Posts Tagged ‘free-motion’

I’m feeling very overwhelmed by how much people are pulling for me… please forgive me if there are tear stains on this note. Oh yeah, it’s on a computer screen so those wipe off. 🙂 Here’s the story of my new sewing machine’s journey. For privacy’s sake, I’m gonna use numbers instead of names, but you’ll get the general idea.

I’m great at straight-line quilting because that’s the most my machine can handle. It’s a Kenmore, the one I learned on when I was 12 years old. It was my mom’s originally, and my aunt got it after she passed on when I wasn’t interested in sewing anymore. Once my passion for quilting reemerged, my aunt gifted the machine to me. It’s a workhorse and just fine… for straight-line quilting. Trouble is, I’m ready to do things like machine applique and free-motion quilting. Those require, at a minimum, the feed dogs to go down…. an option the Kenmore doesn’t offer. I sew with friends regularly, so they knew what I was looking for. 

Friend #1 took me to a vac’n sew shop to have my Kenmore looked at. Turns out it does need a good cleaning-out, but the feed dogs will never go down. It just isn’t built with that option at all. So even with it serviced, it wouldn’t do what I need to do. #1 lent me one of her machines to use. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to thread the bobbin, and we’ve been busy and haven’t crossed paths since then so I can learn. 

I helped get auction items ready for our quilt guild’s block auction. One of the other volunteers, friend #2, was testing an old machine donated to the guild. She fixed the tension and it was ready to go. She had remembered that I wanted to free-motion quilt, so she offered the machine to me. Woo! Trouble is, I was going to be out of town for the meeting. Friend #3 offered to bid for me and asked what my max amount was. I set the cap at $40 and left knowing I probably wouldn’t get the machine for that little. When I returned, I had an email from #3 saying it was mine! #3 had increased the bid by a single dollar every time there was a counter-bid. When confronted by the other bidder #3 said she was trying to get it for me. The other bidder (friend #4) gave up so I could have it. 

Impressed yet? There’s more. 

Friend #3 held onto the machine for me until I was back in town. We met at a friend’s house (#5) for a night of pattern stuffing and dinner. When she revealed she had the machine for me, friend #6 asked if it had been serviced recently. When I admitted it had been sitting in storage for a few years, she matter-of-factly said that she’d bring it to her guy. The technician, #7, did a lot of work to it. He cleaned up the gunk which used to be oil which had made things start to seize… fixed the stitches, and even welded a part back in to make everything work properly. After hearing the story of people pulling together to get this machine to me, he decided not to charge for the extra labor. Whoa. 

So I got my new-to-me machine last night. Mine, all mine. Well, sort of. I didn’t feel right opening the box and starting to play with it until I knew just how much I’m underwater for this thing. Borrowing money makes me feel very uncomfortable so with my thank you post to friend #6 (the one who brought it to be serviced) I asked how much I owe. The answer? Nothing. My friends #6 and #5 took care of it for me. 

Long story short, with the help of many, many, kindhearted people… I have a used machine that’s in great shape for $40. A sturdy metal Viking that will last a very long time and will do exactly the things I want to learn. Wow. Just, wow. I am so blessed. 


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