Friday, October 26, 2012

Know Thy Machine Blog Hop!

Hi everyone! I'm happy to be participating in Shruti's Know Thy Machine blog hop and sharing a bit about my sewing machine. Hopefully with all the participants (I think it's going for over a month) this blog hop will be a good resource for people shopping for sewing machines.

1. What machine(s) do you have? 
My main sewing machine is a Janome 4900 Quilter's Companion. (I also have a serger, a coverstitcher, and a small Hello Kitty Janome machine.)
sewing machine ready to quilt
This is my machine set up with the extension table, my (dull) clippers, and my $2.50 gardening/machine quilting gloves. Ready to machine quilt!

2. When and where did you buy it? What were the reasons for selecting this particular model?
I've had it for almost 3 years now; I got it in December 2009. This model wasn't my first choice; when I bought it I had decided on another Janome model and then when I went to the sewing machine store they were no longer selling that model. (Looking back now, I think it was when they were first getting ready to sell the Janome Horizon.) I went back online to do more research and decided on the 4800. Turns out that the place I bought the machine from no longer had the 4800 in stock so they sent me the 4900 instead. I bought it online from a sew/vac place that I think was in Texas. I can't remember for sure.  

3. What do you like about your machine? Have you named it? Have you made a cover for it? 
I like my sewing machine a lot. It is pretty sturdy and I haven't really had any problems with it at all. It is good at basic sewing, great at machine quilting (I just have to adjust the top tension to about 6 for the best results) and does fine with heavy duty sewing although I don't do a lot of that type of sewing these days. I have not made a cover for my machine yet. Someday I will, though.

4. Does your machine give you any problems? Could you tell us a few?
Nope, no problems really.

5. What do you sew on it mainly? Quilts, Clothes, Bags etc. How much time do you spend sewing on it? What are the features of the machine that help you improve your work? 
My sewing consists of mostly working on quilts, household items, and the occasional clothing item (or Halloween costume.) I sew probably between 5-8 hours each week, but I don't really keep track. My sewing machine came with a walking foot and a free-motion quilting foot and those are both really helpful with my quilting. Otherwise I really appreciate that it's a good reliable machine that can handle whatever I want it to do. It has a bunch of specialty stitches and I don't use those very often but I appreciate them when I need them. I also like the speed adjustment for when my kids want to have a turn sewing. I can set it so the machine doesn't go too fast and my boys feel more comfortable sewing that way. A couple other features I like a lot are the needle-down feature (although I wish I didn't have to set it every time I want to use it) and the adjustable presser foot pressure dial, which makes straight line quilting work out a lot better.

6. What advice would you give others when deciding about which machine to buy? 
Go on and check out reviews there. Most people include the price they paid for their machine so you can get a basic idea of cost, since sewing machine manufacturers don't typically include prices on their websites.

7. Will you share with us a special memory associated with your machine?
I don't really have any specific memories of this machine but I do have fond memories of sewing at the kitchen table in my old house in Kansas in the sunny (and usually warm) kitchen. I do a lot of my machine quilting at the kitchen table here, but it's not quite as sunny!

8. If you had unlimited resources in the world, which machine would you choose to buy and why?
I'm pretty happy with my sewing machine and not planning on buying a new one any time soon. If I had to decide on another domestic (table top) sewing machine I would probably get a Janome Horizon or some kind of Bernina. I have recently started thinking about getting a longarm quilting machine; that's something I feel like I need to research a lot though before I commit to actually going through with it.

Thanks for reading! You can read about more people's experiences with their sewing machines (and enter to win prizes!) on Shruti's blog, 13 Woodhouse Road.


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Beginner Sewing Club said...

I always recommend that my students check out reviews of sewing machines prior to buying, especially if they're buying it online because you can't try it out ahead of time. I have a few reviews of the ones my students love and YouTube is also a great place to see how a sewing machine functions in action.