So I have been surfing the net for most of the weekend and started to look at sewing machines.
I saw that there is a new machine, the Pfaff Performance 5.2, currently offered in US and Europe (I believe). I am a sucker for anything new so I started to read up on this and compare the various machines. No idea of whether this one is out in Australia already or not...
Watched an entire video on the Pfaff Performance 5.0 from the Village Sewing Center. That was hugely interesting...a beautiful machine with a slick black face. I then compared the three machines (4.2; 5.0 and 5.2) and was rather amazed at the differences (or lack thereof).
In terms of key features, in contrast to the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2, both the Performance 5.0 and 5.2 have a very attractive Colour Touch Screen that is operated via a stylus. Both have 453 stitches including Maxi stitches and the Stitch Creator feature, Patchwork program, Sensor for Straight Stitch Needle Plate and a Single Stitch program. There was very little difference between the Performance 5.0 and 5.2, in fact I think the only thing they added were some beautiful Stacking and Ribbon stitches to the 5.2. Obviously there were other little differences, including more memory and more inclusions, but overall it looked very similar.
What amazed me was the similarity to my Pfaff QE 4.2. I basically got all the same major features, dimensions are the same and the operation is basically the same. What was not the same was obviously the price tag. The Pfaff Performance 5.0 is thousands more and no doubt the 5.2 will be again dearer. I found that quite incredible and again was reminded on how confusing it is to go out there looking for a suitable machine. Very easy to get blinded by the bling...you really have to be super clear on what you are going to use your sewing machine for and compare the different machines to get the best value for money.
If I think about my use...as much as I get sucked into anything bling and new, if I look at my machine I must say, that it has more than enough features for quilting. I have 254 stitches which I rarely use. I would like a better alphabet font, however again...I would only use it to delight in the joy of having it! Stitch Creator would be lost on me as I am a quilter and not really into embellishing my blocks or quilts. Nice feature though, if you are regularly using all your stitches and you are bored with them. Patchwork program...I have been told that this is somewhat overrated, and this would not be a selling feature for me. I was confused about the sensor for the Straight Needle Stitch Plate. Not listed under the 4.2, but my machine definitely will not work with all stitches if I have the Straight Stitch Safety feature enabled, so I also have that safe guard. I got a bit excited about the Single Stitch program...that made me laugh because I definitely do not need that. If I wanted to stitch out just one design I could set this up in the sequencing feature. A few more buttons to press but the same effect.
The other thing I did was read some reviews on the Pfaff Performance 5.0. I did come across some very negative reviews and was quite shocked as there is no way you would ever touch a Pfaff again if you had a similar experience. Made me wonder whether this was just a bunch of people who all got the 'lemons' or whether there was something in it. Mind you, I would also not take kindly to having a 'lemon' at that price tag and I felt quite sorry for those women. I can only speak for myself here...I have never had a bad experience with any of my Pfaff machines.
Morale of the story...I think it pays to select your brand and then do some research across the range of machines to really become familiar with all that is offered and then have a really good think about what you would be using the machine for.
As you can see I have got way too much time on my hands when I am not sewing.