I am pleased to report that I am possibly one of the first people to review the new Baby Lock Crescendo sewing machine.
You seldom get a chance to review a sewing machine that is so new, the dealer doesn’t even have any promotional materials yet, but that’s exactly what happened on a recent visit to Cynthia’s Fine Fabrics in South Florida. The Crescendo from Baby Lock is promoted as the Maestro of Quilting, and it very well might be just that.
At A Glance
The first thing I noticed was the brilliant full color LED screen. Mind you, I’ve seen many, many color LED screens before this one but for some reason, the screen on the Crescendo is far more eye catching than many others I’ve seen.
Then there are the laser pen attached to the side of the column and the over sized digital dual feed attached to the presser foot. A sewing machine with laser technology is definitely a first.
So is this particular dual feed attachment. More on both these innovative features and how they work below.
This machine is so new Cynthia had not yet even received promotional material for it on the day I visited. According to information found on the Baby Lock website, the Crescendo possibly has more features than any other home sewing machine on the market.
The impressive list of technological, sewing, quilting and machine features that appears below is taken directly from the Baby Lock website:
- LCD Color Touch Screen with touch pen
- Shows 260,000 colors
- Measures 7” diagonally
- Clock and Date
- Guide Beam for precision alignment of stitches
- Sensor Pen allows you to set preferences on your fabric to:
- Set a guideline for sewing
- Select the needle position location
- Select custom zigzag widths
- Choose an ending point on the fabric for stitches to stop sewing
- Enhanced Stadium Lighting™ for brighter true color LED lighting of 10” around the needle
- Digital Dual-Feed System ensures utmost fabric control when feeding layers or difficult fabric types
Key Quilting and Sewing Features
- 573 Built-in stitches including
- 137 Utility with 14 one-step buttonhole styles
- 283 Decorative
- 20 Satin
- 61 Decorative satin
- 14 Cross
- 58 Combinable Utility stitches
- 5 Built-in alphabets
- Maximum utility stitch width: 7mm
- Stitch length 0.0mm – 5.0mm
- Digital Dual-Feed System ensures all layers feed evenly
- NeverMiss™ needle threader
- Automatic thread cutter
- Independent bobbin winder motor and Quick-Set, top-loading bobbin
- Advanced Pivoting Feature
- Automatic Fabric Sensor System adjusts presser foot pressure and tension to deliver perfect stitch
- Ergonomic hands-free presser foot lift with extra high setting 10mm automatic and 13mm manual
- 11.25” Workspace to the right of the needle
- Sewing speed up to 1,050 spm
- Automatic drop feed
Convenient Machine Features
- Convenient one-touch buttons for
- Reverse sewing
- Reinforcement stitch
- Needle up/down
- Thread cutter
- Automatic presser foot lift
- Auto threading
- Quick-Set bobbin winder
- Needle plate with scale in inches and centimeters
- Additional seam markings on bobbin cover for needle position preference
- Quilting extension table for larger work area
- Free arm
- Two accessory storage compartments
Advanced Machine Features
- 2 USB drives: 1 (Type A) drive, connects with a mouse and flash drives and 1 (Type B) USB direct connect to a PC
- Utility stitch editing capabilities
- Store personal stitch settings for each Utility stitch on machine
- Decorative stitch editing capabilities
- Back to the Beginning key, returns to the beginning of a decorative stitch pattern
- Edit and combine Character/Decorative stitches
- 24 Memory Pockets for Character/Decorative stitches equaling 1 MG
- Store additional stitch combinations on your PC using the 2 USB ports
- Mirror-image capability for stitches
- Lock key for stitches keeps current settings
- Variable needle positions
- Programmable needle up/down
- Upper and lower thread sensors to alert when threads are broken
- Lateral and diagonal feeding
- Fully automatic built-in darning
- Twin needle settings
- Language conversion capabilities (13 languages)
- Warranty (25-year limited, 10-year parts, 5-year computer circuit, 5-year electrical, 1-year labor)
- Optional Gold Standard Comprehensive Care Program
Instructional and Help Resources
- Built-in Help Messages
- Built-in Operational Guide
- Built-in Sewing Application Guide
Working on the Baby Lock Crescendo
In addition to its new technological features on the Baby Lock Crescendo, the top cover comes completely off to allow you to mount large thread cones directly onto the machine.
For years, I’ve used stationary or portable cone thread stands. With this subtle change, those stands are not necessary when using the Crescendo.
Possibly the simplest thing about this multifunction sewing and quilting machine is the threading process and winding the drop in bobbin. The good news here is an independent motor enables you to wind bobbins while you are sewing.
Thread guides make threading the Crescendo so easy, even a rank beginner can master the task. However, once you get pass those steps, almost everything you ever knew about operating a sewing machine pretty much goes out the window.
If you have ever had difficulty using a seam guide – either attached to the machine or etched onto the needle plate, then this one may be for you.
The Baby Lock Crescendo is equipped with a tiny red laser beam that literally lights the way, guiding you along the exact stitch line.
This feature is not only a great advantage when stitching in the ditch and quilting, when traditional seam guides may not be visible it is also useful in performing many other sewing tasks as well.
Then there’s the touch pen. Not only can it be used to guide you through the functions of stitch selection, adjusting stitch length and width and other tasks that are performed by accessing the many options on the touch screen, this one can also be used to set stop points on your sewing project.
In other words, if you are creating pintucks, for instance, you can simply touch the pen to the point on your fabric where you want your stitch line to stop and it will work with the Crescendo’s built in laser technology to stop at the precise point you identify. No more measuring and marking or pinning.
I watched as Cynthia zipped through a series of stitches using this feature and I was almost literally dumbstruck by the way the machine made a perfectly straight row of stitches and stopped at an invisible end point each and every time.
The detachable digital dual feed is possibly the most innovative feature for the home quilter yet. Like nearly all dual feed systems, the new Baby Lock digital dual feed system is designed to assist you feed ‘difficult fabric or multiple thick layers’ with ease.
The primary difference, it seems, is that the Baby Lock digital dual feed system is a cut above all other existing dual feed systems to date.
This new feature seems like a great idea that has the potential for making thick coats, working on heavy quilts and other very heavy or thick sewing projects possible on the Crescendo.
It’s so new, however, that it must be put to the test in actual home situations before I can attest to its true usefulness.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
As one would expect, a machine this innovative comes with an equally impressive list of standard accessories. They include:
- Sensor Pen and holder
- Touch pen (stylus)
- USB cable
- Knee lift
- 17 Presser Feet
- Digital Dual-Feed System Foot
- 1/4” Quilting foot with a guide
- Blind stitch
- Button fitting
- Free-motion quilting
- Free-motion open toe quilting
- Free-motion echo quilting
- Straight stitch foot
- Specialty bobbin case for bobbin work
- Cord guide bobbin cover
- Straight stitch needle plate
- Soft cover for machine
- Seam ripper
- Twin needle
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
Watching this machine go through its paces, reading about it and learning about all the new features is at times mind boggling.
To be honest, watching the laser light, sensor pen and digital dual feed in action might lead one to be a bit wary about stepping up to the Baby Lock Crescendo.
This machine hasn’t been on the market long enough for anyone to say that these brand new features will stand the test of time or even work the way they are supposed to when you get the machine home.
The Crescendo is definitely not for the beginner or even the intermediate home sewer. Nor do I recommend it for anyone who may be the least bit intimidated by 21st Century technology. Working with new technology is sometimes challenging for the most adventurous of people.
My concern is that if someone who is not adventurous would be so intimidated by all the new bells and whistles on the Crescendo from Baby Lock that they might give up on trying to use it before giving it the time it deserves to prove itself in a home sewing room.
If, however, you are the type of home sewer who is looking for a machine that is definitely state of the art, then the Crescendo from Baby Lock might be just the machine for you. I give it three stars for ease of operation because of all the new technology.
There is a definite learning curve here. If you expect to take the Crescendo home and sit right down and get to work, then you will be disappointed. I believe that if you take time to learn this machine from stem to stern before attempting to use it, you could be very happy with your choice.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Full color LCD display screen
- Laser technology
- Lots and lots of brand new technological features to learn