Thursday, March 21, 2013

What to choose?!

Sorry for the gap in posts.  My computer kind of up and fell over on Monday 12th March.  Apple ever so kindly covered the repair costs so here I am a week later .. with my laptop back with a new HDD and a new Disk drive.  I totally stroked the laptop in an affectionate manner in the shop whilst the tech was finalising the paperwork.  I must've looked like a total dork lol.

So .. Progress Updates!

Here I've been motoring along in my quilting classes.  Getting block after block completed.  The class is for a 9 feature block quilt, but because I wanted it a bit bigger I am doing a 12 feature block quilt.  The upside is the folks running the class are happy for me to expand the quilt.  The downside is I have to design the blocks myself. No computer meant that I actually had quite a bit of time to do this.  Copious hours spent on the internet looking at other peoples quilts I finally came up with another three ideas .. Ironically enough two of them are from designs I've purchased or were free in the past!

I am up to Block 9 of the class blocks .. the Applique block.   I have been so excited at the prospect of getting to this block the entire course! I had all the fabric selected and cut and ready to go for when I got to class on Saturday.  One of my own three blocks is also an applique block and it too was all prepared ready to get to class and start on this "Satin Stitched Applique".

Imagine my disappointment to discover that my sewing machine, my baby Brother XL-2230 does not have the functionality required?! My little machine does not allow me to adjust the length or width of the stitches.  Or the frequency.

(Oh Wait! I'm supposed to be studying! Woops! **Scampers off to write assignment**)

A few days later...

Okay, so .. Take two of this post.  

So.  My little sewing machine.  She's not up to the full job of quilting like I thought.   It's a bit of one of those conundrums where you need money to buy something, but at the same time, you need to *DO* something with said something to *GET* the money.  

So .. Bring on tax time.  When tax comes back, I will buy a new machine.  Originally I set my sights on a low level machine that allows me to adjust the width of my stitches, probably in the ball park of $500 plus any extra feet, and extension table.  But then I got to googling sewing machines and I realised that a $500-600 machine doesn't come with the accessories I need .. and that they would come to a total of $200-300 I thought .. why not just get a better machine? 

A lot of the machines that have the bigger neck room, better quality machinery, AND accessories generally retail between $1000-1300 and they are all about to go on sale for Mothers Day (One of their two best sales times of the year!).  If they're currently on sale for the $900 mark instead of their RRP, what does that mean they'll be on the super Mothers Day Sale? 

Wouldn't it make more sense to spend that little bit more to get a machine that has a bigger neck for larger quilts, has all the feet I need, has the stitches I need, whilst also being a good solidly built machine that is designed to last? Yes? Good.  I thought so too.  

So I've narrowed my field to two machines. 

1. The Pfaff Ambition 1.0 - There is minimal differences between the 1.0 and the 1.5 (1.5 has bobbin sensor, 195 stitches instead of 136, and extra alphabet fonts) but the 1.0 is $200 cheaper than the 1.5. The Pfaff machine has IDT (Which apparently means I don't need a walking foot because the IDT provides an even feed of fabric from top to bottom). For a Pfaff I would have to also obtain the Quilters Toolbox which includes the extra feet required for quilting, as well as the extension table.  RRP is $1299 + costs of extra accessories. Pfaff also only provides a 2 year warranty. 

2. The Brother NV-410 - This is to replace the NV-400 and this one doesn't have IDT, but it does come with an extension table, a walking foot, a 1/4 inch foot and a Free Motion Quilting foot.  The Brother machines are generally more advanced with their computer programming, so this machines computer might be better. It has 294 stitches, comes with a boat load of accessories. RRP is $1199.  Brother provides a 5 year return to base warranty.  

I'm kind of leaning towards the Brother machine.  Better value for money.  Any thoughts? 

Oh I'm having fun figuring out what I can do with a better sewing machine! Think of all the nifty things I can make! I hope to someday soon be good enough that I might even be able to sell some of them! But first, Practice! Practice! Practice! 


  1. I have a dust covered Janome LOL

  2. That counts! If it still works and does everything you need it to! :)

    I found the receipt in my manual .. I purchased her on 4th December 2004 so for a "basic" machine she's certainly done her time well! :)

    The awesome thing about her is that I can keep her, and let my children practice on her. My 12 year old has shown an interest in quilting too! They won't have to get their grubby hands on my new machine! :)