Sunday, May 15, 2011

Impressed. (or not)

You're probably bored of me talking about my sewing machine problems.

Today DH took Nancy (my singer confidence) to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston - for a visit with the awesome Jim (repairman). It turns out that Jim left early today and Wally talked to someone else in that section of the store (probably not a repairman... at least not from what I gather). 

The verdict? Nancy's not broken. What? 
Yeah. I'm not exactly sure what the guy said (and I know he knew what was going on with the machine... I wrote a note explaining it all)... but he pretty much told wally that it was probably a threading issue. First off- I've had this machine for a year and a half, quilted about 10 quilts on it (start-finish) pretty much used it a ton. I know how to thread it. I'm not dumb. Second he said it may have been the type of thread I was using plus the fabric I was using. No. Regular Coats & Clark 100% cotton thread (same as always) and two layers of Kona and one layer of batting does not equal a sewing machine that freezes/locks/does not sew. I mean physically I couldn't turn the hand wheel. Flashy lights and beeping? I don't think this guy had a clue. He did offer that he could sign the machine into their que to be checked out -- that would take two weeks minimum (no thanks, I'll wait for Jim who will explain everything to me). But on the bright side I didn't have any problems with her tonight while I was sewing. (but I'm still nervous about it).

Ok so the impressed part? The guy at the shop was impressed that I'd done so much quilting on such a low grade machine. (or that someone who owned the low grade machine was so serious about quilting). He said that most people who do that much sewing/quilting are doing so on a much higher model (think Viking, Janome, Bernina). No he wasn't trying to sell Wally on any other machine... but Wally was asking about what the next appropriate model up would be; the guy obviously showed him the Viking (about $1200). I was sure to tell Wally that he's not allowed to pick out my next machine (and Nancy's working again anyway) - he likes to surprise with that sort of thing... but I want a machine with the things that I want! :) Not that we have that sort of money right now. But for the future. lol. Wally was surprised that I knew exactly the machine that the guy showed him... and the comparable other brands. lol. Duh. He knows what a BMW looks like. 

So Nancy works. (lol and the shop guy assumed Nancy was my name... lol wally had to explain that it was the machine's name). And it was a bit of a confidence boost to hear wally quoting the shop guy praising my ability to sew on such a machine. I'm also a little insulted (not really) on Nancy's behalf. She's a good machine and a real workhorse. God knows what's wrong with her... lol Hopefully it doesn't happen again.


  1. Em, for whatever it's worth, my sewing machine repairman also says Coats & Clarke thread will freeze up a machine. And it did freeze up my machine, on the very first quilt I worked on. Since then, I've only used Aurifil or Gutermann thread, and I've not had those freezing up problems at all. Maybe try some different thread?

  2. I have a Viking Sapphire and have had problems with C&C thread too, I always stock up on Gutermann when it's half off...

  3. I agree with Elizabeth. I worked for a Bernina dealer for 5 years, and the number one thing we always stressed was to not use Coats and Clark. It has too many "loose" cotton fibers that can get caught up and freeze your machine. Aurifil is a wonderful way too go, not to pricey either. Hope you get everything worked out.

  4. Glad that Nancy seems to be back to working order. I have no real input on the thread issue. I use a variety of different threads...mostly 100% cotton...I do notice that some threads seem to produce more fuzz in my machine. I just make sure that I clean it up pretty much every time I sew.

  5. I have also heard from LQS ladies that you shouldn't use Coats and Clark thread. I assumed that was just them trying to sell me on more expensive thread, so it's interesting to see all the other comments saying not to use it. I haven't had it freeze up my machine, but I've had tension problems off and on. Maybe I'll try using something else and see if it helps!

  6. Not tired of hearing about this stuff at all. Hope all continues to go well. If you do change thread, I would be interested to hear if things do change. I've always used Gutermann. I didn't realize that I hadn't been using 100% cotton thread until a few blogs talked about it. It's all about learning.