Your Personal Best Buy: Part 4

Drum roll please. Here are the top four machines that get my vote for best Top-of-the-Lines in the industry. This time I want to share these machines in the order that, if shopping myself, I would purchase them. I have to say that the overall differences between these very competitive machines are small; overall the quality of all these finalists is superb.

Janome Horizon MC15000

Janome Horizon MC15000

The Janome MC15000 is truly one of the great combination sewing and embroidery machines in the industry. Hands-down the easiest machine of this type to own and operate, with the amazing wireless downloadable function with its free iPad, (right now included with purchase), hundreds of creative stitch designs and thousands of stitch combinations, designed into a solid state chassis that no one else can match. Add to all this magnificence the robotic embroidery arm exclusively designed for the MC15000 and its sister the MC12000, and you have untouched embroidery dexterity not found anywhere else in the sewing world.

When we can add a price point for all these features of $10,999*, a two thousand dollar savings for this Best Buy Sale, you’ve got something really special. By far and away the most quiet running machine in the industry with nearly the largest embroidery field, you will be so overcome with awe at its embroidery prowess, you’ll almost forget what a great, pure sewing machine the MC15000 is. Auto tension is immediate and along with the auto stitch adviser, sets the tone for perfect quilt and garment construction. Just tell it what you want to do and it takes over. I’ve polled my fellow dealers, who will remain nameless here to protect their identities, and we all agree the MC15000 is the leader in this category of combination machines.

Bernina 880

Bernina 880

Bernina began the 8-series path seven years ago with the introduction of the B830, here in Long Beach, during the first International Quilt Show. For the first time the customer was exposed to a totally self-threading machine with a 12-inch distance between needle and machine, and the largest embroidery field with the Bernina Jumbo hoop. All of us learned to make the 830 work and through the process we, and Bernina, learned to make this machine the leader in programmable embroidery with machine editing untouched to this day by any competitor. This gave birth to the B880 that we have now.

With the added Auto Stitch Design function and improved thread handling systems, the B880 is a marvel to behold. This machine is like a finely tuned instrument and can give the advanced embroidery sewer all the tools required to turn out professional looking designs. As with the other models in this category, you’ve got an extra-large palette to work from and by adding the Bernina Jumbo hoop, you’ve got the largest embroidery area of any of their machines. I also really like the large twist-to-turn knob that clicks when you’ve reached just the right amount of tension for the fabric and stabilizer. When you’re finished, just touch the button the quick release your project; very user friendly.

This is the only one of the top machines with an 85-yard capacity of thread on its huge bobbin, and is the only completely self-threading machine of all those tested. Just be sure to follow the thread path through the machine when it tells you to do so; yes this machine will talk to you with messages.

Like its rival, the Janome MC15000, we’re featuring the B880 at its lowest legal price point of $12,499*, a savings of $1500 (valid May 31 – June 30, 2015). If I was choosing between these two great machines and I was a creative design-oriented sewer and embroiderer, I’d probably go with the B880; Swiss precision and adaptability when using the stitch designer is key here. Otherwise, if I’m just knocking out great designs I’ve loaded from my iPad onto the MC15000, the Janome would be my sewing tool of choice.

Bernina 790

Bernina 790

Once Bernina realized that not everyone would particularly like having a totally self-threading machine and they had perfected the series nine sewing hook, a unique rotary style hook with oscillating release points for straight thread control, the 7-series machines were born. With an 11-inch distance between needle and machine, it still has a large sewing and quilting bed. And, with the Maxi Hoop, and an embroidery field within an inch-and-a-half of the B880, the B790 is a great fit with our traditional-use Bernina customers. At a sale price point of $10,499* (valid May 31 – June 30, 2015), it is a better fit for the more budget conscious.

The other popular features like auto thread cutting and presser foot lift are on this machine as well, giving it as much of a top-of-the-line feel as either the B880 or MC15000. The B790 comes with multiple hoops, has the built-in even-feed (walking foot) mechanism and is ready to quilt with the BSR presser foot. Make no mistake, the B790 is a sewer’s machine in every way that it is an embroiderer’s machine, with quality stitch handling and great sewing control.

Janome MC12000

Janome MC12000

At its current price and availability, the MC12000 is at a great price for breaking into the high end combo-machine market. The MC12000 was first introduced 5 years ago as Janome’s top-of-the-line machine and did very well until the wireless download and iPad became available on the MC15000. But make no mistake; the MC12000 can hold its own with either the B880 or the MC15000. It has virtually all the tools of its replacement, except wireless capability, and has the same robotics, and updated firmware that exist for the bigger machines. With a price point of $7,499*, you can’t find another of this class of machine for the money.

I highly recommend this machine for anyone who wants to spread their artistic wings and fly with the big boys for a lesser cost. The MC12000 has the chops, and the layout to offer huge embroidery, or precision sewing for garment and/or piecing with ease. I really like the price and can only hope we have it around long enough for those to discover and realize the value.

Visit the store for additional discounts.

* NOTE: prices mentioned in this article are valid as of June, 2015.

Part 1: read here
Part 2: read here
Part 3: read here