Sunday, July 13, 2008

What Kind of Sewing Machine Do You OWN?

I was visiting Freda's Hive the other day and she was talking about her Bernina so, I thought it would be fun to do a survey amongst the quilters that visit my blog. Take the survey on my sidebar and vote for which machine you have and leave a comment. You can mark ANY or ALL of the machines that apply to you.

I'll start off by telling you I own three different Viking Husqavarna Sewing Machines, a White Portable Sewing Machine and a Babylock Pro-line Serger. I've had a few other machines over the years but, none have worked as well and as consistently as my Vikings. My first sewing machine was a Sears Kenmore that I bought from a neighbor and the next sewing machine was also a Kenmore with lots of different cams that you would insert into a designated spot and that would generate your different sewing stitches. It was way too cumbersome of a method to change from one decorative stitch to another especially with how easy it is on today's sewing machines.

This is my newest baby and is the 5th sewing machine I've owned. It's a Viking Sapphire 850 and has lots of great features and an extra large sewing area which also has an added light. It's great having all of that extra area to sew when I'm machine quilting. My dear husband bought me this sewing machine a year ago Mother's Day when I was having trouble with my Viking Rose that was 11 years old at the time.

My Rose was my 4th and my very first brand new sewing machine. It hadn't given me any trouble in all the years I've had her until one day it just wouldn't turn over when you turned on the switch. My first thought was it had to be related to the computer and I saw dollar signs in my head. I took it in to the repairman and waited for an estimate. While we were at the store we looked around at the latest greatest sewing machines. It was so fun. I was really excited about a new sewing machine knowing that my Rose might cost a lot of money to fix and then I could just get a new one. I had it all figured out in my head ; )

Well, it turns out that my Rose was just fine, all it needed was a new fuse, a loose wire that needed tightening and a regular service cleaning. I was happy and sad that it only cost $79 to fix it. I thought I wouldn't be able to get a new machine but my husband spoiled me and got the Sapphire anyway. My daughter Natalie was especially happy because she knew that I would let her have my Rose. So, we both got a new sewing machine.

Here's a close-up of some of the stitches and the bobbin winder.

Here's a close-up of the foot that Nanette mentioned on her post that has the metal guide attached to the foot that helps keep your 1/4" seams more accurate. I'm not sure about Bernina but I've had this foot for over 12 years now on my Vikings and I wouldn't use any other method unless I had too. If you don't have this kind of foot for your machine I would check to see if it's available for your sewing machine. You'll love it!!!

This was my 3rd sewing machine that I acquired from my mother when she passed away. I remember the day my dad bought her that machine from ZCMI. I was married by then so I never got to use it. I learned to sew when I was 14 years old. My best friend Andrea loved to sew and together we made lots of clothes and I remember the time we made teddy bears together. As you can see from the pictures I still love teddy bears and have too many of them. They live in my sewing room because they don't fit anywhere else in my house, according to my husband (smile) especially since our remodel.

This is a White "Quilter's Machine" that I bought for my youngest daughter to sew on (since I didn't want her sewing on mine) and I thought it would be handy to take to classes, etc. It's small, portable, and has some really good features. I especially love the table extension. Kenna loves to sew blocks together and has even made her own little quilt.

This is my other WORK HORSE that my husband bought me over 20 years ago when my kids were just little. I made a lot of my kids clothes and Halloween costumes over the years and I have lots of great memories of the times spent sewing for my kids. Now let me tell you about this serger. It's been the best and most reliable serger I've ever had and it's been the only one I've ever had and I use it quite a bit. I had to have it fixed once because a friend that I loaned it too somehow broke it! I got it fixed and serviced and it still works great. I wish it would break so I could get one of these new Babylock Evolves that have jet air threading. That's my next investment.


Lily Boot said...

Ooooh I'm so pleased to see that you have one of those cool feet on your Viking - I have a Viking and I loathe the 1/4 inch foot it came with. I've been fiddly with the needle position lately but that hasn't been too thrilling either. So tomorrow I am going in search of your wonderful looking foot! p.s. I love the quilt in your header - so very pretty!

Darlene said...

Ironically, my first sewing machine was a Kenmore - received it for my first Mother's Day 33 years ago. Lots of machines since then. :-)

Darlene said...

"can't process request" is the message I get when I try to participate in your sewing machine poll.

I have a three Bernina machines, three Janomes and a Singer Featherweight. My primary machine is my Janome 6600.

Anita said...

My first machine was a Kenmore as well. I was happy to pass it onto a friend when I got my Viking 555 machine. I have never seen the 1/4" foot in your post. Is it easy to find? I would really love to have one, I have been eye balling 1/4 seems way too long.

Kim Walus said...

Okay, for the ladies that have Vikings the foot is called an "Edge Stitching Foot" it's a utility foot so it doesn't come with your sewing machine but you should be able to pick it up at any Viking Dealer like I did. Also, it's not a 1/4" foot so you have to adjust your needle position. If you don't know how to do that let me know and I do tutorial or something like that to show you. Infact, maybe I'll do a quickie video. I'll be gone all day today with cousins. It's movie day, so I'll be home later. Hope that helps. You can go on over to: and then enter your machine and the category "Presserfeet" that should help you a bit.

Kim Walus said...

In respect to the voting. You can pick multiple different machines at the same time but not multiple same machines. Hope that makes sense.

Nanette Merrill said...

My gosh Kim - that is some serious sewing machine booty!!! I did get my Viking that I had for a few years at ZCMI too. YEah my mom had a heart attack when I bought it because I had betrayed her Bernina but it was a good machine. I wish I had kept it rather than trade it in. I've learned. They don't give you enough on a trade. Its better to keep - hence why I have 2 Berninas. I don't use my serger much but I spent a heck of a price to get it fixed last year. So I need to get that out and use it. That newest machine is something! Wowie. Good for you. I love sewing machines - well nice ones. I love to look at them and see them work and admire the stitching. Great post!

Jo-Anne said...

What a lovely sewing machine!
I am the proud owner of a broken Brother sewing machine. It will cost as much to fix it as it would to buy another so I am on the lookout. In the mean-time I have been using Ragan's machine. It is a White and nothing spectacular. I learned to sew on my mothers Kenmore machine. It had all the fun cartridges. I was given an older model Pfaff and used it for years and years. Seriously, I could have cirlcled the earth several times with the sewing I did on that thing. When I got my Brother, I gave it away to a young gal who wanted to make clothes for her soon to arrive little baby.
Thanks for this informative post. I shall take all I've learned with me as I shop for my new machine! :):):)

Thimbleanna said...

What a fun post and so nice to meed your machines LOL. I don't know anything about the Sapphire -- wasn't the Rose an embroidery machine too? Does the Sapphire have embroidery? Glad you're a Viking girl LOL!

Busy Little Quilter said...

I'm like Nanette, I also have two Bernina's. I also have my first sewing machine (I was 12) a Singer Genie (it's yellow and orange and screams 70's), a Juki for machine quilting, a Singer Featherweight, a Hello Kitty Janome, a serger, and an embroidery machine. I have never used the serger and I don't ever use the embroidery machine.

Trish said...


I love the two quilts shown with your third sewing machine, the red and cream and the one hanging on the wall. Can you tell me what pattern that is? Thanks so much. Trish Chesterfield, VA

Anonymous said...

I have been sewing quilts for 9 months. I could not afford a new machine so I sew on a 1966 Kenmore with those decorative cams:) If I get a new machine I am sure I will a a big learning curve:)