The main reason why I wanted to buy a vintage sewing machine was so that I could quilt my quilts at home and not have to send them out to a quilter. Not that I am opposed to that, I just don’t have it in the budget. So after shopping around and realizing that a larger sewing machine (by that I mean larger arm space or harp space for a quilt to fit, I’ll show you) was not going to happen… for a very long time, I tried to think about plan B. In my research I discovered that the vintage machines can do free-motion, they are easy to find, workhorse machines and a fraction of the price. I used some birthday money from my Dad and Stepmom to buy a machine on Ebay and bought a $40 sewing desk on Craigslist.
I have had some frustrating moments with this machine. In my frugality, I bought a machine that had not been cleaned or serviced, it just worked. So when I got it, it was quite dirty and in need of some tlc. This process has been annoying at times, but overall I feel like I really know my machine. I won’t fill you in on all the gory details besides a few tips on how I got the free motion working well. I can save that for a different post if anyone is interested, but the machine is working perfectly… exactly what I wanted and I’m pretty excited about that.
Here are my settings for free-motion
Tension: just over 1
Make sure bobbin tension is correct, my machine likes it tight. (I fiddled with this forever and it got my stitch looking great once it was right)
Aurifil thread (see photo for specs)
Feed dogs up (I don’t know why, but my machine goes haywire when you drop the dogs and it doesn’t make much difference in moving the fabric around.)
Now here is the real kicker. All the hours of fussing with my machine to get a nice stitch is worth it to have this…
See that cute little jadeite dish that holds my safety pins? I mean – the difference is pretty obvious.
I’m about 1/3 done with quilting this quilt. Can’t wait to show you when it’s finished!!