Monday, June 8, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

These have been fun to read, so I thought I'd do my machine.

What brand and model do you have?
I have a Janome 6125 Quilter's Companion. I believe Janome still makes the QC series, but I have no idea if my model is still available.

How long have you had it?
I purchased it in the Spring of 2004, so it's 5 years old now. Wow.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
I really don't remember, though I know I have the receipt around here somewhere. I think it was in the $600 range. I wanted my first sewing machine to be one I would never outgrow, so I spent a little more than I originally intended to buy a better machine.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
Since this is my only sewing machine, I've used it for all my sewing projects - quilts, clothes, bags and pillows. Originally I wanted to learn to sew so I could make quilts, which is why I got a machine geared towards quilters.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
It really depends. I'm not sewing a lot right now, because my sewing table is a mess and I'm home with my children more since it's the Summer. I've used it a lot over the past 5 years with no issues. I've used it as little as an hour a week up to 5-6 hours a day when I'm trying to crank something out.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I've liked this sewing machine a lot. I may love it, but as I've never sewed with another machine it is hard for me to definitively say that. I bought a Janome because my husband's aunt swears by them. She's been sewing for almost her entire life, has owned every brand of machine, and says Janomes are the best. My mother-in-law made my sister-in-law's wedding dress on a Janome Gem, and my sister-in-law makes lot of quilts and home decor projects with her Gem.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
Like I said, I wanted to get a machine I would never outgrow. I like having so many stitches, though I mostly use the straight, stitch, zig-zag stitch, and the stitch I refer to as the fake serging stitch. It is electric (but not computerized), so the ease of use is great. It came with a lot of feet, including a walking and darning foot which I need for quilting; the feed dogs drop easily which is necessary for free motion quilting. I like the drop in bobbin case, the built-in needle threader, and built-in thread cutter a lot.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Not really. My bobbin winder won't wind the bobbins completely full, but that started after I took my machine to be cleaned last year, so I think it is the fault of the repair place not the machine. Next time I need my machine cleaned or repaired, I'm going somewhere else. I would love to have a knee lift, and wish when I let up on the foot pedal the needle would stop in place instead of going up or down one more time. A wider throat area would be nice, because it's hard to maneuver larger quilts on the machine when quilting.

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!
Can't think of anything!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Sure. It's been great, and is easy to use with a lot of great features for all types of sewing.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
-All metal parts, as plastic parts will wear down.
-Features that make sewing fun and easy like an automatic button hole, zig-zag and other special stitches
-Needle up/down option - My needle stays in the down position almost all the time when I'm sewing
-Repair place that specializes in your machine that is fairly close to where you live
-Electric and mechanical vs computerized - computerized machines are great, but if the computer part breaks the repair is going to be a lot of $$$
-Don't pay for extra features you don't need - I have no desire to do machine embroidery so I would never need a fancier and more expensive machine with that feature
Do you have a dream machine?
I haven't thought about this a lot, but I kind of wish I had the Bernina Aurora with the BSR. I've never gotten good enough at free motion quilting to use it on an actual quilt, so I think the BSR would help me with this problem. I probably just need to practice more instead of blaming my machine! I plan on having my Janome for a long time, and hope I'm still using it when my children are my age.