New Kid on the Block

I bought my Bernina 1031 in the autumn of 1995 and have never looked back. Well, the first one I bought was a 1005 and within two weeks had discovered that what I really wanted was a slightly more sophisticated machine. My local dealer gave me full credit on the trade-in, earning my loyalty. Before that, I had a 22-year-old Kenmore with a 25-year guarantee.

My 1031 is a workhorse of a machine. I've no problems with it. She's on the heavy side, though, and since I go away for a quilting retreat at least twice a year and sometimes go to sewing days at other locations, I got to thinking that I'd like to have a lighter machine, one that was easier to carry. I acquired a Featherweight and while it was light and easy to carry, I never really bonded with it. My main complaint was that the bobbins seemed to run out every time I turned around. There were other issues, too. A couple of friends had picked up Hello Kitty machines, made by Janome, and were happy with them as their light-weight travelers. So I got one of them, and again, we didn't connect. I was beginning to feel like Goldilocks.

My sweet friend Judy recently got a Bernina 380 and is smitten. But now Bernina has stopped making 380s. I decided to investigate the 350, the main difference being the number of fancy stitches it provides. My dealer was having a sale over Super Bowl Weekend, and as soon as I sat down with 350, I was a goner. She came home with me and has scarcely had a minute's rest. If possible, she's a better machine than the old faithful 1031. Smooth running, quiet, nifty little needle up/needle down feature, push button stitch size, you name it. In the few days I've had her, I've machined on a binding to a quilt without struggling, without swearing, I've pieced a few blocks, and paper-pieced a third of a flock of sheep. I'm in love. Oh, and she might even weigh a little less than her predecessor!


Perhaps I will visit for a demo. I am contemplating replacing my very well-loved 1130, which is starting to act glitchy. At nearly 30 years old, it owes me nothing. (In fact, they re selling on eBay for more than I paid for it in 1989).
Janet said…
This is great info.Happy Sewing ...A new machine is so much fun 😊
Janet O. said…
I'm glad you made a connection, Nancy.
My featherweight and I have been very happy traveling together, but you have to do what works for you. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't bond with a "Hello Kitty" machine. There would be irreconcilable differences.
Janet O. said…
p.s. I am loving your flock!
Quiltdivajulie said…
I have a Bernina 153 (my travel buddy and back up at home) and my main squeeze is a Bernina 440 that I found virtually new on eBay for a terrific price. Happy you have found a new soul mate!
AnnieO said…
My Viking is 15 years old and I've never had a bit of trouble with it, but really would like more harp room for quilting my own quilts. Glad you found a great match to your stitching personality!
Sandy said…
I bought a 880 Bernina and was in the same situation as you. Love it but too heavy to carry around. My sewing room is upstairs and there are times when I like to sew downstairs or go on a retreat. A great excuse for a smaller machine. So off to our favorite Bernina dealer 2 hours away in Middleburg,Pa. I came home with a 350 and I love it. My granddaughters insert in her snow boots needed sewing and no trouble at all. Love my Berninas. Happy sewing!
Barbara Anne said…
I have had my Bernina 153 since 2004 and love it but don't go on retreats or take it anywhere.

In the past I've had a couple of Kenmores and now have my mother's New Home (it is surely and "Old Home" after 60+ years!) and I inherited DH's grandmother's Featherweight as well as my grandma's Singer treadle machine that I made my 4-H skirt on one summer in the 1960s.

It's all about comfort and connections!

Love your little flock, too. :)

Tanya said…
Though I'm not in the market for a new machine it is nice to have something in mind 'just in case'. I know if my machine gave out I'd have to have another one within days and probably wouldn't have time to research it much. My Japanese quilter friend also swears by her Bernina.