Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Know Thy Machine

Hey There!  Chances are, if you're reading this today, it's because Shruti sent you, so welcome!  I have to be honest, when Shruti asked me to be a part of this blog hop, and I saw the list of other bloggers participating, I asked her if I was the right Kelly (there are a lot of Kelly's in the quilting world - in fact, there's another Kelly doing this same thing tomorrow!).  Apparently, she had it right, so here we go!

1. What machine(s) do you have? Brand and Model.

It is totally and completely not fancy.  A Brother CE5500-PRW.

2. When and where did you buy it? What were the reasons for selecting this(these) particular model(s). What was its approximate cost. 

I bought it from about a year and a half ago for just over $100.  I had the Brother CE5000-PRW before that, and had problems with it.  The 5500 was the next one up from the 5000, plus all of the accessories I had for the 5000 fit the 5500, so it was an easy move.

3. What do you like about your machine? Have you named it? Have you made a cover for it? 

I like that it's lightweight, which is nice when I take it to weekend sews with my guild.  I also like that even though it's a cheaper machine, it really doesn't give me any problems.  I haven't named it - I'm not a big namer of things.  Even with all three of my kids, we didn't have names for them until after they were born.  Naming is not my forté.  I have not made a cover for my machine, but someone else has, and I love it!  When I was a member of the LAMQG (I have since moved away, and started the ECMQG), we did our own version of the Urban Home Goods swap, and Brianna made a beautiful Echino cover for my machine.

4. Does your machine give you any problems? Could you tell us a few? 

Sometimes I have tension problems, but usually they work themselves out after I go through the normal list of things to do to fix it.  Some of the things I do to fix tension problems, if I think the tension is set correctly is re-thread the machine, both the spool and the bobbin.  Then I'll mess around with the tension setting, and usually one of those things will fix it.  I can't really think of any other problems I've had with it!  I'm really bad about cleaning it, and just recently I ran into an issue, and thought maybe a good cleaning would do the trick.  There was enough lint inside to stuff a pincushion!  After it was cleaned out, my problems were solved.

5. What do you sew on it mainly? Quilts, Clothes, Bags etc. How much time do you spend sewing on it? What are the features of the machine that help you improve your work? 

I mainly sew quilts.  There's the occasional bag or some other random item I make, but quilting is my passion.  Like I said earlier, I have three kids.  The oldest is almost 5, and the youngest is 9 months.  That means my sewing time is limited.  But I still try to get in a few hours each week.  I can't really think of any feature that helps me improve my work.  It's a good little machine, and it does it's job.

6. What advice would you give others when deciding about which machine to buy? 

A friend recently asked me for advice because she was in the market for a new machine.  I just told her to have a price in mind that you can't go over, and decide what features you can't live without, and go from there.  The next time I buy a machine, I'm looking for one that has a bigger harp space than the one I have now.  I've already researched and found one that's not uber-expensive, but still has great reviews and the larger harp space that I want/need.  In case you're wondering, it's the Brother PC-420 PRW.

7. Will you share with us a special memory associated with your machine? 

Recently, my oldest daughter expressed an interest in learning to sew.  I was so excited to let her sit and play around with the machine!  I hope she keeps this interest as she gets older.  I would love to see what she creates!

8. If you had unlimited resources in the world, which machine would you choose to buy and why? 

I've been on this kick recently, of wanting a vintage machine.  And while most people like to get Featherweights, I ran across a vintage Elna that I would love to have.  It's green!  And that's my favorite color!  You can find them for not-that-much, but I don't need it right now, so I'm not buying it right now.  As far as serious sewing machines, I don't really know which machine I'd get.  My dream machine would have a stitch regulator and the largest harp space on a sewing machine ever made.  I'd probably just go to a few stores and test several machines to figure out which one I wanted.  

Thanks so much to Shruti for asking me to be a part of this blog hop - it was fun!  And thank you for reading this! If you're interested in winning some awesome prizes, hop back over to her blog to find out how.


  1. Sounds like I need to talk with you about the machine I have but don't use - a Brother XL3750. Love the picture of your daughter at your machine.

  2. Nice to see some Brother machines being featured. I have a Brother and love it. I feel like I haven't arrived as a quilter though because I don't have a Bernina. I test drove a couple at an AQS show and liked the feel of the Brother better than the Bernina. I am a beginner quilter though, so what do I know!