I have been thinking about getting a new sewing machine for a while now. I got this Brother machine as a gift from my parents when I was 10. So it is 20+ years old, and not very well taken care of (it's never been serviced). But it has served me well over the past 20 years as I have been and on-again / off-again quilter and crafter.
I went into my local quilt shop (for the first time - I didn't even realize our city had one!) to talk to the owner, Donna, about what kind of machine I should be looking for. Donna was so very nice and helpful, and there was a class going on while I was there, and the women were so friendly - I will definitely be back for supplies and will be taking a few classes too!
I told Donna the types of things I would like to do with my new machine (mainly piecing quilts and machine quilting) and she said the machine most of her customers use and recommend is the Bernina Aurora 440QE (Quilters Edition). Great, how much does it cost? $2900. I think my husband might have a heart attack if I came home with a machine that cost so much! After all, my job only gets paid in hugs and kisses (which is great, but I can't buy a machine with hugs and kisses - can I??)
Donna called her supplier in Syracuse to see if he had any refurbished machines, and he reminded her that she had the Bernina Bernette 46 sitting right on her shelf that would be perfect for me - at a perfect price point - $199! My husband happily agreed to buy this as my early birthday gift! I am so excited to have a new machine - and it is SO quiet! I can actually get some sewing done when Gracie is napping and asleep for the night! And did I mention how cute it is??
Someday, if I get really into quilting, maybe I will upgrade to a used QE, but for now I will be enjoying my new Bernette!
Thanks, Donna, for all of your help!