Friday, June 1, 2012

Quilting and more quilting...

Earlier this year, it became apparent that my beloved Activa 135 sewing machine of many many years was quite possibly getting ready for retirement.  This was voluntary on her part, but it soon became obvious to me that she was no longer capable of the physical demands I was putting her through.  I suppose it is possible to wear out a sewing machine although it does seem a bit unlikely, but I do put in about 20 hours a week on a busy week which equates to approx. 1000/year or 10000 hours over her lifetime.  Hmm, what is the lifespan of a home sewing machine anyway?  Luckily, hubby who is techno savvy managed to resuscitate her a few times over the past few months but finally I had to concede that she was no longer the youngin’ she used to be.  

Sadly, I replaced her – well kinda sadly but not too much ‘cause who doesn’t love a new sewing machine?!  Yeah, but I did feel kind of bad when she was relegated to the corner of the sewing room, sitting forlornly on the floor all packaged up by herself.  She served me well over the past decade.  She will go in for a full spa service treatment and hopefully she can retire to be used occasionally when the kids have sewing projects they want to do.   

So who/what did I replace her with you ask? Well here’s a peak at her younger sister.

 I have not yet put her through the paces but I will likely write a full review of this machine in a few months when I’ve tested her out thoroughly.  She didn't rest on her laurels for long, she proceeded immediately to free-motion quilting this stems quilt which had been awaiting some stippling.  The new machine came with the much touted BSR (Bernina stitch regulator) and so I gave that a thorough workout over the weekend with this new quilt. 
. Seems a bit strange to me that I didn't even test out all her stitches before diving into a huge quilting project, but that's what I did. Trial by fire I suppose. I decided to use this orange peel quilting pattern that  Elizabeth Hartman talks about in this post (inspiration taken from her new book).  Let me just say that while I like the results, I’ll never do that much quilting again – it took FOREVER and was quite labor intensive on even this relatively small lap quilt.
 Scrappy stems with orange peel quilting 
Yikes!!  But I did put the BSR through it’s paces, more on that later.
Scrappy stems
So I finished quilting the newly christened Scrappy Stems quilt over the weekend.    I do like the end result.  The Stems quilt is a pattern by Fig Tree and Co and can be found here.
Scrappy stems

That’s all for now. Happy Sewing!
Scrappy stems
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