Updated: Jul 18
What a bad machine can do to you.
There is such a thing as a lousy sewing machine. Sometimes no matter what we do they treat us badly; broken thread, uneven stitches, catching in the bobbin when you first begin to sew, breaking needles and coming unthreaded constantly. After awhile you feel you are losing your sanity. I have been there and it is so darn frustrating. These are the most common problems we face. While some of these things might be because you haven't cleaned the machine or maybe it needs a tune-up but sometimes it really is the machine. If you have brought the machine in more than once for service and you still are having issues, it ain't you honey. As with anything sometimes sewing machines are put out into the world that are just "not right". I have taught a lot of sewing classes and I have seen a good deal of frustration and blame. Having a machine that doesn't work correctly makes you feel as if you are failing, not the sewing machine. I'm here to tell you that some machines are at fault. You are not incompetent. Just maybe, it's the machine
What to do when you have had enough?
First please don't stop sewing. Try some of the tips in this great article. This article explains many of the most common problems.
So if these don't fix your problems and the machine has been serviced it just may be time to find yourself a new machine.
If you know a lot about sewing machines, are looking for a basic machine, and are mechanical you might be comfortable buying a used machine off the internet.
If you don't know much about machines or what features you are looking for I would much rather see you go to a dealer and have a conversation. And I do mean a conversation. It won't hurt to educate yourself before making that visit and buying. Either do some research on the things you feel are important or sit down with the salesperson and have an in depth question and answer period. Even used machines have warrantees at a dealership. Many times they have been taken in a trade. The company I worked for, Creative Sewing, made sure all used machines were sent in for servicing before they were put on the show floor. They also come with a short warranty. So, if you buy used, sit down and sew with it at once. If there is a problem they will work with you, but not if you wait until the warranty is expired. These used machine can be great deals. If you are looking for a new machine the State Fair is the perfect place to purchase a machine. There are some really great buys to be had. Christmas is good time too.
Speaking from my point of view as a former salesperson, I sold the machines and brands that I loved more often than not. Find a salesperson who knows a lot about machines and she will bring you to the one she likes the best. Yes, they will sometimes push you toward the more expensive but they will usually try and find out your budget and direct you to the machine you need. We had all brands on the floor. While I am not going to tell you the brands I didn't like, I can tell you the ones that were easy to sell because I liked them so much.
1. Memory Craft by Janome - one of the best models - I always felt that the customer got a great machine when they purchased this one.
2. Juki 2000QL - straight stitch only - really fast almost industrial speed. These are machine are completely mechanical. One o my favorites
3. Baby Lock -Auria & Crescendo - I loved selling these machines they have some wonderful accessories. I liked them so well I purchased one.
Buying a new sewing machine is both exciting and frightening.
What you should look for:
1. Dealer - find someone you like and would come back to.
2. Try out a lot of machines - take your time.
3. Know what features are important to you
4. Ask lots of questions.
5. All brands have great machines and all brands have not so great, do your homework.
6. If you are making a large purchase, go home and think on it. Check out the reviews online.
7. The one with the most features is not always necessary. Think about it
8. If you are spending over $1,000 I would suggest working with a dealer. They usually have free classes and they are there if you have issues. It is difficult to ship a sewing machine if you are not happy. A dealer will usually work with you.
As I have mentioned before, it has been a crazy busy year with three showers to give, our 50th anniversary party, a graduation party, a trip to Ireland, three weddings, Dennis's 70th birthday and traveling all over the country for quilt shows. This Saturday will be the last wedding for a good long while. At times these past twelve months I felt overwhelmed but I tried, and succeeded, to slow down for each event and appreciate the people I hadn't seen for many years, the kind things people did and said to me and the memories I made. I have had the most wonderful and busy year. I loved every minute of it.
I give you my Irish goodbye,
p.s. Let me know some of your stories on bad machines.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
For their birthdays I give my grandkids a choice of what they would like me to make for their birthday dinner. I am a fairly accomplished cook, if I say so myself. I owned a restaurant, I love spices and I love making difficult and tasty dishes. What do they ask me for? Well, this stupid simple recipe that I am so darn sick of. I've tried replacing corn with some decent vegetables, but nooooo! They don't like that. I can't even substitute green beans and don't even speak to them about adding cheese.
Luckily I only have six grandchildren but their parents often ask for the same meal for their birthdays! What is wrong with these people? This is like living hell for me.
I am sharing this recipe with you but be careful you may have to make this time after time. Maybe, just don't make it for grandkids. Not even once.
Tator Tot Hot Dish
(I know, I know, if you are not from Minnesota "Hot Dish" is an unknown word. I think everywhere else it is casserole. Here is the cold tundra it' "Hot Dish".)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef 1 bag Tator Tots
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup 1 can drained corn
12 oz of milk 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Brown the hamburger and drain the grease. Place the cooked hamburger in a 9x13 pan. Pour the drained corn on the hamburger and mix. Place the Tator Tots on top of the mixture leaving as little space as possible. Mix the can of cream of mushroom soup and the milk until it is smooth. Pour the mixture over the Tator Tots. Cook at 375 about an hour or until the Tator Tots are golden brown. Serve
“Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve.”