Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Call For Back Up
I adore my Bernina 1260. Adore probably isn't a strong enough word to express my feelings, but it will have to do. Before purchasing "her" used at a machine store, I used VERY cheap machines. I also hated quilting. No matter how hard I tried my quilting would be awful. I honestly thought I would never be a quilter. A piecer, yes. A surface designer, yes. But quilter?
Then I followed my heart and intuition and picked up my 1260 at an incredibly reasonable price, and I've been doing the quilting on my pieces since that day. I love quilting on that machine so much, that I often will start with a whole cloth hand dyed piece just to get to the quilting faster.
This being said, you can grasp how I felt on Saturday, when I was quilting away, then went to change to a stitch I've never used, only to have my machine stop working. That's right, I would hit the pedal, see the thread take up move up and down, hear the motor wind, but the needle would not move up and down. My heart broke. Oh, and I panicked.
I have an art crawl coming up quickly, and I do not have a back up machine. I had my previous machine still, but when I sat down again and tried (after much more quilting experience) to get it quilting and free motioning, I could not get it to do it. It was awful. I felt sick. I felt lost. I learned a very valuable lesson. I need a real back up machine.
Once I started to think about (and I had time all afternoon and evening Saturday, as well as all day Sunday), I realized that other artists have back ups. Painters don't have just one paint brush after all!
Monday morning I drove my poor baby to the "Dr's" (i.e. local quilt shop), she was diagnosed with what was likely wrong - and that it might take awhile! Tracy at Make It Sew was incredibly kind enough to offer me a personal machine of hers as a loaner - which I thanked her for but decided against (Can you imagine if you were using someone else's machine when it broke?) It was a white Bernette.
I started to look around the shop, and saw several Bernette models on one side of the store. I asked Tracy if any of them would free motion quilt. Turns out they can indeed! I tried a couple but ultimately decided on the Bernette 46 - it quilted beautifully for me and was a front loading bobbin (this is very important to me!) These machines are pretty affordable, and seem solidly built. She makes a lovely purr as she free motions! As you can see, there are not a ton of stitches, but honestly I'm happy about that! I don't use too many, and it leaves less to go wrong!
I am so happy to have a good back up now, and happy to say that since yesterday morning when I brought her home, I have already quilted three and a half of my pieces!
If you're a full time fiber/quilt artist who uses a machine I really suggest trying to have a solid and reliable back up machine. Being without a tool necessary to your craft is not a good feeling!