So this happened: I bought a new-to-me sewing machine. It's kind of a long story but I will try to be succinct. About a month ago I completed my 50th hour renting a longarm and I had a good talk with Laurena about owning one someday. It's always been a dream but she really helped me understand that it could be a reality someday. I even received encouragement for the idea from my husband and my mom- my two greatest supporters and confidantes. It still may be ten more years down the road, but I am going to make it happen.
Making this goal completely changed my plans for upgrading my home sewing machine. For years, I have planned to purchase a straight stitch Juki after having test driven one at a friend's house quilting my Princess quilt. I really liked the large harp space, fast motor, and quilting a twin sized quilt was pretty easy. But an industrial motor Juki is essentially a mid-arm and can even be put on a frame for machine quilting. So I decided that there's no point in owning a mid-arm if I am going to buy a longarm eventually.
When visiting my parents in NH a few weeks ago- my mom agreed to watch the kids while I went over to the Red Barn (local quilt shop and Janome dealer) to check out what kinds of machines were available and what the price ranges were. I haven't been sewing machine shopping in ages - I bought my machine about 10 years ago and I helped a friend shop for hers a few years ago but that's been it. I wanted to know what my goal should be for saving up the money and I was pretty sure I wanted to stick with Janome.
Linda (Red Barn owner) remembered helping me with a sticky issue I had a few years ago when we discovered that my machine truly had not been cleaned or serviced after I had paid for it at another LQS near my parents home. Basically, the guy must have been super busy or inattentive - because when we opened up my machine, 5 weeks after being "cleaned," it literally had matchsticks of lint between the feed dogs and was just covered with dust in every crevice. He also did not fix the zig-zag mechanism, which he had promised to do. I did end up bringing the machine back, it was cleaned, and the zig-zag was never repaired - it was a very uncomfortable interaction with him and I have not returned to his store.
Anyway- Linda decided to do me a big favor and told me about a recent trade-in she'd received: a 4 year old Janome 6600 that had been cleaned yearly and was being traded in by the owner so she could upgrade to a Janome Horizon. The price was about half of retail and the machine has a lot of nice features: automatic thread cutter, start/stop button, needle up/down, speed control, knee lift bar, built-in walking foot, large harp space, automatic knot, and lots of decorative stitching (alphabet included).
The timing of buying this machine was decent because I had some "mad money" saved that I was afraid I might blow too quickly on yet more fabric. My "old" machine is overdue for a cleaning and the zig-zag stitch is still broken- and it seemed more wise to put money towards a new machine rather than spending a lot on the old one. I also know at least three people who have this machine and they all love it. So after talking to my husband about it- I decided to buy it and picked it up last Friday. I am still going to keep my old machine - someday I will pay to get it cleaned and fixed- and I know it work well to be the machine I take to classes/guild meetings, use with my children someday, and employ the free-arm for clothes (that's the one drawback to the 6600- you can't pull that little table off that surrounds the needle area).
To be completely honest: I do feel a little guilty about buying this machine mainly because our second car completely died two days before I was scheduled to go pick it up. I also feel silly that we will be dragging it across the country in about 2-3 months and I am scared of it getting damaged in the move. It also might have been wise to buy something in my new area just to have that relationship with the shop owner and receive help if I need it. But the pros (read: super good deal!) of buying this outweighed the cons and I didn't know our car was going to break down!
I wasn't until Tuesday that I finally got to play with it and I am enjoying it so far! It was torture to wait so long to use it! I have been working on my Christmas Countdown calendar:
Thanks for reading if you got this far! A completed quilt is scheduled for tomorrow's post so stay tuned!