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Thread: Machine use

  1. #1
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    Machine use

    I was just wondering how you use your machines. Do you use them just for piecing or do you quilt also with them.. What is your main reason for buying a vintage machine, because you like vintage or because they are better than the modern day machines for piecing ?

  2. #2
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    I bought a featherweight for piecing. I chose it because it's strong, easy to use and maintain, and of course portable. I picked it over a modern machine because of cost and I expect into live longer than anything I could buy today. I have a modern machine with many bells and whistles but find myself only using the fw now.

    My dad gave me my grandmothers 15-91 in a cabinet that I have big FMQing plans for.

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6500 to use for everything. Piecing, quilting, crafting, clothing! I haven't yet figured out the "love" of the vintage machines to use or collect. I only have the one machine and use it just about everyday!
    Lisa B in NC
    Quilting is my Happy Thought!
    http://www.quiltingkrazy.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    I use my Singer 101 for piecing. If I need a portable machine I use my Featherweight. I do have an Elna 7300 that I use occasionally. I purchased originally purchased it because I liked the needle up and needle down function and it had a needle threader. Well, the needle threader never worked, IMHO, properly and now does not work at all. So much for progress. As for all of my other sewing machines, I clean and pet them regularly.
    Sweet Caroline

  5. #5
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I use my vintage machines for both piecing and quilting. And for my that typically mean Free Motion Quilting as well. Some vintage machines aren't great at FMQing but most are. They are easy to repair and maintain (usually, there are exceptions) and I can bring some of my machines to the guild on sew days etc. so others can use them. They're fairly inexpensive and the quality of the machine can't be compared to today's plastic machines. I do have a few newer machines that I use for my own projects but all my charity work and scrap quilts are done with my vintage machines.

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I use any and all of my machines for piecing. It just depends on my mood. The quilting is usually done on a 66 or my 201, or my wife's Bernina 930. Being an anachronism I have zero use for computerized sewing machines.

    Joe

  7. #7
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    I use my machines for both piecing and quilting.... I have quilted on my treadle, but not free motion quilt. I do free motion quilt on some of my machines. Piecing I can and do use them all......well except for the few that I can't find needles for. They are sitting and looking pretty.

  8. #8
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    I started off a few years ago with a little Brother cs6000i, but on some heavy seams, I started wishing I could have my grandmother's sewing machine - the one I learned to sew on.

    I couldn't remember it exactly, but I finally learned it was a 401. So I started buying 401's. The first one was from a thoroughly disreputable eBay dealer who saw me coming. Beautiful pictures that hid all the damage to the paint (and I was too new to vintage collecting to realize what she'd done in the pictures) Here I'm thinking I'm getting a machine that looked like my grandmother's, and what I got looked like it had come through a war. There was hardened white lithium grease everywhere and the machine was FILTHY inside and out. The motor strained. Got that cleaned and the machine running nicely and darned if another 401 didn't walk into my path. In great shape, all the accessories, just needed cleaning and a light bulb. After that a THIRD 401 became available to me at a price I couldn't turn down. Perfect paint, a little dirty, all the toys. Shortly after that, a copy of my grandmother's cabinet popped up on craigslist. Needs some work, but so far, Dr Woodwell's has masked most of the trouble.

    After I started sewing with the 401, I started reading that what I needed for free-motion quilting was a vertical needle and bobbin - a model 15. I started watching craigslist and here comes a model 15 in a waterfall #42 cabinet complete with period literature, every attachment under the sun including a hemstitcher and a fringe-maker - and the inkwell is still in the drawer! That is still my favorite machine - I use it in conjuction with a little Brother serger for virtually everything.

    When I need a blind hem stitch, I press a bunch of hems all at once and pull out the 1970's Kenmore - unbelieveable power for sewing hems - even in jeans and canvas twill.

    I have a modern Singer Futura embroidery/sewing machine that's spent more time in the shop than it has actually sewing designs. I would never rely on it - like to make a special monogram or gift item. I would not trust fine fabrics or expensive materials to it. I might pull it out and do some cutwork or something, but only small things that don't require re-hooping. The bobbin case has been replaced twice already - and I think I've sewn a MAXIMUM of two or three dozen designs with that machine. I always follow the directions exactly, new needles frequently, etc. The machine alerts for bad threading even though I have followed the chart perfectly. I've learned to leave the threading alone and instead, reboot the computer by unplugging it for 30 seconds. When it re-boots, it sews just fine without an alert about the "mis-threading."

    I know that there are some really nice modern machines out there, but with all these vintage gals around, I never miss anything from the newer ones. I'd like to have one of those whiz-bang sergers that thread themselves because I hear they're very quiet compared to my "Harvey Wallbanger." Someday. But, not a new sewing machine, I don't think. I love the ones I have.

  9. #9
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I use mine for both. I have a new brother that I like very much but my Singer 401A is still the one I love to use most.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    No real useage yet but if I do any sewing (and I hope to do some) it will be on one of the vintage machines. In particularly it will be on a treadle or hand crank machine.

    In real life I program computers for a living and, like many other programmers I know, I have a tendency to go for simplicity in my toys. Bicycles, antique woodworking tools and now people powered sewing machines. I know full well that it's an affection - my iPhone is right there with me to remind me that I'm really not a ludite - but it's still how I like to enjoy myself.

    I'm also somewhat particular about the looks of the machines. I love the more ornate decals and the machines that demonstrate a 'waist', particularly if they have the smooth, rounded lines of the classic Singers like the 66 or the smooth rectangular sections of the Frister & Rossmanns. Once again, I understand that style doesn't relate to performance and some of the 'sperm whale' shaped machines (301, 185, Rocketeers, etc...) are great sewing machines. If I were going to be using them for production work I'd want the best performance. Since I'm not I'll settle for lesser performance but killer looks.

  11. #11
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    1.Bernina 440 for piecing and FMQ with my Bernina stitch regulator.
    2.Bernina Activa for my back-up machine in case #1 goes in for cleaning. I sew and piece on it and use it for darning socks and other things.
    3.Singer treadle for sewing through blue jean welted seams, upholstery, canvas like fabrics.
    4.Singer electric that was my mothers and it stays in it's case except for occasional cleaning/oiling.

  12. #12
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    I use most of mine. Depends on my mood. I have them set up with different colors so it is easy to change back and forth. I use my 201 as my main straight stitch machine because I love it.

  13. #13
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I use them all for one thing or another. Featherweight, Class 15 treadle, Class 66 electric in cabinet, vintage Elnita, Singer 327, and Brother XR-52 which is really my favorite.

  14. #14
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    pinkCastleDH,

    I started out fixing up the treadle my late cousin gave me back in 98. Then due to the cats and their claws I decided the machine's cabinet needed a cover to protect it. So using quilt pieces my wife and I had cut out for a previous quilt, I made my first quilt cover on the treadle. WHAT A PAIN!!!!! But I had to start some where.

    Now I've got four cabinet covers a quilt square for Skip, 7 whacky bags and other things too made on various different machines, treadle, and electric.

    Right now I'm working on two quilts using my moms old HOTHER, two Whacky bags on two different machine and Whacky machine cover for the White DRESSMASTER.

    Start sewing .... your wife will be jealous.

    Joe

  15. #15
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    I only have my Brother PC420 Project Runway, but I love it. I really only piece and make purses on it, as I prefer to hand-quilt, but it has more bells and whistles than I will ever use. I LOVE needle up/down function, auto thread cutter, and needle threaded. Thought I would love the knee lift, especially when machine appliqué, which I have done a bit of, but since I don't do it often, it is hard to get use to. I use it for hours every day, so clean out the bobbin casing and area regularly. No problems with it it in 2 years so far, at least that weren't OPERATOR's fault!! I sure wish I had my mothers old feather weight that I sewed on as a girl, but my sister somehow managed to bag it after my mother died and won't let me have it, despite the fact she doesn't use it.

  16. #16
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    Hello Ladies!,
    Sorry I'm new to this site, I don't know how to make a thread. But maybe you can help with my question? I'm new to quilting and would like to try free motion quilting on my machine. I've done free motion quilting on a family members machine and surprisngly i'm pretty good at it. The only problem I am having is my machine doesn't lower the feed dogs. I have a darning plate but when I lower my presser foot the tension between the foot and plate is too tight and it doesn't allow me to move the fabric freely. Is there any tip or trick to fixing this? Can I raise the presser foot a little? I'm not sure. I have the Singer Sew Mate. 60 stitch.

  17. #17
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acranford View Post
    Hello Ladies!,
    Sorry I'm new to this site, I don't know how to make a thread. But maybe you can help with my question? I'm new to quilting and would like to try free motion quilting on my machine. I've done free motion quilting on a family members machine and surprisngly i'm pretty good at it. The only problem I am having is my machine doesn't lower the feed dogs. I have a darning plate but when I lower my presser foot the tension between the foot and plate is too tight and it doesn't allow me to move the fabric freely. Is there any tip or trick to fixing this? Can I raise the presser foot a little? I'm not sure. I have the Singer Sew Mate. 60 stitch.
    Welcome to the board from Southern California! My machine, that I have had two years now, has a dial in the back that adjusts the pressed foot tension. Just discovered it last night when DH oiled my machine and told me to check the dial as he moved it. Had to look in the manual to see what it was for!! Some people have simply taped over the feed dogs, or there should be a device available specifically for this problem, as many people don't have retractable feed dogs either. BTW, if you go to the Home page at the top, click on Main threads, and click on post new thread( or words to that effect). Be sure to put a clear title in it so people will know what it is about.

  18. #18
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You don't have to lower your feed dogs to do free motion quilting. Some people prefer to FMQ with the feed dogs engaged. Lower the pressure on your foot and quilt away. I'm not familiar with a Singer Sew Mate, but I'm very surprised that it doesn't lower it's feed dogs. I would recommend checking your manual.

  19. #19
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I use my singer 66 on almost everything..

  20. #20
    Senior Member pinkCastleDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    pinkCastleDH,

    Start sewing .... your wife will be jealous.

    Joe
    Joe - As long as I'm still doing the 8:00 to 5:00 thing I doubt I'm going to be doing enough sewing to make Her jealous. Shoot, as long as we have sick cats (more than four years solid now) She isn't getting all that much sewing time! If/when we're down to all healthy cats that can get by on two meals a day I think She is going to suddenly discover what it means to spend some uninterrupted time on something you enjoy.

  21. #21
    Super Member jlm5419's Avatar
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    I got a featherweight for taking to classes or group sews, and my other vintage machines are for piecing and machine quilting small items. The 15'' Bailey quilts larger items. The new machine is mostly for embroidery or specialty stitches.

    I love vintage machines for their reliability, easy maintenance and repair, and they just plain look cool.

  22. #22
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    I use my Janome 10001 for embroidery or specialty stitches. I use my Singer 27 treadle for piecing. I use my Singer 15 electric or my Morse 672 for FMQing and my 66 treadle for most everything else. Oh, and I have an old Kenmore that I use to wind bobbins. I have an old Singer on my quilting frame. It seems that each one has a different purpose in life! Sort of like people, I guess!

  23. #23
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlm5419 View Post
    I love vintage machines for their reliability, easy maintenance and repair, and they just plain look cool.
    I agree with this! I piece on my 101, 201 or FW. I FMQ on my 15-91. The only reason I keep a modern machine around is to do applique. As soon as I find a good vintage that will do zig-zag, I will get rid of my modern machine. Once you see the beautiful straight stitches a 101, 201, or 15-91 makes, it is hard to go "back" to a modern machine!
    Linda
    There may be times we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. - Elie Wiesel

  24. #24
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    I use my Janome 6500 atleast 3 times a week at home. My FW gets used frequently for quilt camp, sew meets and other times our guild members get together as a sewing group for special projects..

  25. #25
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have a 15 badged clone and so far have only made a quilt top and a cover for it. I plan to use it more and try FMQ on it. I have two straight stitch only machines. I am more use to sewing on them and I do like a few simple things I like better about them.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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