Breaking in a New Sewing Machine

 June 22, 2016
Posted by Cindy

I knew this day would come eventually.

The sewing machine technician told me recently that the trusty Bernina 1080 that has served me so well for nearly twenty years is on its last legs. It stutters when I push it too hard with my free-motion stitching, among other things. I tried to gain a little more time a couple of years ago by purchasing another 1080 second hand, but for some reason I’ve never had the same results with my stitching on that machine that I was able to get on my original one.

New Viking Machine - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

My new Viking sewing machine – Cindy Grisdela

Couple that with the fact that I’ve wanted for some time to be able to work larger and stitch pieces that make more of a statement, and I finally made the decision to invest in a new machine with a bigger throat space–the space between the needle and the machine housing.

At left is my new Viking Platinum 16 machine. I still quilt the same way–freehand without a computer or marking ahead of time–but I have the space to create larger work without having to scrunch it up into a 6″ work space.

And I can still keep my Bernina for piecing and straight stitching. It doesn’t seem to mind that part–just the freemotion stuff wasn’t working so well.

It’s taken quite awhile to get used to the new machine. Tension issues are different and required some major troubleshooting before I could actually use it on my work, as opposed to scraps, and the threading is a little weird until you get used to it. Yesterday I had trouble with the tension on the back of a quilt and found out after much trial and error that it was because there was some lint in the bobbin case!

Sunset Horizon Detail - Cindy Grisdela Art Quilts

Sunset Horizon Detail Stitching – Cindy Grisdela

On the plus side, it has a beautiful stitch and that lovely large throat plate, as well as the ability to “hop” over bulky seams without a hitch.

Sunset Horizon¬†at left is on the machine right now. And the featured image at the top–a detail from Starry Night–was also stitched on the new machine.

What is your favorite sewing machine?

Mark your calendars for the Ann Arbor Street Art Show – the Original on its NEW DATES next month–July 21 – 24, 2016. I hope to see you there if you’re in the area!