About three or four months ago, I was able to buy a new sewing machine. I've had a Viking Lily for close to 15 years. It has been a very good machine, but I wanted one with a bigger throat area. I spent about a year and a half researching different brands--looking on quilt forums and talking to company reps at quilt shows.
At the beginning of this search, I was pretty sure I wanted another Viking. However, over time I heard nothing but positive comments about Janome. There happens to be a Janome dealer here in town; he is the person I've taken my machines to for cleaning and maintenance as well as any repairs needed. My mom used to take her Elna to him for servicing also. He does a great job.
So in the end, I decided on a Janome Horizon 8900QCP and have no regrets at all. It is a fantastic machine!
Some of the features I especially like are the needle threader (my eyes don't work as well as they used to, so this is very nice), the thread cutter (which is also a big thread saver), and the exterior spool holder. The foot pedal is extra wide, there are two needle plates that are so easy to change, and the machine has 4 or 5 lights to make sewing and quilting much easier. The acrylic extension table came with it, and after using this I would never want to be without one again. The extra space and support it gives are wonderful.
There is also a knee lift, which I'm just beginning to use. There are so many more features that I haven't even had time to explore yet. The cost of this sewing machine was a bit higher than I originally wanted to pay, but I am so glad I didn't settle for anything less than what I really wanted.
As you can tell, I am happy, happy, happy with this new sewing machine!
I am linking up with http://www.sewmamasew.com/2013/10/sewing-machine-reviews
and also with http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com/2013/10/find-friend-friday-and-ask-world_18.html