Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Jessam » Fri, 31 May 2002 19:52:15



Brian,

I can't help you (just wait a while and someone will!) but I did want to
welcome you to the group...

WELCOME!

Do you like chocolate ;-)

Good luck with the project... it sounds wonderful!

--
8-)

Jessamy
in The Netherlands

http://www.FoundCollection.com/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'll make this quick as I can and am grateful for any suggestions/ideas.

I am a collage artist who has worked in paper or digital for years and now
want to explore the possibilities in fabric collage (perhaps the genes from
my late mom, a brilliant wizard with the Sewing Machine, have kicked in).

I want to produce a combination of photo transfer, applique, etc etc -- and
these will be (1) framed or (2) wall*** with a minimum amount of
batting. I'm stuck because I need a sewing machine to do the job and know
what I want -- drop feed dogs, ability to do basic stitches, etc. At this
point, my work won't use decorative stitching to, let's say, top off a
mountain or a form in the picture -- I'm content to let the fabric speak for
itself.

Options I've discovered in the town I'm in:

(1) Down Home that I liked, but the store that sold it had NO clue how to
deal with a problem while under warranty -- and no one in town will work on
one as an authorized service center unless you bought it from them. Down
Home/Janome website is no help -- only product I've seen that doesn't list
regional or approved service centers.

(2) An Elna 1010 or thereabouts that I liked ok at a small shop that does
it's own repairs and offers lessons on how to use that machine, if they get
one back in stock.

(3) A Pfaff Select 1530 that was pricey -- $725 -- but sewed like a dream,
also in a small shop that does its own repairs. Can find NOTHING in the
newsgroups from anyone who actually uses a Pfaff Select, but I do like the
dual feed system. Lessons included.

(4) A Kenmore from S**RS where I could have shot off bottle rockets and not
gotten the attention of a clerk.

(5) A Singer that had "Scholastic" as the identifying model on the front
demonstrated by a wonderful old guy (meaning older than I am) who had the
thread break 3 times during the demo -- not able to find a thing on it
anywhere either. Lessons included.

(6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year warranty
and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

(7) Another small shop selling a Singer from the same era for $80.

Anyway, that's where I am and I'd love any suggestions. I've been looking
all over town for quite a while and am eager to just get started on the
projects that are dancing around in my head.

Best wishes,

Brian

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Taco's Bell » Fri, 31 May 2002 20:34:42


Welcome, Brian.

It looks like you've done some major research into the sewing machine
world in your area.  However, if you post where you are (town,
state/country), someone in this newsgroup probably lives in the area and
can point you to other options.

As far as your list is concerned, I'd cross out any store that doesn't
leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.  You're going to have questions
and need cleaning or repairs no matter what machine you buy.

That leaves you with the (unavailable) Elna, (expensive) Pfaff, and
(older) Kenmore/Sears.  Only you can decide which one is best for your
situation, but I'll add my 2 cents anyway.....  My first machine (20
years ago) was an Elna.  It was well made, but I always had tension
problems with it.  Last year, I bought a Pfaff, and I love it.  I don't
know anything about the Kenmore/Sears, but I'm sure someone else in the
ng will give you information.

I went to your website, and your work is, well, interesting (sorry, but
it's not my style).  However, it lends itself well to fabric
interpretation.  I'm sure you'll have more questions as you explore the
new medium - we LOVE questions!

Taco's Belle

Quote:

> I'll make this quick as I can and am grateful for any suggestions/ideas.

> I am a collage artist who has worked in paper or digital for years and now
> want to explore the possibilities in fabric collage (perhaps the genes from
> my late mom, a brilliant wizard with the Sewing Machine, have kicked in).

> I want to produce a combination of photo transfer, applique, etc etc -- and
> these will be (1) framed or (2) wall*** with a minimum amount of
> batting. I'm stuck because I need a sewing machine to do the job and know
> what I want -- drop feed dogs, ability to do basic stitches, etc. At this
> point, my work won't use decorative stitching to, let's say, top off a
> mountain or a form in the picture -- I'm content to let the fabric speak for
> itself.

> Options I've discovered in the town I'm in:

> (1) Down Home that I liked, but the store that sold it had NO clue how to
> deal with a problem while under warranty -- and no one in town will work on
> one as an authorized service center unless you bought it from them. Down
> Home/Janome website is no help -- only product I've seen that doesn't list
> regional or approved service centers.

> (2) An Elna 1010 or thereabouts that I liked ok at a small shop that does
> it's own repairs and offers lessons on how to use that machine, if they get
> one back in stock.

> (3) A Pfaff Select 1530 that was pricey -- $725 -- but sewed like a dream,
> also in a small shop that does its own repairs. Can find NOTHING in the
> newsgroups from anyone who actually uses a Pfaff Select, but I do like the
> dual feed system. Lessons included.

> (4) A Kenmore from S**RS where I could have shot off bottle rockets and not
> gotten the attention of a clerk.

> (5) A Singer that had "Scholastic" as the identifying model on the front
> demonstrated by a wonderful old guy (meaning older than I am) who had the
> thread break 3 times during the demo -- not able to find a thing on it
> anywhere either. Lessons included.

> (6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year warranty
> and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

> (7) Another small shop selling a Singer from the same era for $80.

> Anyway, that's where I am and I'd love any suggestions. I've been looking
> all over town for quite a while and am eager to just get started on the
> projects that are dancing around in my head.

> Best wishes,

> Brian


 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by QuiltR10 » Fri, 31 May 2002 20:58:11



Quote:

>(6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year warranty
>and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

Brian,
   I do all my sewing on my Sears Kenmore that I bought in 1972.  It's a
workhorse and has never been in the shop for repairs.  They are solid metal  (
no plastic parts on them).  
    Where is your web site that was mentioned.?    I do traditional and art
quilts.

Kris  ( in northern ***ia   )

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Elen » Fri, 31 May 2002 23:49:16


Hi Brian and welcome to the group!

I mixed my answers in with Taco Belle's, so I hope this isn't too confusing
for you.  I snipped out portions of her reply and your original message.
She's got very good points for you to consider.


Quote:
> Welcome, Brian.

<gengle snip>
> As far as your list is concerned, I'd cross out any store that doesn't
> leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.  You're going to have questions
> and need cleaning or repairs no matter what machine you buy.

Elena:  I wholeheartedly second this.  Especially if you are new to sewing
and the machine you settle on ends up having a quirk or two.  Entirely
possible whether it's new or not.

Quote:
> That leaves you with the (unavailable) Elna, (expensive) Pfaff, and
> (older) Kenmore/Sears.

<big snip here>

Kenmore for $80 with a year warranty

Quote:
> > and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

I have an older Kenmore bought in the late 70s.  It's still a good
workhorse, sewing well after sitting for months at a time with no use.  It's
big and clunky and heavy.  Just the thing for someone on a budget who isn't
sure if this will work out or not.  It sounds like you need something very
basic.  Something that will produce a stitch that while not "perfect" will
at least be on the line you wish to follow.

It's just my opinion, but I would rather see someone start out with
something as inexpensive as possible, and move up after they have been
bitten by the bug.  *smiles*  The offer of "all the questions I can ask."
sounds like a good resource for you later, should you decide to upgrade as
well. After all any shop should be helpful if they know it'll mean you look
to them when you decide to spend more money. Plus they will have a good idea
of the "stinkers" in the sewing world and steer you away from something that
would eat your investment as well as your fabric.

Another good thing is that many people started with Kenmores, so if you have
questions, you'll find a broader base of people to ask.  Kenmores are also
easily resold, leaving you with a little more in your pocket if all else
fails.

Great good luck on this. Do let us know what you end up with.

Elena

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Martha in I » Sat, 01 Jun 2002 00:32:04


Brian, I've had 2 Pfaff machines and they were both great! One made lousy
buttonholes, but other than that, for quilting, I don't think you can beat
the ease of the built in dual feed.
Martha in IN

Quote:




> >>(6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year
> >>warranty and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

> > Brian,
> >    I do all my sewing on my Sears Kenmore that I bought in 1972.  It's
> >    a
> > workhorse and has never been in the shop for repairs.  They are solid
> > metal  ( no plastic parts on them).
> >     Where is your web site that was mentioned.?    I do traditional and
> >     art
> > quilts.

> > Kris  ( in northern ***ia   )

> First of all, thanks to everybody who has been kind enough to answer!  As
> for chocolate (asked of me in another reply in this thread) -- yes, but I
> have *** sugar issues that put it on the prohibit list. I'm not the most
> disciplined person in the world, but for some reason when it comes to
> dealing with that problem I'm rock steady. Of course, if I did eat
chocolate
> in the dark -- would my body know?

> The web site is at http://www.FoundCollection.com/. It's traditional and
digital
> collage, NOT fabric collage, although I'm adding links to fabric collage
> sites and will be including more of it in the online galleries.

> My own work has been in various galleries and I've worked as a writer,
> musician and such (see brianrobertson.net for too much information).

> To answer a question from another reply in this thread -- I'm in Austin,
> Texas.

> The mature part of me is thinking the plan should be to get the Kenmore
used
> and take the guy up on his offer to teach me how to use it. The money
saved
> can go into other goodies - fat quarters for instance. The less mature
part?
> I'd grab the Select 1530 from Pfaff!

> Thanks for the continuing help!

> Brian

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Cheri & Walt Carrol » Sat, 01 Jun 2002 01:13:01


Hi Brian,

Welcome to our little group.  Hide your chocolate.

If I were you I'd lean towards the 70's Kenmore from the helpful shop.
Janome makes Kenmore for the last 20 or so years, but I'm not sure about the
70's.  Older Singers 30 (plus years) are good but I haven't heard anything
great about the newer ones.

Pfaff and Elna are also good machines.  The dual feed dogs will save you
from purchasing a walking foot down the road (but many people swear they
have quilted for years without one).

You can always start out with a basic inexpensive machine and if you find
you get a lot of use out of it, you can upgrade to a fancier machine down
the road with all the bells and whistles.  (But keep the old workhorse, for
then the other is in for routine tune-ups and maintenance).

Cheri


Quote:
> I'll make this quick as I can and am grateful for any suggestions/ideas.

> I am a collage artist who has worked in paper or digital for years and now
> want to explore the possibilities in fabric collage (perhaps the genes
from
> my late mom, a brilliant wizard with the Sewing Machine, have kicked in).

> I want to produce a combination of photo transfer, applique, etc etc --
and
> these will be (1) framed or (2) wall*** with a minimum amount of
> batting. I'm stuck because I need a sewing machine to do the job and know
> what I want -- drop feed dogs, ability to do basic stitches, etc. At this
> point, my work won't use decorative stitching to, let's say, top off a
> mountain or a form in the picture -- I'm content to let the fabric speak
for
> itself.

> Options I've discovered in the town I'm in:

> (1) Down Home that I liked, but the store that sold it had NO clue how to
> deal with a problem while under warranty -- and no one in town will work
on
> one as an authorized service center unless you bought it from them. Down
> Home/Janome website is no help -- only product I've seen that doesn't list
> regional or approved service centers.

> (2) An Elna 1010 or thereabouts that I liked ok at a small shop that does
> it's own repairs and offers lessons on how to use that machine, if they
get
> one back in stock.

> (3) A Pfaff Select 1530 that was pricey -- $725 -- but sewed like a dream,
> also in a small shop that does its own repairs. Can find NOTHING in the
> newsgroups from anyone who actually uses a Pfaff Select, but I do like the
> dual feed system. Lessons included.

> (4) A Kenmore from S**RS where I could have shot off bottle rockets and
not
> gotten the attention of a clerk.

> (5) A Singer that had "Scholastic" as the identifying model on the front
> demonstrated by a wonderful old guy (meaning older than I am) who had the
> thread break 3 times during the demo -- not able to find a thing on it
> anywhere either. Lessons included.

> (6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year
warranty
> and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

> (7) Another small shop selling a Singer from the same era for $80.

> Anyway, that's where I am and I'd love any suggestions. I've been looking
> all over town for quite a while and am eager to just get started on the
> projects that are dancing around in my head.

> Best wishes,

> Brian

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Lee Hir » Sat, 01 Jun 2002 03:44:07


Brian, I think you are looking at the wrong end of things (be grateful
that we aren't talking about elephants ;-)

Finding out where to get your machine fixed is secondary.  First sit
down and decide what YOU need in a machine for the kind of sewing YOU
plan to do.  You could live next door to the nicest friendliest shop
in the world and if you hated to use your sewing machine and it did
fit your needs it wouldn't matter.  

This might help -
http://www.FoundCollection.com/

On Thu, 30 May 2002 05:48:27 GMT, Collage

Quote:

>I'll make this quick as I can and am grateful for any suggestions/ideas.

>I am a collage artist who has worked in paper or digital for years and now
>want to explore the possibilities in fabric collage (perhaps the genes from
>my late mom, a brilliant wizard with the Sewing Machine, have kicked in).

>I want to produce a combination of photo transfer, applique, etc etc -- and
>these will be (1) framed or (2) wall*** with a minimum amount of
>batting. I'm stuck because I need a sewing machine to do the job and know
>what I want -- drop feed dogs, ability to do basic stitches, etc. At this
>point, my work won't use decorative stitching to, let's say, top off a
>mountain or a form in the picture -- I'm content to let the fabric speak for
>itself.

>Options I've discovered in the town I'm in:

>(1) Down Home that I liked, but the store that sold it had NO clue how to
>deal with a problem while under warranty -- and no one in town will work on
>one as an authorized service center unless you bought it from them. Down
>Home/Janome website is no help -- only product I've seen that doesn't list
>regional or approved service centers.

>(2) An Elna 1010 or thereabouts that I liked ok at a small shop that does
>it's own repairs and offers lessons on how to use that machine, if they get
>one back in stock.

>(3) A Pfaff Select 1530 that was pricey -- $725 -- but sewed like a dream,
>also in a small shop that does its own repairs. Can find NOTHING in the
>newsgroups from anyone who actually uses a Pfaff Select, but I do like the
>dual feed system. Lessons included.

>(4) A Kenmore from S**RS where I could have shot off bottle rockets and not
>gotten the attention of a clerk.

>(5) A Singer that had "Scholastic" as the identifying model on the front
>demonstrated by a wonderful old guy (meaning older than I am) who had the
>thread break 3 times during the demo -- not able to find a thing on it
>anywhere either. Lessons included.

>(6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year warranty
>and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

>(7) Another small shop selling a Singer from the same era for $80.

>Anyway, that's where I am and I'd love any suggestions. I've been looking
>all over town for quite a while and am eager to just get started on the
>projects that are dancing around in my head.

>Best wishes,

>Brian

Victoria "Lee" Hirt
http://www.FoundCollection.com/

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over
and over and over again and expecting a different result."

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Roberta Zollne » Sat, 01 Jun 2002 05:08:39


Maturity might be over-rated :-) I LOOOve my new Pfaff 2042!
Roberta in DK


Quote:




> >>(6) A small used shop selling 1970 era Kenmore for $80 with a year
> >>warranty and a promise of all the questions I can ask.

> > Brian,
> >    I do all my sewing on my Sears Kenmore that I bought in 1972.  It's
> >    a
> > workhorse and has never been in the shop for repairs.  They are solid
> > metal  ( no plastic parts on them).
> >     Where is your web site that was mentioned.?    I do traditional and
> >     art
> > quilts.

> > Kris  ( in northern ***ia   )

> First of all, thanks to everybody who has been kind enough to answer!  As
> for chocolate (asked of me in another reply in this thread) -- yes, but I
> have *** sugar issues that put it on the prohibit list. I'm not the most
> disciplined person in the world, but for some reason when it comes to
> dealing with that problem I'm rock steady. Of course, if I did eat
chocolate
> in the dark -- would my body know?

> The web site is at http://www.FoundCollection.com/. It's traditional and
digital
> collage, NOT fabric collage, although I'm adding links to fabric collage
> sites and will be including more of it in the online galleries.

> My own work has been in various galleries and I've worked as a writer,
> musician and such (see brianrobertson.net for too much information).

> To answer a question from another reply in this thread -- I'm in Austin,
> Texas.

> The mature part of me is thinking the plan should be to get the Kenmore
used
> and take the guy up on his offer to teach me how to use it. The money
saved
> can go into other goodies - fat quarters for instance. The less mature
part?
> I'd grab the Select 1530 from Pfaff!

> Thanks for the continuing help!

> Brian

 
 
 

Confused Newbie Needs Help! (please?)

Post by Sylvia Steige » Sun, 02 Jun 2002 11:34:41


1. STAY AWAY from the shops that didn't knowledgably service what they
sell, or couldn't demonstrate it satisfactorily.  I hope all the
messages here agree on this.  You do NOT want to wind up with a machine
you have to figure out how to use or service if this is your first
machine -- many of us here could probably figure out a new machine
without difficulty but it's not for newbies.

2. Now we'll get into the area where opinions will vary.  I say stay
away from Kenmore, and I used to own one.  They will sew and sew and sew
until they just quit, and trying to get them repaired is futile because
Sears will insist they can't get parts and practically force you into
buying a new expen$ive model.  Since the machine is already 30+ years
old, it could be a matter of days or weeks until it dies.  Bad investment.

3. My usual approach when buying something new, where I don't know
exactly what I want, is to buy cheap and consider the first purchase a
"learning" purchase, use it for a year or two to identify what features
I want and which I don't care about, and then go for quality.  I would
suggest that strategy would work well for you, also.  Make your first
machine a portable and you'll kill two birds with one stone: use it now
and decide what you want to buy later, when you'll still have a portable
machine for classes or travelling.

Hope this helps!

--
Sylvia Steiger RN BS
Remove "removethis" from address to reply
http://SteigerFamily.com
Cheyenne WY, USDA zone 5a, Sunset zone 1a
Home of the Wyoming Wind Festival, January 1-December 31!