No wonder quilting is right up there with golf as the most expensive hobby. How often do the driver and the sand wedge need to go into the shop for service? When I first started quilting, I was using this Singer Classic machine.
Soon, I decided that I needed a better option for quilting. I did some research, and decided to get a Singer 9970 machine. That was February, 2014—my Valentine’s Day present. At that time, the reviews on Amazon about the machine were very good. I did hear some negatives about how Singer had changed, and wasn’t reliable, but I really didn’t know of another brand to buy, so I went with the Singer. When I checked Amazon again today before writing this post, there is only one review, and it is a “1”.
I named her Ginger (Gilligan’s Island), because she was presumed to be gorgeous but maybe wasn’t all she was cracked up to be. She and I finished several quilts and learned Free Motion Quilting. She came with all these feet and more. Most I never used, but I dreamed of using the fancy trim foot and the cording foot. The opportunity never arose.
Last year, after working on several quilts with Ginger, I decided to get a better machine for quilting. Although I considered a sit-down longarm like the HandiQuilter Sweet Sixteen, in the end I couldn’t justify the price, so I purchased a Juki TL 2010Q. The Juki has been a dream for quilting. I named her Ellie May (because she’s beautiful and strong but not fancy). You see, I am a product of the television shows I watched as a kid. Heaven help us when the Beavis and Butthead generation takes over the world! I will do a separate post on Ellie May later. Mainly, what you need to know about her, is that she is a straight stitch only machine, so whenever a zigzag or fancy stitch is called for, I rely on Ginger.
Poor Ginger has been to the repair shop many times. She usually has a nervous breakdown just as I’m nearing some kind of quilting deadline (like Christmas). This year, I started an applique Block of the Month for which I needed a pretty satin stitch, and I began work on a queen sized double wedding ring quilt with applique on the borders. Everything was great fun until I started to hear a crunching sound coming from the bobbin case…and a needle broke for no apparent reason. I packed her up and my helpful spouse took her to the shop for what would turn out to be…dun, dun, dun….her last car ride.
The Bad News: By now you’ve guessed that I got the call we all dread, “Ma’am, we can try to save her, but we’re not sure the cost is worth it. Why don’t you come in and take a look at the new machines we have here in the store.” To fix her would cost half what I paid for her. With two projects going that require applique stitches, I cannot afford to do without a machine. I really feel like I am saying goodbye forever to a friend. I had such high hopes when I bought her. She and I did some good work together. Watching her do fancy stitches was great fun. I had the ability to set her up to do a tack stitch at the beginning and end of applique. Plus, she had a mirror function that was fabulous when the quilt was large (did I mention that I am doing a queen sized double wedding ring with applique on the borders?). When I didn’t have room to turn the quilt around to stitch a whole leaf or flower petal, I could tie off, set the mirror function, and start again at the top of the leaf on the other side. So, there was much sadness here, and also the question, “how do I tell Karl I need a new sewing machine?”
Tune in next week to find out who will replace Ginger and join Ellie May in the Zapf Sewing Studio. Did Denise have to sleep in the doghouse? Will the new machine have a mirror stitch? We will see.