Sunday, June 20

Sunday Stash #31 Far Far Away 2 & a sewing machine question

Last week a lovely bundle of fat quarters with some of the latest Heather Ross fabrics arrived. I think these three are my favourites: The Owl and Pussycat, Thumbelina and fabric featuring a Moon and Stars. I wonder why these Heather Ross fabrics are not made available in 'normal' quilters cotton instead of linen (this line) or double-gauze (Far Far Away one) but maybe that is just me.

Moving on to the Sewing Machine Question. In the near future I would like to 'upgrade' my sewing machine. Currently I have an electronic Husqvarna  Huskystar E20. A beginners machine which did a fabulous job thus far but I think I want something a bit fancier now. I want to use it to make (simple) clothing, cushions and quilts and such. I would love it have a little more space between machine and needle to push those bulky quilts through.
Please let me know what machine you use and/or prefer! Also I'm slightly afraid of computerised sewing machines but maybe you can talk me out of that (or not). :)


  1. Don't be afraid of the 'computerised' bit. It just means you press a button instead of turning a dial - that's it!
    I love, love, love mine - Janome 6600p. It has plenty of room for a quilt, needleup/down (excellent feature for quilting), thread cutter (love!), dual feed thingy (like a walking foot). Itdoesn't have a free arm though, so that might be a pain if you want to do clothing BUT you could always just keep your little machine for doing those bits.
    Husqvarna has a quilting one - the Sapphire (I think?) that I looked at when I was choosing mine. I read a few reviews about it having tension issues but the lady at our shop said she has sold lots with no problems at all.
    Corrie on Retro Mummy recently got a new one, a Brother. I'm sure she'd happy to tell you all about it.

  2. I have a viking 555, it is about 10 years old and I love it! I have found it to be a bit fussy about bobbin thread, it doesn't like the clear filament thread. And because it is 10 years old it doesn't have the extra arm space the newer machines now offer. Good-luck with choice!

  3. By far my favorite machine ever is the Viking Designer 1. I don't think I'd still be quilting without it! The Sensor System is so superior to anything else out there. I love that when it stops with the needle down, the presser foot automatically lifts - there's no lever to move.
    Anything in the Designer series would be wonderful. I would recommend going to a dealer and asking for demo's, you don't have to get the latest [priciest] one, anything that has the sensor system would be fine. And I believe you can get one with the sensor system but no embroidery arm.
    I love my machines [I have two D1's] and wouldn't part with them for anything. The Designers are way superior to the Huskystars.

  4. Here's a link to the wrap-up of sewing machine month over at Tons of information to make your decision more difficult! ;)
    Have fun!!

  5. Hey Nicole. Last year I bought a Brother NS30. Really nice 'looking' machine for a digital (hasn't got the stitches plastered all over it - just one dial and a stitch guide you can attach). It is sooooo easy to use. When I do button holes I can hardly believe it's happening. I feel like I making fire or something! Having said that I was not into quilting when I bought it and had I been I would have bought the next version up. A bit more of a work horse apparently.

    Oh other things I reckon to look out for - varied stitch speed (this is awesome and not all new machines seem to have it) and noise factor, esp. depending on where you need to sew. Good luck!

    p.s on my blog at the moment is the cushion I made with the centre piece of your embroidery pattern - my first embroidery! Thank you for sharing such a gorgeous pattern :)

  6. i have a brother xr-65. don't know if it's still being made but i love it so much -- and as you know i make clothes on it. and actually, since i have only made garments from cotton, i've only used straight and zig zag stitches.

    it has well over a dozen unique stitches, as well as over a dozen of unique stretch stitches should i choose to sew with knit/jersey material one day. stitch width and length is adjustable, feed dogs can be dropped, free motion stitching, etc.... it has lots of good features but is not computerized which i'm glad for.

    the presser foot is not adjustable though, so it can only go up as high as it is made to do.....

    i wish you luck in your new sewing machine search!

  7. p.s. mine does have a free arm and you really really want to have that option if you plan on making clothes, a must for arm holes, hemming up skirt bottoms and pants and such

  8. Soon I will be able to let you know how I feel about the Husqvarna Emerald 183! But as far as the computer thing goes, that's not what I'm having problems with. Most of the normal everyday functions you just press and button on the front of the machine where with my Huskystar, I used a dial. It's only the font and the fancy stitches that require you to actually use the computer thing. Tension, speed, and threading are all still manual.

  9. I have a Janome and it is easy peasy and computerised and the parts are less expensive than Bernina. I do quilting and clothes sewing so it has withstood he hard work well. Love the fabrics, the owl and the pussycat must ring a familiar bell!!

  10. I have an older Husqvarna Viking, which is not made anymore, (the #1 Plus), and it has never disappointed me! Very fine handling is possible, and great dealer support is available. (It is also a workhorse!)
    In order for me to be better able to quilt the larger quilts, we got a Babylock Quest, which I also love to work with- large space, large work-table, and a wonderful pull-down even feed foot, which is handy and invaluable for much of my sewing.

  11. I highly recommend a Bernina. I have had a 1230 for more than twenty years. I LOVE the knee lift for the presser foot. You will quickly be spoiled with a Bernina. The needle down button and foot tap are also features I cannot sew without.


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