Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Temptation in Red: The Bernina 830LE Limited Edition

As you all know, I sew over pins.  On my drunkard's path blocks I'm sewing so slowly that the needle just deflects when it hits a pin, but just before starting this quilting project I whipped up a quick window treatment from leftover fabric for a window in our exercize room.  When I'm sewing fast, I usually am careful to pull the pins out right before they get to my presser foot, but this time I charged over those pins, full speed ahead, and hit two of them.  One got bent into the shape of a square root sign, and the other broke my needle and the pin. 

So, as I was slowly sewing those first drunkard's path blocks, I started to hear a little metallic click with every stitch -- a sure sign that I had knocked my timing out of whack when I sewed those pins (alas; I have heard that clicking noise before!).  My sewbaby hadn't been in for a tuneup in over a year anyway, so I brought her in to my local Bernina dealer for service on Monday afternoon. 

You know how the car dealer desperately wants you to use their service department so that every time you get an oil change, you're wandering around lusting after all the gleaming newer models on the showroom floor?  Well, that's what it's like at the Bernina dealership.  Except that at the car dealership you have no real urgency.  They have a newer, shinier version of my car with more bells and whistles?  Well, they'll still have it next year or the year after, or whenever I need a new one.  They are having a special discount promotion?  Well, they always have special promotions going on; that's nothing new, either.  But the mad marketing geniuses at Bernina have come up with a fancy, beautiful, shiny RED version of their top-of-the-line sewing and embroidery machine, and it is a limited edition -- only 4,000 of them were made.  Here she is, Miss Sewbaby America, the Bernina 830LE:
Bernina 830LE Limited Edition

Bernina came out with the 830 machine a few years ago, just as the economy began to tank, by unfortunate coincidence.  The computer in the 830LE is much faster than the one in my 200E/730E (my machine is the older 200 model, but upgraded to do everything that the 730 can do), and there are some other neat bells and whistles, but the main draw for the 830 is that it has a gigantic bobbin that holds 40% more thread (which means less running out of thread in the middle of machine quilting or in the middle of stitching out a large embroidery design) and that the machine itself is much larger, with 12" of space to the right of the needle instead of the 7 1/2" of space I have now.  That's a big deal when you have rolled up a quilt and jammed it into the space to the right of the needle so you can get the middle part of the quilting done. 

Still, the price tag on this sewbaby is such that it might as well be a car, and I know tons of people who do amazing quilting and embroidery work on machines just like the one I already own.  Bigger bobbins are not thousands of dollars better than regular bobbins, and I feel the same way about that extra workspace -- nice, but not necessary, and not worth a five-figure price tag to me.  But it was a lot easier to say no to the regular 830E machine, which is bulky, masculine, and boring:

Regular Bernina 830E
See what I mean?  Exact same machine, does exactly the same things, even costs $500 less than the Limited Edition, but it's so ordinary

Meanwhile, with my head out of the clouds and my feet back on the ground, I really love and prefer my 200E/730E and it does everything I could ever need or want it to do.  No upgrading to the flashy red sewbaby any time soon.  I'm just hoping that my dealer gets a chance to service my machine before the end of the day today so I can pick it up and sew some more Drunkard's Path blocks for Lars's quilt this evening.  

And, by the way, I am still going to sew over the pins in my quilt blocks, but I'll think twice before sewing over another pin at high speed.  It's hugely annoying to have to stop working in the middle of a project for an unplanned well-baby trip to the sewing machine doctor!

1 comment:

verykerryberry said...

Hi rebecca, The companies certainly know how to tempt use in! YOu asked about my red shoes and I couldn't find your email, you are a no reply blogger- they are by Yoma, a British company