Sunday, March 6, 2011

WOE! The battery for my beloved camera (I'm not kidding, I love it, it's called My Squishy) just stopped recharging right as I had a bunch of things I wanted to take pictures of, so bear with me on the phone cam shots while I wait for the new batteries.

Now, first things first, my new quilting BFF:

(is it not obscenely sexy?)

I only took up quilting about a year and a half ago, but I've been sewing one thing or another for twenty years. Mostly medieval reenactment clothing and bags for armor and archery equipment, but the occasional more structured item would sneak in there.

For those things the throat space on your machine isn't a big deal. And though I occasionally got frustrated with lack of power and the tendency to burn out the motor 2ft from the end of satin-stitching a 25yd hem skirt (about which I am STILL bitter) I managed to get by with $98 Wal-Mart Singers and steel-head mechanical machines from my youth. Okay, from my mother's youth. But man those things are like old Volvos, they just go and go and go until you get too big for your britches and think you can fix something yourself and snap the belt on the 1977 Viking.


Honestly, I still have three of those old steel-head machines in my basement. The snapped-belt Viking, a semi-industrial Singer from the mid-60's that still runs like a top, and a Pfaff which we call "haunted" because of a short in the power cord. You might not notice such a short in the cord until one day when you're alone in the sewing room and you finish sewing a piece and you turn around to iron it and the machine suddenly takes two more slow stitches. At which point you will REALLY notice, and possibly scream like a little girl.


When I took up quilting I did fine on my existing machines until I decided to try free-motion quilting at which point I bought a Brother that came with the right feet and could actually do the stitches, more expensive than any machine I'd bought so far but still less than my average electricity bill. Lately though I've been having trouble with the power. When going over a seam it would loose oompf and dodge to the left. The resulting seam allowance can best be described with the technical term "hinky."

I sat and thought about what I wanted in a machine. Two decades and two separate hobbies that involve sewing mean that spending some actual money on this machine wouldn't be a waste of money. Even if I gave up quilting (gasp, wheeze) I'd still have to make garb for reenactments and frankly, I just like sewing.

I thought about my actual BFF and the machine she bought (a Pfaff 4.0) and how much she loved it, how much the technology actually helped her. I thought about how much I loved the Brother when it was new and the motor still had some balls to it. I thought about the phrase my friend Jeff uses when playing cards with me - go high or go home.

And I bought the Janome Horizon 7700. Going from the Brother to the Horizon is like trading in your asthmatic old Geo Prism for a Rolls Royce. It's just completely changed my sewing life.
Eleven inches to the right of the needle, 5 LED lights, 254 stitches, dual feed 1/4" foot, it's like someone read my mind. It's possible that I pet it lovingly as I walk by.


Next post it's back to the actual quilts with pictures of my finished Apple Pie (it's getting binding finished today!) , my Schnibble salute to Spring, and hopefully my finished quilt plagiarism project provided the border fabric gets here tomorrow or the day after.

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