Monday, February 16, 2015

In a bind

The simple quicky quilt is close to being finished.  My daughter put her name on this one while she was here this weekend.   As soon as I can whip together a new quilt for my Spiderman loving grandson, both will be shipped to their new home.
This quilt could have been finished yesterday but....


And its a big BUTT, that's putting it nicely.  I was just stitching along and my sewing machine made the most horrible noises and locked up.  Of course it locked up with the needle down in the quilt.  This machine is only 3 or 4 years old, there's absolutely no reason why should behave this way.  I don't take my machines in for the yearly checkup.  With the older machines it wasn't necessary.  And it should still be that way unless the computer parts on the machine fails.  In my failed attempt to fix her I found that about half of her gears are plastic.  For almost $900 I got plastic!  NEVER AGAIN will I purchase a new machine.  They are good for the fancy stitches and that's about it.  And really how often do we use them?  The auto cutter hasn't worked right for about 2 years, and I've had to program my own tiny blanket stitch because the MAN who designed the blanket stitch on this machine decided I didn't need to make a tiny stitch.  Obviously he's never heard of invisible machine applique.
It costs $100 for the yearly inspection, cleaning and setting the timing.  Additional charges for any broken plastic and labor.  Now should get her fixed and sell her then buy a good old fashion simple low maintenance machine or should I keep the high maintenance pain in the rear?  


Why did I give my good girl away(below).  She never gave me trouble.  It was one of the machines from my high school.  When the school bought new machines they were going to toss these in the trash.  So a friend took one thinking she would use it, a year later she gave it to me.  Oh well, live and learn.  For now I'm sewing on the other money pit you see in the background.  


~ Lea Anne ~
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16 comments:

  1. Dealing with mechanical issues is NOT FUN!! Especially when you are on a roll and want to get something finished. I do take my machine in about every 18 months for a good cleaning and service, but it is expensive. And plastic parts!!! Drives me crazy, too. From the glimpse of your quilt... it's another beauty!

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  2. big Bummer!!! I am glad you could figure out how to get your quilt out though....

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  3. big Bummer!!! I am glad you could figure out how to get your quilt out though....

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  4. Ouch - hate it when machine troubles mean you fall out of love with your machine and they are crazy money these days too! Hope you got the quilt out from under it ok!

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  5. I'm working on the one I learned on, my Mom's machine. It's a Singer 401A. The most trouble I've had with it is finding additional bobbins. It takes a size 66 and I bought 66es from JoAnn's, but they don't fit... I have more bobbins somewhere in my sewing room, but I can't find them.
    When I got the machine - my sister had it for a long time and didn't want it anymore, she kept the treadle - my hubby took it for a cleaning and inspection (since it was shipped UPS) and the fix it guy said it was worth more than all the other machines in the shop for reliability. I wouldn't let the movers touch it, and didn't let anyone help me move the cabinet either.
    You will have to look for a while, but you might check with Cheryl of Cheryl's Teapots to Quilts (?). She buys at her thrift shop and refurbishes old reliables. She and some friends of hers have dozens of machines that they are looking to sell.... You will find something there that won't cost and arm and leg, has metal parts and doesn't need that yearly maintenance charge.
    Hope this helps you out.
    Hugs

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  6. Oh your post just made me sick to my stomach. I have an 855 which is about 7 years old. (I have never had her serviced). I hardly ever sew on it, I have a bunch of old Singer machines from pre -1960's that I sew on.

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  7. that's my Janome. all plastic. just praying for my brother i'm sure he has plastic parts to. i read a blog post that said any thing under 500 dollars was just junk , but seams like junk is all you can buy these days.

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    1. My sewing machine fix it guy told me Janome was metal not plastic like Brothers. Also Amazon shows the metal foundation on their Janomes....so am surprised your Janome is plastic. Which model do you have? I'm thinking of getting one, and it's $499. So I'd appreciate an answer if possible. Thanks.
      Rae (nrhaller@aol.com)

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  8. My preference for all of my straight stitch sewing is a 301 Singer. Straight stitch only and all metal. I have 2 I got by watching my local Craigs List ads, and paid less that $100 total for both of them. Found a 401 that uses cams for decorative stitches for $75. Gave her to a friend that wants to learn to sew, and was going to buy a hundred dollar "Walmart Special" and i steered her away from that as quickly as I could... My suggestion would be to get your machine fixed, and keep it for any decorative stitching you may need to do, and scout your Thrift shops and Craigs List for a 301. They are work horses and easily maintained at home.

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  9. That sucks. I agree nothing like a metal part to endure wear and tear.

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  10. They certainly don't make them like they used to. I've wished more than once that I had kept my mom's old singer.

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  11. I've had a lot of computerized machines over the last 14 years and I've gotten rid of all of them...including a Janome 6600. I've wasted so much money on machines that I thought I just had to have but I never "bonded" with any of them. Too many decorative stitches that I never used. My favorite machine that I use all the time is a Brother PQ1500S. I totally love this machine. It has a beautiful, consistent straight stitch, which is all I need. The machine is all metal, needle down, cutter (which I don't use), and knee-lift (which I don't use either). The 9" throat is good for quilting and it's a heavy machine, which means it doesn't "dance" around. I learned on a mechanical machine so it wasn't a difficult thing to do. I will never again buy a computerized machine.

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  12. That quilt is going to be so pretty! I'm sorry about your sewing machine. I do understand the frustration. Twelve years ago I bought a new sewing machine (computerized). I spent $3,000 on it. A big investment but one I "thought" would last a lifetime. Two years later the computer broke. I made sure I turned the sewing machine off when I wasn't sewing in case of a power surge (that could damage computer.) It would have been $1,000 to fix this machine! I decided to get a featherweight to straight stitch tops. She was made in 1937 and in fabulous condition. Only a few visible pin marks, runs like a champ and purrs like a kitten. I paid $250 for her. The lady who owned her had passed away and bought the machine 2nd hand in the early 40's. She made her children's clothes and quilts with this little machine. A few years later my husband surprised me with a Singer 301. These are my go to machines now. Well made, sturdy and easy to repair. I wish you the best in your search for a new sewing machine.

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  13. Oh you poor thing. I have a Juki and have loved it since day one. I clean and oil her but never take her in, they might do something to her. It only has a straight stitch and a walking foot. I do not miss any other stitches. This is heavy and flies like the wind. I never plan on getting another machine. Hope you can figure it out.

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  14. Bummer. I hate buying anything these days! I get sick when I have to get a new appliance. I recommend the Juki, I have a Viking Mega Quilter that I use for EVERYTHING. Only a straight stitch, but never breaks down and can sew through anything. The equivilant is the Pfaff Grand Quilter, they are made in the same factory, I heard, along with a Janome? On the same base. Simple, HEAVY, steel. I had the Pfaff for quilting on the frame, then my girlfriend was selling her Viking, which I knew she only used about 10 times, so I bought it and sold my Pfaff to a friend. Any of them are wonderful!

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  15. I have a Bernina 1630 that I've had since the 90's. I had to buy oil so stopped off at the Bernina store and, of course, they talked me into trying out a new Bernina. When I found out the price, I almost fell off the chair! As I was sewing on it, it was apparent that it was much lighter weight than my old Bernina. I didn't have the money but haven't been sorry. I love my old machine! All metal. Sorry about your fancy machine. Maybe you can trade it in on an older model.

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