Bernina 8 Series–Temptation?

I received another titillating email from Bernina about the 8 Series this morning. This one says:

If you think the others have more space… you haven’t seen anything yet.

Hmmm. More work space. Must mean a longer/larger throat area, and that just might be worth having at some point. That would mean much easier machine quilting when working with larger quilts, and would cut down on pain and fatigue caused by muscling a large quilt through the machine. It would also probably mean a larger maximum machine embroidery size right out of the box without purchasing aftermarket oversized hoops.

Damn them anyway, I did not want to be tempted. Though it depends on how high the price is whether I’ll really be tempted, I’m sure. I heard rumors of many thousands of dollars, which might negate any serious temptation they can create for me. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Bernina 8 Series–Temptation?

  1. I just heard a further rumor that it really has a huge throat area, along with a HUGE price, like in the five digits! Ouch! After the predictable response of “WHAT?!?” ITMan laughed at me when I asked him how he’d feel about a sewing machine that costs that much. Not that I’d be seriously wanting to buy one that costs that much either, since I could buy a car for that. Sheesh.


  2. Bernina has been way behind in jumping on the big throat bandwagon. I own a Bernina and almost bought a new one for the ASR, but that tiny opening turned me off and I went with a Janome for the 9″ throat. I kept the old Bernina because of the free arm and I only use it to hem pants. I love the Janome, and have two of them now. One is dedicated to the quilting frame…


  3. Rian, I know what you mean about the big throat. The Bernina 440 that I have actually has a slightly larger throat than the Pfaff 2056 that was my main machine before that. I was thinking that if the 8 Series had a bigger throat, it would certainly be a nice alternative to buying a longarm machine, since the price point wouldn’t be that much different when all is said and done (based on those rumors of course).

    I’ve been tossing around the machine quilting frame/longarm machine idea for years, and maybe this new Bernina will prompt me to take the plunge. If I was going to drop that kind of cash on a machine, it would be great if it had something besides a regulated straight stitch.


  4. I have it on VERY good authority (lets leave it at that) that all you have spoken of is true. The throat will be the size of a smaller version home long arm machine. The price has got to be in the $10K+ range because the 730 (wich I believe is being discontinued just as the 200 was) is already over $7K. The only other insight I have to share is that the 8 Series will have 74 exclusive stitches over and above the stitches now available on the 730. I must admit that I think it will be a great machine, but I think it may be just a bit much for a machine that will probably be used for straight stitching the majority of the time. Just my two cents worth.


  5. Hi Kerri, and Welcome! My, you do have the dish on this don’t you? I was afraid all those rumors would prove to be true indeed. I have a feeling I’m going to want it, but not at anything close to that price range. Sure, I’d use it for straight stitching, just like the machines I have now (isn’t that what quilters do mostly? Straight piecing, straight quilting, even a free motion stitch is a straight stitch), but the bigger throat will have me drooling right there. It’s a good thing that my current obsession in the quilt world is Inchies, since a big throat is kind of overkill for that! 😉

    Thanks for stopping by, Kerri!


  6. If I spent that much for a sewing machine it would have to run 24/7 by it’s self to finish all my ufo’s and do all my quilt tops. The new models are very tempting, but you have to draw a line somewhere.


  7. Hi Jan! Welcome! You’re right about drawing the line, though if I did somehow mange to get my hands on a machine in that price range, I’d still want to make my own quilt tops and quilt them. Having the machine do it would steal all my fun! 😉


  8. Okay the price may seem a little high but think about this: What about those people who spend that kind of money on a motorcycle or a boat assessory. I think it is ridiculous to buy a motorcycle for those prices but my husband doesn’t think so! I can do WAY more with that sewing machine then he can with that cycle!!! I think it will be worth every penny!


  9. Welcome Shelley! I do see your point, and it’s one I’ve been known to make myself about expensive sewing machines. However, there are already machines out there that are top-of-the-line that can “do more” than the average machine-in-a-box at the chain store. But is the Bernina 8 Series going to actually make a better stitch than the 440 I already have, or any of the other top machines out there?

    It’s like the difference between a Ford and a BMW; they both have wheels and some of the same features, and get you from point A to B. It’s the level of luxury and quality that separates them. I could have waited to buy a new car until I really felt able afford a BMW M3 without killing the budget, but my Mustang gets me there just fine, in plenty of style and fun, for much less money up front.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the 8 Series and I’d love to have one (just as I’d still love to have an M3), but I’m not sure that I’d really want to drop the cash on it when all is said and done.


  10. Bernina just now has it out on their website. Umm..they are a little late in the accessory department as most of what they are boast isn’t new technology. It’s just new to them. I have a 6600 and it does most of the things Bernina boasts are new. I have a dual feed foot. Pfaff has had this feature for years. I believe my machine has at least a 1100 stitches per minute..or the same as this machine. That’s not new. I have slightly higher clearance.

    For the huge price tag that has been rumored, my Janome 6600 works just fine for me and doesn’t cost an outrageous price.

    Not bashing Bernina..but I think I have the better deal. Bernina is way to late..but being a Bernina this machine will sell big time to those who can afford to.


  11. Hi Bethany, and welcome! I don’t know very much about Janome machines, but from a quick look at the Janome 6600 on the Janome site, it looks like it could definitely compete with these new Bernina 8 Series machines, but top speed on the 6600 is 1,000 spm and the throat space is considerably smaller.

    Yes indeed, Pfaff has had dual feed for years, however, these days I find the Bernina to be a more solidly built, quality conscious and dependable machine than the Pfaff machines, even the top of the line Pfaff models. A Bernina with a dual feed is an awesome combination, and when the Bernina Stitch Regulator is added in, it’s a heady mix.

    As an aside, it’s been my experience when teaching machine quilting classes that machines with a drop-in or horizontal bobbin were exceedingly more difficult to coax into producing a high quality free motion quilting stitch. A vertical bobbin system like you’ll find on most (maybe all?) Bernina and Pfaff machines (and other brands I’m sure) is far likelier to produce a high quality stitch during free motion quilting.

    I talked with a machine repair technician about this issue during a Pfaff Dealer Training a few years back, and he said it’s absolutely normal, and that it’s just the physics of the whole operation that makes the vertical bobbin set up out-perform the horizontal for free motion quilting. For folks like me who machine quilt everything on a domestic machine, a vertical bobbin is a must, IMO.

    There will always be brand-loyal machine buyers out there, and I’m one of them (I’m that way about cars too). I stuck with Pfaff for 16 years, until Pfaff was bought out by Viking Husquvarna and the quality went way down on the newer models. The proof of Pfaff’s declining quality was sitting on my sewing table in my 2056 machine.

    At that point I used a Bernina 440 in a three day workshop and discovered I could love it. No, the prices on the Bernina 8 series machines are definitely not pretty, and some hard thinking will go on about it in many minds, I’m sure, but I don’t think Bernina will find it’s made a mistake and go bankrupt over it. The features will sell the machine, not just the name.


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