Fallen in love with Sewing machine repair

So this post is a little late.  But after several years of repairing my own machines, and after a couple of years of buying machines off Craigslist and Ebay, fixing them and turning around and giving them away, I finally decided to expand my business into Sewing Machine Repair.

This blog post over at my sister site, Sew Messy, shows my adventures in refurbishing a Kenmore 148.15600.  It was such a blast and honestly it bothers me that people are ready to throw out these perfectly wonderful older machines, simply because they need a little maintenance. Instead of $125 in fees for a service at their local stealership, they run to wallie-world and pick up a plastic piece of junk which will only last one or two tune ups before the aluminum screws are shredded.  Meanwhile, their plastic gears crack, the case warps, or any of a number of other ailments can follow.  The Kenmore I just worked on, has lovely metal gears.  Know what the downside of metal gears is? It’s a small bit noisier.  That’s all.

Not too bad of a trade off for something that will last 50-75 years.

Well, to be honest, not all plastic gears are created equally, and even the newer high-end machines will come with plastic gears now.  What I mean to say is, there is quality, and there’s cutting corners.  These older machines have a lot of years left, and would be too expensive to make nowadays.  I love rescuing them from the potential of a landfill.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with these babies.  I’ve given away a couple, and have three more sitting in my sewing room and two in my living room. They need homes! (And I’m not allowed to buy any more until I find homes for the ones I have.)

 

My local sewing machine dealer lacks customer service

I’m so sick of the (lack of) customer service I get at my local sewing machine dealer.  I simply must vent!

It never fails that I leave feeling like the interaction was painful, but this time was excruciating.  I called to inquire about a certain part.  As I tried to explain, I was interrupted multiple times.  I was peppered with questions with an undertone of “why on earth are you asking ME?”  When I thought we were finally on the same page about the next steps, the person on the other end of the phone said, “But I’ll have to FIND OUT if we can even order that piece.”  As if that would require EFFORT and God-Forbid we make her exert effort!!!

The thing is, I’ve worked retail. I know how hard it is, so I’m extremely nice to people in that position.  When I’m interrupted, when I’m peppered with questions with an attitude, and when I’m obviously putting you out asking you to take my money…well, I honestly consider taking my money elsewhere.

So I pulled up the googles and looked to find the other dealers in town…and there are…none.  The closest one is A LONG WAY away.  Think 2-3 hour drive.  :(

Which got me thinking, why are there so few of this specific maker’s dealers around? What would it take to open a dealership?  Maybe I could parlay my “hobby” of fixing up old sewing machines into a career as a dealer?  Just a thought.  A very nice one!

 

UPDATE – She never called me back to tell me if they could order the part. In the meantime I’ve decided to start repairing sewing machines in addition to the long arm quilting, basting and binding services I offer.  Maybe someday that will translate into a brick and mortar store where I can offer my favorite line of sewing machines.  Until then, I’ll just keep dreaming!

 

 

Finished the first row on Well Blankie

I should probably consolidate all of these into one post…maybe I’ll do that when I’m finished.

Here’s the whole row completed:

First Row Completed

And here’s a pic of the concentric (ish) circles from the back:

Back

Took three bobbins and about eight or so hours of quilting to do one row.  I’m getting faster (and steadier) with the rulers, so maybe I’ll get a bit better time with the next row.

 

Getting ready to quilt Well Blankie

Though I didn’t have much time to work on it today, much progress was made on the Well Blankie project.  I ironed the top and backing, and got the entire thing loaded.  I decided to try floating the top, which I’ve seen my friend, Robin, do before, but have not tried myself.  We’ll see how it goes! Here’s some pix of the  progress made:

Backing on the frame
Backing on the frame
Batting on the frame
Batting on the frame
Here's the thread I picked, up against the backing (wrong side)
Here’s the thread I picked, up against the backing (wrong side)

 

And here she is, ready for quilting!
And here she is, ready for quilting!

I still have to baste the sides, and load all my bobbins. Not sure how many to do for this one.  16? 20?

Charity Tshirt Quilt is finished

Wow this one was a labor of love.  A couple weeks after I picked up the tshirts from the winner of the auction, baby T, my foster daughter arrived.  She was supposed to spend a couple of days, but ended up with us until recently. She arrived at 18 months old, and celebrated her 2nd bday with us.  What a handful!  Also I picked up a second job (long story) and started working about 70 hours a week between the two.  What a mess.  So this poor quilt got back burned more often than I would have liked.  But wow do I love how it turned out.  I’m glad I didn’t choose to just outline the tshirt blocks and move on.  There’s stippling in the blocks, and in the sashing is wonderful cinnamon roll swirls.

IMG_0086 IMG_0083

“Well Blankie” is back and ready for borders

I sent the Well Blankie blocks off to my cousin to sew into a top. He asked me to make the top a bit larger, as this will be going on a twin sized bed.  So – I just need to add a couple of borders and then we’ll be ready to prep the backing and get this baby on the Handi Quilter!

Here’s a shot before the borders:

IMG_4231

ETA: Borders are on!

13567349_10154222241699854_4756332818102832517_nSize is now 69″x82″.