Apr 26 14
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: 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: 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: …and here’s what the view is from the “sewer’s side” of the system: 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: 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: 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: 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!