I put a sewing machine on layaway ~

After a lot of brain-storming with my friend APRIL, I visited three local quilt/sewing stores, in Reno, over the last few days. My last two machines have been Janomes and I really loved them…but thought about a Baby Lock and a Necchi.

The first quilt shop I stopped off at sort of pissed me off. I went in asking to see her line of Baby Locks, specifically the Melody.

Baby Lock Melody - Quilting Sewing Machine

Baby Lock Melody – Quilting Sewing Machine

When I asked how much, and received an $1,800 answer, I about spewed. I paled and may have let slipped that I can buy a Janome 6500 for that price and have enough left-over for another sewing machine. Or as April stated…LOTS OF FABRIC. I don’t think she was impressed that I wanted to stay under $1,000. Told me to go look at the other machines on my list and come back to her afterwards. Wouldn’t even let me test drive the machine.

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The next day I went to the second quilt/sewing center and had a very pleasant hour or so test driving four machines. She spent time asking what level I was at, what I wanted to do with my machine, and how much I was comfortable to spend.

I really was impressed with the Baby lock Melody…nice stitches, easy to use, very very quiet motor. It was $300 cheaper than the first shop and she would knock off even $200 more on top of that.

Next we moved onto the Pfaff Ambition 1.0.

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

Pfaff Ambition 1.0

All I can say is WOW…those Germans sure are great engineers! Just WOW! LOL! $999 was the price she would give me on that machine. No auto thread cutter, and it scared the crap out of me on the first stitch (growled)…I thought I broke it, but very very very nice handling. Loved the stitches on that one too. It has a built-in walking foot that is to die for!

Scooted down a few machines to the Pfaff Expression 3.0 after I told her my goal is to be pretty dang good at FMQ’ing. The asking price was $2079 but would come down to $1,699, with 25% down and 4 months to pay it off.

Pfaff Expression 3.0

Pfaff Expression 3.0

I sighed when sewing with it. I actually FMQ’ed…AND IT LOOKED GREAT! But I knew full well I couldn’t afford that fine piece of German machinery, even with the discount and layaway plan. I would need more time than 4 months. I still asked for the quote and told her I’d get back to her by the 2/29 deadline. If I had the money, I would buy that machine in a heart beat…should I ever fall into money, after paying off all debt…that baby is coming home with me. :)

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Onto my last stop where I wanted to test drive the Janome 3160 QDC, Necchi EX30, and the Brother NX-800. I was eyeing the Janome 3160 as it’s a popular quilting machine.

Janome 3160-QDC

Janome 3160-QDC

The Janome had a $1000 price tag on it, but with new pricing I think it was $200 off. I wanted to try the Necchi EX30 as it’s the same machine as the Janome 3160 (built by Janome with a Necchi body and name) and at $700 it’s less money. And let’s face it…I love the buttons. LOL!

Necchi EX30

Necchi EX30

April suggested looking at the Laura Ashley Brother machine…so I googled and came up with the NX-800, but she meant the NX-2000 (another machine that I can’t afford). When I saw the Brother NX-800 I did a double take as it was the EXACT SAME MACHINE as the Baby Lock Melody! EXACTLY! I was told at the shop that Brother makes the Baby Lock, just as Janome makes Elna and now Necchi.

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

Brother Laura Ashley Innov-is NX-800

The Necchi was a great machine. Easy to use, good basic 30 stitches, light weight…would make a great machine to haul to classes (12 pounds), and stayed put when sewing.

Ultimately I picked the Brother NX-800. While I love everything about Janome…I enjoyed sewing with the NX-800. Nice stitches, quiet, you can do lateral stitching, auto-thread cutter, ease of bobbin winding, great accessories.

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Can’t wait to pay off my layaway bill and bring her home.

Quilting Work-in-Progress WIP Projects ~ 4 February 2013

After moving to the east side of Sparks (from west side of Reno) to a smaller but sunnier condo, I’ve finally unpacked most of my quilting supplies and fabrics. Set up a small part of the second bedroom with my table and an old bookcase in the closet to house fabric. On one wall I put up the design wall…thank goodness for 3M Adhesive strip hooks!

My small work space...that Princess Feather block was pieced by my GGGrandma in Nebraska.

My small work space…that Princess Feather block was pieced by my GGGrandma in Nebraska.

One half of my fabric stash.

One half of my fabric stash.

I left a big box of civil war reproduction fabrics in the box and tucked it in the back of my closet…another box is loaded with prints of various colors.

My $1 chair I bought over the weekend from a garage sale.

My $1 chair I bought over the weekend from a garage sale.

Now onto the Work-in-Progess quilts ~ (minus a quilt top I made with Kate Spain fabric that I forgot to pull out).

Left: Triangle rows out of Frolic.  Need to add a few onto each row and make it longer.  Right: English paper pieced Grandma's Flower Garden out of batiks.

Left: Triangle rows out of Frolic. Need to add a few onto each row and make it longer. Right: English paper pieced Grandma’s Flower Garden out of batiks.

Cut Frolic triangles.

Cut Frolic triangles.

Hexie wall-hanging made with Lauren & Jessi Jung Flora charm pack.

Hexie wall-hanging made with Lauren & Jessi Jung Flora charm pack.

Farmer's Wife quilt blocks that I'm hand-piecing with Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley.

Farmer’s Wife quilt blocks that I’m hand-piecing with Denyse Schmidt’s Hope Valley.

Farmer's Wife 'Cut Glass Dish' block that I have with me now to stitch together at lunch.

Farmer’s Wife ‘Cut Glass Dish’ block that I have with me now to stitch together at lunch.