Saturday, August 05, 2006

My New Toy

My Old 1960 Model 403 Singer Posted by Picasa

Yesterday was a VERY big day in my life.

One might even say "HUGE". You see, I've always been a seamstress since I was big enough to sew. My grandmother put me up to this 1960 Model 403 Singer that my Mom got for a wedding present years before I was born. When I was 7, Gram literally had me sitting on phonebooks so I could reach the sewing machine on Mom's dining room table.

Over the years, I have mended family's clothing, made my first and most recent quilt and all the others in between. I've sewn everything from boat seat cushions to power suits to dog clothes on this machine. I've made dozens of bridesmaids dresses, and even my first wedding dress. Suffice to say, it has been a very loyal friend and a very hard worker.

But my loyal friend has been showing signs of age in its 46 years. After making three quilt tops this past week, the groaning from the motor has gotten worse before it gets going. Finally, I said the words I keep waiting my husband to say about his van that doesn't really run. "Honey, I think it's time I buy a new one."

My New Toy Posted by Picasa

This is what I bought yesterday.

It's a Singer Quantum 9940. It's their top of the line quilting machine, and was a few hundred dollars more than the basic model, but does so much more.

I'm loyal to Singer, because the machine I've had has always been trustworthy. Aside from a couple of new belts and a rubber washer that winds the bobbin, I haven't had to replace a thing on it in the 32+ years I've sewn on it. I've taken it apart and oiled it myself countless times over the years.

But I resisted the new electronic machines because when they first came out, any disturbance or dust on the motherboard had caused them to break down, and technology hadn't come to the point of taking care of those problems. Bernina, White, and other brands I've tried in the stores recently have not only been overkill for what I need, but prohibitively expensive.

So, when I started looking, I thought I'd see what Singer was making. This Quantum series was specifically designed with quilters in mind, and that is mostly what I do these days. But it also does so much more.

When Brian and I went to the store together yesterday, I looked at a more basic model which had fewer bells & whistles, and the screen didn't show you exactly what stitch you were using. As we considered the extra money, I liked the more expensive one, but I didn't know if I wanted to spend the money. Brian was the deciding factor. He just said "I know which one I want you to have." And before we knew it, we were buying the best.

I spent most of yesterday on the machine. I haven't had a moment yet where I've been frustrated since the machine threads easily, and it's simple to understand. The familiarity of the Singer machine is still there, despite its LCD screen.

I quilted a whole lap quilt yesterday in one afternoon. No bunching, no tension problems (between the upper and lower threads), no removing stitches. No frustrations as I'd fought with my aging machine.

I keep comparing the old technology vs. new, and I feel like a caveman who's been given the gift of fire. Life as I know it has changed. For the better.

Thank you Progress. and thank you Brian.


Sheri said...

It would be hard for a carpenter to work with a hammer that the handle keeps falling off. Or a sailor to sail porperly with a hole in his sail. Thus Jules can't quilt her best if the equipment isn't up to par. Congrats on the new toy!! You deserve it and I can' wait to see some pictures of your beautiful work.

ssknh said...

Yay for your new upgrade! Sounds like it was worth the wait~ My mom had given me a simple sewing machine for my wedding present, and about two months later my DH accidentally ran over it. So it always had a mean tilt, and had to be propped up so I could sew. This spring, after ten years, we decided it was time to upgrade. I also got a Singer, although my XL-150 is more for embroidery. I think I could learn a great deal about quilting from you! I'd say you'd be an even better quilter, but I think the truth is that you'll be a faster quilter since you were always pretty amazing at it! Happy sewing...

ssknh said...

BTW- Brian's van is a classic, a priceless piece of history! DH says it's "immortal". Sorry Jules...

Concetta said...

I am so happy that you have a new machine to sew with! Although...I learned how to sew on your old Singer, too! What a classic it was. Enjoy the new one as much!

tims mom said...

Yeah! I love new crafting toys!! Have fun with it! Looks like a sweet model!

Deb said...

Congratulations!! How appropriate that you purchased a new Singer, just days before its patent anniversary (1851). Also, I was going to concur with ssknh, or at least my husband does. He thinks the van should never be given up and will "live" forever. I can sympathize with you though. Some things just need to be "put to pasture".
Been thinking about you guys a lot lately! Good luck with going back to work. I hope your day goes OK. Love ya!


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