Never go to a sewing machine shop “just for a look”

I’ve been using my Mum’s sewing machine so far, but that’s not a practical long-term solution as she’ll need it back at some point, so I’ve started thinking about getting a sewing machine. I decided to go to a local dealer today to have a look at what’s available and at what sort of prices. Bad idea! I went for a look, but came away with a machine – the Brother Innovis-10A!

Brother Innovis-10A

It’s a very basic machine (only 16 stitches, although 3 are 1-step buttonholes) so it’s perfect for a beginner like me. I bought a walking foot and the dealer threw in a 1/4″ foot, so I’m all set for quilting.

There are fancier machines out there but the reason I chose this one is that it’s cheap but has all the features I need to give quilting a really good go. If I’m still loving things in a year or two and I’m finding it too basic, then I can think about getting something more powerful. But if I end up hating quilting, then I haven’t wasted loads of money on a fancy machine that will sit gathering dust for years to come!

I tried it out tonight, piecing the top of my 2nd baby quilt, and I have to say, I’m loving it. It’s definitely not the same build quality as Mum’s (an Elna from the early 80’s), but it has a number of features which hers doesn’t that are fantastic:

  • The automatic needle threader which really works
  • Needle up/down button
  • Start/stop button
  • Reverse stitch button
  • Drop-in bobbin with a clear cover so you can see how much thread is left
  • The thread cutter is on the side of the machine rather than at the back, where you can’t see it

I’d already done a lot of research before I went to the dealer, so I had a rough idea of what I was looking for. The following links were pretty useful for me:

  • Consumer Search article on what to look for in a machine
  • PatternReview.com for reviews
  • A buyer’s guide from GUR Sewing Machines with good list of terminology
  • This post from QuiltingWeekly
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