Saturday, May 08, 2010

Surprise Sewing Machine!

It started off so innocently. My mom emailed me saying that she wanted to buy a quilting machine for herself. What would I recommend? My top three choices were a Bernina for piecing, a Janome 6500 or 6600 for the throat space or the Juki T-98 if she wanted to do a lot of free-motioning.

Mom quickly narrowed it down to the Bernina brand, from years of hearing how my sister and I liked sewing on them, I'm sure. :) I went on eBay to see what machine would likely to be the best fit for Mom. I was thinking one of the older lines would be fine for her. The one that stood out the most to me was the Activa 230 PE. Since it's a part of Bernina's current selling line, I told her to go to the local quilting shop/Bernina dealer and test the machine out herself. Then I admonished her to go home and think about the machine before buying, it's a big purchase!

She didn't make it home. :D It still makes me laugh to think about it, but she really liked the machine and bought it.

Then a few days later she let me know that I had a "baby gift" being shipped, and I should be on the lookout for it. On Friday I figured there might be a notice on the door saying I missed a package. Sure enough, there was a notice. Oh wait, it was for the US Census Bureau... oops, I haven't filled out the form yet. :P But there was also this box!

It couldn't possible be a sewing machine, could it? Perhaps it was just some accessory to go with my Bernina 150. Of course I ripped it right open, no need to wait in suspense! :)

Squeeeee! I've got my own Bernina Activa 230 PE! Completely surprised me, I never saw that one coming.

I had it up and running in less than 6 hours of receiving it. First I looked at all the pretty parts, then I went over the entire manual cover to cover, lastly I actually set up the machine. It went pretty smoothly, considering it was shipped all the way from California. I did thread the top thread wrong the first time, and it snapped after taking 2 stitches. An easy fix once I actually read the threading directions. :P

It didn't take me too long to decide to put the sewing machine at the end of the left table. Since the 230 PE has 6.5" throat space and my 150 QE has 7.75", I decided to make the 230 my primary piecing machine and the 150 primarily for free-motioning.

The really nice thing about the machines is that they take the same presser feet! And I hope the same bobbins too, but I haven't checked. I've been too busy piecing. ;)

Here's the new set up. Yeah, could use some tidying, but the nesting phrase hasn't hit me yet. The "I'm gonna sew for several hours on my new machine" phrase certainly has been here!

One of the reasons why my mom bought me the same sewing machine that she has is so that when we visit each other, it'll be a breeze to whip up a quilt project or two. We'll know how the machine works, no problem settling in. It also doesn't hurt to have a back up machine, I shouldn't be in so many tears the next time I have to take my machine in for a week or two for repairs. And someday, if the baby's interested in quilting (or just sewing), I'll have a nice machine to share and the ability to cut the motor speed in half! I don't need my heart in my throat. ;)

The only thing I haven't figured out is what this piece is for.

The manual was no help, and I can't figure out what it could possible attach to. Any ideas?

This is certainly a nice way to be initiated into motherhood. :) Happy Mother's Day Mom, and thank you!!



Sherry said...

I had the same problem figuring out what it was too and finally just asked the dealer. It's a fabric guide that just clips on to the removable table. Frankly, I've never used it and my Bernina is 7 years old. Congratulations on your wonderful gift. You'll love it.

Chrissie said...

awww! that's so sweet! *sniff* I'm so excited for you! I go to pick up my machine this week, and I'm so happy! I'll be able to sew again! :) Happy Mother's day! hugs!

♪♪Melody♪♪ and Puddin said...

What a nice surprise! Will you have time to make a quick post when you start labor?

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Whooo-hooo! What a wonderful surprise! I am very happy for you. No more tears next time your machine is in for service, indeed! Always handy to have an extra machine around, but in your case, your "extra" sure is fine! Cheers! Evelyn

Laura said...

Wow, what a great surprise! Congratulations! It is really nice having a second machine around as a backup. I would have been in tears too if I'd been without my machine as long as you were during your last repair experience.

Sweet P said...

What a wonderful surprise! You'll be enjoying it for a long time.