Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summer Replay – Part 1

Well, I am back. It has been another summer where I intended to post but didn’t. Partly it is because I have been dealing with a personal family crisis that has taken all summer to try to resolve. Since this blog is meant to focus on quilting, I won’t get into the details except to say it is now in its final stages and when completed will bring closure to an issue that had concerned me for some time.
But the summer wasn’t all gloom and doom. While my family didn’t make too many summer plans, we did get to travel to Virginia (to visit my aunt) and North Carolina where my mother-in-law and her husband recently retired to (and a few other family members on my husband’s side also decided to relocate in their wake). On the way back, we visited the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA.
It’s a really interesting stop and I’d recommend it particularly if you have family that have served or are serving in the military. We also took our kids this summer to Medieval Times, the jousting dinner theater show, which my sons enjoyed immensely (sorry, it was pretty dark inside so I have no great pictures of the show).  I also finally took my sons to the Transit Museum in NYC. I think I enjoyed it more than they did since over the years I've ridden a number of the different types of subway cars they have on display. The rest of the summer was spent just relaxing (mostly in the house because it was so hot!) or going to the movies and keeping my youngest son on track to complete his summer reading and math packets.

The BIG NEWS on the sewing and quilting front is…..(wait for it)……I bought a new sewing machine!!! After quilting five quilts in row this year, I really believed that I was pushing my old sewing machine to its limits. My Euro-Pro 9106 has served me very well in the six years I’ve owned it.
In the process of quilting "Triangle Trips" earlier this year.
But I longed for a machine with a wider throat space and that could accommodate high-speed stitching (which I’ve done on my machine but was not sure that it was meant for it since towards the end it seemed to struggle a bit). Of course I’ve viewed and sampled long-arm machines at quilt shows but I live in an apartment and although we have plans to move to a bigger unit, I still won’t have the space to accommodate one. So I started looking into mid-arms and dedicated straight stitch machines, thinking I could buy one to supplement my Euro-Pro.
Then I saw an ad for IT that really peaked my interest. IT had all the features I wanted now, some I had always wished mine had and some that were things I always wanted. Then I remembered that there had been a dealer of ITs brand at the last quilt show I went to and found they weren’t too far from me and thought I’d go take look at IT. That look quickly turned into a purchase and I welcomed home my new……Janome Horizon 7700!
I can’t say that I had planned to make this big a purchase this soon but I am happy I did (and the decision was supported by my DH!). I got the throat space and the stitch speed I wanted but also got an extremely well lit sewing surface, automatic thread cutter, knee lift, a built-in even feed system, three different kinds of free motion/darning feet (closed, open and "big foot") and a full array of other accessory feet, more decorative stitches than in my old machine, and a monogramming function!
I’ve been able to spend time this summer getting to know it. There was no learning curve at all, in fact Joann, the owner of the Nimble Thimble in Port Chester, NY where I bought it, said I was entitled to in-store lessons on how to use the machine but I’ve got to tell you – after trying the machine at the store under the guidance of the store staff, watching some on-line videos just before I bought it, watching the same videos at home on the DVD that comes with the machine and then just sitting down with the manual and some projects and using it, additional lessons were really unnecessary. The machine is fairly intuitive to use (if you have been sewing for any amount of time and are familiar with computerized sewing machines).
Needless to say I am loving it and very happy with it and am now really excited about eventually getting what was originally planned to have been my next big equipment purchase – a Koala cabinet. Fortunately the Nimble Thimble is also a dealer for that so if we ever (ever, ever?) get called for the bigger unit we’ve applied for (the wait is three to six years and this year made three years), it will be the first (I’m not kidding!) furniture purchase I will make for the new space.

So what have I been testing my new baby on? I’ll take that up in the next post.

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Sandy H said...

Is it impolite to post a comment while drooling? Congrats on the new bouncing baby Janome! I had a Janome MC3500 for years until I inherited my mom's Janome MC6600 last year. I've loved it. So I know you'll have a great time with the 7700!

paperpest said...

Lucky you! what a fabulous machine to own. Even without family crises, summer has a way of rushing by. Yesterday when I blogged I realized it had been almost a month since my last entry.