I bought a state of the art Viking sewing machine back in the late 70's (or early 80's, somewhere in there). It was very expensive (over $1,000 back then, when that was a whole lot more money than it is now- and it's plenty now), and it served me well for decades. But the poor thing has been going downhill for a long time now (witness this) , and it was no longer able to sew more than eight or nine inches without breaking the thread, and it squeaked terribly and the tension wouldn't hold... and... and... and...
Still, I wasn't quite ready for a new one, until Amazon had sale a week or so ago, and I was seduced by this Brother machine at 66% off. Lookie here- It's still on sale! (if you order, you may not want the extra carrying case- it does come with a dust cover).
This baby cost less, delivered, than a trip to the shop for the Viking. It was an easy seduction.
There is a learning curve with it- the lever for the presser foot is on the right side of the needle, which means I need to raise and lower it with my right hand, something I have never done before. It'll take a while before that feels natural. But otherwise, man, is this baby nice (and light- it weighs less than 10lbs).
I doubt I'll use the fancy stitches often, but they're fun. And the tension was perfect, right out of the box.
I might want to remember how to spell my name, though.
As a way to get used to the general functioning of the machine, I decided to piece a baby quilt from fabric I had cut already.
No better way to acclimate than playing, I always say when I need a reason to justify sewing a quilt top when I still have Christmas knitting to finish.
I just pulled fabrics as they came off the pile, this is a true random selection. I like how it came out.
Note the corner matchingness... (there is a reason I chose this one to photograph... the other corners might not be quite as matchy).
With the border.
I decided to free-form quilt it (more practice) with just a fleece backing and no batting. It took me awhile to remember to slow down on the curves, so the tension on the back isn't perfect. And the fact that I have absolutely no sense of straight doesn't matter with free-form quilting. I quilted every block differently, just playing the whole way through.
I am hand stitching the binding down now, and then I will wash the quilt. I'll show you the finished product tomorrow!