Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sew Mama Sew "Sewing Machine Meme"

From Embroidery Designs
Sew Mama Sew is having a "Tell us about your sewing machine!"

My problem is I have several machines.  Do I pick one or all of them?

I have a Janome 6600, Janome 350e, Viking Sapphire and a Viking Topaz.  I've fallen in love with Viking machines.

1.  What brand and model do you have?

Viking Topaz 30 Sewing/Embroidery machine

2.   How much does that machine cost?

*hiccups*  I think MSRP is around 3600-3700.  I paid under 3000.

3.  What types of things do you sew?

I mostly do quilts but have embroidered towels, shirts, and other items. 

4.  How much do you sew?  How much wear and tear does the machine get?

I'm on my machine every day. It gets a lot of wear and tear as it gets used for hours.  It has done an embroidery design that was 5 hours without problems.    

5.  Do you like/love/hate your machine?  Are you ambivalent?  Passionate?  Does she have a name?

I LOVE this machine.  I don't name my machines.  Although my Janomes were called "Damn it"  
6.  What features does your machine have that work well for you?

All of it.  I love the cutters.  The foot pedal acts as a needle up/down setting if you tap it.  I love the stitch quality and the ability to resize and edit them.  I love the free motion float setting.  The machine stops when the bobbin runs out.  The Sewing Advisor settings are wonderful.   

The embroidery side has all the settings of the TOL machines except that there is no touch screen.  There is a basting stitch that goes around the design NOT around the hoop.  The hoop moves forward to cut the jump stitches.  The hoop moves back to change the bobbin so you don't have take off the hoop.  It remembers the last stitch you were at.  The largest hoop size is 360x200  

The machine embroideres beautifully.  I rarely have problems.  The embroidery module is extremely sturdy and the hoops are easy to use.   

7.  Is there anything that drives you nuts about this machine?

I had take-up lever issues when I bought the machine.  Apparently this is a common problem among the Viking/Pfaff machines that use this type of frame.  They need to FIX it.  For 3000+ dollars something that simple should work.  If you have a good tech, it can be fixed.  

You must have computer software to run this machine.  It comes with some basic software that lets you convert formats but that's it.  The fact that Viking wants a fortune for their software is ridiculous.  I paid $800 for 4D Extra.  Buy Embird. 

Don't lose the included USB stick.  All the built in designs are on that stick.  Nothing is stored in the machine. 

My bobbin winder is funky.  I love the one on my Sapphire so much more.

There is no pressure foot lever in the back.  The foot is either up or down.  It takes getting used too.

8.  Great story?

The fact that my husband let me buy this machine without trading in my other machines and told me to buy the 4D Extra even at 800 bucks blows my mind.  My jaw just dropped. 

He started pulling hoops off the rack and put them on the counter as well.  Who says men don't pay attention to what we do?  

When I asked him later he said that he noticed that I loved my Sapphire so much more than my Janome machines and knew I would love the Topaz.  Plus he felt guilty as he was buying tons of Blu-ray DVDs.    
9.  Would you recommend this machine to others?


Despite needing external software this machine is worth the money.   The TOL features, the large hoops and the longer bed is wonderful.  I don't regret this purchase.  

However; test this machine out for yourself.  I've found this is a machine people either love or hate.    
10.  What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?

1.  Price (what can you get away with?)

2.  Your needs now and in the future (You hate to buy a machine and outgrow it a year later)

3.  The dealer.  Crappy dealer means crappy service (Been there)

4.  Bonding with the machine.  Do you have a connection with it? (Just because your friend loves it doesn't mean you will)

5.  Technological compatibility.  Will the technology be outdated or is outdated if buying a used machine?

11. Dream machine? 

A machine that is truly affordable.  No one should have to spend as much as a used car to have a wonderful machine.  Or the accessories.  

One that has a decent manual that explains EVERYTHING.  Ie, that there is a 300 dollar sensor that lets me know that I need to clean out the threads around the bobbin when it's blocked.  If after I've cleaned it out but the machine insists I'm still stupid, I know why.  I'll still need to take it in, but I won't spend the weekend going crazy.

One that has a sexy male voice that voices his "needs" and tells me how wonderful I am.  "Your doing great baby.  You'll have that finished in no time".  Yeah..I know..but you asked.

One that doesn't have "optional" extras that should be "standard" features.  


Rhonda said...

This is an excellent post. I might just copy the idea.

Anonymous said...

I got a TYopaz 20 for XMas! Was sewing along nicely on a border when I heard a loud "CLANK" and the computer screen said "Main motor overloaded please wait". I turned the machine off and waited several seconds.I kept doing this with increasing amoumnts of time and still got the same message from the computer. Have you had this problem before? I'm taking the machine in tomorrow (Talked to the shop today) The machine had worked beautifully before this happened and I'm 3/4 way through a project. Anything I can do in the meantime? Thanks

Bethany said...

YES! I have had this problem several times during one project. My dealer said to give it a half hour and it still gave me the "Main motor overload". I waited most of the afternoon as it kept saying this every time I turned it on. I was petrified I had broken the machine!!

What where you doing? I was doing a quilt block w/batting and stabilizer. I was using a size 80 Organ needle and it kept doing this on this block.

My dealer said to use a size 90 Schmetz embroidery needle for this project as I had too small of a needle and to use an Insipira or Schmetz needle instead of the Organs.

Viking confirmed using Schmetz or Inspira needles when I emailed them as I had a ton of Organ needles from my Janome 350e and 6600 and hated to waste them. I figured needles were needles and it didn't matter.

Make sure you are using the correct needle size for the project so your machine isn't overloading.

I haven't had any problems after putting in Schmetz needles. I could tell the difference immediately with stitch quality and the machine "hummed" along nicely.

Let me know how it goes. Hopefully it's something as simple as a needle change.

Stephanie said...

Thank you so much for your feedback on the Viking sewing machines. I am a complete beginner and I am really interested in quilting but I have a feeling that sometime in the future I will want to learn to embroidery. I am currently looking at the Viking Sapphire 875 or the Viking Topaz 30. Any suggestions which one I should get?

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