|The old Activa work horse|
Initially, it takes a lot of exploring to discover all the things this machine will do. There are literally hundreds of adjustments and setting--if you can find them--and having once found them, if you can get back to home base to actually sew. Being a big computer with a tiny screen, functions are buried in multiple layers of programming, and not always in an intuitive way. And like a computer, you can get weird "fatal error" messages in the middle of a routine operation. The manual that comes with the machine is skimpy, and the on-line Bernina videos are not overly helpful, though they have lots of cute pictures of cats rolling around on quilts. Fortunately, there is a Yahoo Group of 770QE owners. Their email is Bernina7Series@yahoogroups.com. Members share lots of good information and coach each other through problem solving various issues.
What I like
- The wide harp area--not as big as some brands, but still very good.
- The bright LED lights (which can be dimmed if you are working on shiny fabrics.)
- EVERYTHING is adjustable, if you can just figure out the screen and how many layers in the feature is. With time I've learned where the main things I need are located.
- The thread cutter. It works well on my machine, but not on the machines of several of the 770QE yahoo group members and other 770 owners I know.
- A separate motor for bobbin winding--though mine doesn't work properly. It puts in loose areas as it winds that end up producing big loops on the backside of a seam as I sew. The winding speed is adjustable, but no matter what speed I choose, the bobbin does not wind on consistantly. It also winds the thread on in a cone instead of a stacked cylinder unless I guide the thread with my fingers.
- The hands-free knee lifter, which has been a part of Bernina machines for decades, is great.
- The HUGE bobbins. They make me almost forget I have a bobbin.
- The two big nobs to the right of the blue screen (top photo). They are for adjusting the width and length of stitches, and make changes to either easy, and instantly visible on the screen. (Note: The large round silver thing on the far right is a suction cup magnet that I got from Leah Day)
|Finally tore the useless little doors off this hard to use box.|
- Lack of serious documentation.
- The small, flimsy slide-on table. I thought it would break just from resting my hands on it. I bought an acrylic Sew Steady 18"x24" table (pictured above), which I like a lot. It sits on it's own legs, and being clear, it doesn't have to be removed every time I change a bobbin.
- That Barbie's-Little-Sewing-Case thing that holds the feet and other small stuff related to the machine. Yeesh. It's super tippy and the design hasn't changed in years.
- The 9mm wide presser foot. True, you can zigzag a seam the width of a sidewalk, but so far I don't really see an advantage to it. Also, when sewing really narrow seams, which I do in some of my constructions, the feed dogs are too far apart to feed the fabric evenly, so I revert to my old Activa. (Glad I didn't sell it!)
- The button that allows you to sew without using a foot control. Really? Whose cockamamie idea was that?
- The "dual feed" that is supposed to be like a built in walking foot, but so far, in my usage anyway, doesn't quite make the grade.
- The BSR, (Bernina Stitch Regulator) that comes with the quilter's edition. It's nice, but another piece of fussy tack with a big learning curve (and big price tag if you purchase it separately--$1100.). I've free-motion quilted for years without one, and thought I'd love the BSR, but turns out I only just barely like it, the way you like, oh say a new mouse pad.