Quilt-along 2021

Right? Love those dyed pieces. :heart_eyes:

@AudiobookLover - I love those fabrics!!!

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@Cindy pretty Christmas quilt. I have lots of holiday bits left over…hmmm…maybe I need a Holiday quilt?

@Edel OOO rainbow colors, This is so bright and fun!

@AudiobookLover I love the layer cake colors. I think it will be a rich and pretty quilt.

@roler Since the machine is only 5 years old or so, and has so many issues, I’d opt for a new machine if possible…and not a Singer. If you get a good Singer, great, but if you get one that continually has issues, you’ll spend a lot of time and money in repairs, since it will always have issues. I worked in a fabric store years ago that sold Singers, I would never buy one, they are too fussy.

I have a Pfaff that I love. Others have their favs too.

I had issues with tension a week ago and then realized that I forgotten about cleaning under the bobbin holder and it was full of fabric fuzz…lots of fabric fuzz. Oh my. 700 - 800 masks create a lot of fuzz. Plus quilts, repairs, fleece cat beds and toys, etc. etc. Sigh.


I think the newer machines really aren’t meant to last a long time. My first sewing machine in 1968 was a singer…I lost it to old age (parts not available) about three years ago…I have two other Singers about the same age that I use more than my fancy new computerized Brother…the weight of those Singers makes it hard for me to move around a lot, so they mostly sit on my work table…the Brother can be picked up by a child, it seems! I do my own repairs mostly and will replace them when the engines finally die…I really miss my old Singer but not the crazy cam system to change stitches…nor the ugly hospital wall pale green color!

@edel…the reason it is easy to thread the method you said is because the dry thread is attracted to the moisture behind the needle…I was taught this when I learned to sew and even use it for hand sewing!


I got this question all the time when I was still working in costume shops. The truth is, modern Singers are just not worth repairing because they are so cheaply made, full of plastic rather that metal parts. You’ll go through 5 $100 machines in 5 years, or you could spend $500 on a really solid well made machine that would last you decades, like your mom’s 70’s model. I know it’s easy for me to tell you to come up with a large chunk of money, and it might not be that easy on your end, but you’re just going to continue to be frustrated with a machine that’s limping along, and will be guaranteed to break completely when you need it most.

One of the things I recommend to folks worried about the cost of a really good machine, is to ask for gift cards towards it for holidays and birthdays. They add up quickly, and friends and family who know how much you craft are usually happy to help get you the right tool, even if it takes a little while.

Whatever machine you do replace it with, be sure to get it serviced every 1-2 years, depending on use. Just like taking care of a car, regular maintenance will keep it running for ages, and is well worth the price, and being without the machine for a few weeks.

Also, the most important piece of advice I can give everyone who sews or quilts, is to change your damn needle for each new project. Everyone says to me ‘yeah, I never change my needle’. Half of the problems a machine will give you can be solved by changing to a fresh (appropriate sized) needle, and rethreading the whole machine and bobbin, correctly. Needles are cheap, and will save you hours of frustration. Don’t think of it like flossing; something you know you should do, but don’t bother to. Think of it like brushing your teeth; vital to everyday health and happiness.


lol Sewing machine needles and rotary blades are on my Amazon subscribe items…I have also found that if you use a large eyed needle for topstitching with speciality threads like glitter thread, it will save hours of frustration…great advice!


If a new mid-range model is not within your budget, you could also look for an older, used model. My Vintage 1958 Husqvarna cost me €40 from Facebook Marketplace and it’s the best machine I’ve ever worked with. Normally I’d say go to thrift shops and estate sales but of course that’s not really an option now. A basic old machine may not have fancy stitches and cool features but they often sew like a dream.

My main machine is a Bernina 801 from the early 1980s, my mother bought it as a newlywed, they are €250-ish now if you buy them refurbished from a sewing machine store, they can be found for less. It has about 10 different stitches, it makes buttonholes, the feed dogs can drop, it can stitch through several layers of fabric. That’s enough for most people’s needs.

My friend has a Silvercrest machine and from the “cheaper” brands that’s supposed to be the best one, but I’m not impressed with it. So far it still works and it has a lot of cute stitches, but the tension is always slightly off and it makes a weird rattling sound.


I hope the foot I am sending fits your Bernina…I think trying to find parts and feet for older machines can be a challenge, but a lot of places still carry them and some machines are just worth it if they are work horses!

I bought a mat to hold down my pedal…with hard wood floors, it was always slipping around…I appreciate everyone’s tips and ideas to make sewing and quilting easier so that it is fun…I am seriously toying with the idea of getting that flying goose ruler…I really hate cutting off the points but I noticed that in a lot of my quilts, no matter how careful I am, I do…the ruler would probably help me a lot!


Wow! This is all such great advice! Thanks so much, everyone! I think I will look for a new machine. I’ll keep all your comments in mind and search around online this weekend. :slight_smile:


You’re right, parts can become an issue for older machines, it depends a lot on the machine / brand / age. We had to get rid of my grandma’s sewing machine from 1955 a few years ago because the parts to repair it were no longer available. According to the local shop, I don’t have to worry about parts for the Husqvarna either because those never break :laughing:

I think Bernina still makes parts + some feet for older models. The early 80s models like the 801 and 830 are still used by a lot of people do I don’t think parts will be an issue anytime soon, but maybe in 10 years or so Bernina will no longer interested in supporting 50 year old machines. And if a manufacturer gets sold or goes out of business, it may be even more difficult to get the right parts.

I finished the next block for my Farmer’s Wife quilt. Not completely happy about the colour combination. I had something else in mind but the pieces of fabric were just not big enough. I’m using the templates from the 1930s book and I wanted to make it the way women in the 30s would have done: from scraps. I selected a pile of scraps in autumn colours, most are cotton but there’s linen and corduroy as well. They’re scraps left over from making clothing and a few worn out plaid shirts. I will continue to make these paper piecing blocks until I run out of scraps.


I’ve had my Husqvarna Viking Rose for 20 years, and it’s never given me a minute of trouble. It was one of the early embroidery-regular sewing hybrids. The embroidery aspect became outmoded quickly, as the technology jumped so far, so fast over the last 20 years. You used to be able to buy groups of embroidery patterns, on special disks directly from Viking, and they were usually $75+ per disk. So you’d have to take the patterns you didn’t like along with the one you wanted. Now that you can buy patterns everywhere, and modern embroidery machines use thumb drives, I don’t bother trying to embroider with my Husqvarna. But it has sewed countless costumes for stage, including period corsets, gowns, suits, etc, and has made more quilts than I can possibly even remember. It’s a work horse, and I love her to bits. I do highly recommend Husqvarnas.

That being said, I also really recommend Berninas, especially the non-digital, old fashioned straight sewing machines. We had a set in the costume shop at WKU that were bought in the 90’s, and had been through hundred of college students beating the poop out of them for 20 years, and they still were going strong. We actually put in a request to replace them, even though they were still running well (with yearly maintenance), because usually the university took several years to replace something you put in a request for. Somehow we got lucky, and they approved it on the first try. We actually had people in the college fighting to buy the used ones off of us, despite the years of student abuse.


I really appreciate all these recommendations! One thing I really did like about my machine though, was the hand controls for speed, starting, stopping, etc. I really just don’t like foot pedals, which is why I don’t like using my mom’s machine. Of the ones with buttons instead of foot pedals, what would people recommend?


I think this is a really pretty color combination, especially if you tie in the brighter colors with more highlights in other blocks! :slight_smile:


I have an Eversewn Sparrow 30 that has a start/stop button with adjustable speed. I did a lot of research before buying it and found that it was highly recommended by people who use it (here’s a review that goes over the features).

I’ve been happy with the machine and I like that I can use the adjustable speed for times when I want to use the foot, which adjusts the range of speed available with a foot press. I bought mine online and was a bit concerned about the color. A lot of pictures show the machine as being full on pink, which I didn’t want. I trusted some reviews that said it isn’t as pink as it looks. When I got it, I was happy to see for myself that it is a very light blush of pink (so light that I thought it was just white at first). The top pic is an online pic, the bottom is mine.

My biggest complaint was brought on by user error - the machine has a button that cuts your thread when you’re done sewing, but the button is unfortunately placed directly above the start/stop button. I would just reach up and hit the button without paying attention, only to be frustrated on multiple occasions that instead of starting to sew, I had just cut my thread :woman_facepalming:. I fixed that issue by sticking a bit of painter’s tape over the snip button. Overall, I’ve been happy with my machine. Oh! I nearly forgot, one of the things that was a selling punt for me is that the machine comes with a small extension table to increase your sewing workspace.


I love that you’re going about it this way! I like the navy and burgundy combo that you paired in your recent block!

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I’m still waiting for the call that my Jazz 2 is in stock! And, my purple thang and quilting foot arrived today and I can’t use the foot for another week. Waaaaa. Keeping busy hand sewing felt birds!


I was just wondering about your new machine! I can’t wait for you to get it and tell us all about it!

I think you got your bird making book just in time to keep you busy during your quarantine period! You should be resting so those will help you keep your mind occupied but your body resting…I don’t want anything bad to happen to you…so listen to your friend!!! :heart:


Inspired by @Edel’s high speed quilting I decided to put on Mrs. Maisel and start stashbusting! I can never throw old jeans away. I made a jeans log cabin quilt years ago, it’s on our bed. I started a faux cathedral windows project but it’s boring. So I’m not going to put any more effort in it. I cut up the remaining pairs into wide strips and pocket squares:

Strips on top, thrash to the right. From previous projects I know it’s annoying to work with used denim because it’s a bit stretchy and won’t lie flat, so I’ll stitch the fabric to a foundation. I’m pretty sure I have old cotton shirts in my stash too so I’ll use the backs as a foundation. There are cheap fleece blankets and some sturdy cotton in my stash too (all from the IKEA clearance department) and this will result in a quick and warm quilt. It’s cold outside and my friend lives in an old house and can barely afford to heat it because she lost her work due to Covid. I will try to send it to her over the weekend.


What a great way to clear out stash while helping someone else!

I too have been inspired by @Edel and the starter/ender method she shared. I’ve already gotten 9 strip tubes sewn together just while I was constructing my BOM last night! That’s nearly 1/3 of my strips sewn!


The other trigger was the yearly rag collection for charity in my city tomorrow! So I was going through the purgatory pile in the corner to see what I wanted to get rid of. I remember moving those jeans to this house in 2015… And the pile keeps growing every time Mr Imma destroys another pair.

I cut the strips fairly randomly and the foundation pieces have different sizes as well so it’s going to be a pretty random looking quilt.