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Quilting Possibilities
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Sewing Machine?

My trusty Elna 7200 is on it's way to the QP Machine Spa, the hospital ward to be exact.  It's definitely having problems and the way I sew on it, it's no wonder.  As you can imagine, I sew  A LOT and, shall we say, I'm not gentle with my machines?  I'm not abusive but I could probably - ok, definitely - clean it more and take it in for service more often.

Right now the foot pedal isn't working.  I sew FAST - hence why I have a machine that sews 1,000 stitches per minute - and having the machine go fast, then slow down, then go a little faster, then speed up to fast again is, how shall I put it?  ANNOYING AS HECK!  To top it off, if it isn't doing that, it's beeping at me, stopping and showing me the knee lever is up.  THE KNEE LEVER IS NOT UP!  Can you tell it was a frustrating sewing morning?

Eleanor Burns signed my machine so it's dear to my heart.  El did a two day workshop for us in 2005 and I took home the machine she used for those two days after she wrote me a note on it.  It's been a workhorse since with not a problem until a few days ago.  I think it's tired.  Maybe a trip to the spa is just what she needs and she'll be fine.

On the other hand . . . . .

Have you looked at the new machines lately?????  So many neat features!  I have to admit I have a laundry list of what a new machine has to have - just in case.
  1. Built in scissors - a DEFINITE.  Love that feature on my current machine and won't buy a new one without it.
  2. Needle Up/Down - goes without saying.  I wish when you turned the machine on, it automatically started with the needle down engaged.
  3. Knee lever - love being able to lift the presser foot without taking my hands off the fabric.  Great control when free motion quilting and chain piecing
  4. A stop/start button.  Sometimes I don't want to use the foot pedal, like when sewing long strips or stippling.
  5. Built in walking foot - ok, I admit I'm lusting after this feature.  The 7200 doesn't have it and I'm just tired of having to put one on and off and having it come loose if I go too fast.
  6. An extended bed.  Have it now and wouldn't buy another machine without it.  Quilting and sewing bulky items is a breeze.
  7. Stitches and more stitches - the more stitches a machine has, the better I like it.  How do you know when you'll want/need 80 million decorative stitches for a project?
  8. Speed - it's got to sew at least 1,000 spm or it's too slow for me.
  9. A motor that can handle qulting for long periods of time
  10. A good feed dog system for great stitch formation.
  11. A low bobbin warning.
A Wish List For Things I'd Love To Have but don't exist - sewing machine companies are you listening????
  1. I don't want it to weigh 400 pounds.
  2. I want it to run off two spools of thread - NO MORE BOBBINS! 
I think if I found a machine that ran off two spools of thread instead of a bobbin and a spool of thread, I might just give up one of the first 11 want/needs and buy a wagon to cart it around if it weighed 400 pounds!

Till next time.


Michelle said...

I agree with all 11 of your points, and a 12th one - no more bobbins. You forgot it needs to be self-threading, though. I would take self-threading over one of the other 11 things easily, but that may be because I have never had a machine with 10 out of the 11. The only thing my machine has on your list is the needle down button, and my machine hates this feature. It messes up almost every time I use it. The final thing I want my next machine to have is the ability to stipple WELL. My stipples, but not very well at all. It is more than impossible to get the tension right for stippling. It is non-negotiable for my next machine to have this capability, and for it to actually work.

Diane McGregor said...

I love your wish list except for the scizzors. I find that my machine seams to create alot of extra thread when I start to sew the next thing. As well it doesn't seem to work with invisible thread in the bobbin.

The other exception is the knee lever. I have pernamently hurt my lower back by excess use of the knee level. My health is more important than that funtion.