Monday, June 01, 2009

Interview with a sewing machine (and Loser Monday update below)

It's Sewing Machine Month at Sew Mama Sew and you're all invited to speak freely about the love of your life - that being your sewing machine. Check out the Sew Mama Sew blog for more information.

What brand and model do you have?

I have a Bernina Virtuoso 150 Quilter's Edition.

How long have you had it?

I've had her for 8 or 9 years now.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?

I received my machine as a gift, so I don't know exactly what she cost, but I think it was in the area of $2000.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?

I use my machine primarily for quilting, but I also make clothing, Halloween costumes, gifts, purses, curtains - if it can be made on a sewing machine I'll try it. I have even sewn some greeting cards on the machine.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I sew every week, when I can. My use of the machine sometimes goes in spurts, depending on how much free time I have. I would say she's used A LOT throughout the year.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I my machine. Passionately. She has all the features I need and more. I named her Bernice and that's how I address her and talk about her.

What features does your machine have that work well for you?

My favourite features are the drop feed dogs (of course), the 1/2 speed button, the buttonholer, and the needle down button. I have lots of decorative stitches, but I don't use them as much as I thought I would.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?

No - none of the sewing 'issues' I have are ever her fault. I do wish, though, that there was more room under the 'arm' for when I quilt. It's hard to stuff a full-sized quilt in there.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

My husband bought me the machine for Christmas. I showed him an ad in a magazine of the one I wanted and he had already ordered that exact one for me. He polled my quilting buddies to find out which machine would be best. We lived 8 hours from the city so he arranged to pick it up when we were down there on Thanksgiving weekend (October in Canada). He gave me my Christmas present early because he thought it would be a waste of 2 months of warranty to wait until December. Lucky me!

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?

I would definitely recommend this machine to others. She is reliable (only needed fixing once and it was my fault for not cleaning her properly), has all the necessary features plus more, and has given me no trouble at all.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Do you have a dream machine?

Features, ease of operation, brand name (for reliability), optional equipment (presser feet, quilting tables, etc). Price is somewhat important, but I believe you get what you pay for. I'm definitely not in the market for a new machine right now. Bernice suits me perfectly!

Now... onto Loser Monday.

Well, you know me... I haven't had much to say about this lately. I still don't have much to say. I've tried harder this week, but there's been no change in weight. I absolutely know there are things I should be doing that I'm not (like drinking more water) and things I'm doing that I shouldn't (taking little bites of things and pretending they have no calories). I am trying not to be so hard on myself, but I'm a bit sick of wearing the same old clothes because nothing else fits me. I tried on some summer capris and had to suck in my belly, a skirt that was too big last year is snug around the waist. Yeah... I know what I have to do. Why is it taking so long for the big 'epiphany' this time? Bah!

Anywaaaaay... I hope you all have a good week. So far, mine's been a bit stressful and it's only Monday. The school year is winding down. My grade 12 students have one week to finish their course so that means tons of marking for me as they hand in assignments (remember, I work in a self-directed program so I get a lot of last-minute work handed in). My grade 10s and 11s have until June 17, so the marking will continue for a while. Plus, I have learning guides to write for the new curriculum (I have 3 1/2 done out of 10). Plus, the master's course continues and I have another project due on June 22 that I haven't yet started. I got an 'A' on the first paper I wrote for my course and all I could think of was, "I wonder if anyone got an A+." I really wanted an A+ - what a keener!


Sue said...

Sounds like you are going to be pretty busy for the next couple of weeks! We are counting down to summer break at our house!! Don't be too hard on yourself with your diet. One thing to try would be to just tell yourself you are going to be really good for one week only. Just do what you think you should for only ONE week. Then at the end of it, see how you feel about it all. Is it worth it?? Was it too hard?? CAN or DO you want to keep going?? If you break it down to a committment of only one week, it is not so hard. You may establish new habits in only one week and if all it does is make you unhappy, you can go back to the usual. I know you can do it!! Just plan ahead.

Sue said...

I have a love-hate with my machine. I don't feel confident using it, so I haven't dove into the whole sewing thing. I can make it sew a straight line which is about the limit of my sewing skills. Curtains and pillows. Holly is wanting to learn to "Really" sew and design her own garments. Maybe someday we will have someone who can sew in the house. I am sure I will be motivated when I eventually become a Granny! I have a Janome.

Stacy said...

I liked learning about your Bernice. She sounds fancy! How funny that you weren't quite satisfied with that "A" on your paper. Sounds like June will be a busy month for you. PS. Your husband sounds so thoughtful, he did alot of footwork getting you Bernice.

Thimbleanna said...

Great to meet you Ms. Bernina. I must say, your mother sure makes some beautiful things on you!!!

Jenessa said...

i'm still on the fence about a bernina or a husquavarna when i replace my janome. and i think juki's are the only ones with that lovely gigantic throat for large quilts -too bad they only do a straight stitch.

it's up to you to get your butt in gear lady, one of my friends is loving jillian michael's 30 day shred and highly recommends it.