Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When a good machine grows older...

 This is my sewing machine. I use it every day that I'm home. Every day, the two of us sit down together and make stuff. Until we met, I was sewing on a 1948 Singer. That was a good machine but it was never hired to do free motion or work with metallic threads and it resisted having those thrown into it's job description.

After hearing cursing coming from the sewing hole for the meeelionth time, DH said, "maybe it's time for a new machine" Wooosh! The sound of me closing the front door and the tires squealing out of the driveway!

I am a good shopper, and had decided I wanted a Bernina in this line months earlier but the money, oy!
This time, the line was being closed out and I got this machine for nearly half price. SCORE!

It was so fancy I was afraid of it for a month. (I know, the neurosis gets in my way) This was in 1998.
 When I began to see the merits of this fancy machine, I grew to love it. So much so that when I began to hear stories of motherboards going out I went into denial...that will never happen here at Chez Paylor.

A year ago my machine went crazy. It all started with the needle position jumping around by itself. That's an unnerving noise, to be standing at the cutting table, look over and the needle is jumping back and forth.
It quickly escalated into refusal to do any stitch.

I considered buying a new machine, and couldn't decide what to do, but ran across Hinkletown Sewing Center in PA who replaces the boards with reconditioned ones. I got that done, and went home expecting to sew for years with my newly happy machine.

Last weekend I heard the needle jump again. Then the screen went out, then it left the stitch I was using and returned to home... oh, no!! It's only been a year!  The resident electrical engineer said they fixed the problems with the motherboard, but the rest of it remained old, and will continue to break down.

I'm old school, I thought this fancy machine would last my sewing career. DH says electronics break down, and I just had to pass through the stages of loss to acceptance.

But but...
I'm now in the market for something comparable. I will be out a lot of money. I hope I like it as much. I don't want a learning curve, I want to sit down and sew.  Especially don't want to open a manual!
I do want to sew, every day.

This is one of my dolls, a hydrangea. Doesn't she have just the same attitude I do??  ( btw, I teach a doll-making class using the pattern Flora Bunda by Barbara Willis  SEE HERE )  I have a garden of dolls because I love flowers, and they have personality.

Happy sewing, LeeAnna


  1. Pick a day, get some of the materials you sew regularly together and take yourself off to the sewing machine stores and try several. Don't let me make you hesitant about choosing a Janome. Maybe you don't need the tip of the line Janome or any machine . Maybe something less costly that does what you want it to do is just right for you. While I love my Janome, I brought a HQ Sweet 16 in a sit down table to quilt my work not because I no longer like my 7700, but because I needed more room between the needle and the motor housing. Good luck and will keep up with you on your blog to see what you get. Juanita

    1. that's great advice J
      I'll let you know!!

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  2. It's really hard to buy a new machine, especially when you have had a long relationship with another one...I have an older Pfaff machine that is totally mechanical, no fancy stitches, but does FM quilting beautifully, so I use it most of the time and hope it lasts forever.

    I also have a fancier electronic Pfaff that I don't love, so I just use it for stitches like the double blanket stitch---feeling like I wasted my money with it. I looked into the Bernina 1008, a workhorse mechanical machine, but it was just too expensive for me. I did get a used Janome 1200 mid-arm machine recently, just haven't had the nerve to use it yet, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. Good luck, hope you find something you're happy with, it's not an easy task!