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Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby LydiaS » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:30 pm

I have the 830, and while it can be finicky, it is a pleasure to sew with it. With an 830 you actually get two or three machines in one. The 830 can be mounted on a quilt frame and used as a short arm machine. You can also program the machine through an auxiliary software and equipment to sew out quilt patterns on the quilt frame. The embroidery unit on the machine is easy to set up and is one of the easiest machines to convert from machine embroidery to straight sewing leaving the embroidery arm on and a simple change of the feet. It's a dream to stitch out decorative stitches and the only limitation to creating one of a kind sewing decorative stitches is your imagination. Yes, my 830 and I have had our spats, but she is worth it. I personally don't have room for a long- or mid-arm machine. I purposely made the decision not to buy one because the 830 can handle it.

Good luck on making your decision.

Lydia
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby eileenkny » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:40 am

So, Betty Jo................what's it gonna be?
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby Sewdreamy » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:31 pm

eileenkny wrote:So, Betty Jo................what's it gonna be?

Eileen, and all, I think it will be the 830, mostly because of the type of work I do and it sounds like it can handle it all. I do use the embroidery unit on my current machine, and I sometimes use decorative stitches when I actually quilt. I plan to buy the machine, the jumbo hoop, the frame, and upgraded software. I hope some of that can be bundled together. I will retire later this year (exact time is still being negotiated with my place of work, who asked me last week to consider staying longer :shock: ). You may be able to imagine how excited I am--both by the retirement and the anticipated purchase of the 830. :D

Lydia, I did not know you could program the machine to sew out quilt patterns on the quilt frame. That's very interesting. I really appreciate everyone's comments. They have been very helpful. Cheers, BJ
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby virginiagardengal » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:58 pm

Well, hey there, Betty Jo! I made a point to see your mermaid on the second day I went to the Hampton show -- it's wonderful!

I have a pretty strong opinion on your question, I just hope I don't get strung up for it. If you're looking to quilt on a frame, definitely go for a mid-arm or long-arm. The 820 and 830 have no business being on a frame! They are highly computerized machines that do EVERYTHING. All you need on a frame is a good, solid straight stitch. And here's a very specific objection to using the 800-series on a frame -- visibility. The needle is tucked under the machine in comparison to it's flush-with-the-head orientation on a long-arm. This reason alone is enough to look beyond Bernina. Well, here's more... My mom has had the 820 for a year (bought it at the 2010 Hampton show) and she would heartily agree with the visibility issue. In order to see the needle well, she has to adjust her frame higher than is ideal/comfortable for using a quilting machine. And I'm sorry to say that her 820 has been in the shop more than it's been sewing properly at home -- you, guessed it, tension issues. Don't make light of these. It's heartbreaking to find that the project you just spent hours quilting has terrible loops and such -- and no amount of adjustments at home could make any difference. I've had an earful of her frustrations for a year! The latest -- her machine has been in the shop in Chicago since early/mid December! This year at the Hampton show mom was test-driving the long-arms. She's hoping Bernina will refund her money so she can put it toward an 18"-arm quilting machine and frame. I only hope Bernina will cooperate and make it easy for her.

I am a Bernina Virtuosa owner, and I love it! But from what I've seen of the 820, I don't think I could be tempted to buy one. I believe I see a long-arm in my future, and it will be the real thing. Bernina just tried to put too much into one machine on this one.

Good luck on your decision -- I'd love to know what you end up doing. I had a great time trying out the long-arms with mom last weekend, and will be researching them more through-out this year. So I'd love to hear what you find in your research and would be happy to share what I find in mine.

Cheers,
Heidi

PS Okay -- I'm still getting the hang of this new (to me) message board. I accidentally saved this as a draft instead of posting it (again), and then realized there were two more pages of posts on the subject!

With that in mind, let me first say I agree with Keith and Eileen, and there was somebody else too, about the intimacy of sitting down to stitch. If you want to use the 820 or 830 sitting down, it might do very well. But consider whether you might want even more than 12" of space, in which case the George or the Sweet 16 would be great. If you already have a domestic machine that you really like and that does a lot (can't remember whether you already have embroidery), then adding a workhorse like one of those just for quilting would be all you need. The 830 might replace an older machine you don't love, though. But if you want to put it on a frame, I wouldn't recommend the 830.

Just my 2-cents...
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby Sewdreamy » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:09 pm

Heidi, Thanks. Sorry your Mom has had such a hard time with her 820. It does give one pause...I really don't have space for a full frame for a longarm, which is part of my decision. I would have to find additional space for a sit down longarm, such as George, if I were to purchase that, but I could replace my 200e (upgraded to a 700e). Oh my, it is quite a decision. Perhaps the only way to decide is go try everything out all over again. I did try some longarms and the 830. I loved the high end longarms, but you see, I simply don't have room. I do, however, have access to a Gammill if I really need one for a big quilt (my daughter-in-law has one and she lives only a mile away). Perhaps the frame is not something I need if I decided on the 830. I think Bernina simply must stand behind its machines (and always has in the past) if there are unrepairable tension problems. I believe the latest 830 addresses the tension problems. Although I will have to take that into consideration when I go to actually to finally buy a machine. Thanks for your comments. Cheers.
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby virginiagardengal » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:48 pm

I know it can be so confusing or overwhelming. Space is definitely a limiting factor, and I can relate to that issue. (I'm for buying a new house to fit the machine set-up, personally. hee,hee) I wish you the best in your decision-making! :)
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby EditorAnne » Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:20 am

I've been wavering between an 830 and a 730 plus a midarm. I like being able to sit down and move the quilt under the needle. I use my walking foot a lot for quilting. Can you put a walking foot on a Handiquilter or George or any of the sit-down midarms?
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby Margo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:31 am

EditorAnne wrote:I've been wavering between an 830 and a 730 plus a midarm. I like being able to sit down and move the quilt under the needle. I use my walking foot a lot for quilting. Can you put a walking foot on a Handiquilter or George or any of the sit-down midarms?


No, Anne! The HandiQuilter and George and all the other mid/long arm machines are not sewing machines. They do NOT have feed dogs. They will not sew like a domestic machine. They do not have presser feet that hold the fabric in place.

They have a "hopping foot" which does just that. It hops over the bulk of the quilt as you move the machine to make each stitch.

If you need a walking foot, you need to stick with a domestic sewing machine.
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Re: Is the 830 worth the price, or a longarm better?

Postby EditorAnne » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:07 am

Margo wrote:
EditorAnne wrote:I've been wavering between an 830 and a 730 plus a midarm. I like being able to sit down and move the quilt under the needle. I use my walking foot a lot for quilting. Can you put a walking foot on a Handiquilter or George or any of the sit-down midarms?


No, Anne! The HandiQuilter and George and all the other mid/long arm machines are not sewing machines. They do NOT have feed dogs. They will not sew like a domestic machine. They do not have presser feet that hold the fabric in place.

They have a "hopping foot" which does just that. It hops over the bulk of the quilt as you move the machine to make each stitch.

If you need a walking foot, you need to stick with a domestic sewing machine.


Thanks, Margo. It suddenly occurred to me the other day, and I saw bolt upright when it did. That would make a huge difference! :P
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