I have had 4 Bernina sewing machines since 1985. The most recent was the 630 with the BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator). This stitch regulator was the main reason I upgraded to this model. I loved this machine until I saw the Baby Lock.
Fell in love on the spot.
The Baby Lock Ellisimo comes loaded with stuff and I mean loaded: straight stitch and zig zag stitch plate, walking foot, too many feet to list, 2 bobbin cases etc.
I thought I would never own any other machine except a Bernina. Sadly I never got the hang of the BSR to satisfy myself. I feel I have far more control with the Ellisimo. The few feet that I have purchased for it (1/4" quilting foot) was half the price of the comparable Bernina foot.
The stitch quality is excellent.
The pivot function and auto threader is absolute magic.
This is the machine of my dreams and half the price of the newest Bernina. I shouldn't forget to mention the beautiful embroidery my Baby Lock does, too.
Emily, this sounds like a great sewing machine.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Ellisimo, I gathered up some of the most pertinent information as it relates to quilters. However, you should be aware that this machine is also a superb embroidery machine. If you watch the video further on down the page, that will become crystal clear.
The computerized Baby Lock Ellisimo has many quilter-friendly features and attachments, many of them are listed below:
LCD Screen: This is a big one, measuring 8-1/2 on the diagonal. Your instruction manual is loaded in the machine's computer...you'll never have to hunt for it again...along with 11 instructional videos. THAT is slick. Lots of other goodies come along with using this screen, many related to machine embroidery.
Automatic Needle Threader: You thread the machine, it threads the needle
Large Harp: A whopping 10 inches to the right of the needle, 5 inches in height
Stadium Lighting: Sewing machine manufacturers are getting wise to the fact that lighting is very important. Baby Lock calls their improvements 'Stadium Lighting'. They have added more lights and upgraded the quality of them to brighter LEDs. The entire space under the arm of the machine is lit.
682 Stitches to Choose From: 'nuf said. We quilters are dazzled by lots of stitches. This includes 79 decorative satin stitches...great for embellishing the edges of fusible applique.
3 USB Ports: Enough to load your machine embroidery designs from other sources as well as adding a mouse for ease of use to manipulate those designs.
One Touch Buttons: These are for easily controlling
Needle Up/Needle Down (this feature includes three programmable positions)
Presser foot lift
Variable Speed Control: This is really helpful for free motion machine quilting. For many the ability to stitch a a consistent, reduced speed increases control of the quilt sandwich.
Knee lift with an extra high presser foot lift (excellent for getting over the lumpy edges of quilts when you're positioning for machine quilting, as well as the hoops for free motion embroidery or thread play
Presser Feet: The machine comes with 18 presser feet, the following being most suited to quilters:
Free-motion quilting foot
Free-motion open toe quilting foot (I like that they've got both)
Straight stitch foot
(As a quilter, I would recommend purchasing the open toe foot (ESG-OT) for machine applique ) for machine applique and paper piecing) and the 1/4 inch Quilting or Patchwork Foot with Guide (ESG-QGF) for piecing.
Straight stitch throat plate (excellent for free motion quilting, creates better stitch quality in my opinion)
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Emily, happy quilting and embroidering with your machine! You are in for some good times!