Apr 26 14

Falling in Love…With Georgette!

Today is my one week anniversary.  Last Friday, I took the plunge and purchased a used George sitdown quilting machine.   I’m calling her Georgette and she is one beautiful machine:
 
george-1
In a way, this was kind of an impulse buy.  I wasn’t even thinking of buying a long arm or mid arm sitdown quilting machine, but I read that one was for sale on one of my favorite blogs, Tamarack Shack.  I followed up on it and found the machine was living near Winston Salem, NC and was owned by Laura of the Tanderwen Quilts Blog.  Winston Salem is about 2 1/2 hours from Asheville, so I figured it was worth going for a test drive.  I knew I would like Laura when she wrote to tell me I’d know her house because she had a quilt block attached to her mailbox-how cool is that?! Anyway, I took 3 types of thread to test on it:
 
-invisible thread.  I use tons and tons of this stuff and I always hear long arm quilters complain about it, so if it couldn’t quilt with invisible thread, that was going to be a deal-breaker for me.
-rayon thread.  Rayon has great sheen but it is a weak thread so I thought it might be problematic on a  long arm.
-trilobal polyester thread.  I didn’t think this would be an issue at all, but I had to find out since I use it so much.
 
I didn’t take any cotton threads with me because I never quilt with cotton thread anymore.  Well, that machine sewed beautifully with all 3 thread types, so I was sold on the machine and she came home with me!  Laura kindly gave me some quick lessons on things like oiling/winding a bobbin, playing with tension, etc., and I was off to the races!  Because I only had 1 week from the time I found out about the machine and the day I test drove it, this really was an impulse buy for me.  (I’m normally someone who ruminates for ages about this kind of decision.)  I didn’t even think through where she’d go so I’ve got her set up in a guest bedroom (that I’m gradually taking over with quilting stuff) and I’ll have to figure out her “real home” later.  I’ve only made one addition to her and that was to add a Bendable Bright Light:
george-3
The machine actually has very good lighting but my aging eyes want all the light they can get!  The machine comes set into a table that is far sturdier than I thought it would be when I saw it in photos.  I’m currently working on a quilt that’s about 103 in x 103 in, so I need a larger table surface and have placed an ironing board next to the table and adjusted the ironing board higher than the table:
george-2
…and here’s what the view is from the “sewer’s side” of the system:
 
george-with-quilt-on-board
This machine has 20 inches of harp space.  I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to all of a sudden have all this luscious space in which to shove a quilt:
 
george-1.5
To put it into perspective, here’s a shot of that same portion of the quilt shoved into the harp space of my sewing machine where I HAD been quilting it before last Friday:
 
george-pfaff
Pfaff machines require the presser foot to be placed in this “halfway” position for free motion quilting, and you can see in this next photo that the presser foot effectively eliminates  about 3 inches of the 7 or so inches of throat space, so moving to Georgette is a big step up for me:
 
george-pfaff-2
 
I am so happy to have made this purchase and it is such a lesson of the power of connections we make on the internet!  If you aren’t already reading the Tanderwen Quilts and Tamarack Shack blogs, you should be!  These are 2 women who quilt professionally for others, so there’s lots of eye candy and inspiration!  Have a happy weekend, everyone!
george-final

11 Comments

  1. Patti J Says:

    It is because of Laura posting this for sale that I learned these type of machines existed. My Handiquilter Sweet Sixteen has been here for 3 weeks now. Lol I was going to research too and think about it, but I couldn’t resist either.

  2. Kathy s Says:

    Patsy I was so excited to hear that you bought Laura machine! You are going to love it! I’m really looking forward to seeing what you create with your new Georgette! I have followed your blog for many years, that is how I learned to do feathers and many background fills. Thanks for all the wonder inspiration, you’re a quilting ‘superstar’ in my eyes!

  3. Carol Mcdowell Says:

    Congratulations! You will never look back – I have a sweet 16 and love it although it can be finicky with thread getting the tension right. I’ve had mine for a year now and am getting used to the feel of pulling the thread and getting it right. Of course I always do a practice sand which first, then it’s off to the races! It just feels good to quilt :-)

  4. SewCalGal Says:

    I’ve known many that are very happy with their George machines. I think you’ll enjoy your Georgette very much. But I wouldn’t be surprised if one day you make the jump to a big longarm machine either.

    SewCalGal
    http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

  5. Laura Davies Says:

    Wow! Your quilt is gorgeous! Georgette will make it so much easier to quilt that large quilt. Trying to quilt those on small machines is no fun! Thanks again:)

  6. Jean Overmeyer Says:

    Congratulations,Patsy! What fun! How exciting!

  7. Kelly Jackson Says:

    I’m so excited for you. That machine looks wonderful and portable too. Have fun!

    Smiles,
    Kelly

  8. Valerie Smith Says:

    Ahhh congratulations!!! I follow Tamarack Shack too – she is a wonderful quilter! :) Now I fully expect to see you hanging around the APQS forums…absolutely great bunch of people there and some big famous quilters (like yourself!) pop in every now and then! I have an APQS Ultimate 1 – mine is on a frame set up – an older long arm because it was what I could afford, but the best decision I ever made. There are other great brands out there but APQS is really top notch. With your already developed amazing skills you’re bound to do fantastic things on this new machine! :) I cannot wait to see!

  9. Linda Erickson Says:

    It’s great to see you moving up to a bigger machine since you do such gorgeous work. I’m also in the sit-down camp mode (Tiara) and am still trying to “become one” with my machine as I used to be with my Babylock Quilters Pro.
    Happy stitching!

  10. Leslie McNeil Says:

    oh patsy… how very cool! I love APQS machines, and of course.. they are on the “list” but I think you hit a major score! have fun {and more} as you make it sing under your talented fingers and creative mind!

  11. Laura McGrath Says:

    I check the APQS site for used machines after trying a George out at a quilt show a couple of months ago and loving it. My daughter in NY had a baby on April 13th, so I was occupied with other things when this machine in Winston came up for sale, since that’s only about 15 miles from my house! I was so disappointed to see it was sold, then I read your blog post and saw you were the one who bought it. Hope you love it, somewhere out there my machine is waiting for me to find it!