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TOPIC: Babylock Crescendo

Babylock Crescendo 01 Jan 2018 22:46 #143108

Hi, I got a Babylock Crescendo about 13 months ago. When FEW it skips stitches - a lot. I just had it's one year tune up and it worked fine for the first few days. But now it's back to skipping. The thread I'm using is Superior and my hand and machine speed are in sync. Has anyone else had problems like this with their BL Crescendo?
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Babylock Crescendo 23 Feb 2017 12:21 #140012

  • Cindyaziah
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I also have the Babylock Cresendo and I love love love it ! My fav part the auto pivot. I do a lot of appliqué and this is a huge huge deal. Sad part is I had to get a new sewing desk , oh boo hoo ...lol For the love of sewing !
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Babylock Crescendo 23 Feb 2017 12:04 #140011

Thank you for you insights. I really appreciate your comments.
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Babylock Crescendo 20 Feb 2017 10:20 #139989

  • kathyst2
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I just realized that I didn't post a followup about which machine I ended up going with- thanks for the reminders :) . I did get the Crescendo after much hemming and hawing over it. I liked the sound of the Babylock versus the stepper motors of the Janome. I've had it for 3 months now, have made 5 quilts on it, and am happy with it. The laser has turned out to be very helpful- I used it when walking foot quilting 3 of the quilts to keep the line of sewing straight. I also use it when sewing the binding together. The babylock has a bi level foot that I use when machine sewing the last step in binding that makes it so easy to do. I normally hand sew bindings, however for baby quilts it seemed like a good idea to sew entirely by machine. It's a real pleasure to sew on this machine.

I FMQ on my Handiquilter Sweet 16 so haven't tried out the free motion capabilities of the Crescendo yet, I intend to try it out in the future.

Kathy
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Babylock Crescendo 20 Feb 2017 09:08 #139988

  • Louise
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Hi Kathy-
First of all, odds are that you really can't make a mistake since you are considering high end machines. So relax a little. I've been sewing for over 50 years, and have found that once you've gone out and tested several machines, it usually comes down to the machine you feel most comfortable operating. Hands on research is always best. I've never owned a Janome, so what follows is my experience with the Babylock Crescendo.

As far as my Babylock Crescendo, after several years, I'm still very happy with it. There have been no major repairs, and I have it tuned up every year. I really like the Free Motion set up better than on other machines I've used. To me, it's more straight forward and less cumbersome. I've gotten to the point where I just use the stitch regulator part of the set up which controls the speed of the machine, since I've gotten better at moving my hands at a constant rate. The overall stitch quality has always been excellent. As far as the perfect quarter inch seam, I'm a believer that consistency is more important than trying to micro manage a 1/4". (Takes all the fun out of quilting.) I have found that 1/4" differs slightly from one machine to another, anyway. Once you've established what ever your 1/4" looks like, you just need to use that for the entire project, and there should be no problem fitting pieces together.

I've also heard that Babylock and Brother are manufactured by the same company. From what I've been able to observe, the differences lie in the "bells and whistles" on the machines. The Crescendo has a really nifty automatic needle threader -- which actually works. Put the thread through the thread guides, push a button and your needle is threaded. I don't believe the Brother has that feature. The Crescendo also has the automatic thread cutter. I'm not sure if the Brother has that feature, either. When I was testing machines and found that the quality was just about equal between machines, the automatic thread cutter and needle threader sold me. Both features save time and thread. In addition, with the automatic cutter, you don't get those "thread nests" that can occur when beginning a seam.

In summary, you need to decide what features you like and actually need for the kind of sewing you do. I sew every day, so my machine gets a lot of use and certain time saving features are important to me. Things like a large work surface and good lighting are also important to me, especially as I get older. (The old eyes need all the help they can get.) You're right that a sewing machine these days is a major investment. Any of the machines you are considering should provide a good experience for you. The decision usually comes down to the difference between "wants" and "needs." Good Luck.

Niagara Falls, New York
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Babylock Crescendo 19 Feb 2017 21:08 #139981

Hi Kathyst2 - I am faced with the same machine quandry as yourself. I have had a older Janome for many years and now am considering a Janome 9400 vs a BabyLock Crescendo. I am wondering what you finally decided to buy and what was the determining factor for you? I only tried both out in the store, and seemed to get a better quality FMQ stitch with the Babylock, but inasmuch as I am a novice here with FMQ, I am not sure if the thread and the fabric sample were the reasons why the Janome didn't look as good. I hear what you said about the thickness of the laser pointer and wonder if I really need this feature. I always got a perfect 1/4" seam on my Janome with the 1/4" foot and hear what you said about the Crescendo 1/4" seam that you finally worked out with the the Q3 stitch in a right needle position. Which machine did you finally decide to purchase and are you happy? What are your observations now since you last posted in November?
Do anyone else have any comments about the Babylock Crescendo vs. the Janome 9400? I just heard that Babylock and Brother Sewing are manufactured by the same parent company. I have read online that Brother has a lesser quality reputation than Janome and I am concerned about the quality and longevity if I were to purchase a Babylock sewing machine. These machines are both very expensive and I don't want to make a mistake.
Thank you for any helpful advice here.
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Babylock Crescendo 30 Nov 2016 22:32 #138716

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Louise, I'm glad to read this thread as I am considering a Babylock Crescendo. I've had Janomes for many years, just got a 9400. It sews beautifully, but the servo motors make noise when raising the presser foot manually, or when starting up after stopping stitching for a second. The noise is definitely interfering with my enjoyment of sewing! My dealer also carries the Babylock line and has kindly allowed me to try out a Crescendo for a day. I like the stitch quality and the lack of noise ( I turned off the beeps). It seems like i have an easier time getting a good quarter inch seam on the Janome and it doesn't sew over bumps as easily as the Janome. I tried the laser pointer, the line seems pretty thick for accuracy. I wanted to ask you if you are happy with the seaming and if you have any tips for that. I did try the Q3 (?) stitch which is a right needle position with the regular presser foot that gives a nice easy to see quarter inch. Thanks for any input you might want to give me, Kathy
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 26 Nov 2016 15:47 #138692

Thanks! I've found that so many reviews on forums such as this one are done by people who have only had their machine for a few weeks, at most, so I appreciate your perspective after having owned it and used it for a few years!
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 26 Nov 2016 11:50 #138686

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A definite yes! I still love the machine and have had no problems with it. I sew practically every day, so the machine gets tons of use. The thread cutter is perfectly fine. It's one of the features I like best about the machine. It seems like such a little thing, but over the course of many hours of sewing, it saves time and hassle. It also eliminates all the "thread nests" that can occur. As for the quality of the quilting stitches, I've found that it has much more to do with finding the right combination of needle and thread for the fabric and batting that you are using. I know when we see demonstrations at shows or on computer/tv screens, it always looks so perfect, but it really does take some experimenting/trial and error. I have the machine tuned up every year, so that insures good quality stitches and operation, as well.

I know how hard it is to make a decision about buying a machine. It's a BIG expense for most of us, so it does pay to talk to people, and most of all work with a dealer that is really interested in your needs.

Niagara Falls, New York
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 26 Nov 2016 07:50 #138683

Just curious - after using this machine for a few years, are you still happy with it? I have heard that the thread cutter cuts the thread too short unless you use a fine quality thread. I've also read some reviews that say that the free motion quilting quality is poor.
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 29 Jan 2015 08:13 #126806

Hi Louise
I'm working with Sandy this week to trade in my other machine and start over with a Babylock. She offered a much better trade-in value than our other dealer. I've heard very good comments about Babylock and Sandy and I'm happy to read your comments, too
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 09 Jul 2014 08:52 #119510

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Hi Susan -- You're most welcome. I didn't experience any bugs during the year. By the way, Babylock also makes it easy to update the machine with any software improvements they make. You can download the patch onto a flash drive then plug the flash drive into your machine, and the update is transferred.

I'm also in my senior years, and I agree that we need to do everything we can to keep up our mental and physical strength -- even if means moving our sewing machine around a bit. Good luck in your quest to find the perfect machine.

Niagara Falls, New York
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 08 Jul 2014 14:22 #119496

Hi Louise, Thank you for your reply and advice. I was happy to see that you have had it for a year and are very happy with the machine. I have heard that the first year the machine is out, any bugs are found and worked out by the following year. It does not sound there were any bugs. A heavy machine is not an issue for me, because in my senior years I want to maintain muscle strength. In appreciation, Susan in Southern California
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Re: Babylock Crescendo 08 Jul 2014 12:00 #119492

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Nothing like answering my own questions. I posted this over a year ago, and since then I have actually purchased the Crescendo. I'm very happy with the machine. First off, be sure that you do some comparison shopping regarding price, if you have some competitive dealers in your area. One of the problems with these high end dealers is that they have exclusive territory, so it's difficult to deal. I was lucky. The first dealer I went to for a demonstration was really awful. They made a good price offer, but I was able to locate a much friendlier and cooperative dealer who agreed to match the price. This dealer was also very responsive when ever I had any questions that needed answering after the purchase. (For anyone in the Western New York area, the dealer I worked with was Sandy Pirdy at Creekside Quilting in Arcade, New York.)

Second, be sure to go in for a demonstration. There are a ton of features on the machine, and you want to be sure that you will use all or most of them. No sense spending all that money for features you'll never use. My machine does NOT have the embroidery features on it, which was just fine with me. I'm a long time sewer and knew that machine embroidery didn't interest me. There are lots of regular sewing stitches and decorative stitches on the machine which I use. I did, however, purchase the free motion quilting kit, which I found very helpful in improving my quilting and keeping my stitches uniform. Like all free motion quilting, it still takes some practice with this equipment.

The things I like best about the machine: Lighting is wonderful! The older I get, the more I realize that I need more light to comfortably see what I'm doing and to continue to sew for long periods of time without getting fatigued. The bed of the machine is nice and big. It really does make a difference. I'm absolutely crazy about the automatic thread cutter!!! Over the course of a project, it saves lots of time and thread mess. It's also nice that it cuts the thread just the right length, so that you never get any of those nasty thread nests when you start the next seam! The automatic needle threader is absolutely super. It is really and truly automatic -- the machine practically threads itself. The Crescendo, is also very substantial -- read heavy. For me this is a plus because it's very stable, and I have no plans to tote it around to classes. Of course, everything on the machine is electronic, and it is very easy to use. In addition, it comes with a great user's manual, which is very well written with good illustrations. Of course, as with most higher end machines, the stitch quality is just wonderful. I'm especially impressed with the buttonhole set up and stitch quality on buttonholes. When ever I buy a new machine, I always look at how easy they make sewing the buttonholes and what the stitches look like. Nothing like spending hours on a project and having it look shabby because the buttonholes are a mess.

Hope this is helpful. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email me.

Niagara Falls, New York
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