Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

At the beginning of the month, Beth from Sew,Mama,Sew asked for sewers to meme (am I using that word correctly?) about their sewing machines.   Here is mine:

What brand and model do you have?

Bernina 440 QE


How long have you had it?

4 years

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

At the time I paid $2499

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

Mostly quilts, quilting, some home dec, doll clothes, gifts

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew daily-mostly on cotton and quilt layers-I try to treat my machine kindly

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

Love my machine-no name!

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

Bernina Stitch Regulator (for quilting)

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

No sensor for an empty bobbin

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it

Not a great story but I traveled 3 and 1/2 hours to buy it because the store was offering 30% discount at the time

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

Yes- It is a great machine for any type of sewing-very dependable

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

A good dealer (I did find one nearer); price; quality of stitching

Do you have a dream machine?

Yes!  I want to get a long arm machine and frame

I also own a Husqvarna Viking Designer 1. 


I bought this machine as used (Viking was offering a workshop which I took and then they sold the machines after-I was the only one who worked on it) in 2000 and I think I paid around $3000,

I really love my Viking although lately I do not use it as often as I use the Bernina.  I just don’t have the room to keep both machines out.  (When Adrienne comes home, she will only use the Viking) The Viking has a special purr when it is running that says “Be nice to me and I will be nice to you!”

The Viking is user friendly and for me very intuitive.  The embroidery unit slides on and off easily and does a beautiful job.  The best part is the sensor system with the presser foot:  if the needle is down and I stop sewing, the presser foot raises just a hair-great for pivoting.  There are three different heights for the presser foot.  I also like the sensor telling me when the bobbin is running low. It has a great selection of fancy stitches and adjusts for different fabrics.  Upgrades and fixes are generally available as a download that you add to the machine using the floppy disk drive on the machine.

Although great for piecing , I have never felt comfortable free motion quilting on my Viking.  That was the main reason I got the Bernina.  I have quilted individual blocks, however, using the embroidery module. 

I know that this machine is old and I have a feeling HV will stop supporting it soon but I am happy with the machine and am not looking to replace it.  I just hope the disk drive does not become obsolete!

So these are my 2 machines that live with me.   Adrienne has my Viking 1+ and an older Viking she calls her workhorse, and my serger.  I guess it is true-you can never have too many sewing machines!!

Technorati Tags:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Showering Good Wishes!

Two weeks ago (yes it has been a long time since I posted) we had a wedding shower for Adrienne,  Maybe I should say her sisters had a shower for her.  Katie and Lauren worked very hard to make the day special.  Here are a few pictures from the party, including my three beautiful girls:

(I am really liking this Windows Live Writer! If you haven’t tried it, you really should.)

Technorati Tags:

A New Quilt Top

Remember this?


These are the strips I sewed together to make a Chinese Coins quilt.  Well, I had gotten some off white fabric to put between the strips and I really hated it. 

Then the quilt began to talk to me.  It did not want to be a boring quilt: it wanted to have applique!  So I went out and bought some green to make a some vines and some leaves.  It was still not happy.  While wandering around my local quilt shop I saw an interesting top with a pieced vine and applique leaves.  I  bought some creamy yellow fabric, went home and  searched for some green fabrics in my stash. Now the quilt top is happy and so am I:


I took my green fabrics and cut them into rectangles and sewed the rectangles into a strip about 30” long.  Then I cut strips 3” wide and pieced each of these strips to be about 90”.  Then I sewed each of the long strips in between 4” strips of the creamy yellow fabric.  When I sewed them, I kind of staggered the greens so they would look more random.

THEN, I cut a whole bunch of leaves from the greens and the leftover fabric from the pink and green strips.  Again I randomly fused  and machine appliqued them to the vines.  I finally put the top together.

I am very happy with how the top turned out.  I found a really neat fabric for the back and am looking forward to machine quilting it.  Oh yes…the quilt is now telling me there should be a feather design in the strippy parts!

(If there is any interest, I will put up a tutorial on how I did the vine and leaves)

Technorati Tags: