About the Sewing Machine

I read all the comments and emails about the sewing machine.  There were too many to respond individually so I hope I’ll try to do it here.

The biggest problem with the 1230 is that it needs a new circuit board and Bernina is no longer making them for machines that old.  Rebuilt ones can be gotten but not on demand.  Seems like  you kinda have to get on a waiting list.  I truly don’t blame the repairman.  He pretty much knows what’s wrong with it from the age and my description.  I had asked him to clean and oil it but there’s no use cleaning and oiling it if the circuit board can’t be replaced.  He’s been very nice and apologetic about the amount of time it’s taking and as much as I want my machine back fixed, it just isn’t going to happen in my time frame.

I seriously can buy the 430 and keep Chad in college.  The decision for me is . . I don’t want a new machine; I want my 1230 back fixed like new.   There’s not a single thing a new machine is going to do, on any feature that I would use, any better than my 1230  I’m one of those people who can keep the same car, machine, stove . . whatever . . forever and a day if it’s working.  I don’t care too much about newer, prettier, shiny models.  It’s really hard to replace anything you love so dearly and I do dearly love that 1230.  I’m not sure any new machine would measure up to it.  That 1230 has worked at least 19 years and this is the first time it’s been in the shop for anything .. cleaning, oiling . . nothing!  I doubt there’s a new machine on the market that can hold up to that abuse.  I just want my 1230 back . . fixed!  But, I’m truly not blaming the guy who has it.  They are a Bernina dealer and have given me a price real close to what was offered at Paducah (though I didn’t tell them I had looked at Paducah because I was pretty sure I’d buy from my local dealer).

The price on the Janome 6600 at Paducah was about 1/3 less than the Bernina and it is a very, very nice machine.  But, if I end up getting a machine, my heart tells me it will be the Bernina.



  1. 1

    Pam says

    Have you thought about looking for a used low-mileage 1230? I found one a couple years ago that had been reconditioned for about a $1000. It’s like new. I love, love, love it! Ask around at your Bernina dealer for a trade in or maybe your repairman knows of one.

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    Linda Bishop says

    Hi Judy
    I am surprised you haven’t mentioned the new Bernina 830 or 820. I work for a Bernina Dealer here in New Zealand. We have had an 830 for 4 weeks. Toady an 820 arrived on store. I am in love! I have had a Paff for 9 years and have always said theual feed beats Bernina any day. Now the 830 & 820 have dual feed. Magic!! Fantastic for piecing. Please try one before you decide
    Best wishes
    Taupo New Zealand

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    I have a 1230 too and have been basically told the same thing a few years ago
    So I bought a quilters edition virtuosa 153 and it is the same workhorse my 1230 was.
    I would love to buy the new machine as well, probably will in the next year or two and yes I will stay with Bernina as I just have always been happy with my machines.

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    Have you thought about buying a 1230 on Ebay? I bought a Mechanical Bernina 810 or 811 to bring to sew-ins. I asked lots and lots and lots of questions of the seller. He was a Singer sewing machine guy. I knew exactly what I was getting. It’s been a great machine. I too am a Bernina person. I bought a Janome Jem, but knew instantly that it wouldn’t do. I sold it to my SIL who loves it. There is also a Yahoo group for the older Bernina machines. Folks sell machines on that site, too. I don’t belong to the group anyone, not after I found my 810. Good luck! Like you, I don’t want to stop sewing to learn a new machine. I’m really happy with my Bernina 1530.

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    I can understand your reasoning as I am also one who doesn’t need “new”. Now…the DH is another story…..NEW toys are a “MUST” for him. (I think that might be a guy thing!!!) I can also now better understand why your machine has been at the repair place for two months….didn’t know it was an issue of not being able to get the needed part due to the age of the machine. I have a Singer that is old BUT works well…and even though I love my newer machine, I’d not get rid of this Singer as long as I can keep it running!

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    Judy, I second the “EBay” idea. Why not look for another 1230, for the circuit board if nothing else?

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    I have an Bernina 1130 that I would hate to part with. I am sorry to hear they are no longer making parts. I know and love that machine. I would check EBay.

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    Quiltinggranna says

    My first Bernina was a 1230 and it is truly a workhorse. I have had mine probably 20 years as well, or close to it. But it did go in for regular cleanings/adjustments!!! I still have it, but did jump to the 440 when it came out. I do love the BSR and other new features it has. My husband is very up to date on technology and really spurred me on to upgrade and I’m glad I did. I kept the 1230, couldn’t part with it and would always have it “just in case” and am glad I kept it. Seems to be a favorite among Bernina fans. I also have a Jenome Gem for workshops or classes as well as a Kenmore. All are fine machines and serve their purpose. But if it’s my Bee’s 4-day retreats, I will take my 440 every time. Too many things I would not want to be without.

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    Diann Smith says

    You should have gotten the machine and I would have voted for Janome. First you are worth it!!! Second you could have used the machine to earn back all the money you spent and gotten the good deal at the quilt show..absolutely the best place to get the best deals on machines.
    I treated myself a few years ago at one and then quilted for others on it and paid back my new wood floor, sewing room remodel, earned back all the money spent on all my eight machines, and my Koala cabinet. Once I had earned all that back then I got out of the business of quilting for others and now work only on my own projects. I kept a running talley and it took a few years but I did it so husband could not gripe about “all that I was spending”.
    Your work is so beautiful…get your machine.

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    I’d search for a used 1230! I had the same situation last year….my beloved 1630 bit the dust after about 15 years, and she needed a new circuit board, but the repairman said there were no guarantees how it would work after that, and no warrantee, in spite of the $$$$$$$ repair cost. I looked around for a while for a used 1630, but had no luck and finally decided that all 1630s would be just as old as mine and prone to the same age related problem. In the end, I bought a Janome 6600, which I really like, but a year later, I’m still not as comfortable with it as I was with my 1630.

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    I love newer, shinier, updated stuff — My Elna is still in the shop waiting for a small part but I’m enjoying the new Brother with the knee lift, the thread cutter, and even the choice to use the foot peddle or start button.

    I don’t agonize too much about one brand over another — I think most of them do a fairly good job and we usually grow to love the machine we’re using.

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    Norma Bourgeois says

    Judy, my beloved Pfaff 1475cd bit the dust a couple of months ago. I have the Brother 8500 and Innovis 4000 which are both sewing/embroidery machines. So I’ve tried sewing with them. Both of them sew very well, but just not like my Pfaff with the dual feed. I just can’t get used to them and I hate to say it, but I am in mourning of the passing of my old friend. My baby is in the shop awaiting a new mother board but it may takes months (and $500 +) to get her back working. Pfaff was bought out by Viking, which was then bought out by Singer. They just aren’t supported the way they used to be. So I will be buying a rebuilt board with a 2 yr. warranty – whenever the company gets around to it. Still, I put down my deposit and decided to go with the rebuilt board. It will give me at least 2 more years of happy sewing. I could buy a new Pfaff, but they don’t make them the way they used to. So I feel your pain. I can live with my old (probably 16+ years machine happily ever after if this board gives me the same service the initial one did.
    Norma in BR

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    Sandy Etheridge says

    Hey Judy, When we were at the lake last week, I heard you say your machine was in the shop for 2 months, but didn’t realize we were sisters of the traveling 1230. I have had mine in the shop numerous times about the same issue with the hope that THIS repairman will make her all better again. Bet she needs that circuit board. I have a couple other machines but I always go back to the Bernina. I will be interested to hear how you like your 430. I got my 1230 in ’93 when my mother passed away. Not the best way to acquire one but I love love love that machine. So did Mom. In fact while she was in the hospital, I think she knew she wasn’t going to make it out & said ” Oh, my beautiful Bernina”….