Now, I have a beast of a machine. Six or so years ago I fell in love with the Viking Quilt Designer II. I didn't buy it back then because we were saving up for a house and a $2600 machine was out of my price range. So when I took my old machine in for repairs I started looking for a machine similar to the Designer II since that particular model is no longer being made. I came home with the Viking Sapphire 875. It was pricey, but it has automatic tension, a large throat space, dual lighting, and it has a floating foot for free motion quilting. All of which were important to me this go around.
What I don't like about it so far is that it is computerized. There's no lifting the pressure foot lever, no turning the wheel to position my needle, and no manual tension. To me, those things are a part of sewing . I sort of feel like I'm losing a bit of the process with the new machine. And the foot pedal is giant. I like my little metal pedal. Mostly because I've always sewn with my pedal backwards. I feel like I have more control that way. I'm sure that I'll get used to all the features of this new machine eventually and then I won't know how I ever sewed on my little straight stitch machine but right now, it's still a beast.
I also didn't really shop around. I was making myself crazy reading everything I could online about the various different machines. Since I was already comfortable with the Viking lines having researched and tried them out six years ago I automatically went to that brand. For my next machine (many years from now), I'll try out different machines and shop around more. Until then, I'll be sewing things like this:
on this awesome machine. Or on my old White when it gets back from the dealer :-).