Sharon's Bernina 830 Review

I should probably start by saying I'm a Pfaff gal. I admit it. My first sewing machine of my very own was a Pfaff that my folks helped me buy as a High School graduation present. That machine is rock solid and still sewing great three decades (cough, cough) later.

My favorite machine for general sewing before "Big B" (the Bernina 830) was my Pfaff 7570. From a computing standpoint, the 7570 is getting a little long in the tooth (think 'Win95'), but the machine still sews like a dream.

With much industry fanfare, along comes the Bernina 830. This sucker is huge in throat area, includes a stitch regulator for free form quilting, has all the latest bells / whistles in computing power, and it has tons of embroidery hoop features. This should be my dream machine, and maybe even takes the place of a long-arm for quilting. Of course, it carries a five figure price tag to boot.

So I dutifully attended a Ricky Tims seminar sponsored by my Everett, WA 'Needle & I' store where he demonstrated the 830. It slices, it dices, it even makes julienne fries... Ricky made this machine dance like a Bolshoi Ballerina. Lo and behold, there was a show special discount on Big B! Plunk your money down today, and Ricky will autograph your machine (woo-hoo!)

I eagerly awaited the day I could take Big B home.

First impressions, it didn't *feel* like my Pfaff to sew on. No biggy, sewing machines have personalities, strengths and weaknesses if you will. I figured I needed to take time to 'bond' with Big B.

Then came the skipped stitches. As soon as I started sewing on actual 'quilts' (multiple layers of fabric, batting) I found that Big B had a maddening tendency to fail to pick up the bottom bobbin, resulting in skipped stitches. Back to the 'Needle & I' it went for 'service' or adjustment.

Over and over again.

Did I mention this thing is a tank? Every car trip is an event, with my husband having to wrangle it to and from the car.

For the most part, the folks at 'Needle & I' have been understanding. It just seems like maybe the Bernina 830 has some sort of design defect that makes it a pretty lousy quilting machine.

At this writing, Bernina doesn't seem to have a solution to why their flagship 830 is unfit for the very task it was designed for, quilting.

Link to another review - Sounds familiar....

...and another

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