Quilting can be done using one of two methods: hand quilting or machine quilting (or a combination of both).
I decided to take up quilting as one of my new hobbies that did not involve the computer. Knowing my hands can cramp up with other crafts, I did not want to be hand quilting. Am I cheating with this being a non-computer based hobby by using a computerized sewing machine? I had no idea sewing machines were computerized until we started looking around for one!
Before heading out to pick up a sewing machine, we looked around online at pricing and reviews to select the sewing machine that met both our needs and budget. Because of finances and not being sure how much use we would get out of the machine, I kept looking for ones I knew I saw that were under $100 to realize just how small and cheaply made they were. Initially, we looked at machines that were as cheap as $79 to ones that were $350. Most of the machines in this price range did not include any sort of cover and would have been another $35-50. Having a very curious three year old son and not having a spot in the house for it to permanently live yet, the cover was a must.
Both having mothers who have had sewing machines for 30+ years, we decided it was better to spend more money on a machine that had a longer warranty and was known to be a better brand than something that was cheaper, cheaply built and we might have to replace in the next 3-5 years.
During our online searches, we were trying to find a sewing machine that was better suited for quilting or had reviews mentioning how well they worked for quilting. I was also trying to find a store to buy it from that I knew was good for service and was local should there be any problems. We narrowed it down to two Kenmore sewing machines off the Sears website – one which was $350 and another that was $500. The one at $500 had a lot of reviews that mentioned quilting, the reviews were good and the warranty looked great:
- 25 Year Limited Warranty on internal frame defects in material or workmanship
- 10 Year Limited Warranty on Internal Mechanical Components
- 2 Year Limited Warranty on External Sewing Machine components
- 2 Year Limited Warranty on Electrical Equipment
- 90 Day Limited Warranty on Parts and Labor
Because of the warranty, reviews and features, we decided to get the $500 machine. This was a lot more then I was initially wanting to spend but we both viewed it as an investment for our family on an item we would use for many years to come – whether for quilting or say, patching up a foot long tear in our sons snow pants he needed to wear for the last few days of winter. To help bring the cost down, we redeemed enough Sears points to get a $60 gift card and used a coupon to obtain more points for another $50 Sears gift card. We also bought the three year servicing service through Sears for $79.99 that allows us to get the machine tuned up once a year among other things.
As luck always seems to have it for us picking up bigger items at the Sears in Kelowna, we had to order one in which took about a week to arrive because at the time, no trucks were driving through the Rocky Mountains from Edmonton. I was also at the time awaiting the arrival of my new Canon T2i that we ordered online through Sears website on Boxing Day which was back ordered and finally arrived almost seven weeks after being ordered.
Can you believe I was actually more excited about the arrival of our sewing machine then my new dSLR? Certainly made that last week of waiting for my camera go by faster! (and gave me something to take a picture of the sewing machine with)