on free motion quilting. I was also disappointed in the fact that it didn't come with a walking foot. I had used the walking foot with the 550 and really liked it. So I went ahead and bit the bullet and bought the walking foot for my 750. I wish I had waited on that purchase though, because I've found the dual feed feature of the 750 is just as good as the walking foot was. I wouldn't let that be a huge draw back for you in deciding on the machine.
    Other observations:
    Eating fabric: "I am sure this problem is rectified with the use of a straight stitch plate, does anyone know if it comes automatically with this Bernina Model?" The straight stitch plate does NOT come with the machine, I purchased it separately and prefer to piece using that plate as opposed to the 9mm plate.
    Extension Table: The extension table that comes with the machine isn't too bad. I've quilted an almost king size quilt using this machine. I felt like the table did fine other than the quilt sometimes would catch on the rounded corner of it. I am still deciding what kind of table would be best to use with this machine. Sometimes I sew with it sitting straight in front of me and other times, especially when free motion quilting or binding a quilt, I'll sew with the machine at an angle away from me so I can take advantage of the support of the (kitchen table) underneath it for the weight of the fabrics.
    Automatic Presser Foot Down: I will admit that it feels so strange to NOT have a lever in the back to lower the presser foot. I still find myself reaching back there sometimes to use that dang lever that isn't there! That being said though, I think it's just one of those things that you eventually get used to. It doesn't really bother me anymore not having a lever. The only really inconvenient thing I can think about this feature is if I forget to leave the foot up when I turn the machine off, because then I can't remove the extension table to put my machine away. At this time I don't have a dedicated sewing space, and so I am constantly packing it up and putting it away. (Remember the kitchen table reference above? well, we do have to eat sometimes and me not sew all the time. Sigh.)
    Bottom line for me: I think it's a great machine. This is my first computerized machine so it has been a HUGE change from my little Sears Kenmore that I've been using for 23 years! I still have a hard time believing that I paid as much for a sewing machine as I might have paid for a used car, but my love of sewing won out and I have really enjoyed getting more into quilting with this machine. I'm undecided if buying one of the very first machines of a new model is really the way to go. I did have some frustrating times at the beginning and really wondered if I had wasted my money because I really liked the 550, but after using my 750 for several months now, I can honestly say that I love sewing on it! Hope my experience helps someone! :)

    Matt Hardy said...

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    smilie said...

    i am very happy that you people took the time to share your experiences with the Bernina 750. I have read them with great interest. I have gone to our local retailer and test drove a 750 QE and then gone home to think about the purchase, as you stated it is a big investment. After a great deal of thought I have decided to purchase a 759 QE. I sew everyday on everything from quilts to decorator pillows to curtains for our home and friends homes, this is how I justify the big expense. I am so excited I can hardley wait. Thanks for all your comments and pro and cons and I feel I am going into this purchase with my eyes wide open. I know it will be an adjustment but I feel it is time to learn how to use a computerized sewing machine as it is the way of the future and I dont want to be left behind with the old technology.

    Traveller Travails said...

    I have had two new 750 QE Berninas and have never experienced the level of frustration due to a machine. The long and short of it is that there is a design flaw in this model in that it pulls the top thread to the bobbin side and mats it in a ratted thread nest. It also has a programming flaw in that when using the thread cutter it back stitches when starting to sew and it cannot be overridden. They have been saying since June that an upgrade is coming that will fix the problem but there is not information about when! I just got the 2nd one from being serviced and it is still doing the same thing. Yes, there are too few fee. No the single needle throat plate is not included and it costs $69. At this point I intend to return everything and request my money back. Pure heartbreak! for which I paid about $5500. Good news is that my old $320 Singer stitches like a champ!

    Rebecca Grace said...

    Sewing machine ADULTERY, huh? Does that mean that those of us who own multiple machines are committing sewing machine POLYGAMY?! Now I have something new for confession, I guess! ;-)
    Your review of the 750 is great, but I thought I'd chime in since I've owed the 750 QE for a little over a year now. I've been piecing, quilting, sewing kids' costumes for the school play, embroidering, and sewing draperies with my 750, so I know the machine really well at this point.
    1. YES, the straight stitch plate comes with the 750 QE, but ONLY if you purchase it with the embroidery module -- it comes packed with the embroidery accessories since the straight stitch plate is recommended with embroidery. And yes, it makes a tremendous difference when you are piecing or doing free-motion quilting. I keep my straight stitch plate on the machine 90% of the time and only put the 9 mm plate on if I'm doing sideways motion stitches
    2. Are you sure you already own the feet that come with the 750? The 9 mm presser feet are generally wider in order to give contact with those wider spaced feed dogs, and the D feet that come with the 7 series machines have a cutout at the back that enables them to be used with the Dual Feed feature. However, if you are NOT wanting to use Dual Feed, you should NOT use the D feet, so some of your existing feet might come in handy from time to time.
    3. As for the walking foot versus dual feed: Per Bernina, they are NOT interchangeable. Dual feed is appropriate for any time you are working with two fabric layers, like piecing or pattern matched seams, or slippery fabrics, etc., but the walking foot will give superior results when you have more than 2 layers, such as quilting through the quilt top, batting, and backing.
    4. You can raise and lower the presser foot on the 7 Series machines, and most of the Berninas, with the FHS Free Hands System bar. That is SO much easier than the lever behind the presser foot, because you can keep both hands on your project at all times. You can also use the FHS to lift the presser foot when the machine is turned off, to remove that extension table that a previous reader commented about.

    Rebecca Grace said...

    5. As for that extension table -- it works really well as additional stabilization for the optional embroidery module, and it worked just fine for me in a machine applique class situation, but ordinarily I sew with my 750 in a sewing cabinet, in flatbed position. (not using the extension table).
    6. I have owned several different computerized sewing machines and yes, potentially there are more problems just because there are so many more bells and whistles. You know, you can't have a problem with your car's power windows unless your car actually HAS power windows! In my experience, though, having owned a computerized Viking Rose, as well as computerized Berninas 180, 240, and a 200 upgraded to a 730, and now the 750 that I've had for a year, the only machine that ever needed a computerized part replaced was the Artista 200E when it was 5 years old, and it was under warranty so I just paid for the labor to have the part switched out. When I think of all of the computers I've owned in that time, I've had way more expensive and annoying repairs with my desktop computer than any of my sewing machines -- but you don't see me recommending that no one should buy a computer because they cost too much to fix when they break. The benefits of computers, and computerized sewing machines, are worth the trade off because of the world of possibilities that the technology opens up to us.
    7. I've been on the Bernina 7 Series user forum (yahoo group with no affiliation to Bernina) for a year, and although initially there were a significant number of machines with tension problems, Bernina came out with a redesigned race hook cover for the new 9 Hook bobbin that seems to have eliminated those problems – at least I’m not hearing about tension problems on the user forum anymore. The part was installed free of charge for all existing 7 series owners and is already installed on all of the new machines shipping out from Bernina. I do recommend that people who are shopping for a new sewing machine check out the online forums to get unbiased feedback from current owners about the machines, BUT you have to keep in mind that the small percentage of people having problems are the ones most likely to be posting online. Those whose machines are purring happily away are too busy sewing to write about their machines on the user forum!
    8. With most sewing machines, but with complex computerized machines especially, it is so important to choose your dealer FIRST and THEN choose a machine. Computerized machines are not difficult to operate, but they are much more involved from a technician’s point of view than a simple mechanical machine. Unfortunately, not all the dealers out there have the same knowledge and experience about how to test, adjust, and service these computerized models. Even before Bernina sent out that replacement part, we saw on the user forum that all of the customers from certain Bernina dealers loved their machines and had no problems at all or minimal problems that were quickly and easily resolved to their satisfaction, but that certain other dealers could not get ANY of their 7 series machines to sew a decent straight stitch with proper tension. I am convinced that those dealers were somehow screwing up the machines themselves when they did their initial sewout and adjustments before putting the machines on the sales floor.

    Rebecca Grace said...

    9. Finally, your most interesting question: Are all those features WORTH the purchase price of these machines? Well, one thing I can tell you is to STAY AWAY from machine embroidery. At this point I’m too heavily invested in digitizing software, accessory hoops, stabilizers, thread, and purchased designs to walk away, but if I knew then what I know now, I would never have splurged on an embroidery module for my first sewing machine. The supplies and additional costs rack up to many times the cost of the embroidery module, and I find that I really don’t use embroidery all that often. Instead, every once in a while I FORCE myself to do embroidery because I feel guilty that I spent so much money on it! The features I love about my 750 that make it worth the cost to me are: Huge bobbin, Huge harp area for quilting, taller machine so I’m not hunched to see the screen, the VERY bright LED lights so I can see what I’m doing, the dual feed, and the BSR. I also love the touch screen interface – did you know you can personalize the color, too? The one thing I’ve used decorative stitches for in the past is crazy quilting where you stitch upside down on the seam line with monofilament nylon thread in the bobbin, and heavy decorative thread wrapped around the bobbin(for the 7 series machine, there is a special red bobbin case designed especially for this technique sold separately ). I swear it looks like hand embroidery and if you want to do that technique, you will find yourself using ALL of the decorative stitches.

    Finally, now that Bernina has come out with the new 880 machine, some of the original 7 series owners (the fickle ones!) are already upgrading, which means you might be able to get a good deal on a used 750 either from a Bernina dealer or from a private seller. If you go that route, just make sure you have the machine checked out by an experienced Bernina tech to make sure it has the new part and all is working well before you take delivery. You only get a Bernina warranty when you purchase from an actual Bernina dealer.

    Cooper Freer said...

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    Netta said...

    I bought my Bernina 750QE 11 months ago and its the most unreliable machine I've ever had. I've lost count the number of times I've had to take it back to the dealer. It gets fixed but I usually have to return soon after as it stops working again. The machine has had numerous updates but the problem still seems to be with the tension. Last week I returned the machine again, it was fixed, but the same problem returned the next day. Back I go again, vent my frustration, and this time they are taking it back to Bernina again. I have told them that the machine is faulty and it should be replaced. I now wait an answer. I do not recommend this machine.

    Netta said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    amitietextiles said...

    Mine eats the fabric. I am going to get a straight stitch plate but feel annoyed at this price that I have to!
    You do get used of the auto foot up and down and if you use your knee lift it's really easy to adjust your fabric if not quite right. Mine also nests underneath. With the tie off function, really frustrating
    In summery I like my old bernina (can't remember the model) much better

    amitietextiles said...

    Mine eats the fabric. I am going to get a straight stitch plate but feel annoyed at this price that I have to!
    You do get used of the auto foot up and down and if you use your knee lift it's really easy to adjust your fabric if not quite right. Mine also nests underneath. With the tie off function, really frustrating
    In summery I like my old bernina (can't remember the model) much better

    amitietextiles said...

    PS the little rim on my extension table snapped off the first time I used it

    Traveller Travails said...

    I had exactly the same problems!! I bought the single needle plate which did not solve the problem after spending $70. Also the wad of thread - nesting - just drove over the edge. I had the same issues with two different 750s. I finally returned everything to the dealer and breathed a sigh of relief!

    MissesStitches said...

    Thanks for the great post. I bought an 820, and was so frustrated with it. I talked with the shop owner who said it sounded like the 720 (or maybe 750?) would please me better, so I'm going to look at it. Such great information in this post. Regarding the automatic threader, I have found on other Berninas that if I use the hand wheel to raise the needle to its highest point (which is not the point at which it naturally ends up), the needle threader works a lot more reliably. I also own a 440 (love, love it) and a 220, and wanted more quilting space. I've never liked the BSR, and don't use it. To me, it is a great big foot that gets in the way of my visibility. And I didn't find that it made that much difference in my stitch quality.

    Jerri H said...

    Re: Presser Foot down - I've only had my 750 for a couple of weeks so I haven't used all of its features yet. I have, however, discovered that the Auto Presser foot down feature can be modified in the settings. You can choose for it to stay fully down when you stop/start sewing. You also have 2 other choices for when you stop - hover close to the surface, or full up. I also use the free-hand system a lot and the missing lever doesn't bother me that much, but I still find myself reaching behind the machine every once in a while when my brain flips to auto-pilot mode.
    Re: fabric getting eaten: I haven't tried a fine/thinner fabric yet, but my quilt-wt cottons have done fine. I bought the straight stitch plate anyway (nope, doesn't come with the machine). I enjoy the straight stitch plate on my 153 for piecing and figured I'd prefer it on the 750.

    WandaM said...

    I own two 430's and the 780E. I agree with most everything Rebecca Grace states except about the embroidery. This is my first embroidery machine and I love it. Yes, I have spent quite a bit of money on designs and thread. But I use my embroidery unit all the time!

    Mia Benson said...

    First time dropping my 750 QE at the dealer to have it fixed. I have had it for just over 1 year. I'm annoyed that I will need to pay the service fee....a whopping $200!!! for a faulty board that could cost $500+. I'm in Hawaii so they are having issue with time zone difference about calling to find out what board they need. My foot is not recognized when the dual feed is put in place. I can't stitch. I'm so annoyed at the price of this machine and the lack of quick turn around time or even follow-up to know when to expect it back. I have loved everything about this machine so far but i feel that 1 year in it shouldn't have issues. I think I may have a faulty machine as well. As far as it eathing my fabric, I found that it does that too but often if I switch out the needle size or the thread, it will stop doing that. Though annoying to do that too.

    john robert said...

    thank u for write about it this article very usefull for me

    AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

    I don’t see the 750QE for sale any longer (maybe due to issues stated here?) but I’ve had my 750 for five years without a single issue. I clean and oil between each project and more often for large projects. I noticed right away that I needed a single hole plate so purchased one but if I had known ahead I would definitely negotiate that with the original transaction. Don’t be afraid to ask for extras when spending so much money, I do/did and have really scored. The tech at the Bernina shop warned me at set-up about using better thread. I use Superior Threads, So Fine #50 on the cone and my machine loves it. The Tech also programmed my machine for the auto-cut/knot after at set-up so that’s never been an issue. I modified a large oak desk by cutting a hole for machine with it setting on the lower keyboard shelf below and it works awesome. I’m so happy with this machine and as planned will be making my final interest free payment right before retirement.

    Unknown said...

    I just purchased a Bernina 770QE in May. I traded in a Bernina 820 on it, and was glad to get rid of that thing. I've been a long time Bernina owner (1031), but am convinced that the 820 and 830 had some big problems that no one will admit. I bought mine from and individual, but hated to sell to an individual with a good conscience, knowing the problems I had. But the Bernina 770 came highly recommended. I sat and sewed with it for over an hour before making the plunge, because after you buy it, there is no returns and no going back.
    Mine did come with the single stitch plate. I have my old 1031 as my backup. It would be hard to part with that gem. I would hate to do without a mechanical machine. And having a good technician makes all the difference too in the machine doing it's best. Although I haven't had it long, I'm falling in love. Practice, practice, practice on the FMQ (love the BSR). I'm also a walking foot fan, and didn't know how I'd like the dual feed in it's place. We are starting to get along. I know it's been years since this original post, but now this machine's MSRP is 6500! Of course I doubt anyone actually pays that, but that's where it starts. I got 2500 for my trade in and 500 off because I got a floor model. Still a large price for something you don't plan to drive down the road. :-D
    My biggest motivator for this model was this article... I guess it doesn't hurt when these guys who have engineering degrees who have worked on every brand of machine known to man call it the best machine on the planet. I was drawn to it because it has the features that drew me to the 820, but it was obvious that they totally redesigned it in comparison, so I expect to have the features I was lusting after without the constant aggravation of running to the dealer for repairs. (Hard when you live a hour from any dealer.)