This post has two parts: Part I (the fun part) is a tour of the new Sew Many Quilts quilt shop location; and Part II (the less fun part) is a little discussion on sewing machines and their maintenance (with a request for your input).
Part I: Sew Many Quilts’ New Shop
We have wonderful quilt shops in Central Oregon. I have a full list and link to the shop’s websites in the right sidebar of my blog.
Saturday I need to take by Bernina QE in for service (more on that in Part II) to Sew Many Quilts and Bernina Center. They recently moved to a larger location and Terry the Quilting Husband and I were looking forward to seeing their new shop and layout.
We have lived in Central Oregon for nearly 12 years and Sew Many Quilts is one of the first quilt shops I went to when I moved here. They used to be in a very very very tiny location and you had to sometimes back out of an area so another quilter could pass by the area you were shopping in. Then they moved to a semi-industrial shop area but it was tucked away and I wonder if they were not getting enough traffic. Now they have moved to a highly visible store front strip mall type location.
This quilt shop is always dear to my heart as it is where I bought my first “high-end” sewing machine (but more on that in Part II).
Enough rambling, here is a photo tour of their new location (note they do not have their sign out front yet so I did not take many outside photos).
General quilt shop photos:
The Bernina Center (warning this section contains “sewing machine porn”):
There were many wonderful quilt samples on display, but this one was my favorite:
So next time you are in Central Oregon, be sure to add this wonderful quilt shop to your visit list!
Part II: Sewing Machines and Their Maintenance
Here are a couple questions for those of you who sew (at first I wrote “sewers” but I thought hmmm that would be like I am addressing all the underground conduits following my blog, ha!):
- What type of sewing machine(s) do you have; and if you have multiple machine – which one is your favorite?
- How often do you get your sewing machine(s) serviced?
My Sewing Machines
I have 2 sewing machines – a Bernina 440 QE (my primary machine) and Bernina Active 210 (for travel/classes). I nicknamed my beloved Bernina 440 “Berny”.
I began quilting on a Singer sewing machine and then upgraded to a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine. At the time this was a huge purchase as a new quilter – $400 (on sale of course) for a sewing machine – could you imagine someone spending that much on a sewing machine, I could not (little did I know what was to come…)
After a couple years of quilting and taking classes and drooling over the higher end machines that other quilters had, I decided that to feel complete in life I needed a Bernina. I was very attracted to Bernina because of its reputation for being well constructed and reliable with durable internal metal parts. I did of course have “sticker shocked” when I saw what Berninas cost!
I would visit Sew Many Quilts and drool over their Bernina display. Then they had a sale with 12 months same as cash no interest and I decided to make the investment and purchase the Bernina 440 QE.
Overall I have been pleased with my Bernina and a couple of years ago bought a smaller Bernina for classes during another sale at Sew Many Quilts.
The one thing I wish my Berninas had is a thread cutter. I borrowed a friend’s Janome with a thread cutter and I fell in love with the whole automatic thread cutting experience (it made me coo with delight!).
However after years of quilting and talking to other quilters, I realized I could have bought at least one of my Berninas used and saved quite a bit of money. I have also sewed on other machines such as Janomes that a pretty nice too (and are less expensive).
I’ve also tried out used/older Berninas that work wonderfully and I now realize you do not always need the newest shiniest thing when it comes to sewing machines!
Berninas require regularly service/maintenance and you have to oil them (they come with a bottle of machine oil) to keep them running smoothly. We have one (that I know of) Bernina Service Technician in Central Oregon so if he is busy you have to be patient.
The recommendation is a once a year service which I have to confess I have not always followed. I am pretty good at regularly oiling my machine and keeping all the areas I can reach free of dust and lint. So sometimes I go up to 2 years before bringing it in for maintenance (clean, oil and adjust).
In the 8 years I have had my Berninas I have only had one major issue and that was because one of them got dropped on the way to a quilting retreat by an airport shuttle company. I did pursue a claim with the airport shuttle company and they did reimburse the repairs.
I look forward to reading your thoughts on sewing machines and sewing machine maintenance in the Comment section – thanks!
I have listened to a bunch of interesting “self-help” audiobooks lately while sewing or walking the dogs. In a future post will share a little bit about those books and key inspirational insights.