To upgrade or not upgrade…that is the question

I’m suffering from a serious case of sewing machine lust.  The object of my affection is the Janome 8900QCP. 

I have neither the space nor the budget for a longarm machine, so I am trying to find a solution that would still fit my Horn Quilter’s Dream cabinet (the older style) and give me more space under the needle for machine quilting. This machine will give me approximately 2-1/2″ more in space to the right of the needle than Jewel, my Janome 6600P.  It also has a freearm, which Jewel does not.

I also test drove the 8200QC, which is the next model down. It’s a very nice machine, but I immediately noticed it did not sew as fast as the 8900 (860 spm versus 1000 spm).  Apparently, there is an 8200 QC special edition out there that has the the 1000 spm speed that I want, but doesn’t have all the extra stitches. That’s fine by me.

The burning question is whether or not those 2-1/2″ are worth the money. That little bit of extra real estate is going to run about $600/inch for the 8900 WITH a trade in.  A little less for the 8200. Ouch!!

Decisions. Decisions.

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