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Thread: Need ideas to take machine to class.

  1. #1
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    Need ideas to take machine to class.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem. I am unable to lift nor carry my sewing machine. Friends have been kind enough to help me get my machine to class - even the classroom instructor will carry it in. We've all been injured! Three with shoulder injuries. We have cases with wheels and I have a van. Our husbands can put the machines into the van, but how on earth do we get them into the classroom and onto the tables? I've thought of maybe something like the ambulance crews use that will slide out of the van and roll the machines into the classroom and allow us to slide them onto the table. I'm sure there are others out there who no longer go to quilt class because of the difficulty of getting a machine to class. We enjoy the company of fellow quilters and do not want to "go it alone" at home all the time. Has anyone found a solution?

  2. #2
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    I bought a Janome Jem just to take to classes. It's small and weighs a lot less than my Bernina.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Challys's Avatar
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    I have a Janome Magnolia bought to go places but has become my machine of choice!

  4. #4
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    I have a problem with lifting as well; but I don't take any classes so my lifting problems are confined to such mundane issues as "how do I get the groceries into the house???" One thing I did was to purchase one of those carriers that look like wheeled luggage; I load it up from the car, drag it up my six outside steps, and then collapse into my house. A few times of that and I am really considering the merits of adopting a couple of teenage boys! Actually, it works well and I imagine some form of that might work for you guys as well. Like a friend of mine just said, "Getting old is NOT for wimps!" You might also look at one of the boards that allows you to load say, a lawnmower into the back of a truck...that might help as well. As to how you get it out of the van, are there not any younger people or other help you could get?
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  5. #5
    Senior Member FranW's Avatar
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    I also bought a Jem just for classes. It has been a lifesaver!
    Have a happy day,

    Fran

  6. #6
    Super Member Chicca's Avatar
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    Very good question. My husband is disabled and should not lift and carry much and I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back and bursitis in my left hip which makes carrying things extremelly painful. We found a flat cart with wheels that works wonderful for transporting groceries and such from the car and moving items around the house. It has really helped us a lot; but we do not have any stairs where we live. Just thought of this, those high carts like they use in hospitals and such (not the huge ones, but the smaller ones) would they work for you to wheel it to the back of your car and be able to slide your machine onto the top of it, without lifting. For the life of me, I can not remember the proper name, but we used to have one. It had three layers and was lightweight and so easy to wheel around.
    I do hope that you can find a solution that works for you.
    Brenda

  7. #7
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    I bought a featherweight machine I use for straight sewing classes. For classes where I need a machine that does specialty stitches I bought a little "Audry" by Baby Lock. It only weighs about 12-13 lbs and comes in a fabric case that really doesn't add much weight. I can easily carry and lift it when I need to for a class. Before those two purchases I wasn't taking classes due to the weight of my good machine.
    Good luck
    Kat

  8. #8
    Junior Member susieqwva's Avatar
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    I just purchased a Janome 3160 as a traveling machine. It weighs about 12 lbs.

  9. #9
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    I have a lighter machine for classes and I have the cart with wheels that it fits into. I strap my rolling case onto the back seat. It isn't very far to the ground from the seat and it has a pull up handle to wheel into class. I still have a little lifting but not too bad. I don't know how to eliminate all the lifting unless you can bribe an able bodied youngster that could help unload and load at class.

  10. #10
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    When my 35-year-old Kenmore became too heavy to lift easily, I did what a lot of the others have done - bought a lightweight machine that I can easily lift and carry. It's a Janome-made Kenmore and is a great backup machine too.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  11. #11
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    I had 3 knee replacement surgeries last year and am still pretty crippled, trying to find someone else to fix bilateral tendon scraping problems. I finally worked out a system that helps me go sewing at the Guild. I use a sturdy canvas tote bag for putting my lightweight Brother into the car which is backed right up to the front steps. A pretty lawn just isn't important to me these days, and sometimes I leave the car parked right there. It bothers some neighbors, but I no longer care. The height of the top step is almost the same as the cargo door of my Forester. I use a folding luggage rack to drag everything into the VFW and am always embarrassed when someone 20 years older offers to help, though I do accept. I use at least 1 crutch, so everything has to be brought in with 1 trip. Sometimes I supplement with a small cross body messenger bag. The Brother is much easier to lift than most members' machines, and is perfectly fine unless sewing layers of denim. Sturdy tote bags are wonderful for everything. I've had people remark about how much "stuff" is in the back of my car, but it saves me many painful steps if I carry things like recycling items to the car each time I am going out, then only make a trip to the recycling center when convenient. The luggage rack, sturdy folding chair or walker, and pillow live in the car now, along with crutches. Practical is much more important then pretty when mobility is minimal. I have some old cast iron machines, and love my old Kenmore, but it's too heavy to travel. I worry the FW or 301's bobbin case will be "misappropriated", so they stay home. It takes a lot of effort to load and unload the car, so now I only go for group sewing days of at least 4 hours, and load the car the night before or I get too tired or in pain. Sometimes I take too much "just in case" stuff that stays in the car unless needed- extra fabrics, backings, etc. Other times I talk myself out of taking things, then of course actually need them. The best thing to do is get a lightweight reliable machine for traveling, and accept help when it's offered.

  12. #12
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momto5 View Post
    I have a problem with lifting as well; but I don't take any classes so my lifting problems are confined to such mundane issues as "how do I get the groceries into the house???" One thing I did was to purchase one of those carriers that look like wheeled luggage; I load it up from the car, drag it up my six outside steps, and then collapse into my house. A few times of that and I am really considering the merits of adopting a couple of teenage boys! Actually, it works well and I imagine some form of that might work for you guys as well. Like a friend of mine just said, "Getting old is NOT for wimps!" You might also look at one of the boards that allows you to load say, a lawnmower into the back of a truck...that might help as well. As to how you get it out of the van, are there not any younger people or other help you could get?
    I couldn't carry my old Brother to classes anymore either so I did the same as above. I got one of those carriers that look like they are for luggage. Then I purchased a lighter weight machine, a Janome Gem Platinum.
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Digitizingqueen's Avatar
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    I am puchsing a Viking that is much lighter than my designer II but will use all my feet I can't wait to get it, but it will make class sewing sew much easier

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Here is a thought. Go to class in a taxi. The driver will take your machine inside and pick it up when you leave.
    Got fabric?

  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    cheap brothers are extremely lightweight, most are only about 12lbs

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peepers View Post
    I bought a Janome Jem just to take to classes. It's small and weighs a lot less than my Bernina.
    I bought the Janome Jem Platinum for classes and right after that all the adult education classes were cancelled because of the massive education cuts in California. Sometimes you just can't win!

  17. #17
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    Have you thought about hiring a young teenager especially since it is the summer time. They could do it for you and earn a little extra money at that and maybe pick up some quilting tips.
    Judy

  18. #18
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    I think you should make arrangements with the facility where you are having the classes, church, sewing dealership, library, where ever, to have someone on hand to help set up the machines and to help load the machines at the end of the sewing sessions. I can't believe you have found a facility that has no one else around.
    If necessary, take a retired husband along to do this and let him read while you sew.

  19. #19
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    The cart is a great idea. I will try to see if I can find one. I can't push or pull anything heavy either, so if I could find something that would roll easily, that would be helpful. Thank you. I pray you keep quilting and keep being innovative so as to enjoy your lives.

  20. #20
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    I understand completely! I was going to buy a featherweight (like I need another sewing machine!)...but instead I dug my old 1978 out of the closet, serviced it and now take it to and from class. We are snowbirds and I haven't been taking my sewing machine with me and have really missed it! So this year I am taking that old Singer with me. It is so small compared to todays machines, I hadn't realized how much sewing machines had "Grown". LOL

  21. #21
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    I have the Sapphire 855 and I love it! I'll have to check with my local Viking dealer about the lighter version. I am limited to under 10 pounds. Thanks for letting me know.

  22. #22
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    I have light weight machines so I can take them anywhere with me. at classes it is mostly peicing so you don't need anything fancy I would suggest getting a cheapie from wal mart that is lighter just for classes. My small Janome is great for that.

  23. #23
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    I take my Featherweights to classes or workshops with me. I put them and my traveling kit of tools in a cart I bought at Staples. It's plenty wide enough to sit the machine down in it as well as all the tools, iron, pad and any fabric I might need. It works great with a tall handle to roll it in wherever I'm going.
    Karen in Kentucky

  24. #24
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    Some shops have a machine there that you can use if you make arrangements with them ahead of time
    Kathy Stewart from IA
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kath_stirut

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranW View Post
    I also bought a Jem just for classes. It has been a lifesaver!
    THe Jem is definately the way to go - in my regular quilting class at least half of students has purchased one.

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