My husband and I took advantage of the break in our wintry Iowa weather yesterday to drop this girls off with his Aunt so we could go Christmas shopping together. (It was like a date...only in the day...which meant neither of us were tired and cranky yet. We had a lovely time.) Our gift shopping took us a whooping 90 minutes at one store. (We really only buy gifts for our girls so shopping is usually pretty painless.) Which left us plenty of time for a nice lunch and to stop and shop for this...
Considering I've been sewing on a very basic machine I bought for $140 at a small chain discount store 15 years ago, this is a major upgrade. I feel as if I have just won the lottery! (OK, that might feel a wee bit different.) My new machine has needle down stop, 40 stitch options (my old one had 2...straight and zig-zag), and I splurged and bought the extension table because I'm gonna learn how to free motion quilt if it kills me! To be honest, I spent a little more than I had intended spending, but at the same time feel like spending that extra $100 now is going to help make sure I won't be wishing in a year or two for an upgrade...something I'm pretty sure would have happened with the other more basic model I was considering purchasing. The ladies at Cornerstone Quilts (sort of a sister shop to GFW) were so wonderful in helping me weigh my options and my husband was so patient as I sat and gave each model in consideration a few test spins. AND as part of my purchase I get to go to an all day class where I will get to learn the ins and outs of using and caring for my machine. FUN! I've never taken a sewing class before!!!
When we got home the girls insisted I show them how my new machine works. I let them choose some bright thread and stitches that they wanted to see and we tinkered away. I think we could have spent all night with them at my side as we tried out different stitches and techniques.
I'm looking forward to tackling the quilting of my two finished tops in the coming weeks. Not to mention all the packages of fabric I have from a "block of the month" club a friend and I joined a few years back. To date I think we have each managed to complete one month's worth of blocks. I'm thinking committing to making a block a week starting at the turn of the year might be a good way to both learn about my new machine AND turn all those packages into something a little more useful. (Not to mention counting down the weeks until spring!)