Friday, May 27, 2011
Sewing Machines and Timing
I don't think I've ever mentioned before that I have three sewing machines. It's a long story but basically, I have my primary machine that I do all of my sewing and quilting on, a back-up, and a sort of frivolous purchase: a featherweight. Why did I buy a featherweight? I kept reading wonderful, glowing reviews of it on blogs. Everyone who had one loved how beautifully it sewed a straight stitch. I was really tired of pieces getting sucked down into the feed dogs on my regular machine (which has a larger hole for zig zag stitching). I decided it would improve my piecing and the experience if I bought one. Buying a featherweight on Ebay was educational. I had to bid in a lot of auctions and it took me a while to realize what type of machine I would actually be able to afford (nothing in perfect condition).
I bought my machine about three years ago but only recently have brought it into working order! Actually, there weren't many things wrong with it, but I had to buy a repair guide, take things apart, oil and clean them, etc. I am not mechanically inclined, so I had to work up the courage to do this. My machine was sewing too fast and when I took the foot pedal apart to adjust the speed, I discovered parts were missing. :) More time passed before I ordered the last bits I needed. They just arrived yesterday.
The timing was very good because my primary sewing machine just went into the shop, the back-up machine is lent to a friend, and I was left with nothing to sew on, which seemed to me rather ironic. I got the machine all set up with the new pedal and pieced a row of my One Block Wonder quilt. It sews really well! While there were some set backs and the passing of years, the great thing about this machine is that I feel empowered because I can actually perform minor repairs by referring to my repair manual.
So was the investment worth it? I think so! It is a bit of an adjustment to go back to not having a "needle up/down" option and I have to pay more attention to how much pressure I put on the foot pedal. I really like how smoothly it sews and the stitches are nice and even. I love having a straight stitch throat plate! It is a beautiful machine, too. I'll keep putting it through its paces as I work on some quilting and sewing projects.