Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Wee Bump in the Road

I went back into the sewdio today to work out the piece I had in my head for the next SAQA Trunk Show.  The piece needs to measure 7" x 10" in "portrait" orientation, and has to be finished and mailed in time for the SAQA Trunk Show team to receive it on or before January 31, 2014.

I decided to do another Tree Study, based on yet another tree in my yard.  Well...the best laid plans...

Back Story:

I have two Husqvarna sewing machines -- a 225 (mechanical) bought some time in the mid-nineties, second-hand, from my neighbour.  She was a teacher in the Kids Can Sew program, and had to turn her machines over every 3 years.  The first time she did so, she thought of me -- and sold me the 225 at her cost: $600 CAD.  That was the most I'd ever spent on a sewing machine, but I was thrilled -- not because of the fancy stitches, but because this machine had a free-arm, and I was still garment sewing.  Ah...set-in sleeves done more easily!  I was in heaven.

About 10 years later, my dear mother died (January 2004), and I inherited some money.  I decided to spend some it on an up-graded sewing machine and a table to go with it -- one in which I could set the machine so I had a level sewing/quilting surface.  By this time I was essentially "out" of garment-sewing and "into" quilting -- both traditional and arty.  I bought a Husqvarna Lily on sale -- because they were going out of production, to be replaced by the Sapphire.  I didn't want an embroidery machine, but still wanted one with a few more features.  This one has a free-arm, 'needle down', and beautiful blanket and satin stitches.  In heaven again!  I kept the 225 for retreats and classes, and kept the precious Lily at home.

Fast forward to 2013.  I've taken care of these machines, ensuring they had regular 'tune-ups' and repairs as needed.  This year the Lily got a new foot pedal.  As I write, the 225 is in the shop, awaiting installation of a broken part that had to be hunted down because they don't make them any more.  One was found in Toronto, but with one thing and another, the machine's not quite ready yet.

When I was working on the Magic Tiles quilt before Christmas, I noticed the Lily was skipping stitches on occasion.  I put it down to lint, the needle, the foot...and gave it extra TLC.  It wasn't consistent.  I figured I'd have it looked at, at the next tune-up, generally in April.

But this afternoon...

She got me through the creation of the piece, to the point where it was trimmed to size and I was applying a facing...and then she decided to "eat" some thread...and stopped sewing altogether.  I managed to remove some thread that I could see seemed to be tangled inside, but I'm quite sure there's some still wound up in there somewhere.

I called my local repair guy (where the 225 is already) and left a message.  The shop was either closed for the holidays, or open and they were serving a customer -- there was no way to know.

I waited an hour, and drove the 43 km (25 miles) to Stettler to the shop.  Closed.  Sigh.  I drove home.

I've arranged to borrow a machine -- yes, a Husqvarna -- from a dear friend, and hope to be able to get to Red Deer on Monday to the larger repair shop...

But something tells me...I might be investing in a new machine...and it may not be a Husqvarna, as they seem to favour all the gizmos for embroidery which I don't want (the pleasure of embroidery for me is reserved to the 'by hand' variety).

In advance of that possibility, has anyone any recommendations?  (NOTE: I would like a machine that comes well equipped with feet and doesn't require shelling out dollars for every little feature.)  Thanks!


Mystic Quilter said...

Margaret I have had Bernina machines for the past 45/46 years, I have two machines at the moment the Aurora 440 Quilters Edition and a Virtuosa 155.
Both came with a lovely package of feet, buttonhole attachment and so on. A walking foot came with the package. I have never, ever had anything go wrong, just have them serviced - when I remember! They do have some decorative stitches but are definitely not embroidery type machines. I bought a straight stitch throat plate for each machine, they come with the standard for straight and zig-zag. I love them to bits!!!!

els said...

I love my Bernina 550 QE (Quilters Edition).
Quilting with the BSR foot is such a pleasure.

Wil said...

I have the Janome 6600 and I love it. It can handle garment sewing :-) and is also great for quilting (has a 6" throath).

California Fiber artist and composer said...

I am another Bernina revolutionized my quilting when I went from an old Singer to a Bernina. Look at the 350 and the 5 series, or if you really want to splurge the 7 series. Some of the 350s are coming with a quilters package. The downside is price, and the 350s are a bit smaller than the 5 series. I have used the Janome 6500 and 6600 and the Horizon and am not impressed. However the most important thing may be the dealer---you want good dealer support and lessons etc so you may need to go by the dealer you like.

Kaylene said...

Hi Margaret, I hope you have sorted out your problems, nothing is more frustrating than machines that play up. Happy New Year