My sewing machine ready to travel to Tucson last week. Doesn't everybody buckle in their machines? ;)
First I went to the old Bernina dealership that I had gone to in the past. There was absolutely nothing to indicate there ever was a sewing business. Not even a note in the window. I went next door and asked what happened... apparently the owners retired at the end of May. Oops! My bad. So if anybody is wondering, the Bernina Sewing Center of Tucson on 4500 Speedway is gone. I guess there wasn't anybody to pass the business down to.
Onto the Hancock Fabrics on 22nd. I was a bit early and had to wait outside. Some lady was asking why I was there, and then she pointed out a sign on the window saying there would be a technician at the store on October 23. She didn't think they'd be able to help me before that. Not what I wanted to hear!! :P
Once the store opened, I was able to go straight to the Bernina Center inside. I was lucky to have the undivided attention of Kelly G., who manages that center. She was absolutely WONDERFUL! She explained to me that she doesn't do the cleaning and fixing herself, but that she has a tech that she brings the machines to. No chance of me getting same day service, but it would be 1-2 weeks. Sounds good to me!
When Kelly found out that I'm deaf, she started making sure that she was facing me the entire time so I could read her lips easily. Turns out that she's actively involved with the Tucson's Deaf Community. From what I understand, her son's best friend's parents were deaf and that spurred Kelly to take some sign language classes. She told me that every Wednesday morning, a bunch of deaf people get together to quilt. Wow, that was a new one for me. :) Kelly said if I ever move to Tucson, she'll be more than happy to show me around with the Deaf Community. I'm ready to move! ;)
Currently it's been a bit over a week, and I'm trying not to chop at the bit and patiently wait until next Friday to see what's up. I'm really hopeful that she'll call some time early next week. The service will be $90 (about what I expected) and I bought a new bobbin case. She charged me her "old" price, $75, since she bought the bobbin case before the price increase (new price is $120 for a bobbin case). She also gave me a 25% discount (I think she said there was some coupon for the entire month of September?), which bumped my out of pocket price to $62. See what I mean about her being a wonderful lady? :)
I have no idea what's wrong with my machine, or how fixable it is... but I sure left the store feeling so much better. :)
Jill had the lovely suggestion of alcohol to "fix" my problems. I gotta admit that I was tempted there for a moment! ;)
But Kim spoke up saying that she has the exact sewing machine as I do... and had the exact same problem. All I could think of was "I'm not alone! I'm not insane!!" Kim never did find a solution for her Bernina, and ended up buying a Juki TL98. She says the 150 is a wonderful piecer, and I have to agree; it just gets temperamental when it comes to free-motioning.
I'm strongly considering saving up for a Juki now. I'll wait on the results of my Bernina first, but my idea is to save $100/month until I have about $900 and hunt for a good deal on a Juki TL98. I figured I can limp the free-motioning along for 6-9 months on the Bernina, and then hopefully retire it to a piecing-only machine.
I'm wondering if it might be a more well known issue with Bernina 150s, except perhaps most owners don't try to free-motion themselves. Part of me thinks that a large portion of people that can afford Berninas can also afford to have their quilts professionally done or even own a long arm set up themselves. But every now and then, there's people who bide their time and faithfully seek the auctions on eBay and snag one for the fraction of the original cost. Like me. ;)
Here's to hoping that I'll be quilting next week!